A peep into life in Africa, through the eyes of an African Reformed Baptist pastor.

Water, water, water, everywhere. What else do you expect? I am a Baptist, and I live in the land of the mighty Victoria Falls!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Mosi-oa-Tunya Executive Lodge—a place worth visiting!

I have just returned from a Sola 5 conference in Livingstone, the tourist capital of Zambia. (I intend to do a blog post or two on the conference, now that my blog has been fished out of the waters into which it sank.)

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!

3 comments:

  1. "Kitchenware I was advertising"
    Now that is a classic, glad your blog is back but, still selling stuff I see.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We missed the Sola 5 conference, sadly, but I agree with you on all you have written about Mosi-o-Tunya lodge. Last year when I went to Livingstone with my wife and one of our daughters, we stayed at the lodge for only one night as the place had been booked by clients who had booked earlier than us and stayed there before. They had vowed to only lodge at MoT when in Livingstone, and they were arriving the following day. Having stayed there for only a night that was free for us, and we moved to another lodge, it was a terrible anti-climax to our holiday joys! I agree with you, the reception, food, rooms, surroundings were just excellent. One surprising thing was that though the lodge is relatively new, one would have thought the name Mosi-o-Tunya should have been scooped by the first lodge to be built! It is fitting that the lodge that bears that name should be a torch bearer in hospitality excellence. Hats off to the Nyirendas for this wonderful investment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been there four times already just in the last 20 months, need I say more? Splendid service!

    ReplyDelete