Let’s go back in time for a moment…
50 years ago, we ventured to the moon for the very first time and Martin Luther King Jr. shared his great dream. 40 years ago, Grease was the word and CNN was born. 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years imprisonment in South Africa and East and West Germany reunited. 20 years ago, we entered the new millennium and Google was founded. 10 years ago, Apple released its first iPad, the first 24-hour flight by a solar-powered plane was completed, and Royal Chundu was born.
This year we are celebrating turning 10!
It’s fascinating to look back on the last five decades of life on this magnificent earth, to see how far we’ve come as humankind.
Just as exciting for us, as a lodge, a family, is looking back at the moments in our own past that changed and pushed us, inspired and challenged us, and led us to becoming the proud, strong ten-year-olds we are today.
Our mission has always been to create something that the local community can run, and empower themselves through, something that will last, like the great Zambezi itself. Something that gives our people a voice and purpose and possibilities that have no bounds.
There are people working at the lodge today that have been with us since the very beginning…
The Founding Team above, together since 2010, includes: Hugh and Bev O’Mahoney, Tina Aponte, Bigboy Goba, Sililo Kalumba (SK), Kasaya Malambo, Kelvin Sikota, Munyanya Munyanya, George Nalisa, Victor Ntondo, Micheal Nyambe, Shardreck Sitali, Joyce Mutakatala, Fred Muzya, Judith Mutema, Christine Mbanachele, Florence Muyamba, Chunga Mutafela, and Maureen Siyauya.
Over the years, the path has sometimes shifted and adapted and deepened. Together we have seen and weathered all kinds of changes, including Mother Nature and her floods and droughts, but we’ve continued to live our lives entwined.
We’ve brought children into the world and watched our young ones’ first steps, their first days at school.
We’ve grown… as a lodge and as individuals.
We’ve extended our gardens and homes and started new businesses, from beekeeping to transfer and courier services. We’ve lost people close to our hearts, we’ve said goodbyes, we’ve said hellos and welcome home’s. We’ve celebrated each other’s weddings and learnt new skills (from photography to viticulture) and valuable life lessons.
We’ve leapt with joy at receiving titles such as Zambia’s Leading Safari Lodge for the 9th year running and being named #10 in the Top 30 Resorts in Africa in the Condé Nast Global Readers’ Choice Awards 2019.
We have watched our walls transform into great happy murals celebrating Zambia, watched the river and moon wax and wane, and looked out at every sunset from our boat or jetty as though it were our first.
And all the time, the Victoria Falls has kept falling, thundering and smoking…
The fish eagles have kept soaring, the makishi have danced on and on as wildly and magnetically as ever. The African skimmers have continued their migratory ways and returned to us dutifully, and the rhythms of the Zambezi have embraced us, time and again, as their own.
Through all the changes, there has been great constancy. Certainty in many ways, and perhaps in the way that truly matters – in our team’s love and compassion, pride and togetherness. We’ve held hands through it all and we’ll continue to for years to come.
Zikomo! Thank you! To our family, to our community, to our guests, suppliers, producers, partners and friends who have travelled the path with us.
We’ll be sharing 10 moments that made us over the next few months, in celebration of our path, of the good and bad that led us to where we stand united today!
Your Royal Chundu Family