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Set with ecological astuteness and modern design on the lush banks of the mighty Zambezi River near the natural masterpiece of Victoria Falls, Thorntree River Lodge is a superb base from which to explore the Falls and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. (The Zambezi is very often referred to as the mighty Zambezi, for good reason. The powerful and wide river, Africa’s fourth largest, flows through southeastern Africa, past Thorntree River Lodge, on its way to the Indian Ocean, with a grand fling at Victoria Falls at enliven its majestic journey.)
Thorntree was built to celebrate the Zambezi’s mightiness. Its eight beautifully furnished twin rooms and two family units (with four beds apiece) look out at the river (as do the lodge’s gym and spa and airy dining area, which includes an extensively and thoughtfully stocked wine cellar). Each room has its own plunge pool, from which to loll and watch the river as it prepares for its incredible plunge. The communal riverside deck features a sunken boma area, an infinity pool, and wooden decks that float on the river, creating a delightful sense of being on a lovely little boat. And the lodge has its own larger boat for enchanting sunset cruises.
Our main focus, of course, is on Victoria Falls, whose praises we sing many times on this website. But here we’ll quote an old Micato friend, who said that “Victoria Falls is billed as one of the world’s greatest waterfalls, but, as a matter of fact, it’s one of the world’s greatest anythings.” (We’d quibble just a bit with our friend. The Falls aren’t one of the world’s greatest waterfalls, they are the most colossal, the grandest, the unquestionably mightiest falls on the planet. Micato safariers will surely agree as they make guided explorations of the Falls from its many spectacular vantage points.)
In addition to those awestriking encounters with the cataract, Thorntree is a great base for visits to the national park named for the falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke that Thunders). Home to a fiercely protected white rhino population, the park offers a wonderfully rich mini-safari, with common sightings of elephants, lions, Angolan giraffes, bouldery Cape buffalo, a nice cast of springy ungulates, and, by the riverbanks, hippos galumphing aplenty. Amid other possibilities: a visit to the nearby, fascinatingly modern African town of Livingstone, named for the first outsider to see the Falls, the great explorer David Livingstone, who said Victoria was “the most wonderful sight I had witnessed in Africa.”