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LIFESTYLE: A little piece of heaven

There is no other country where you can get to fly with angels, swim with devils and stay in paradise.

The holidays are over and you’ve probably already bent (or broken) your New Year’s resolution – you’re wondering how the year has managed to settle into that familiar routine already. Maybe it’s time to shake things up. How about a few blissful days on a perfect private island?

On the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, as you lay in bed sinking into blissful dreams, blanketed by warm, sweet-scented air, hippos laugh in intermittent baritone unison. At dawn, the first rays of sunlight lick the Zambezi River while you watch wildlife peacefully cropping along the riverbanks in shimmering morning mists.

Zambia is a stunningly beautiful country and offers excellent opportunities to safari along the river plains of the great Zambezi. While neighbouring Zimbabwe may arguably have the best view of the majestic Victoria Falls, it is only in Zambia that you can stand on top of them, literally – and thrillingly swim in the ‘Devils Pool’ right on the edge of the falls. If you’re looking for an action-packed safari that incorporates helicopter rides, river rafting and relaxation, there’s no better place to go.

No wonder David Livingstone said this about the Victoria Falls: “No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England, it had never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”.

Staying in paradise, the Islands of Siankaba luxury lodge is perfect for discerning travellers who wish to experience all that Zambia has to offer while being based at a resort of exceptional natural beauty in quiet, unspoiled surroundings.

The Islands of Siankaba is located on two private islands in the middle of the Zambezi River, and situated between the magnificent Victoria Falls – the ‘Seventh Wonder of the Natural World’ – and the world-renowned Chobe National Park.

Sleeping just fourteen guests, the lodge was developed as a luxurious five star retreat offering outstanding cuisine and uncompromising levels of personal service. Each of Siankaba’s seven secluded chalets is uniquely designed to maximise comfort and privacy while boasting spectacular views of the Zambezi.

The unique feature of the lodge is the series of walkways and bridges that link the two islands together. The quirky design incorporates the use of natural materials that blend in with the feel of the surrounding bush, while taking full advantage of the beauty of the riverine setting.

The Islands of Siankaba resort are developed with significant input from the local community. From the outset it was apparent that the success of the lodge would be dependent on partnering with the local community to provide employment and development. It is named in honour of the local headman – Siankaba – whose vision enabled the lodge to be developed as a regional asset.

His name in the Toka-Leya language means ‘witchfinder’, apparently as his ancestors were adept at spotting witches in their midst…

The lodge is created to let guests relax in tranquility and in a truly African style. Its architecture blends in seamlessly with the natural forest in the background. Every evening before dinner, you can enjoy cocktails and get to know your fellow travellers better, as wild creatures serenade you in the background.

Guests are treated to a sunset cruise every day, featuring families of hippos up close, and choice drinks and snacks on the river while your guide regales you with tales.

As for the cuisine – it’s dining and wining at every meal. Don’t be surprised if your belt gets a bit tight from the al fresco breakfast on the terrace overlooking the river, lunch under the trees, or even a special private romantic dinner in the private forest dining area – all your culinary senses will be satisfied.

As with every good home – the kitchen is the heart of the lodge. Its staff prepare unparalleled cuisine at every meal under the direction of head chef Gerard Siboli, who was trained by top international chefs and over the years worked his way up from kitchen assistant to the top job.

A visit to the Islands of Siankaba is a must for your 2013 wish list! q

For more information or to book your dream holiday visit www.siankaba.net.