Travelling Zambia — the zen like Prana in Livingstone

Sara Drawwater
6 April 2011
After flying to Livingstone from Lusaka,

My travelling Zambia seriesThis is the **fifth** article in a series about my 2010 experiences travelling in Zambia. If you haven’t had a chance to read earlier articles here’s the beginning.

After flying to Livingstone from Lusaka, Prana is our first Livingstone destination. I later found out that Prana means zen inspired relaxation and having stayed there I understand why. We arrive by taxi after an unpromising start. The first taxi driver we ask about Prana is positively confused. In the end after causing a bit of a stir we meet Frank the taxi man. Frank knows where Prana is so the taxi drivers swap clients. Frank explained that Prana is a new place to stay in Livingstone and not many of the local taxi drivers know about it yet. Frank is very competent, clean cut and holds a good conversation. We decide to keep his number.

But back to Prana. This divinely peaceful place is five minutes on the tar road toward Victoria Falls then a rather bumpy 15 minute ride on dirt track. I explain to my guests that we have arrived just after the rainy season and all roads will be rather worse for ware until the graders get a chance to smooth them out (though this does not always happen)! On arrival we are met by Funwell. We already know we have the cottage to ourselves and that Beverly who owns Prana is away. Funwell proudly gives us a grand tour and assigns us our rooms.

Prana is homely. It is simple in a good way — the kind of simple that does not try too hard. The cottage greets you with beautiful open space and the swathing afternoon light makes the bedrooms so beautifully appealing. It is hot. The pool is the most inviting a pool has ever looked and swimwear goes on all round! It’s surrounding is patterned red brick with a cobbled effect. There is a relaxing zen like themed garden next to the pool that will be great when it matures. You can tell that this is a fairly new place to stay in Livingstone but the attention to detail is already present — someone has even taken the time to rake patterns in the soil. The best way to describe Prana is that in the scale of things it is a tiny cut out of the forest. It is compact but not cramped, perhaps a reflection of the eco theme running through the heart of this place. It’s like the owners didn’t want to scar the forest. There is a definite air of reverence about how Prana sits encased, almost protected in the surrounding forest.

Prana is just three tents and a cottage with a beautiful outside pit fire place — my resting place every evening! The huge hammock like but wooden ‘swing thing’ is like the cherry on top for outside relaxation. In the morning as the sun came through the trees, the leaves played a dappling dance of shadows across my book while the birds held excitable conversation up above. In the afternoon heat the trees provide much needed shade. And in the evening you can doze by the fire, stare into it (a habit of mine) or look up at the startlingly clear sky with its blanket of stars.

Prana comes complete with a labelled herb garden for self caterers and a yoga room with a viewing point upstairs. There’s not much to be seen from the viewing point apart from the tree canopy and blue skies but I’m sure if you had more patience than I, (and better binoculars), that this would make an excellent bird watching point. It is also a great place to stop, think and meditate, a place to rest your thoughts in the quiet.

This was a perfect start to our Livingstone stay. We wanted a place far from the madding crowd which we could use as a base on our own terms. Prana is one of those amazing places that is small enough to book out entirely, an excellent idea for long weekends and gatherings of family and friends (complete with BBQ/brai area with a spit roast). As well as the cottage there are three luxury safari tents a stones throw away. Prana is perfectly relaxing. There is no sound of modern living here. Just birds, insects, the pools mini fountain and in between all that, ah, well silence. That, was blissful.

*My travelling Zambia series**This is the **fifth** article in a series about my 2010 experiences travelling in Zambia.*

1: Travelling Zambia — the beginning2: Travelling Zambia — Heathrow to Lusaka3: Travelling Zambia — our Lusaka arrival4: Travelling Zambia — tribal accommodation5: **Travelling Zambia — the zen like Prana in Livingstone**6: Travelling Zambia — the human mind at night in Africa

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