|The Mosi-oa-Tunya Executive Lodge in Livingstone|
Livingstone acquired its status as the tourist capital of Zambia because of the magnificent Victoria Falls (locally known as the Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls, which means “the smoke that thunders”). As you may know, it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. In fact, one of the attractions for this year’s Sola 5 conference was indeed a visit to this awe-inspiring site.
I, personally, did not go to the Falls this time. This was simply because at this time of the year it is not at its peak. If you have never seen it at its peak, then you will be awe-struck as you see millions of litres of water plunging down the cliff edge with a deafening roar. But if you have seen it around April to June, then the sight would be a bit of an anti-climax. I wanted to spare myself that feeling.
|The proprietors, Trywell and Mary Nyirenda, at the end of the conference|
However, what I did not want to miss was yet another stay at the Mosi-oa-Tunya Executive Lodge! Anyone who has been to Livingstone in the last fifteen years will know that lodges and hotels have mushroomed everywhere. A few years ago, we went there for our family holiday and changed lodges a few times because many of them did not deliver what they promised. The standards were just too low. The staff were unfriendly, the bathrooms unclean or not functional, the beddings looked like they were still being used long after their “best before” date, the gardens were unkempt, the walls badly needed a fresh coat of paint, etc.
|A smiling receptionist is always a sign of warmth and good hospitality|
Well, a year or two later I discovered the Mosi-oa-Tunya Executive Lodge, and since then it has been my preferred destination each time I visit Livingstone. The proprietors, Trywell and Mary Nyirenda, were members of Kabwata Baptist Church soon after they got married some twenty years ago. Then they moved to Botswana where they lived and worked until quite recently when they relocated to Livingstone. They built this lodge as part of their effort to fulfil the cultural mandate of subduing the earth. I love their miniature Victoria Falls outside the reception area, whose rippling waters remind me that I have arrived in the town that plays host to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world!
|The miniature Victoria Falls located outside the reception area|
My reason for always staying there in the recent past has not been to simply support the Nyirendas. It is because I get a service that is good value for money. To begin with, the workers are very friendly and will go out of their way to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The place is alcohol free and no smoking is allowed in the rooms. The gardens and surrounding area are well kept. The rooms are all air conditioned, very clean, with linen and towels that are fresh and still in very good condition.
|The rooms are spacious, clean, and air conditioned|
Trywell and Mary need to be commended for the effort they have made in having a place like this for weary travellers. Mosi-oa-Tunya Executive Lodge has its own borehole, providing uninterrupted clean water for guests. The lodge also has a standby generator, ensuring that you have electricity even when there is power outage in the area—a fairly common occurrence in Zambia. Each room has its own safe to safeguard your valuables, and a fridge to keep your drinks cool.
|Each room has its own fridge, DSTV, and coffee bar|
For those who want to swim, they also have a nice swimming pool on the premises. Then for those of us who want to keep up with work at the office (or with blogging!), they have complimentary Internet service—a very rare treat in Zambia. Continental breakfast is also complimentary. One more little item that I appreciate is that the workers, for no extra charge, washed my car every morning. For US$40 per room per day (excluding VAT), I could not ask for more.
|These are some of the rooms that make up this lodge|
So, in the light of all this, I was not too surprised when we woke up on the first morning of the Sola 5 conference and found many of our Zambian friends coming out of the other rooms and heading out to the dining room for breakfast. It is obvious that the secret has leaked out. I am sure that next time there is a conference in Livingstone I will need to book a room much, much earlier.
|Each room has a nice porch outside where you can relax|
I am not a prophet nor am I a son of a prophet, but I know that if I end this blog post without giving you a phone number that you can ring if you want to book yourself a room there, I will have many “comments” asking for it. So, here it is: +260-977389152. Just one request please; leave room for me, will you?
|A nice swimming pool for those wanting to cool off in the heat of the day|
POST SCRIPT: If this sounds like an advert, don’t blame me too much. Perhaps I have not fully recovered from the kitchenware I was advertising last week!