You know a property will be special when it takes a prop plane, hour-long jeep ride, and boat to reach it. But that’s just a bit of what makes Time + Tide Chinzombo in Zambia magical.
The exclusive safari lodge is situated on a sweeping curve of the Luangwa River just across from the game-rich South Luangwa National Park. That location alone would make it a rare gem, but the design by award-winning architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens takes the experience of staying here to another level.
Silvio and Les’s design is minimal yet luxurious decor. Six beautiful and wildly luxurious safari tents combine a modern aesthetic with classic natural materials like canvas and leather. Each safari tent has its own private plunge pool that is perched on an elevated deck. From there, a winding path connects the safari tents with a shared lounge and dining area set in the shade of msikizi trees.
Plus, with only sustainably sourced or recycled construction materials used to create it, it’s quite clear that Time + Tide Chinzombo deeply loves the natural beauty of its surrounding wilderness.
You can’t help but feel transported back to the Hemingway days of African exploration, with details like oversized trunks for storage and foldable canvas chairs at a writing desk primed for creativity. But the soaking tub and sunken private decks with overly plush seating are decidedly modern. Yet, the designers seamlessly blended the two into a timeless setup that flowed, allowing guests to drift away from the everyday and settle comfortably into safari life.
Of course, you can’t talk about this lodge and not mention the wildlife. The carefully-designed accommodations consider that hippos, monkeys, elephants, and more will stroll by during your stay. The private tents have see-through screens on the river-facing side so you can watch hippos munching on grass and the sunrise from bed. Plus, the large deck and plunge pool all face the same direction, giving you incredible vistas all day and night. There’s nothing quite like making a nightcap from the in-room minibar, cozying up on a lounger as the moon illuminates the warthogs enjoying an evening snack. It feels otherworldly.
Meanwhile, every other element of the stay matches the level of design. The food is plentiful and flavorful, with many ingredients from the onsite garden. And the service rivals that of any five-star hotel. Every staff member is there to make life easier and the experience more exceptional. Don’t be surprised if there’s a surprise or two set up during your visit to the camp, as the team prides itself on creating one-of-a-kind memories and moments you can’t get anywhere else.
Though, Time + Tide Chinzombo is a jewel when it comes to safari lodges. Silvio and Les have designed other camps like Botswana’s Jao and Mombo, amongst their credits, Time + Tide King Lewanika in the Liuwa Plain and Miavana by Time + Tide in Madagascar. The airy decor subtly blends modern furnishings with traditional elements such as locally produced leather, reed work, and handmade crockery, creating a classic safari ambiance wherever they go.
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