Island property in the Zambezi River

I saw your ‘tented getaway for campers’ concept in the issue of 2 September, and am looking to build something similar for tourists on a 33ha island property in the Zambezi River.

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Dear Jonno
I saw your ‘tented getaway for campers’ concept in the issue of 2 September, and am looking to build something similar for tourists on a 33ha island property in the Zambezi River.island-property-in-the-zambezi-river-2

I would like to start with six chalets on the river frontage. They should be attractive and different, but I would like the cost to be kept fairly low. My preference is thatched roofs, but I haven’t decided on the walls. Please advise!

Kind regards
Denny

 

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Dear Denny
Because of your development’s unusual location on a river island, you will have to plan it all carefully to ensure that it is as practical and functional as possible. Here are some aspects to consider:

  1. Which visitors are you trying to attract?
  2. What activities – fishing, birding, nature walks or boating, for example – will you offer?
  3. Will it be self-catering or will you provide meals?
  4. What are the flood levels of the river?
  5. Have you considered protection against crocodiles and hippos? The houses may also need burglar bars and screens to keep out monkeys and mosquitoes.
  6. How will you expand the development in time?

In the layout, I have shown a basic one-bedroom unit, with a side porch that can be a kitchenette or a second small bedroom. I have also provided a plan for a communal drinking and dining area. This sort of facility is crucial in a tourist development, as it enables guests to socialise in comfort.

Shown too is the lower river end of the island, with possible facilities.

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I suggest that the buildings be rustic but substantial: a simple vertical and horizontal poled structure on a solid foundation, with on-site wall materials and a thatched roof with chicken mesh for monkey-proofing. This is better than a tented unit, which would require more upkeep in the long run.

Give me a call and we can discuss all the options.

Kind regards
Jonno