Old Drift Lodge - an African paradise
I have become somewhat jaded.
You see, working in the travel industry, you must know what you’re talking about. You need to be able to tell someone exactly what to expect in a certain destination or which property is best suited to the type of experience they are looking for. As such, you get to travel a fair amount but after a while, everything seems to blend into one.
I was expecting Old Drift Lodge to deliver the same “run-of-the-mill” experience I had become so used to over the years. I was in for quite a surprise!
It’s a Kinda Magic
Arriving at the lodge, the first thing that struck me was how genuinely friendly the staff were. It was all smiles as I checked in and that set the tone for the rest of my stay. Nothing like a giant, toothy grin to put you in a good mood!
The main lodge area is a truly magical space. The interior is a modern throwback to colonial-era decor, all “old wood” and copper. The indoor spaces spill out onto a massive outdoor deck and I knew at first glance that the sunken fire pit and I would be spending some quality time together under the stars, watching the unmistakable rising mist of the Vic Falls in the distance.
My suite was more than I had anticipated. Looking directly out onto the mighty Zambezi, it felt as though I was the only person for miles. Flinging open the massive glass doors, I could have spent hours lying on the comfy white linen, just watching the world float by. Alas, this was a business trip and I had things to do, so after freshening up in the outdoor shower I headed back to the main lodge.
In Search of Adventure
First in store was a guided walk of the Victoria Falls. I enjoyed my second shower of the day as the spray from the plummeting water drenched me despite the raincoat I was wearing. Strolling through the rainforest, the guide delivered all the facts and figures of this natural wonder. It is truly a treat for all 5 senses!
The afternoon held the promise of an immersive walking safari. Getting up-close and personal with nature’s smaller wonders, I kept an eye out for the things you tend to miss on a regular game drive - the tiny dung beetle rolling his ball through the grass; the camouflaged lizard escaping the heat of the sun in the branches of a tree; feeling the ground crunch beneath my feet… It was magical!
Image credit: Facebook, Shaun McMinn
The last activity for the day was a sunset cruise along the Zambezi. Seeing wildlife as you drift silently past, the sun turning the sky blazing orange as it slowly sinks below the horizon, cocktail in hand adds yet another dimension to help you fully appreciate Africa in all its untamed glory.
Back at the lodge, it was dinner time and the chefs did not let me down! Locally sourced ingredients (some from the lodges own garden!) were used to create a fine dining experience like I have encountered only a handful of times on my travels. Paired, of course, with a glass of delicious full-bodied red (naturally)!
The Ultimate Encounter!
Imagecredit: Facebook, Old Drift Lodg
Despite my stay being near perfect, the true highlight of the entire trip was the short time I spent in my private plunge pool, sipping ice-cold G&T’s as a herd of elephants came through the lodge. They wandered lazily between the rooms, chomping on leaves as they went past - so close that at one stage, if I had reached out my hand, I could have touched a wrinkly grey ear! It was a truly magical moment that cannot be conveyed in words - it is something that must be experienced.
My whirlwind stay at Old Drift Lodge reminded me of what I love about Africa, the bush and how lucky I am to get to experience!