The Ultimate Luxury Vacation Package: What I Planned for Karen Tran’s Birthday Celebration at The Royal Livingstone Resort in Zambia, Africa
On the banks of the Zambezi river in Zambia—a short boat ride away from one of the world’s seven natural wonders—is a rare luxury resort unlike any other. The Royal Livingstone Hotel is located in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park with direct access to Victoria Falls (and the infamous Devil’s Pool).
Every room’s veranda has savannah views and the hotel’s rustic wooden deck overlooks the river, providing a relaxing spot to sip morning coffee as you watch the sunrise, savour a glass of red wine at sunset, read a book in the afternoon sun, or watch the Zebra roam throughout the day. Yes—I did say Zebra! Zebra wander the hotel grounds which are dotted with towering monkey trees, creating your very own nature retreat—Africa style
Karen Tran’s Birthday Celebration Adventure and Itinerary
Karen Tran had a milestone birthday and I wanted to gift her the adventure and experience of a lifetime in my home country of Zambia. I’m so passionate about showing people Zambia’s overlooked riches, so I packed her itinerary full of my favourite experiences.
To start off, I gave Karen some fun facts about Zambia, because no itinerary and adventure is complete without knowing a little bit more about the place you’re visiting. I’ll share them with you here:
- Zambia is named after the Zambezi River, which means “God’s friend.” Many believe that Zambia is not only a beautiful country but a very blessed one because of this.
- This might seem crazy, but Zambia has 72 (!!!) languages.
- As you’ll notice, many locations carry the name “Livingstone.” Dr. David Livingstone traveled to Southern Africa in the mid-1800s as a Scottish scientist and medical missionary. He is legendary for his expeditions and was one of the first Westerners to discover Victoria Falls.
- Many of the roads are unpaved, so rides can be a little bumpier and aren’t always as quick as they are in the UK
- The people are lovely and you’ll absolutely be swept away by the beautiful landscapes, wildlife, and culture.
Right, so once I shared some fun facts with her, the adventure was ON!
First up was a walking tour of….
The Royal Livingstone Grounds
Then, Karen enjoyed….
A Helicopter Ride Over Victoria Falls by Livingstone Adventures
These flights are called the “flight of angels.” This term was inspired by Dr. Livingstone as he had this to say about the falls and the area: “a sight so wonderful the angels must have gazed down upon it in flight.”
Next, I planned for Karen to experience….
Lunch On Livingstone Island
Apart from being in a helicopter overlooking the falls, Livingstone Island is the next best vantage point to witness Victoria Falls. The island is only accessible through late June – March when the waters are lower. Karen learned about the island’s history when it was used as a sacrificial site in ancient times and so much more.
Karen’s stay also included…
The Royal Livingstone Express Train Dinner
She took a scenic ride on The Royal Livingstone Express Train into the Victoria Falls Heritage site where she crossed the Victoria Falls bridge, saw wild game, and enjoyed a 5-course meal in elegantly restored, air-conditioned train cars.
Then, she enjoyed…
A River Safari Experience by Livingstone Adventures
The riverboat is a winding tour of the Zambezi river and her channels. It includes sights of various islands and lots of wildlife that enjoy the river and all it offers.
Next was the…
Rhino and Lion Combo by Bushtracks Africa
An experienced guide provided a tour of the Zambezi National Park where she met the lion pride and saw white rhinos up close. Karen also learned wonderful insights about the conservation and research efforts happening there.
Some Extra Special Luxury Add-Ons During Karen’s Zambia Holiday
An Exclusive Private Chef Dinner
On Karen’s birthday, Marcus—the Executive Chef at The Royal Livingstone—cooked up an exclusive dinner just for Karen.
I also planned for Karen to enjoy a luxury spa treatment and special birthday lunch.
Two Nights at The Tonga Bezi Lodge
In addition to staying at The Royal Livingstone Resort, Karen also experienced a two-night stay at the Tonga Bezi Lodge. This is another amazing luxury lodge on the banks of the Zambezi River.
Upstream from Victoria Falls, the Tonga Bezi Lodge is a tucked-away romantic and relaxing lodge with a selection of houses and cottages warmly styled with rich African accents and furniture. Karen stayed in the lodge’s Nut House. This stunning house opens to a private garden and infinity plunge pool. It’s styled with amazing art and textiles from Morocco, Mali, Zambia and South Africa and it has beautiful views of the Zambezi River.
Lunch at The Elephant Cafe
Karen enjoyed a birthday lunch, beverages, and elephant interactions at The Elephant Cafe. The Elephant Cafe was awarded Zambia’s best restaurant in 2016. It’s built on a deck that overlooks the Zambezi River. She met the elephant herd and had up-close encounters with them.
Game Drive in Mosi-O-Tunya National Park
I also planned for Karen to experience a safari-style game drive in the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park. The national park is full of wildlife including, rhino, antelope, elephants, crocodiles, Cape buffalo, warthogs, hippopotamus, monkeys, and more.
It was such a pleasure to plan this special event for my dear friend Karen and show her all that Zambia and The Royal Livingstone has to offer. And I am so incredibly pleased and excited to announce that Karen’s trip to Africa inspired her to host her signature masterclass, The Floral Experience, in July 2019 in Zambia.
Bush Tracks Africa Transfers
To make the trip extra special and smooth, Bush Tracks Africa did all the transfers for Karen, including transfers to and from the airport, experiences, and more.
Karen’s Zambia Trip Inspired The Floral Experience Africa (aka #KTZAMBIA)
Everything you see here is a taste of what you’ll experience at the #KTZAMBIA Floral Experience Masterclass.
In addition to 3 days of learning how to design over-the-top floral walls, ceilings, structures, tablescapes, and more for high-end luxury weddings, you’ll also be immersed in a complete African adventure experience…
… including your choice to stay at either The Royal Livingstone Hotel or the Avani at preferred rates.
Come join the industry’s most ambitious designers (including myself!) for an incredible experience that is sure to grow you wedding industry business and feed your soul and sense of adventure.
To learn more about the upcoming Zambia Floral Experience Masterclass in July and to register, please visit Karen’s site: www.thefloralexperience.com/
Resort Information and Supplier Credits
Here’s a list of all the suppliers and links so you can check them out. A very special thanks to everyone who contributed to Karen’s milestone celebration and worked so hard to make it an experience to remember for a lifetime. I also want to send a special thank you and shout out to Joyce, the PR Director at The Royal Livingstone. She made everything come together and connected me to everyone on this list.
Until next time…