After a relaxing canoe ride down the Zambezi river, we hopped out, said farewell to our lovely guide Alex and then jumped onto our speedboat transfer to take us to Anabezi tented camp.
Anabezi camp is located on the grounds of what used to be Ana Tree Lodge and it’s a captivating sight when you approach it by river. Warthogs, or ‘pumbaas’ scurry around the bushes on the riverbanks. And the Mushika Flood Plain is sprinkled with termite mounds and Ana trees (or winter thorn trees) – which is where the camp gets its name.
Naively, we were about to saunter over from our boat to the camp’s ‘front door’. It was then we spotted the many elephants that roam the camp grounds.
And even though they have the ‘friendly’ Biscuit Billy who pays regular visits, we had to remind ourselves that in the Lower Zambezi National Park, you’re in the home of Africa’s greatest predators and beasts. And that includes the grounds of the camp. You simply don’t walk around, unless you’re on the designated paths or accompanied by a guide! We hopped in our safari vehicle and zipped over to Anabezi’s front door.
The great thing about Anabezi tented camp is there’s an elevated timber walkway that makes you feel a little bit safer when you’re walking around. This winds its way from a super chic bar and lounge area – complete with gorgeous swimming pool…
…all the way to the camp’s second pool which overlooks a watering hole. This is like the local ‘pub’ for the local wildlife. You get elephants, impalas, buffalo, baboons and all sorts of birdlife coming here to quench their thirst.
And it’s a very stylish place to sit and relax…
Along this wooden walkway are Anabezi’s ‘tents’.
Personally, I think they’re more like chic hotel rooms that happen to be encased in canvas, than safari tents. Ours was a spacious abode where two big beds were draped in nets and wildlife photography hung from the walls.
We had a nice lounge area complete with sofa, tea and coffee facilities, chic African style interiors and coffee table style safari books.
And when it came to using the bathroom, we had not one, but two options: the inside washroom complete with a big roll top bath, loo and sink….
…and a rustic outside bathroom complete with a huge rainforest shower, sink and an abundance of Anabezi luxury toiletries.
Having a shower under the stars is quite an experience.
And you haven’t properly lived until you’ve experienced the ‘loo with a view’. As with the stilted verandah (where we had our own plunge pool and sun loungers), guests have unrivalled views of the elephants who roam right in front of your tent feeding on those Ana Tree pods.
Our new neighbours had me mesmerised every time…
Safari activities here, as with many camps, start at the crack of dawn. So not being a morning person, the 5.30 ‘wake up call’ complete with a tray of tea was a godsend.
But once you’ve woken up with fresh fruit and cereal in the chic camp lounge, you’re raring to go. We took game drives in the morning and evenings, took an amazing walking safari and even had a go at catch and release fishing on the Zambezi. I’ll be telling you about the safari activities later, but trust me, you never run out of things to do here!
Food and Drink at Anabezi
The dining at Anabezi was fantastic. Think tasty eggs and smoked salmon brunches, simple yet fresh lunch buffets of salads, spiced chicken and fresh bread; and sumptuous evening menus of steaks, fish and pasta served with oodles of style. In the evenings, we enjoyed a romantic candle-lit setting and in the daytime, we were treated to Anabezi’s breathtaking views.
The chef here, Zimbabwean born Carly Davy, has been cooking since she was young and was inspired by her grandmother. She designs all the dishes here and at Anabezi’s sister camp Amanzi. Her tasty cuisine and Anabezi’s great South African wines were just the icing on the cake for our wonderfully chic stay in Zambia’s breathtaking Lower Zambezi National Park.
Until next time x