White Water Rafting – It’s Back!

Safari Par Excellence reopened their fun-filled, adrenalin packed White Water Rafting on the Zambezi River, Zambia on Tuesday 14th June.

To start off with there will be rafting from rapid 14 (walk into the gorge) and finishing at rapid 25 (Cable Car lift out of the gorge), details as follows:

08.00 – 08.15 – Pick up from Livingstone Accommodation

08.30 – Meet at Zambezi Waterfront for tea & coffee and safety briefing before driving out to the gorge to start the days rafting.

14.00 (approx) – Return to Zambezi Waterfront for a well earned lunch and to view the photo’s of your day on the river. (Only photos are taken when going from rapid 14, as soon as we start going from rapid 10 we will do photos and video again)

15.00 (approx) – Transfer back to accommodation in Livingstone

Cost: $135 per person

Great value, great day out! Some of the wildest white water in the whole world!


Response Network on 107.7 fm

Meet (left to right) Anja Veum, Diane Hoffman, David Jewitt and Cecily Alexander, our guests on the latest edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild. The show airs from 20.30-21.30 hrs every Sunday night on Zambezi 107.7fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. The good news is that with effect from Sunday June 19th, the programme will be streamed live on the internet!

Anja, Diane and David are all involved with the Norwegian International Olympic Committee and Response Network. Response Network is a Norwegian NGO with a branch in Zambia which visits 40 new villages in Southern Province of Zambia every year, providing motivation and information to communities on how they can start their own sports clubs and other self-help activities. Response Network is sponsored by the Norwegian IOC. Cecily and Diane have known each other since University and as Cecily, originally from Trinidad, had always wanted to visit Africa Diane invited her along on this trip. Anja is Norwegian, Diane, David and Cecily all Canadian. It was a busy studio!

The group took it in turns to come to the microphones and talk to listeners about why they were in Livingstone and what they’d been doing since they’d arrived. They described their two night safari to Chobe National Park in Botswana, where they’d stayed at Elephant Valley Lodge, as ‘fantastic’. It had been much colder at night and early in the morning than they’d expected! They’d seen loads of game and had had a thoroughly good time. They’d also been to see Victoria Falls since they’d arrived, getting drenched in the process, and were expecting to go and stay in a local village during the following week to see one of Response Network’s projects for themselves.

The music on the show was super and our visitors particularly liked the two Zambian tracks we played – K’Millian’s ‘Nibandani Banzako’ (Who Are Your True Friends) a song about fair weather friends who desert you when the going gets tough. We also featured Exile’s ‘So Lucky’. Our Guests told Milli Jam and George they were ‘desperate’ to buy Zambian music to take home and the guys agreed to go to the local record store with the group the following week to help them choose the latest hot Zambian CD’s. To add an international flavour to the show we played Bobby V’s ‘Phone Number’ and Stevie Hoang’s ‘Lottery’. ‘Have you won the Pick-A-Lot?’ I asked Milli Jam, ‘is this why you chose that track’? He had not! Rihanna’s ‘California King Bed’ and Beyonce’s ‘I Miss You’ wound up a great selection.

‘As you’re involved with the Norwegian IOC you must be into sport’ Milli Jam commented to our Guests. ‘Very much so’ they agreed and David told listeners that he loved yoga and skiing. ‘In fact’ he said, turning towards me ‘we’ve been conducting yoga sessions in one of your rooms at the lodge’. ‘Ah!’ I replied ‘that’s why I’ve seen these three ladies dressed for sport disappearing into your room carrying towels – I’d perhaps imagined something different’. Much laughter! Anje said she skied as well and generally the group had more interest in winter sport than things like soccer. Anja admitted she liked Man U. We moved quickly on.

Diane told listeners that she was involved with Nowspar – National Organization For Women in Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation – a membership organization of Zambian men and women who believe that sport, physical recreation and activity have the power to foster social change and increase an individual’s quality of life. This necessitated regular visits to Lusaka. Our guests told listeners how much they loved Zambia and Zambian people and urged the local community to continue with the wonderful hospitality offered to visitors. Amid some controversy, we gave away a dinner for two to someone who answered the question posed on air – where do our Guests come from? There were many text messages in reply.


DJ Muja Blaze

We always enjoy turning the tables on local DJ’s and presenters in our regular Sunday night radio show The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild. The show airs from 20.30-21.30 hrs on Zambezi FM, Livingstone’s leading local radio station broadcasting on 107.7 fm and reaching radios within a radius of about 70 kms from downtown Livingstone. This week we had the pleasure of grilling DJ Muja Blaze on air – real name Mujala Malama, pictured above. “Why are you called Muja Blaze”? I asked and before Mujala had time to reply, Milli Jam answered “because he’s blazing hot Richard”! Seems so! Sizzling!

Mujala has only been with 107.7 fm in Livingstone for about 8 months and is holding down the dreaded graveyard shift three mornings per week between 02.00 and 05.00 hrs. He calls that show Flight 205 (for obvious reasons) and breaks it down into 3 sections, R&B, Hip-Hop and Local. He’s got a great voice for radio and loads of charisma! I reminded Milli Jam that when I’d first heard him on Zambezi FM in 2007 he was the one holding down shifts like that, shivering in an icy studio in the middle of the Zambian winter! Milli Jam needed no reminding! Mujala’s also something of a video star in Zambia having featured on a recent MTN advertisement, filmed in Johannesburg and widely shown on TV back home.

Mujala told listeners that apart from his radio spots he’s established his own company – MM Entertainments – a video recording outfit. They film music videos amongst other things and Mujala informed us that currently he has two music videos being featured on national Zambian TV channels. The company started by filming weddings, private parties, functions and such like. “Could you record a video of Chanters Lodge for our website”? I asked him. “Love to!” was the quick reply “when we’ve finished filming Brill’s latest”! Brill is a local musician who also happens to be Deputy Mayor of Livingstone.

The music on the show was almost as hot as Muja Blaze! We opened with ‘Right There’ – Nicole Scherzinger ft 50 Cent back to back with ‘Guilt’ – Nero ft Alana. George’s local selection included ‘Malaika’ – P-Jay and ‘Bye Bye’ – Ken One ft Exile. We liked the latter, good dance beat and nice lyrics – ‘when you said bye bye you left with my happiness and joy’ the meaning of the lyrics. The Chanters Girls were definitely rocking back at the lodge! Sean Kingston’s ‘Rewind’ and Beyonce’s ‘Ego’ made up Milli Jam’s choice, then we moved on to ‘Don’t Wanna Go Home by Jason Derulo. (I like this one, it samples Harry Belafonte’s ‘Banana Boat Song’ and if that doesn’t take you back in time, nothing will!) ‘Sweat’ by Snoop Dogg and Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ wound up the show – both current top ten hits in UK.

We took the opportunity to wish all the Zambian ladies ‘Happy Mothers Day’ which fell on the day of the show and to congratulate (through clenched teeth) Manchester United on their virtual Premiership title (on a day when 3 out of 4 people in the studio supported the hapless, hopeless Arsenal!) We gave a prize of a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge to the first person to text us our guest’s radio name and we got a winner – though the response was poor this week.

Mujala informed us that he had one sister also that he’d done part of his education in South Africa where he’d passed his ‘matric’. Although he was single (and hot) he has a little boy aged 18 months. ‘So you’re spoken for’ Milli Jam said (he loves such topics). Pause. ‘Errrr, not really’ replied the hot one, now feeling a little shy! We wanted to know if ‘Blaze’ had ever been bungee jumping and he admitted he had not. ‘We had a guest this week who said the price was scarier than the jump’ I told listeners.

‘Where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing 10 years from now’? Milli jam asked our guest and DJ Muja Blaze replied that he’d like to see his company MM Entertainments internationally renown and prosperous and that he’d still like to be broadcasting. We wished him well with his goals.


Priscilla Appama

We love having international Guests on our regular Sunday night radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild – airing every week from 20.30-21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. Our latest edition featured Priscilla Appama pictured above and Priscilla’s truly international – born and raised in Mauritius, educated in France, currently teaching French at the Australian Monash University in Johannesburg, South Africa and on holiday in Livingstone, Zambia staying at Chanters Lodge. How international do you want?

Priscilla told listeners that she’d lived in Johannesburg for the past 3 years but found it a difficult place to stay as a single woman because of security concerns. Her favourite city in the whole world she declared as Paris, France. She was looking forward to a 6 month sabbatical from her work soon for research purposes. She’d come to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls and while she’d been in Zambia she’d ventured into Botswana for the one day safari to Chobe National Park which she’d thoroughly enjoyed, seeing elephants of all different sizes and ages as well as lots of other game. A huge thunderstorm on the Zambezi as she made her way home excited her – she’d also taken the sunset cruise with Lady Livingstone on the river another day and had been so relaxed she’d almost fallen asleep! She’d also enjoyed a morning at the Spa at David Livingstone Safari Lodge.

The music on the show was hot as usual! Candy by Aggro Santos featuring Kimberley Wyatt remains our opening theme. Following that we played ‘Lazy Song’ by Bruno Mars back to back with ‘Til The World Ends, remixed featuring Nicki Minaj and Key$ha alongside Britney Spears. George’s local selection was P-Jay featuring Sanga with ‘Tombolilo’ (something to do with frogs, we were told, in a rather vague explanation) coupled with Kaufela featuring Hamoba with ‘Wilalila’. For the uninformed Kaufela is George himself – he’s just finished recording the tracks for his first album and told listeners that ‘wilalila’ means ‘don’t cry, everything will be ok’. Milli Jam chose Madonna with Justin Timberlake and ‘Across The Sky’ back to back with Ndubz and ‘Love Sick’. The last three tracks were ‘Highway 20 Drive’ by the Zac Brown Band, ‘What You Think’ by Jennifer Hudson and ‘Unorthodox’ by Wretch 32 featuring Example. An excellent,varied play list that had the Chanters Girls rocking back at the lodge on Labour Day!

Priscilla told listeners she had an eclectic taste in music – everything from her own traditional Mauritian sega music to jazz and that she was actually a trained singer, though recently she hadn’t sung very much. Single, Priscilla said she had a boyfriend, though no details were forthcoming! Her parents still live and work on Mauritius as does her married elder sister. She has a brother in USA.

We gave listeners the chart news and gave a prize too to the first person to text us Priscilla’s home country – Mauritius was the correct answer from many respondants. Alicia won. When Milli Jam asked Prisicilla his usual final question, she replied that in 10 years from now she hoped to be retired and writing books. ‘Married with children’? I asked. Priscilla just laughed! ‘Follow your dreams’ she advised our listeners.


Kristine Klemmensen & Havard Lohne in Zambia

Meet Kristine and Havard pictured above, a cute, hot and happy couple from Bergen in Norway, currently visiting Zambia with other family members to attend the wedding of Harvard’s brother Jostein to a Zambian girl, Angela Nakamba, on the Copperbelt this coming weekend. The family were staying at Chanters Lodge for a few days to see Victoria Falls before proceeding to Kitwe. Harvard and girlfriend Kristine were kind enough to agree to appear as guests on The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild, our regular Sunday night radio show, airing between 20.30 and 21.30 hrs on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm. I co-host the show which is a lively mixture of music and chat! Check out the station’s great new website on that link!

Harvard and Kristine met at Hoxskolen i Bergen where they’re both students of Energy Technology in the second of a three year degree course. Plans for post graduation? Kristine seemed to be thinking in terms of further studies while Harvard favoured leaving University and getting a job. Was it love at first sight we wondered. “Yes”! Said Kristine. “No”! Said Harvard. “Oooo”! Said we!
The couple told listeners that they’d really enjoyed the sunset cruise on Lady Livingstone which they’d taken with the rest of the family that afternoon. Was it true Milli Jam wanted to know, that they’d kept Richard up until 02.00hrs that morning and if so why? They admitted that their group had arrived at Chanters in the early hours due to underestimating the drive time between Lusaka and Livingstone and were starving when they’d arrived. The lodge staff had kindly (very actually) waited until their arrival and then fed them, leading Richard to miss some beauty sleep. “Awwwwww”! They said.

Going back to the wedding we wanted to know whether Jostein had paid ‘lobola’ for Angela and if so, how much in cash or cows! No details were forthcoming but we estimated the value of a cow in Zambia these days at about K2 million (Milli Jam being a Tonga knew all about this) and we assured Harvard and Kristine that they were, traditions or no traditions, going to have a ball at this Zambian wedding and that Zambians really knew how to partaaay! They do too!

The music on the show was top drawer – ‘ET’ by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West back to back with ‘On The Floor’ by Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull got us off to a cracking start, being the current number one hit tracks in the USA and UK respectively. George’s local selection of ‘Facebook’ by Oga Family and ‘Ubuchende’ (‘infidelity’) by Ty2 and JK went down well. Adele’s ‘Promise This’ and Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Shoot For The Stars’ were Milli Jam’s personal selection. ‘Where Dem Girls At’ by David Guetta featuring Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj is latest and so too ‘Someone To Love Me’ by Mary J Blige and Lil Wayne and these tracks would have had the Chanters Girls dancing back at the lodge – if they hadn’t been busy, busy! Ha Ha!

Harvard and Kristine gave us some more detail about their families and tastes. Musically Harvard favoured Dire Straits and Bruce Springsteen – Kristine Rihanna and Lady Gaga. They still had lots of things on their mind to do while they were in Livingstone – a walk with lions, helicopter ride, quad biking and the gorge swing amongst other high adventure activities available in these parts.

Where would this super young couple like to be and what would they like to be doing 10 years from now? “With great jobs in Norway in the field of renewable energy and married to Harvard with 4 children” replied Kristine quickly. Harvard nodded and gave her a quick kiss! “Awwwwww”! We said!


Sugar Plantation & Bio-Ethanol Plant for Southern Zambia

Here’s some great news for this part of Zambia:

A South African company will this month start work on a 2- hundred and 51 million US dollar project involving a sugar plantation and bio-ethanol plant in Kazungula District. This came to light during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between AGZAM project developers Limited and the Zambia development Agency- ZDA in Livingstone yesterday.

ZNBC‘s Kennedy Bwalya reports from Livingstone that President Rupiah Bands witnessed the signing of the MOU for the project which will create 4000 for the local people. AGZAM Project Business Development Manager Anthony Alexander (above) said the new company will be producing 200,000 metric tonnes of sugar and 28 million litres of bio-ethanol per annum.

And ZDA Director for Investment promotion Muhabi Lungu said the project is one of the biggest investments the country has achieved this year. And President Banda said he is excited that government has managed to facilitate a huge investment that would create new job opportunities for Zambians.

Mr Banda said he is happy that the new project which is expected to kick off in the next 21 days, will create wealth for the nation.

How come I got the photo? Guess!!


Jerry & Carol Evans

45 years married, with 3 sons and 5 grandchildren, meet Jerry and Carol Evans (pictured above) from Denver, Colorado, USA, guests on the latest edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild – our regular Sunday night radio show airing between 20.30 and 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s popular local radio station. 107.7 fm broadcasts 24/7 to a radius of about 75 kms from the city centre which is just 10 kms from Victoria Falls in Zambia. Our show is a lively mixture of music and chat.

“We’re mini missionaries” replied Carol when Milli Jam asked this warm and interesting couple what they were doing in Zambia. “We’ve come out to your country for a short time, voluntarily, to help at the Rafiki Mission in Chongwe near Lusaka” she continued “and we just had to come to Livingstone to see the world famous and amazing Victoria Falls”. Jerry and Carol went on to explain that they were helping tutor children at the orphanage especially those who were behind with their spelling, grammar and maths! They were also assisting with the construction of more cottages to house the children at the mission, which at the moment catered for 50 live-in orphans and loads of day children as well. As if this wasn’t enough, Carol was also involved in establishing a children’s library at Rafiki.

Rafiki operate in about 10 African countries and Jerry and Carol have been to several, including the one at Jos in Nigeria, they told listeners. This interested me, as I was general manager of Plateau State Hotels Board based in Jos in the 70’s prior to coming to Zambia. Sadly, Carol and Jerry told us that some of the orphans at the Rafiki Mission in Jos were there as a result of losing family in the recent unfortunate troubles between Christians and Moslems in that city.

The music on the show was a nice mixture of new, not so new and local. We played ‘Chasing U’ by Akon and ‘The Apple’ by Eminem which are both pretty new, together with ‘White Flag’ by Dido and ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley which are not. ‘Crazy’ used to be our theme tune on the show before we updated to ‘Candy’ by Aggro Santos. The local selection starred Brian featuring Exile with ‘Mailo’ and Marky II featuring Petersen with ‘Gelo Wanga’. Milli Jam chose Shayne Ward’s ‘Just Be Good To Me’ and Wiz Khalifa’s smash ‘Black And Yellow’.

Carol and Jerry told listeners that Jerry was a retired banker and that while they were in Livingstone they’d had a ‘delightful’ sunset cruise on Lady Livingstone and found Victoria Falls ‘wonderful’ even though they’d got soaking wet! On their last morning, the following day, they planned to go on the lion encounter, as they wanted to see the new white lion cubs at
Mukuni Big 5. Luckily we were able to get them a short notice booking!

We gave away the usual dinner for 2 to the first listener to tell us which mission these good folk were involved with – that tricked the listeners who thought I would ask where the couple came from, though sharp Jak did win! We greeted staff and guests at the lodge and in closing Jerry and Carol thanked Zambians for giving them such a warm and wonderful welcome to their country.


Guests Donate To SOS

We don’t often reproduce Guest reviews from TripAdvisor on the blog, as they update automatically on to our website anyway. In exceptional cases we do though and I think this most recent review qualifies as exceptional through the generosity of our Guests.

“My 19 year old daughter and I stayed at Chanters Lodge for 3 nights in January. Mr. Chanter (himself!) picked us up (and returned us to) the airport at no extra charge. He also gave us a ride to Victoria Falls (normally a $10 US taxi ride and about 10 minutes) while showing us a bit of Livingstone and giving us some travel tips ~ that immediately made us feel much more comfortable with our new surroundings.

This was our first visit to Zambia. We decided to stay at Chanters Lodge because we did not want the insulation of one of the big hotels. We are so GLAD that we chose Chanters! Our room was charming with mosquito nets (not really needed during our stay) over the beds. All of the staff at the Lodge, especially Anastasia, were very helpful in helping us choose activities and get them all arranged. It was no problem to call a taxi to the Lodge for pick-up to our activities when transportation was not included.

The Lodge has a restaurant so meals were easy and delicious. A full breakfast ordered off the menu is included with the room.

We visited the spectacular Victoria Falls two times, walked out on the bridge to Zimbabwe, bartered for souvenirs at the “curio” stands in town, had high tea on Livingstone Island, and canoed for a half-day on the upper Zambezi. Chanters Lodge is an easy walk in to Livingstone (the falls are a $7 taxi ride from town – too far to walk). Anastasia easily helped us make the arrangements for tea, canoeing, and taxis. No pressure at all for booking any trips and Anastasia shared some very helpful tips based on other hotel guest’s reviews.

Prior to coming to Zambia, Richard Chanter helped us make contact with a local orphanage which we hoped to visit with some gifts. Anastasia even accompanied us on our trip to the SOS Children’s Village. The SOS Childrens Village, by the way, seems to be a very well run home and school for 180 children. Our visit was welcomed, our gifts appreciated (we brought to large duffle bags of Tshirts and toys), and we were totally impressed with educational opportunites for the kids and the structure of the homes. A very worthy organization that operates in 130+ countries.

A bonus for us was meeting Tim and Claire, newlyweds who were on our same flight into Livingstone and staying at Chanters. We ended up doing most activities with them and really enjoying their company! Even when we were caught in a ferocious rain storm while at the Falls. We sloshed our way to the Royal Livingstone Hotel to have a cup of tea on the veranda with a beautiful view of the grounds and the Zambezi with the clouds of spray from the Falls. Walking to the Royal Livingstone for tea was an excellent suggestion from Richard Chanter.

I would heartily recommend Chanters Lodge and would definitely stay there again if chance ever brings me back to Livingstone.”

Thanks to the author! The picture? Children playing at the SOS Childrens Village.


Upside Down!

So you’d like to Bungee Jump when you come to Livingstone, staying at Chanters Lodge obviously?

Great! This is how you’ll end up!

Upside down, dangling above the Zambezi on a large elastic band.

Still fancy it? Good for you!

Thanks to Di for the great photo!


Craig Brown & Abby Wills

Craig and Abby, pictured above, staying at Chanters Lodge, guested on the latest edition of our Sunday night radio show – the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild – which airs every Sunday night from 20.30 – 21.30 hours on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. It was the last show of 2010!

Craig’s a New Zealander, Abby’s English, and although not married they’re partners and currently live in Johannesburg, South Africa where Craig’s a consulting engineer with Mott MacDonald an employee-owned management, engineering and development consultancy serving the public and private sector around the world. “Do you work?” Milli Jam asked Abby. “No” she replied “I’m a lady of leisure in Johannesburg with a great social life and loads of friends, mainly because of work permit problems”. “That must be a a bit boring, wouldn’t you prefer to be working”? I chipped in. “Not in the slightest”! Was Abby’s instant reply which had us laughing.

Quite a lot of chat on the show was about rugby. Obviously we wanted to know from Craig, a former player with London Scottish, why New Zealand had never won the Rugby World Cup! Craig claimed that they had, in the 80’s, but Abby quickly scotched this idea by reminding him that South Africa didn’t feature then, so somehow it wasn’t a genuine victory! Nice one Abby!

Craig and Abby told listeners about their fascinating travels to both Cambodia and Rwanda earlier in the year with the Penguins Rugby Club, teaching rugby in these developing countries to disadvantaged youngsters. They’d been surprised at the amount of raw talent seen in both places. The Penguins is a ‘by invitation only’ club and you can read more about it by following the link above. What did surprise us was to hear that Abby had also been a rugby player when she was younger until injury forced an early retirement. We also had respect for Craig on learning that he’d recently completed the Paris Marathon in under 3.5 hours.

The music on the show was good, as usual. We got off to a flier with the Ghanain band R2Bees ft Wande Coal’s ‘Kiss Your Hand’ back to back with the awesome ‘Man Down’ from Rihanna’s latest smash album. George chose Petersen’s ‘Wanna Dance With You’ and Kelvin Mwesa’s ‘Wonderful Time’ for his two local tracks. Milli Jam chose Jamie Foxx with ‘Winner’ and Akon’s (imo horrible) ‘No Labels’. We also played ‘Many of Horror’ by Biffy Clyro to give listeners a feel for the UK Christmas No.1. I commented that our closing track Sean Kingston’s great ‘Party All Night’ (and sleep all day) was a good track for this time of year in Livingstone.

Craig and Abby told listeners about their one day safari to Chobe National Park in Botswana where they’d been lucky enough to see a pride of 8 lions – a record for our guests on that trip. This delightful couple had also enjoyed their helicopter flight over the Falls, as well as a sunset cruise and a morning river safari. Abby told listeners that on their last morning, the next day, she intended to bungee jump. (And she did!)

I took the chance to wish our listeners a belated Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2011, and also to thank the staff at the lodge for their extra-ordinary hard work during the holiday period. As we went on air the lodge was packed and for once the girls didn’t have too much chance to enjoy the show!

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