On Wednesday 13 April, His Excellency Dr Kenneth Kaunda visited Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge to officially re-open the property after an extensive refurbishment. The lodge was originally built in the 1970s for Dr Kaunda, the first Republican president of Zambia, as his private retreat in the South Luangwa National Park.
The opening ceremony was also attended by other dignitaries including former First Lady and now Deputy Minister of Tourism Vera Tembo, The Honourable Minister of Eastern Province Isaac Banda, His Royal Highness Chief Makumbi and Timothy Mushibwe, Chairman of the Zambian Tourism Board, along with members of the local media.
During his speech, former president Dr Kaunda thanked Sanctuary Retreats for the significant investment made in Zambia and the role they are playing in promoting tourism in the country. He emphasised that tourism is critical for the development of the local economy in Zambia as it provides employment for local people and assists in the fight against HIV and Aids.
His Excellency also had time for a game drive in the valley where he spotted plenty of wildlife including the notorious Chichele pride of lions on a buffalo kill with their three small cubs, before ending the day with celebratory sundowner drinks on the magnificent Chichele Hill.
Stay tuned to the blog as we will have a trip report in May that includes this newly reopened lodge!