Thorn Tree River Lodge was the last destination on our seven day safari adventure and it really was the epitome of the phrase, “Saving the best till last”!
The lodge is perched on the banks of the Zambezi river within the Mosi-oa-tunya National Park in Zambia, near Victoria Falls.
Thanks to Dolan who booked this for us - initially we were going to leave a text review but it was such a great experience we offered to contribute this blog article.
You can get hold of him directly on: firstname.lastname@example.org
After a few minutes of quietly lounging on our pool deck we were surrounded by an abundance of bird life, antelope and huge monitor lizards dipping in and out of the muddy puddles.
The noisy hippos filled the air with excitement and, every so often, we could hear an elephant trumpeting in the background.
We had booked the complimentary evening sundowner cruise which leaves from the lodge jetty.
Although we were hesitant to leave our luxurious tent, the cruise surpassed all my expectations with one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever witnessed.
We were lucky enough to get relatively close to a mother hippo and her calf but once she decided we had violated her space she gave us a mock charge so our skilled boat driver made a hasty getaway.
After the cruise we ordered some cocktails at the plush bar and settled in around the campfire to socialise with some of the other lodge guests.
We were caught completely by surprise when we were ushered to a private table on the iconic viewing deck.
This is the very deck that initially peaked my interest in the lodge when I first saw it in a social media post.
Our table was surrounded by candle-lit lanterns and it was, without a doubt, one of the most romantic settings I have ever experienced.
We retired to our luxury tent relatively early so that we could get a good nights rest for our guided tour of the Victoria Falls in the morning.
We were woken up at 7am and given a thoughtfully packed breakfast in the car.
The early start is to ensure that we embarked on the park tour early while the African sun is still forgiving.
Sunblock is not an option but an absolute necessity when travelling in this region.
Our guide was very knowledgeable and humorous and incredibly patient with all our photo ops.
The falls did not disappoint and because we got to the park early, we managed to avoid the majority of the crowds which were descending on the park as we were leaving. There were too many good pics, so I included a few, keep scrolling to read more!
Top tip: Make sure there are no baboons around before taking out a snack or else you could be in a tug of war over an apple.
This didn’t happen to us, but I did see a lady lose her croissant in a split second.
We made our way back to the lodge for a leisurely lunch on the deck next to the river and then spent the rest of the afternoon back at our private pool deck.
We opted to do the late afternoon safari drive through the park to see the most protected white rhinos in Africa.
They are under 24-hour surveillance with armed guards to protect them from poaching and it is possible to do a walking safari with them as they have become habituated to the presence of humans in close proximity due to the constant presence of the guards.
Back at the lodge we were treated to more sundowner cocktails and dinner on the deck.
The staff at the lodge are incredibly friendly and attentive and make every guest feel like a celebrity.
Our stay seemed to be over in the blink of an eye so my only regret was not staying longer.
Thorn Tree River Lodge is definitely on my list of places to return to in the future. I'd also highly recommend Dolan to book the trip, as the price quoted was the same as booking direct, except his service was phenomenal!