Ivory Lodge, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

My view of the gorge from the Lookout Café

Day three of our trip was a busy morning for some of us, and a relaxing time for others. Most of our group decided to go white water rafting. I declined, mainly for two reasons – one being that I have heard the ride described as, “like spending the day in the dishwasher”, and the other is because once the ride is over, there is a 250 metre vertical climb out of the gorge. So I spent a calm morning drinking coffee, and admiring the view from the Lookout Café.

Once the bedraggled, but exhilarated, rafters had returned and eaten lunch, we returned to our hotel to collect our baggage, and drive to Ivory Lodge, on the edge of Hwange National Park.

The dining and lounge area of Ivory Lodge

Ivory Lodge is one of Zimbabwe’s prime safari lodges. I loved their mission statement:

“We welcome you to our little piece of paradise
and look forward to sharing our passion for wildlife with you.”

We certainly felt welcomed from the moment we arrived. Here, guests are accommodated in a series of lodges on stilts, all with a spectacular view of the lodge’s private waterhole. Everything during our stay was perfect; the wonderfully friendly staff, led by Joel, the manager; the gourmet food, the comfortable rooms; and above all, the stunning view.

Our lodge on stilts at Ivory Lodge

Our room, with the mosquito nets over our bed

My towels.

Barbs and Becca by the camp fire

Sundowners were by the campfire, overlooking the waterhole, 
where we could see game coming down to drink.

After sundowners, and a magnificent dinner, we went down to the hide, and sat quietly watching as elephant gradually came down to drink.

The elephant were so close, we could almost touch them

 We loved seeing the mothers with their babies

Wow! …and this was only our first evening at Ivory Lodge. The next morning we had booked an early morning game drive, so we all went early to bed, ready for the next day. We were fired up with anticipation, especially as Hwange is renowned for its high concentration and diversity of wildlife and birdlife species.

Elizabeth Coughlan

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