I wake to an overcast sky, but a hole in the cloud canopy suddenly brings sunlight to the rock cliffs opposite Room 1, ‘Eagle’, at Chilo Gorge.. ‘Chilo’ in the local language means ‘ baboon roost’ – a very apt name for this glorious place, where high cliffs of tumbled rock and huge riverine trees precariously perched on steep banks over the waters of the Save river form dramatic bedtime havens for the troops of baboons that live here.
We hear a haunting wail, the ‘man falling down a well’ cry of a baby Pels fishing owl somewhere in the deep green canopy of the trees that overhang the river on the opposite bank. He is hungry, shouting for mum…..
Sharing some quiet time and early morning coffee with Clive is luxury……coffee freshly brewed and accompanied by a crisp biscuit (cookie if you reading this on American soil!). Plus my favorite read at the moment, ‘The Calcutta Cookbook’, full of fascinating traditional Indian recipes.
Seven fat Green pigeons fly past silently, on their hurried way to some chosen tree, a fruiting fig or a Cordyla with still- green but tasty fruits just forming. Their rose- pink legs are lit by patchy sunlight against the dove-grey clouds.
I savour my surroundings: this room that I sit in is a delight of textures and clever colour.
Ngoni cattle skin rugs sit on sisal carpets woven locally in Zimbabwe. These Ngoni-type cattle derive from ancient Zulu stock and are hardy, beautiful animals, spotted and splashed with black, white and rust. They thrive on the banks of the Save, carefully herded by their proud owners, and I never tire of their glorious colours.
The local Changana people weave Lala palm fronds and use the strong plait to tie a complex layers of river reeds into durable and beautiful panels. These were traditionally used as doors to their huts and we have used them as decor and panelling in the lodge.
Chosen and orchestrated by designer Belinda Jones, and ably installed by her brother Anton, the decor here never fails to delight me and complements the structure of the rooms perfectly
A room to meditate and dream in……