Richard Chanter 1947 – 2016


We are extremely saddened to announce the death of our owner and director Richard Chanter. He passed away from natural causes after a short illness on the 20th of May 2016. He was a towering presence who will be missed by all those who knew and loved him.

We would like take this opportunity to assure all our guests that Chanters Lodge is still open for business as usual. In Richard’s words, “The show must go on!” One of Richard’s great contributions to the industry in Zambia was excellent training of his employees. As such the day-to-day running of the lodge is now in the very competent hands of Anastastia, Richard’s right-hand woman and long-time assistant.

Richard’s five children and surviving spouse will be running the lodge going forward and we hope to be able to expand on the foundations he has laid for us.

Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of condolence during this difficult time.

Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.
~ Lao Tzu ~


Dinner at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

A long, long time ago I did my bar training at the Hyde Park Hotel in Knightsbridge. It is of course now known as the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park (above) and is home to Dinner Heston Blumenthal’s latest restaurant. So, this piece in Hotel Chatter obviously caught my attention – more especially as my son Jan is the newly appointed Head Chef at The Penny Black restaurant in Fulham Road London, opening next week. We certainly hope his advance bookings are as good as Heston’s!

Heston Blumenthal’s new restaurant Dinner has already been named “best new restaurant in the world” by restaurant critic Giles Coren in The Times. London’s most eagerly awaited restaurant located in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park only opened its doors last week but it’s already fully booked until the end of May.

Not surprising as the reviewers and bloggers have wasted no time gushing over the medieval menu which features Meat Fruit – a chicken liver dish shaped like a plastic mandarin, Powdered Duck, Spiced Pigeon and Tipsy Cake, a “spit-roast pineapple” (ooh-err). To see the full menu, head over to the restaurant’s website. Yes, a lot of it sounds pretty gross, but then, so did most of his molecular gastronomy stuff that we tried at the Fat Duck (his flagship restaurant in Bray, Berkshire), and it was nothing less than amazeballs. Plus, there’s always chips for those who like to play it safe.

The Telegraph’s critic rated it 10/10, Londonist agreed with Coren, Time Out gave it four out of five stars, and even the Guardian thought the food was worth paying for.

Which leads us on to the price. Dinner at Dinner isn’t cheap, but it’s not half as bad as we feared. Starters run from £12.50 and most main courses are around the £30 mark. Desserts are from £8, and sides are a ridiculously cheap £4. The wine’s not horrific, either: from £35 a bottle. As we said, not a night out for when the budget’s tight, but the prices are in line with other posh London restaurants. And by way of comparison, the famed 13 course tasting menu at the Fat Duck costs £160 per head.

But there’s an amazing deal if you can’t splash out on dinner: a three course set lunch for just £28. Yup, £28. Available Monday to Friday, 12-2.30pm. There are two choices for each course: lemon salad or “ragoo of pigs’ ears” to start, cured salmon or roast quail for your main, and chocolate wine or orange buttered loaf for dessert.

You need to plan ahead, though. According to the website, Dinner is now booked up until the end of May, and they’ll be opening up reservations for June on 1 March. If you need to get in before then, you can apply to be on the waiting list or, if desperation calls, you can buy other people’s rezzies on eBay. When we checked, the highest price was £62 although one sold last week for just short of £100.


We Are Of The Delicious And Friendly People!

We loved this review on TripAdvisor from an Italian couple living in Naples (check the photo).

“Pleasant and comfortable Lodge, situated next to Livingstone center, to alone 6 minutes drive from the Victoria Falls. Richard and all staff are of the delicious and friendly people. The evening we have always dined to the lodge, eating very well. We have organized two excursions with Richard, all perfect. We recommend this Lodge to whoever. “



The Ben Reed Interview (3)

This is the last part of the feature kindly written by Ben Reed on Adventures With Ben about Chanters Lodge. Thanks Ben!

“Sunday evenings from 800-900 P.M. are dedicated to The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient Featuring George Soulchild. on 107.7 FM. It’s an outlet for him to live his dream of becoming a DJ, promote Chanters Lodge and have a little fun. On the evening he invited me as a guest, Richard gave away dinner for 2 at the lodge to local listeners. Contest applicants had to text their guess to that evening’s question to win. What was the question? What country was tonight’s guest from? I think my accent gave it away.

In an instant, Richard’s phone was buzzing with responses and well-deserved accolades on his return to radio after a brief hiatus. He’s popular among the radio station staff and the local community. A dinner for two at the lodge is a special treat for many:


Chanters Lodge – The Ben Reed Interview (2)

Here’s the next part of my interview with Ben Reed from Adventures With Ben

“Managing a Social Media Marketing Strategy

With nearly 800 followers on twitter, regular posts on his Lodge Blog and an active Facebook Fan Page, Richard has embraced social media and leveraged it to make Chanters Lodge the most visible hotel in Livingstone and on the Internet.

For a gentleman who always wanted to be a writer, blogging was the perfect platform. “I blog about Zambia, family, the lodge and anything else that takes my interest. One of the reasons I keep on blogging is because it brings new content onto the site. We’ve re-marketed the hotel through other parts of Zambia through Facebook.”

He continued by saying, “It’s about social interaction. Loads of clients said they check the blog before they arrive and continue reading it after they leave.” [Very true as Chanters Lodge Blog is downloaded into my Google Feed Reader every morning.] His eyes lit up as he recalled the power of twitter, “I can be talking to a llama farmer in Devon [England], a lady in Brooklyn called Cookie talking about what Rihanna’s doing. Twitter reaches further.”

For Zambia Tourism, social media is important now more than ever. In Richard’s opinion, “[Zambia] is over-hoteled and under-marketed.” In addition, visa fees for travelers are increasing and Zimbabwe is slowly regaining a foothold in appealing to more tourists. Zambia has some competition ahead of them. “If you’re not in the top three or four [in your hotel category], you’ll have some bad years ahead of you.”

While this may be a concern for Richard, he doesn’t show it. Chanters Lodge has expanded considerably since it first opened. Current renovations include converting a standard room into a suite with more plans on the way for additional rooms. Updates are posted on his blog regularly. He never stops working.”

Thanks Ben and for the great picture!


Ras Mbisi Lodge, Mafia Island, Tanzania

My first two postings overseas when I was much younger than I am now were Mombasa Beach Hotel in Mombasa and The Reef Hotel, Seychelles – I never did quite get over them!

Now…. Why am I always doing this? Having just got over the beautiful Mustapha’s Place on Zanzibar, from Twitter I now find the gorgeous Ras Mbisi Lodge and I’m immediately back in a ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’ situation! Check the beach in the picture outside the Ras Mbisi front door – if indeed they have or need a front door!

This stunning Lodge is on Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania and markets itself as ‘barefoot luxury’! Don’t you just love that! Here’s the blurb:

“Welcome to Ras Mbisi Lodge, the first bespoke, sustainably-built lodge on the west coast of the beautiful island of Mafia, Tanzania. We believe in offering our guests ‘barefoot luxury’: a retreat that is effortless, stunning and relaxed. We combine good food, striking accommodation and outstanding natural beauty in this untouched part of Mafia Island, to give you a taste of an informal, but luxurious, piece of paradise.

We also have ready access to some truly astounding wildlife in season, including whalesharks and humpback whales. The area also has a rapidly regenerating reef, and a wealth of marine life. This is reflected in Mafia’s Marine Park in the Chole Bay area; the largest marine protected area in East Africa.”

Ras Mbisi is a small private ‘beach meets bush’ lodge set on 8 kilometres of deserted beach where we offer luxury back to nature accommodation in an informal atmosphere. We are the only true beach lodge on Mafia Island.

Put your feet up and let us look after you. We take the idea of barefoot luxury seriously, and our aim has been to provide a piece of island paradise for you to unwind and relax in. Limited mobile phone and no internet access means you totally get away from the outside world.”

Want to get away from it all! Look no further! Oh! And give me a call, I WANT TO COME WITH YOU!


Twitter Stats

This from

Over the past few months, Twitter has experienced explosive growth. Social media analytics companies Sysomos conducted an extensive study on 11.5 million Twitters accounts to document Twitter’s growth and how people are using it.

– 72.5% of all users joining during the first five months of 2009.

– 85.3% of all Twitter users post less than one update/day

– 21% of users have never posted a Tweet

– 93.6% of users have less than 100 followers, while 92.4% follow less than 100 people.

– 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity

– New York has the most Twitters users, followed by Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco and Boston; while Detroit was the fast-growing city over the first five months of 2009

– More than 50% of all updates are published using tools, mobile and Web-based, other than TweetDeck is the most popular tool with 19.7% market share.

– There are more women on Twitter (53%) than men (47%)

– Of the people who identify themselves as marketers, 15% follow more than 2,000 people. This compares with 0.29% of overall Twitter users who follow more than 2,000 people.

There you are then! Find me on Twitter


Round And Round

When I was about 12 or 13 years old my dear late mother, who loved classical music and indeed sang in choirs for such, asked me ‘when do you think you’ll grow out of pop music darling?’. The truth is that I never have and I’m very happy about that! I love this sensational, sizzling new Ne-Yo track! Great ring tone too! Here, we think, are some of the lyrics:

“Baby when we first met
It was kind of fly that I couldn’t predict your mood
Said I could never guess (so) and it was the best (so)
Not like any other dude
But I don’t know man, I don’t know man, I don’t know man
I don’t really really know

But before my eyes I saw the good you leave
And the bad you start to show
And I just can’t take it (can’t take it)
No I just can’t take it (No)
So we ain’t gon make it (ain’t gon mae it)
This is relationship and gon make it (no)

I’m tired of all this Round and Round we go
You can’t decide if you wanna be trite or treat me right
So round & round we go
While I decided don’t wanna ride anymore
I’m sick and tired of you taking me Round & Round
Round & Round we go
I’m sick and tired of you taking me Round & around and around
Round & Round we go, round and round we go

round and round we go
Don’t get excited anymore when you’re sweet to me
Because I know one, two, three minutes later
You’ll be right back to being mean
It’s flowers on a Monday, Tuesday you’re hating me
Wednesday’s makeup sex is so amazing
What will it be Thursday, will it be friendly
??? like you’ve been sleeping with the enemy
Thought So


Look at me, look at me, so damn dizzy
Tryina keep, tryina keep, trying to keep up with you
Baby you’re Doctor ???, Mister ???
Slowly ruining my life for me
Baby I don’t need you
Round and Round we go, Round & Round we go


So there you are then! Round and Round we go!


Victoria Falls Marathon 2009

The third official Victoria Falls Marathon will be organised by Safari Par Excellence, Wild Horizons, and Wild Frontiers (Pty) Ltd with the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe, and will take place on 23 August 2009, in Zimbabwe.

The race has been measured at 42.2 km, a standard marathon, as well as the half marathon and a 5Km fun run, all are being run on predominantly tarmac roads. The race route has been measured by an IAAF representative. Water points will be provided along the route at clearly marked areas approx 4km apart. These will provide liquid refreshments, with some offering sponge points.

The main race will start opposite the Kingdom Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe at 06.30 hrs and all runners must wear their running bib, clearly, on the front (not back). They will be provided with ‘bank bags’ for their race number for verification at the finish, which will be taken off them as soon as (and if, I guess) they cross the finish line. Cut off time for the race will be 12h30. All finishers will receive a medal and t-shirt.

The half marathon and fun run will start at staggered time after the main race has kicked off.

There you are then! “You’ll obviously be taking part Richard”, I hear you say. Mmmm probably not actually but jolly good luck to all those who do! Don’t forget to book your accommodation in Livingstone at Chanters Lodge for your visit! We’ll transfer you to the start by road…