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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Abercrombie and Kent Week—Dining and Lodging at Our Four Sanctuary Retreats

We stayed at 4 different lodges in Botswana and Zambia, all with a distinct feel of their own and all perfectly situated in a pristine chunk of wilderness. Service was impeccable at all the lodges. Servers would greet you by your first name when presenting a rolled-up cool wash-cloth scented with mint, lemongrass, or lavender after each game drive. Dining went way beyond expectations, with fresh fruit in the morning followed by eggs and omelets anyway you like and thick lean bacon. All washed down with strong French-press coffee. Entrees at night included the local game, kudu, beef, fish, chicken, and good vegetarian choices like a tasty wild mushroom lasagna. Dinners were always served with a selection of quality South African wines. 

I did a walk-through of each our accommodations on video, so please press the links below to get a more intimate portrait. Our first lodge, Stanley’s felt remote, lost in the Okavango Delta. We passed one other vehicle in two days and that was from Sanctuary’s sister property, Baines. I loved dining under the stars and then sitting around the campfire afterwards. The recently remodeled Chief’s Camp in the Moremi Game Reserve deserves all the accolades it’s receiving, like a recent mention in London’s Sunday Times calling it the “the most luxurious safari camp in Africa." Rooms are spacious and ultra-sybaritic, with plunge pools, outdoor showers, and a huge deck to watch the baboons and elephants at the nearby watering hole. The contemporary art in the main lodge was stylish, not garish, and the masseuse, Tumi, won rave reviews from our crew. Chobe Chilwero overlooks the Chobe River and Namibia on the opposite shores. We savored the moment when we returned from a majestic cruise on the river to find a luxurious bubble bath waiting for us. Sussi and Chuma felt entirely authentic, especially after having lunch at the over-the-top Colonial outpost, the Victorian Fall Hotel. Built on an elevated walkway, all rooms overlook Zambia’s Zambezi River. One memory I won’t soon forget is downing a strong vodka tonic, thanks to my favorite bartender, Vincent, on the deck overlooking the river at sunset. A campfire was roaring, the reddish-pink sun was reflecting off the waters, and hippos were grunting in the background. This is the image I want to hold onto as long as possible, at least until I return to the continent. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/21/16 at 06:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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