A small, beautifully run, luxury lodge, Sindabezi Island Camp is located in Zambia, on the Zambezi, upriver from the Livingstone and Victoria Falls. Set on a private island, it is known for providing a stay that is both relaxed and stimulating.
Raised on wooden platforms, spread about the island, and protected by a grove of riverine trees, Sindabezi consists of a main lodge and 5 chalets. Lit by hurricane lamps, recently refurbished, the shared areas include a lounge, dining area, outdoor seating and bar. A wood, stone and thatch build, the open-sided chitenje overlooks the river, and is characterised by wooden floors, easy chairs, low tables, curved stone seating and acres of space. Eschewing extensive decking, it’s outdoor area is set directly on the sand, where guests make the most of loungers and giant Lamuesque sofas.
Food & service
Meals at Sindabezi are taken almost everywhere – at the main lodge, in the privacy of one’s chalet, outside, either on the main beach or on one’s own private waterfront, as a picnic, or even on a tiny deck set in the middle of the river, and accessed by boat. The service, all-round, is outstanding.
All slightly different, each of the chalets is raised on stilts, protected by peaked thatched roofing, and has its own private waterfront. Four of the chalets are classed by number, while the fifth is a honeymoon suite. Each of the standard sized chalets include a double bed, veranda, seating, enough room to change in and, to the rear, an en-suite bathroom.
Open-plan, simply designed, the emphasis here is on quality of comfort. The furniture is well chosen, the mattresses high density, the bathroom fittings brass. The bathroom consists of a sink, shower and flush toilet. The honeymoon suite is larger, includes a lounge and dining area, and a stand-alone bath – with views of the river. Wi-Fi is available in the lodge’s lounge.
The island itself is tiny – 100 by 50 m. Activities at Sindabezi Island Camp include fishing, canoeing, boat trips and visiting the falls. Boat transfers to mainland activities can be arranged at a moment’s notice, and the camp combines well with Tongabezi, its sister camp, and with Sausage Tree and Tena Tena.
Operating on the Zambezi brings its own challenges. At Tongabezi and Sindabezi they desire less noise, less emissions and as little upset as possible to the local flora and fauna.
Sindabezi is powered by solar energy with paraffin lamp supplements. The waste water system pump is also solar powered. The entire Sindabezi has no grid dependency as even cooking is done with gas. All soap shampoo and cleaning products for the rooms and kitchen are biodegradable.
Sindabezi Tujatane School & Village will all be receiving increasing solar power in the near future, and an extensive composting project to recycle part of the kitchen waste is also under way.
10% of all the revenue that is collected at this World Heritage site goes to the Mukuni community – in the spirit of Sindabezi’s commitment to effectively controlled and personally overseen charity, these funds are used to build houses for teachers and classrooms for children.
The Tongabezi Trust School opened on 1 May 1996 and due to its huge success it has been growing ever since: what started as a pre-school class of 15 children is now a primary school with over 240 students.