Siavonga’s Savee Beach Resort Getaway

Getaways are the reason for some of the good in us like enjoying of health benefits, improved mental health, overall motivation and all those good things. You know the other good thing about them? Saving costs. Just because I love travel, doesn’t mean I always have to go so far off, nop. I just needed to be away yet within and do this without emptying my pockets.

In life, we should learn to have a balance because this world is full of things like work, stress, family, marriage and if you allow this endless list to take the best of you, this may be the cause of many unwanted pressures on you with unpleasant consequences.

The whys of this getaway

Ahhmm… first because planning international trips as a solo female traveller with an 8 to 4 job of a teacher can take longer than usual without using a travel agency. I am my own travel agency. So who is gonna wait for later for a longer break because that in itself comes after a good 3 to 4 months. Am not waiting that long to be out there! The other ‘why’ for this trip is a definite ‘ just because’.

So where are we going anyways?

You know if you have been reading my blogs, you realize I have a soft spot for the beach yet born in a landlocked country hence the constant thirst to get to the coastal areas. Siavonga! That’s the name of the small town in Zambia you could enjoy beach moments without having to travel to the coast! I told myself to cool it with the next coastal visit preps and enjoy a weekend on Zambian soil.

This kind of taught me about few times in life we have looked at greener grass on the other side of where we are standing. Sometimes, it’s okay. But this time was time to enjoy grazing the grass I was standing on. So let’s graze!

Coming from the main international airport in the capital of the country and want to try it? This location is about 3 hours away but you won’t regret the distance.

The road trip

Part of the fun of a road trip is you get to see the country side and being that the wet season is over, brown and a bit of green here and there was the theme color nature provided.

The trip from Lusaka Town area to Siavonga town was about 3 hours but I bet it would be less for faster drivers. On your lucky day, you will find some cows and goats on the road making sure they blocked your way.

From a distance as you head to Siavonga, you will see some hilly areas as well but I particularly liked parts where the road meanders through higher land.

The area an hour and a half from Lusaka to Siavonga is quite underdeveloped and if viewing the slower life is your thing, you will particularly like the African village look having mud or thatched small houses and some villagers selling fruits, charcoal or whatever could be sold by the roadside.

I checked my watch and it was almost 3 hours of this road trip. I knew we were almost there because I could see the color blue in the horizon not too far off and though the sky sometimes appears blue, this wasn’t the sky but the beautiful Lake Kariba! The signpost to confirm we were here was just in my face!

Siavonga

Arrival

I knew this getaway was going to be perfect when I saw the entrance to the destination resort I settled for. Savee Beach Resort has a beautiful entrance starting from the gate to the reception area. The fountain gave a refreshing look to the face of the resort. The decor at the reception was simple and all the glass doors, windows were sparkling clean! The floors, though white in color, were also absolutely spotless. I couldn’t help but make this moment last by keeping a lasting memory. For a beach resort in a village near a lovely lake, the face of this hotel was a cool four star! The personnel were on point trying to check me in with cheerful yet professional attitude.

General appearance

The outside of the resort was more like getting up a hilly area. There were stairs almost everywhere because the landscape was high and low. Stair cases were well built with grey bricks.

I must say it’s home away from home kind of place and quite a beautiful hideout for escapists. A stone throw away from the Lake Kariba makes it such a perfect spot for beautiful sunsets.

Some of the facilities it had were about 70 plus rooms which could accommodate single and double occupancy. I got a single room which had simple yet elegant decor with the theme colors chocolate and cream.

The reason I loved this room was because it had a lake view I could access just by opening the glass door. I could say the same for the restaurant. This resort offers multi cuisine but my concentration was more on the Indian cuisine and having my meal right next to the lake added to the great vibes of the place.

I could have sworn I saw many pools but after familiarising myself with the place, I discovered it has three pools. It boasts a small cozy bar and another building called The Boat House which appeared to be a conference or party spot and still being renovated.

So the general appearance considering that this resort used to be called Fresh View and renovations and beautifying are still underway, I must say I appreciate the smooth transition and what the place is becoming. For me its general appearance was a four star.

The highs and lows of the getaway

The highs of this getaway were the fact that this resort is next to the lake and this means wonderful views. The other high is that the food was mouthwatering!

The lows were that the room I was in had an unpleasant stain on the blinds but am sure they have that on their to-do-list considering the renovations going on.

You should totally try this hidden gem!

Wine and dine treat at The Quorum (review)

I needed a treat and I let my appetite lead the way. My taste buds whispered they wanted something scrumptious and not home made. I looked up a few hotels from booking.com and found a resort called The Quorum. I loved the general outlook of the place and headed there.There are restaurants I know of that are not much of an attractive package in terms of outdoors but the food they serve is on point. I was in the mood to enjoy a meal with a view or in a place that appeals greatly to the sense of beauty.

Arrival

I didn’t necessarily make a call, reservation or anything like that. I just got on a cab and arrived there. The place had a parking lot on the outside and I think I only saw two cars on the inside. Most cars were parked outside. Am thinking there should be a bigger parking lot should there be a big event there. So unless there is parts of the resort I didn’t see, I gave them 3 stars for the parking lot.

Upon arrival, the guard did alert someone to take me to the reception and I saw some smiling and welcoming staff and I must say it was smooth sailing. I however understood in no time that this was a club hotel and there were some parts of it that I wanted access to that well…. I couldn’t get to simply because I was not a member. There was a way around it though. I stuck around in the wait room

About the resort

This resort is a club hotel or those kind of resorts that offer membership and loyalty programs. https://www.thequorumzm.com I went there to have an eat out at the spot I saw on booking.com only to be told  ‘access denied’ because I was not a member. Ouch! I didn’t let that slide. After digging deeper, I found out I could still have access as a non member if I had one of the services in the resort like spa and spend about $30 dollars minimum there. It was fine by me.

Fast forward, I finally stepped into the restaurant I wanted to dine in because of it’s views. Though found at the resort, it had another name called Mafinga Peak Rooftop Restaurant. This place boasted a sophisticated yet informal atmosphere. There was another restaurant downstairs that I could easily access but that’s not the one I saw on booking.com. I had to get access to the rooftop restaurant.

I don’t think I want to rate their loyalty or membership programs that almost caused me to miss my dining opportunity because this is the lifeline of this resort, it’s a club hotel and ‘members only’ is the password for most services here. I am sure it has its pros but a con is definite, there are one time customers that they may miss out on that may never necessarily want to be all timers or regulars. It’s good that the way out of this was to make customers like us make use of other services as key to another.

The dining area

The dining area had two sides. One side had tables with four seats and others two seats closer to the bar area and covered by a glass demarcation and the other side that was more spacious had comfy sets of casual chairs. The theme colour was lime green a bit of white here and there with a brown floor. There was a seriousness to the place with a touch of casual. What a combo! The place can be ideal for family, business and group gathering yet perfect for an intimate or romantic get away. The beauty with this place is, the restaurant area is not all you see but as you enjoy your food, you have a beautiful view to go with it.

I loved that the place and  neighborhood aren’t noisy. The music playing in the background was soothing. Rating the dining area as far as the general vibe is concerned was a 4 star. The reason for not having a 5 star was because the rooftop glass shield meant to enjoy spectacular views has to be super clean all the time because it’s glass. Had this been of other material like marble, a definite 5 star here. Glass easily shows blemish.

The other things that added a touch of beauty to the place is the fountain like structures around the restaurant that added to the relaxed mood. The orange flower pots added a touch of cheerfulness. The ceiling had beautifully hanging simple chandeliers which am sure look heavenly at night time. The rest rooms had a chocolate brown theme and the walls were slapped with modern oval mirrors.

Let’s order!

I was in the mood to have something meaty, a bit of Greek salad and my forever favorite, mashed potatoes. I want to always remember the medium grilled meat I was served. This steak was mildly charred on the outside and still had the brown all through and am sure it was a slow process to avoid it being too tough but succulent.

My Greek salad had simple yet perfect combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, crisp onions, olives in olive oil. I found my mashed potatoes creamy and full of amazing flavor. They were fluffy and well served in a cute bowl.

The bar informed me that the cocktails they had always contained egg whites and they were nice enough to ask if I was allergic. I wasn’t. Funny thing is I have forgotten the name of this cocktail but it had strawberries, fresh lime juice, gin etc. Totally loved the cute glass they used.

As far as the food was concerned, the level of yummy was definitely a 5 star and I should have congratulated the chef. I spent about 40 dollars for the meal and that’s because of some taxes to go with the kind of place. I had two of those cocktails.Wink wink.

Lasting impressions and recommendations

The place is cosy and I loved it’s vibe. The staff bent over backwards to give great service. No place is perfect but so far it’s living up to it’s stars. I would go back again but this time to enjoy the room services.

Why your 2023 bucket list should have Koh Tao (Interview)

Do you ever have those things you wanna do or achieve yet not sure of the possibility of it? We always want to tell our own story and share our own experiences but there’s some joy as well in telling someone else’s story. I love travel! Even if it involves me narrating a travel story that isn’t mine.

2023 in comparison to the previous years may just bring some more freedom in terms of travel as opposed to the Covid 19 frustrating period of 2020 to 2021. Should this be the case, am hoping we consider adding this island to our bucket list.

I had an opportunity to interview a traveller who tried out Koh Tao and from his description and experiences, it would be a cool plan to bucket list it.

So, what about Koh Tao?

This is an island in Thailand with cool touristic spots where you could scuba dive, snorkel, hike, rock climb and it has some great night spots and dive shops too.This place is said to have stunning white sand and palm-fringed beaches, tropical coral reefs, with species including whales, sharks and all sorts of marine life! Hearsay right there, but this is a kind of place to bucket list!

Isn’t this place just dreamy?

Cool ideas of how to try out Koh Tao

Q So sir, how did you get to this awesome place?

A I used a ferry called Lomprayah and the cost is around 20 Euros.

Q What affordable accomodation would you recommend?

A I would recommend Ocean View Resort “Ocean View Resort, Ko Tao. https://oceanviewresort.thailandhotels.site/en/ which is right on the best beach (Sairee Beach). Double bedroom, private big bathroom,fan, safe, small refrigerator, porch with two chairs and hangers for your clothes.Price on Agoda is around 15 Euros and if you are lucky, you could negotiate a discount in person.

Q Any other cheaper accomodation you could recommend?

A For even cheaper accomodation, you can use White Jail Hostel having one bed In a clean six bedroom, with good wifi and quiet area at night and all this for only 7 Euros.

Q What food spots are there? A Well, for your food, do try Mama Tam near Sauree Beach because there you could have pad Thai, spring rolls,fried chicken, papaya salad and fresh fruit shakes at very affordable prices starting from 3 Euros per person.

Q What food spots are there? A Well, for your food, do try Mama Tam near Sauree Beach because there you could have pad Thai, spring rolls,fried chicken, papaya salad and fresh fruit shakes at very affordable prices starting from 3 Euros per person.

Q What trips and tours can you recommend?

A The best tour you can have is the 5 places boat trip around the Island. First stop is at the private Nuan Yuan island and the entry fee is about 7 Euros. Here you have the chance to see baby sharks, sun bathe or the popular picture at the View Point.The other 4 places are best for snorkeling where besides many colourful fishes, you have the chance to swim next to a sea turtle.Boat trip price is about 14 Euros including a meal on board, coffee, tea and water, snorkeling gear and insurance.

Q What other activities are there on the island?

A Other activities on the island are beach hopping, renting a motorbike, snorkeling, diving (many diving schools here) and the most popular is chilling on Sairee Beach, enjoying a coconut oil massage while listening to the waves and taking shots of the most stunning sunsets.

Safari vibes at Chaminuka Game Reserve (Part 2)

The last time I filled you in on this safari trip, I was still on the part where I have a dream to be licked by a baby giraffe in Kenya. I have seen this happen and would like for it to be my experience but anywho this safari got me exposed to lots of animals I mentioned earlier and even the giraffe which I have not been so lucky to spot on my tours.

After seeing the animals I mentioned earlier, I then saw a handful of zebras but tonnes of impala! These animals and it’s relatives,species or look alikes do out number many animals you will see here and in most game parks maybe because the others are more shy , I don’t know but it’s either that or they breed per second!Lol! And it is for this reason that I never have the ‘WOW!’ moment when I see them because I have seen too many of them.They are otherwise a beautiful creation!

If by any chance, Zambia is on your hit list, do drop by this place and enjoy lots of their services like boat cruising, lion feeding, cheetah and elephant interaction, game driving , cheese tasting, fishing, horse riding and lots more!

The other thing I enjoyed as part of the package was the buffet lunch! There was such a wide range of foods like barbequed chicken, variety of sausages, lots of cheese types, potatoes cooked in many ways.You will thank them later but you surely need this heavy lunch after close to two and a half hours game drive and an hour boat cruise.

After the game drive, we got to a place in the game reserve where there was a water body called Lake Kasenga.If you like, you could enjoy some fishing but since this was not part of the package, it will come later I guess. The same group that I went with on the game drive was with me on the cruise. The word ‘cruise’ makes you think of the fancy boats and all but we used an ordinary looking boat that kind of looks locally made but with an engine.It still did the trick. I wish I spotted hippos here but nope. Beauty of the views and some animals coming to refresh themselves made the trip so memorable.

PRICES?

Their price ranges for some activities I recall inquiring on were as follows:

-Elephant interaction -About $30 -Cheetah experience -About $30 -Horse riding – About $30 -Lion feeding -About $12 – Boating – About $10 I did find the prices in this range but do check out their website for more or latest info : https://www.chaminuka.com

LASTING IMPRESSIONS AND OPINIONS

1) REMOTE LOCATION: The place is in the outskirts of Lusaka, Zambia and offers outdoor activities for outdoor lovers and this is one thing I loved about this place.

2) TOURISTIC: It had a touristic touch and of course that is why I am writing about it. Many tourists flock to Zambia to go to the south for the Victoria falls but this place can be described as the hidden gem for those that just don’t want the usual, ordinary or the norm.

3) PRICEY ACCOMODATION:Because it was in the outskirts, accomodation was more on the pricey side and I did a day trip for that reason but if your piggy bank is full then why not spend a longer time? My thought was for the place to consider a backpackers as well.

4) HELPFUL STAFF: The staff, absolutely organized and helpful,very professional and knowledgeable, a reason to stay there longer.

5) WOULD I RETURN? Definitely.

Safari vibes at Chaminuka Game Reserve (Part 1)

You probably have big issues if you don’t enjoy discounts. Almost every one of us enjoy freebies. I enjoyed a good package of a game drive, boat cruise and buffet lunch at Chaminuka lodge which is the same place you find the game reserve in the town of Lusaka, Zambia. I have pushed my luck in things like lotto, competitions and what not…..I suck! I am proud to say though that the trip was at a discounted price and off I went to enjoy this package. When you visit Zambia, do consider doing this tour, it is worth it. The place is known for giving discounts on some packages and this particular deal was for teachers on Teachers Day.

If the truth be told, I was kinda getting tired of having this place on my bucket list, I was so happy when I checked it and it was worth the while.I was not just day dreaming about it long before it happened….nah!It kind of just was a boom! I have to do this today kind of thing.

DISTANCE AND LOCATION

I was not mobile or driving because I was in Lusaka for just a few days. When you arrive in the capital city of Zambia, Lusaka at the airport, you are basically an hour away from the place. You could even get on the metered cabs from the airport provided you download the app called Yango or Ulendo using a Zambian sim card or better still, ask one of those nice people at the airport to book it for you on their phone. Both is good. After close to an hours drive from the airport, you will find this sign post welcoming you to one of our most beautiful havens of game life.

WHAT WAS IN THE PACKAGE?

The animals!

One thing is for sure, I wanted to spend a night at the lodge in the game reserve but their rooms were more on the pricey side and because this trip was not planned for, I was doing a day trip and that’s it! Because I got there by 9 o’clock, I just waited an hour for the game drive guests from the lodge to fill up the vehicle we were using. So I was not alone on this drive. Little Miss Solo traveller was not going solo. The game drive vehicle was full and off we went.

The first animals I saw were the cheetahs which were actually caged because they are used for an interaction tour and because that wasn’t part of the package, I could not ( with a tear from my left eye) enjoy this beastly interaction. I just interacted with them with a wire barrier in between.Even though I desired to interact with them, I heard they were also on observation of some sort.I also was not in the mood to say the ‘ let them not shred me to pieces’ kind of prayers.

We then spotted some elephants with a man and I thought we could have close interaction with them as I am very sure they are also used in an interaction tour but we were only allowed to view them from the vehicle. The same thing was true for the caged lions that I heard roaring .

I am ashamed to say but this was my first time to see ostriches! My desire was to see them run because I hear they could win in the Olympics. In this game drive, you will catch a glimpse of the above mentioned animals.

The animal I have struggled to spot in most of my game drive tours is the giraffe.

I am not sure about the population of giraffes in Zambia but I know for sure I have missed it on my past game drive adventures. My time came. I had my chance to view giraffes up close! I have never seen such peaceful looking creatures and my dream is to be licked on my face by a baby giraffe in Kenya!!!!!

Botswana’s Maun Lodge Review

The restaurant area

Every traveller has different needs when it comes to lodging.Depending on budget, length of stay and one’s personality, some places will do the trick while others would not. My stay was short yet it involved crossing a border (Zambia). Though Botswana is a neighbouring country, I was going there for the first time as a solo traveller.

Booking

I reserved a room on booking.com and the payment was done when I arrived at the premises.I was supposed to be in the chalets but because I am enjoying genius level 2 on booking.com, I did attract a discount and a room upgrade.Instead of being in the chalets, I enjoyed the double room.

Location

https://maunlodge.com .Maun Lodge is located in Maun town in Botswana. A town where most tourists frequent. It is a town on the Thamalakane river and is the jumping off point for the Okavango Delta which is a habitat for vast wildlife.

The closeness to a water body adds serenity to the place

Airport pickup

Few times I have been adventurous enough to jump on a taxi from the airport to where am lodged but sometimes you skip that adventurous self and try the safest way which is to be picked up by your hosts.Nothing is completely safe but you just have peace of mind knowing your hosts are taking care of your transport to the lodge and the good part is it was a free service.The driver and the welcoming team had smiling faces which was a plus!

Room Service

The environment of the lodge was welcoming and there was thorough cleaning done by the staff.The sink, shower, toilet were sparkling clean and they did offer those extras.The room had a safe and television with a number of channels though I wished for more channels

Work out time!

I was impressed that the lodge did carter for the active bodies like mine.I of course didn’t use all the machines.The treadmill is my fav!

Food?

Most food I had ordered was well prepared and presented and you had the option in the restaurant to enjoy it indoors or outdoors.

Yummy😋

On the whole this lodge offered more than I expected and on a scale of 1 to 10, it was an 8.I would recommend it !

Feeling wasted? Try Bush Lodges

Southern Zambia 🇿🇲

Bush Lodges? Or maybe you could use another name like remote lodges, whatever name in mind, these lodges tend to be found in remote places or set up in breath taking untouched wilds.Some are fancy whilst others are just moderately comfortable.

These lodges do share one thing, the peace and tranquility attached to nature.With all due respect to the other lodges, hotels, guesthouses in residential areas…..why do travellers flock, fancy or even opt to be in these remote lodges?

1) Stress relief

Work takes your attention six to six and the other fraction of the clock is dedicated to home and its own needs.What is left for poor you? Stress.The whole idea of just being close to nature is why you need to fancy these locations.They are perfect for relief from stress.

Seriously….do I look stressed?

2) Chances to mingle with animals

Unless am wrong, but we get fed up with meeting the neighbor’s dog everytime we take those walks. When in these remote places, we could have some variety instead of the usual dogs,cats and chickens lol!Some of these lodges are so inviting to animals that you literally rub shoulders with them.

Me, rubbing shoulders with zebra
This my dear friends can only happen when lodging in the bush

3) The water bodies

These bush lodges sometimes are close to water. It is a well known fact that water has a powerful physiological and emotional effect on us.The colour of that water is known to give us calm. 💦

Remote lodge right next to the Zambezi river 🇿🇲

4) Road trip

These remote lodges are an opportunity for a road trip.Play that road trip music, relax, enjoy the stops, let the wind blow your hair whichever way!

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