One of my most unforgettable experiences in Africa was on Sindabezi Isand, a luxury camp near Victoria Falls in Zambia. It's a private island with just five open-sided thatched cottages, wherein we laid awake into the starry night, listening to animal sounds. The Sunday Times in London says Sindabezi as one of the best remote lodgings in the world--right in the middle of the Zambezi River.
Meals are served in a tropical paradise on a little hill above the river. One night, we were dining by lantern-light when our guide/host told us to grab our wine glasses and retreat to the upper terrace, whereupon two lovely hippos waddled up to our dinner table, settled themselves underneath, and fell asleep, side by side. Our guide told us that the two of them often took shelter on the island, when lions were in the area. Later, we heard that unmistakable, husky call of the lions across the river.
Sindabezi Island is reopens this June after having rebuilt the cottages and other facilities on the island to exacting “green” standards. To celebrate, a rather extraordinary special rate of US$250 per person per night is being offered, including all meals, wildlife tours by boat, fand a visit to Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of falling water in the world. Solar panels, state-of-the-art water recycling and other environmentally sensitive elements were added.
The camp is making the most of its forested island setting on the Zambezi River by building elevated star gazing decks for viewing the unbelievable sparkle of the night sky. New rooms feature closeable fronts, minimal solar lighting and ultra-comfortable teak beds with luxury bedding. Guests at the camp often combine a stay at Sindabezi with a stay at the sister camp across the river, Tongabezi--which is also one of the most luxurious camps in Southern Africa.
For more info: see some spectacular images of Zambia at www.ZambiaTourism.com