“I was a London-based lawyer for 20 years before I realised that I needed more out of life,” Lynne began her tale of owning Zigzag Lodge.
A peach-salmon paint coloured the surrounding outside high walls, protecting the lush gardens from intruding elephants. “But the baboons get in quite easily,” she adds.
Zigzag isn’t just a place to stay with your usual friendly and accommodating staff (who’ll carry your bags to and from your room). It’s not just a place to relax in the luscious green gardens, swinging on the double-sized hammock or escaping the day’s heat in the pool.
And it’s not just a place to enjoy a fantastically tasting dish (I recommend the pizzas) or a fruit smoothie or even a cold beer.
It’s a place to really enjoy the peaceful serenity of Livingstone, while at the same time, helping out with Lynne’s charitable causes.
“46% of Zambian children are stunted according to the UN,” Lynne lays down the facts she had discovered. “Meaning, that they are underdeveloped and lack the nutritional needs that we in the western world take for granted. And this is the future generation of Zambia.”
So Lynne, using her own financial means, went about to set up a charity in the UK, Life Begins Helping Children, which operates in Livingstone, Zambia in Africa, helping to improve the lives of disadvantaged, orphaned and vulnerable children.
As well as feeding 107 children twice a day, it runs a preschool and day care center in a very poor part of town and also conduct after school reading and sports groups. “Just to give them something a bit more out of life,” Lynne says with a blissful smile.
Funds are raised via private philanthropists, friends and the occasional guests that hear Lynne’s story.
“We’re a small charity, set up and run by friends with minimal admin costs,” she explains. “We’re doing our best to make a small difference by caring for children who have difficult circumstances – improving their current conditions and giving them hope for a better future.”
And as there is minimal admin costs it also means that the money raised goes straight to the kids benefits rather than spending 80% of it (like the larger charities do) on advertising and marketing.
Zigzag is a very welcoming and homey kind of place and the fact that Lynne is so dedicated to helping out with the local community makes it an even more special kind of place to spend your days in Livingstone.
And who knows, maybe an elephant might pop in for a visit during your stay.