Spa of the week: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma, Zambia

Hidden away in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, on the banks of the Zambezi River, Sanctuary’s Sussi and Chuma retreat in Zambia is a little-known tranquil hideaway.

With rooms perched atop stilts and visitors including monkeys, warthogs, impala and elephants, Sussi and Chuma is a wildlife lover’s haven with an excellent spa offering too.

Famous for:

The positioning of the lodge, on the corner of a dramatic bend of the Zambezi River, means its location is unparalleled. In the heart of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, with Zimbabwe just across the river, the spa hut is located near the river’s edge where the rush of the river acts as your soothing soundtrack. During my treatment, I saw a warthog through the shutters and heard a bloat of hippos nattering away as they lazed in the river.

(Sanctuary Retreats)

The treatment:

Walking down the stairs to the resort’s elevated spa, it’s worth spending a moment taking in the stunning scenery. With the Zambezi River as a backdrop, it’s not unusual to spot the ears of a hippo slink underwater or see a crocodile lying in the sun on the riverbank.

The spa at Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma is located in a small one-room hut on the river’s edge and has a surprisingly extensive treatment list. Facials, massages and body wraps are all on offer here and your therapist will help you determine the treatment that is most suited to your needs.

(Sanctuary Retreats)

Opting for a facial my therapist, Malala, talked me through what it would entail and asked if I wanted a scalp or foot massage when the mask was applied. Opting for the former, Malala began by cleansing, exfoliating and toning my skin using Africology products. Made with healing essences from South Africa’s indigenous plants, including Rooibos, Aloe Ferox, Marula and African Potato, the Africology range is natural, organic and chemical-free.

Once the mask was applied, Malala performed the aforementioned scalp massage, so soothing it was hard to not drift off to sleep. The treatment ended with the application of deeply moisturising Africology serums and a calming facial massage.


A soothing treatment set among equally tranquil surroundings.

(Sanctuary Retreats)

You’ll leave felling …

Relaxed and refreshed with glowing and dewy skin. Be sure to book your appointment for mid-afternoon so the only thing left on your itinerary is to head back to your room and sit on your balcony with a view of the Zambezi, accompanied by a troop of monkeys swinging in the nearby trees and a tipple from your complimentary mini bar


Rooms from $434 per night inclusive of room, meals and selected activities. Spa treatment prices on request,


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