THE ADDRESS Magazine Summer 2014 - Page 402

excitement. Before long, my line is being dragged rapidly and my rod is half bent. It’s a 10-minute exerting battle to reel in my catch. The guides are shocked as I bring in a whopping 13lb Catfish. We quickly detach it and let it swim free. After the buzz of the catch, I begin to appreciate the peace of being so isolated on the river, not a boat or person in sight, with just my thoughts and natural beauty for company. On the Zimbabwean side, a pair of elephants stumbles down a steep cliff to shallow bathe and intertwine trunks whilst playing with each other. My boat safari doubles up as a sunset cruise into the fiery African sunset, streaking the menacing skies. That night, a concerto of thunder and lightning illuminates the skies, resounding like an opera, crackling, lashing and whipping my every wit to alert. I jolt up, as bolts of lightning are bright and consistent enough to be daylight. It feels like the end of the world. Next morning, Manageress Nathalie explains that it was just a ‘normal’ African storm on the river. The Lower Zambezi magnifies ‘normal’ a thousand times over. The Jeep safari is a real searching experience as, out here, the bush is dense and thick making it difficult to spot wildlife for longer than a fleeting glance. But that’s the thrill. The animals aren’t posed and there are no guarantees, which makes every sighting more exciting. But even here, the Lower Zambezi couldn’t just offer a standard jeep safari. It has to intersperse the land with magnificent waterfalls and canyons, which are hike-able for the most splendid bush views. Back to sumptuous homely meals at Royal Zambezi Lodge, where manageress Nathalie’s enthusiasm for her home is evident, I wonder if this is the most serene spot on the planet, away from a beach or mountain. The lodge is just what’s needed after a day of activity. I spend the next few days by the infinity pool on the river, lounging by the bar on the open-plan deck, indulging the sense at the cliff-top spa