Danish Experiences

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Meet Mr Jan Lund who has been working as an engineer in Zambia, he brought his family all the way from Denmark to Livingstone for a few days. In this picture Jan is with his nephew Bue, wife Nicole and their two children Liv  and Ask having a spot of lunch before a Sunset cruise. Welcome to Chanters Lodge. We hope you enjoy your stay 🙂

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Visitors from Brigham Young University

Meet Neil and Sam, professors from  BYU university in Utah and recent guests with us here in Livingstone.

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They came on a mission to determine what activities their students will do next year July. They visited 2 farms, typical Zambian villages. And of course they did the 1 day trip to Chobe, Botswana. They also spent a lot of time sampling Zambian cuisine and seem to have become fans of our local staple, nshima. They also swam in the Devils pool at the Falls and did a sunset cruise.

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We look forward to welcoming them and their students next year!

 

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Volunteering Experiences

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We currently have 14 students and 2 leaders, Mr and Mrs Gough, from the Arnewood School in Hampshire in UK staying at Chanters Lodge. They are spending 4 weeks here in Livingstone and are here to complete charity work at the Lubusi Orphanage and Maramba care home. Following that they will be completing a building project for the school in Mukuni Village, then moving on to ALERT to do environmental work with the lions and elephants. They will complete their 4 weeks with a safari in Chobe National Park in Botswana. They are doing some great work in our community and we’re grateful to them for that. If you would like to learn more about their visit then take a look at their website. Chanters Lodge are happy to assist you in arranging all your excursions and activities whilst you’re in Livingstone, for more information visit our activities page.

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Another Aussie Experience!

Connie Stevens & Wallis Woodhams

Meet Connie Stevens and Wallis Woodhams (above), Australian travellers and guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz. ‘The Experience’ is our weekly radio show airing at 20.30 hrs CAT every Sunday night on Zambezi 94.1 fm, Livingstone leading local radio station. Our guests told listeners that they were traveling as friends, that they both hailed from Perth, Western Australia and that this was their first visit to Zambia. In fact they revealed that this was also their very first visit to Africa! “Is it what you expected?” Asked Milli Jam. They thought about the question for a few seconds and then answered “on the whole yes!”

Connie and Wallis said that they were almost half way through their two week trip to Zambia and that they were loving it. They had already visited Botswana for a full day safari in Chobe NP where they had seen ‘thousands of elephants’. They had walked with lions, and on the morning of the show they had completed a half day birding safari in the Mosi-o-Tunya NP in Livingstone where they had been lucky enough to see more than thirty three different species of birds, all correctly identified by their knowledgable and charming guides. They had also see the rhino in the park on the same trip. In addition to that, they had seen Victoria Falls and visited the Livingstone Museum. On the previous Saturday they had dined on the five star dinner train in Livingstone.

The music on the show was great with tracks from Fuse ODG, Ellie Goulding, Naughty Boy featuring Beyonce and Arrow Benjamin. Milli Jam and Jay chose work from T Sean ft Jusic, Ruff Kaida and T-Boy, Christina Millan, Urban Hype and Cynthia Morgan. Our pick of the week was Sam Smith’s haunting ‘The Writing’s On The Wall’ and we closed with the appropriate for Livingstone ‘Heatwave’ from Robin Schultz ft Akon. Connie said she loved classical music whereas Wally was more into music from the 50’s and 60’s.

Our guests told us that Connie was the manager of a bird shop in Perth, selling exotic birds and also garden ornaments, while Wallis was in the earth moving business preparing construction sites. Connie is a widow with a son and a daughter and two grand children, Wallis is a divorcee and has two sons. They had heard about Chanters Lodge, where they were staying, through Dianne Rapson, a frequent visitor to the lodge and a three time guest on our show. Connie and Wallis were well pleased with the recommendation.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing 10 years from now, Connie said she would like to be retired and relaxed, Wally said he would like to be working, relaxing and fishing!

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It’s The Guest’s Story!

As usual, HotelInteractive making a whole load of sense via Larry Mogelonsky!

“One of the better trends that’s taken hold in the hotel industry of late is the notion of delivering an ‘authentic local experience’, or at least thinking in terms of a holistic experience instead of merely a room with its features, all the other property amenities and the staff. We often discuss a hotel in terms of the ‘narrative’ it offers to who visit. But in order for us to successfully deliver what consumers want, this narrative must change from the hotel’s point-of-view to that of each individual guest.

Although it’s a step in the right direction to even contemplate what a property’s narrative is, any efforts along these lines may prove to be a tad blindsided or self-centered if you are only considering what the hotel is doing. In terms of coalescing all operations – guest services, décor, amenities, loyalty member perks, local authentic experiences – into the semblance of a unique ‘narrative’ for your property, you should instead aim to meld them from a guest’s perspective.

It’s a minor tweak in how you approach guest relations, but it can elicit very positive results. The key here – and I say this as objectively as possible and without any inherent misanthropy – is to assume that your guests are selfish. Assume that they are rushed for time, tight on cash and only have enough energy to serve their immediate needs. Superseding any ‘narrative’ you bring to the table, you should be asking: How will this (whatever ‘this’ is) benefit a guest’s story?

Even though it’s your hotel, your property, your team, your operations and your amenities, each guest can only see things his or her own way. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Notice the repetition of the word ‘your’ though. If you really want to deliver an exceptional experience for your guests, you have to steer away from the attitude of bringing guests into ‘your’ narrative and instead focus on helping guests fulfill ‘their’ needs and realize ‘their’ dreams.

As such, you should set each new customer as the protagonist, and then train and position your staff to be attentive supporting characters for each new story that graces your domain. How this philosophic shift is applied in real time to your operations is a far more complex matter that is best articulated on a case-by-case basis. And most of those cases will come through in the form of day-to-day, bread-and-butter interactions between your staff and hotel guests.

These are the fine print changes that might go unnoticed if not otherwise instructed. For instance, instead of starting a reply to guest request with a “We can’t…” or “Our policy is that…” begin with a positive response to bring you both onto the same page. Or, rather than introduce new features of your hotel, ask guests first what their plans were and what they hope to gain from their stay with you (and then launch into the sales pitch!). It’s subtle changes like this that will make your staff feel compassionate and win over guests.”

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Chris Taxis and Tours

It is inspiring to see how Chris Mweetwa (above) has expanded and developed his company over the past five years. The latest addition to his ‘fleet’ being a luggage trailer (parked at our lodge) – and they are not cheap. Chris looks after most of our Guest and staff transport requirements and comes highly recommended. Here’s the link to his website. Don’t forget to review his operation on Trip Advisor if you have used his services. Here’s the blurb:

“We are a travel and leisure company offering excellent and cost effective Tour and Car Hire Services in Zambia. We are located in Livingstone home to the Mighty Victoria falls.

The Company, since its establishment represents transport products, which have been carefully, selected from major activities provided in Livingstone. Acting this way, Chris Taxi & Tours Ltd has managed to continually enrich its product line, from simple ordinary taxi business to the modern transport system of the new millennium and to recently expand its activities to offer tours to the tourism sector.”

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Trym & Torkel Fjortoft Guest On The Experience!

Meet Torkel (left) and Trym Fjortoft, Norwegian brothers on their first visit to Africa therefore also Zambia, and guests on the most recent edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay-Hillz. The Experience is our weekly Sunday night radio show, airing from 20.30 – 21.30 hrs (CAT) live on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. You can listen on line too with the right app.

Torkel and Trym told listeners that although they hail from Tromsoe in the far north of Norway, inside the Arctic Circle, they are currently living in Oslo, the capital of Norway. Trym, the older of the two brothers, explained that having finished a degree course in international relations at the University of Oslo, he is currently working at a youth information centre in Oslo, but hopes to return to university soon to study for a Masters Degree. Torkel is still at Oslo University also studying international relations, specifically American history and politics. “Do you like Oslo?” Milli Jam wondered. “Oslo’s great!” replied the boys in unison!

Torkel and Trym told listeners that they were in Zambia with several other members of their family. Their grandfather, also on the trip, was in Livingstone as part of a group of educationalists visiting student teachers on practicals at various primary schools in the area. The boys had grabbed the opportunity to visit Zambia. “Is Zambia what you expected?” We asked. These tall, handsome young Norwegians said that it was everything they expected and more, they said that Zambian people were amongst the nicest and friendliest people they had ever met. (Not at all an uncommon observation amongst visitors to this country).

The brothers went on to explain that they had been very busy since arriving in the country a week ago. They had visited Mongu in Western Province, where they had been given Lozi names and sampled Zambian food, as well as Chobe NP in Botswana where they had seen a lot of game but unfortunately no big cats. They described Victoria Falls as totally amazing and said they had not realised the Falls were ‘so big and so magnificent’. We nodded knowingly and sagely!

The boys, especially Torkel, a self confessed ‘chart junky’ when it comes to music, loved the tracks we played on the show. We opened, as usual, with Avicii’s ‘Hey Brother’ followed by the latest from Sam Smith. We followed this with A Great Big World’s ‘Say Something’ featuring Christina Aguilera, as well as the latest from Zambia’s Franciar. Milli Jam chose tracks from Shakira and Zambia’s Petersen. Our oldie of the week was Baby Love by The Supremes, but local network problems meant that listeners texting in to try to win the prize we give each week to the first person to text us the name of the artist on the oldie, went unwon. My pick of the week was a new track from Guy Sebastian and we closed with an effort from John Martin.

When asked about sport the boys bemoaned the fact that Norway’s medal haul in the just ended Sochi Winter Olympics had been far below national expectations, plus the fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjær recently appointed Norwegian manager of Wales’s Cardiff City, had made a poor start to his new job.

On the social scene “Do you go clubbing?” Milli Jam wondered, and the boys said that both Oslo and Tromsoe had great clubs. Trym and Torkel then started to discuss why they had not found time to go clubbing in Livingstone, and seemed to decide that this was exactly what they would do after they’d been out to dinner at Olga’s, right after the show!

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years’ from now, they both said they were involved in music and wanted to be pop stars. On a more serious note Trym said he would be very happy to be in Zambia but felt it more likely that he would have finished studying and would possibly be teaching, as that profession ran in the family. Torkel the younger brother was insistent that he would be making money ‘doing music’.

Great guests, great presentation, great music, good show!

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American Girls Rock The Experience!

Meet Kristen Sawyer and Amber Lind (above left to right) – American girls and our Guests on the most recent edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George ‘Kaufela’. The Experience is our weekly radio show going out live every Sunday night for an hour at 20.30 hrs CAT, on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. Both girls are from Pennsylvania though Kristen now lives in Boston, Mass. – they met at school ‘way back’ they told listeners, and although they now live in different places they meet up most years for vacations. Kristen is a physiotherapist and Amber an IT specialist.

The girls had been staying at Chanters Lodge at the end of a two week safari that started in Johannesburg and ended in Livingstone, camping all they way. They were mighty relieved to find big comfortable beds and an en suite bathroom waiting for them at Chanters at the end of their trip! They told of roaring lions outside their tents at night in Botswana, together with honey badgers and other animals running around the camp. ‘Scary?’ We wondered. “Only slightly!” Replied Kirsten! Altogether we gathered they had had a wonderful trip, being their first to Africa. It had included a one hour flight over the Okavango Delta, cheaper we noted than a fifteen minute flight over Victoria Falls. After arriving in Livingstone they had swum in Devil’s Pool on Livingstone Island just a meter away from the edge of the Falls and had even dangled over the edge. They loved it! They had also enjoyed a visit to Zimbabwe to see the Falls from that side and had dined on salad with crocodile meat while they were there!

The music on the show was great. We opened with tracks from Example and Coldplay – both latest, while George dropped new releases from Zone-Fam and T-Boy in his Zambian spot. Milli Jam chose tracks from French Montana featuring Nicki Minaj, as well as Bruno Mars’ beautiful ‘Locked Out Of Heaven’. Our oldie of the week was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers ‘Running Down A Dream’ but the prize we give on each show to the first person to text us the name of the performing artist went unwon! My pick of the week was Ellie Goulding’s gorgeous ‘How Long Will I Love You’.

To George’s excitement the girls told listeners that they were both single, although Kristen had a boyfriend waiting for her back in Boston. They both loved snow skiing and in their anxiety to leave for Africa had recently been on a skiing weekend to try to curb their excitement. The girls are American Football fans and Kristen a keen supporter of the Red Socks. Amber said she loved country music and ‘like Richard’ was a fan of Darius Rucker. They had chosen to stay at Chanters as they had wanted a downtown location, the price suited them and the lodge had great reviews on TripAdvisor. They had not been disappointed.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Amber wanted to be still living in Pennsylvania near her family, hoped to have children and still to be travelling. Kristen wanted to be living in north east USA, working as a physiotherapist and married with children.

Great girls! Great show!

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Octavia Jordan Rocks ‘The Experience!’

Meet Octavia Jordan (pictured above) a pharmacy student from Howard University, Washington DC and our Guest on the most recent edition of the ‘Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Soulchild’. ‘The Experience’ is our weekly radio show airing on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. Octavia had been staying at Chanters Lodge for two weeks while on attachment to Livingstone General Hospital as part of her doctorate. Octavia explained to listeners that she was in her eighth and final year of study to become a pharmacist and that she was the first student from Howard to come to Zambia on attachment. “A pioneer then?” We said. “Yes!” She said. “Are you from Washington?” Milli Jam wondered at the top of the show and Octavia told us that in fact she hails from Ann Arbor in Michigan and that the first years of her study were at the University of Michigan.

Octavia told listeners that this was her first visit to Africa and that for a week before arriving in Zambia she had spent time in Pretoria, South Africa. When she left Livingstone at the end of the following week she would spend another week in the Howard University office there. “Is Zambia what you expected?” wondered Milli Jam, but Octavia seemed not to be sure, so we thought perhaps it wasn’t. She did say that staying in Pretoria was more or less like staying in her home town back in the States with the same restaurants and shops! She loved Zambian people whom she described as warm, friendly and helpful and also liked Zambian food, especially nsima and Zambezi bream!

The music on the show was good, opening with latest tracks from One Direction and Olly Murs. Milimo chose Zambian tracks by Chefy – Foolish Me (“I know this track” said Octavia as one of the Chanters Girls back at the lodge sent me a text to say ‘thanks for playing this one!’) and Salma ft O.C’ ‘Folo Folo’. We also featured tracks from the late great Puff Johnson as well as Justin Bieber with Nicki Minaj, Akon and Icona Pop.

Octavia said she had enjoyed Victoria Falls and had plucked up the courage to do the bungee jump and the bridge swing. “Have you told your mum?” I wondered. She had. “And what did she say?” I asked. “She said I was mad!” The predictable reply. “What did she say when you first told her you were coming to Africa?” I asked. “She told me not to come back married!” From this we deduced that Octavia was single which she confirmed. She said she’d had a good time at one or two of the clubs in Livingstone when she’d been free at weekends and loved Zambian music.

She had watched the Zambian national soccer team on TV too, though she confessed to being more a fan of American football and the Washington Redskins. Octavia was also lucky enough to see the lunar rainbow at the Falls during her visit, which she loved, and had also visited the crocodile park.

Asked where she would like to be and what she would like to be doing ten years from now, Octavia told us that she would like to be a practicing pharmacist, specializing, location – geographically open, married with lots of children. We didn’t doubt she would achieve all of that!

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