Islands of Siankaba – Room with a View
The Islands of Siankaba chalets sit upon the banks of the river Zambezi river and each guest can enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings from their own private viewing decks. Chalets come with an en-suite Victorian bath and showers and each is linked by a winding raised walkway, protecting the fragile riverine environment below and also keeping guests safe. There is also a honeymoon suite that is positioned to maximise privacy and river views, so perfect for romantic getaways in addition to honeymoons.
Islands of Siankaba
Opened in 2002 Islands of Siankaba is a luxurious forested retreat located on two private islands in the Zambezi river, between Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park. The owners ‘Bonnie and Simon’ have created a retreat for conscious travellers, eco-tourists and lovers of luxury travel, where guests are offered an unparalleled experience next to nature. Over the years the lodge has grown in international reputation and built upon its promises to the local community. The name Siankaba was used out of respect for the local headman for the area who was instrumental in encouraging the development of the lodge.
Food is an important part of the Islands of Siankaba experience and unparalleled cuisine is produced every day using locally sourced fresh produce. The head chef regularly sources herbs and vegetables from a small community garden market. This market was initiated by the lodge a number of years ago and brings in revenue to the local community which is much needed.Following evening dinner guests have the option to enjoy a fireside nightcap on the terrace overlooking the moonlit river, swimmers often choose to take a dip in the sparking swimming pool then after just relax on one of the bespoke sun loungers.
Ever since opening the Islands of Siankaba the directors have maintained their firm commitment to the development of sustainable tourism in the area which focuses on community development and environmental issues. Headman Siankaba (the village headman) is responsible for the area where the lodge is located, he and the directors maintain close ties and share an interest in preserving local culture, providing jobs and education for the local community. Small groups of interested guests have the opportunity to visit local villages on foot with the help of a tour guide, giving them the opportunity to get to know the people and their traditions. Ultimately the Islands of Siankaba aim to maintain a successful and long running business with the support and assistance of the local community in a way that is mutually beneficial to both parties with consideration for the environment.
Many locals are employed as staff and more than 60% of the local construction workers were retained as full time staff by the lodge, their commitment to education is evidenced by support for local schools. A partnership was started with the local community Mandia primary school and to date this has resulted in 5 teachers houses being built, the renovation of 3 classrooms and also building an additional new classroom. Following the success of this educational partnership a the lodge teamed up with British based charity The U Foundation and assisted with the building of a community nursery school.
Islands Siankaba work with an environmental management company to help with guidance on community development initiatives in order to meet social and environmental objectives. Environmental responsibility is taken very seriously as the lodge is located within a very delicate environment. Zambia is beginning to deforestation due to increased population levels and this is something the lodge keen to help reverse and do so though supporting an initiative called ‘Greenpop’ run by urban freeing and reforestation projects in sub-saharan Africa. The initiatives involves planting trees communities, schools and deforested areas, the aim is to help raise environmental awareness, help to combat climate change, uplift under-greened communities and to make greening more enjoyable.
For more about Islands of Siankaba, please visit – www.siankaba.net