It has been a long road, as our friends and family will agree, but we are very excited that our dream of The Island life is finally becoming reality. And with no time to lose, as the youngest Young is arriving soon! For those who haven’t yet been lucky enough to visit, The Island is a secret jungle paradise in the heart of the Zambezi River. Hidden in the middle of the Katambora rapids and accessible only by dugout canoe, it’s a lost world of palm trees, orchids and white sand beaches. Bart first came to the island back in 1998 when it was home to the famous Jungle Junction, run by David, Brett and Gremlin, and he’s been coming back ever since.
Bart’s first passion has always been wildlife and nature. For as long as Bart can remember, it’s been his dream to one day open his own safari camp as a way of sharing this passion with others. His career as a ranger, safari guide and lodge builder has taken him all over the wild places of Southern Africa, but The Island has always had a special place in his heart.
Since Jungle Junction moved downstream to another island in 2000, Bart has long had the idea of putting a lodge on the original island, which over the years has returned to nature. The final seed was sown during a conversation at our wedding in 2012 at the Old Bridge Backpackers, Maun, and The Island dream was finally born. To make a home on for himself and his new family, and to build an eco-lodge where friends old and new could come to stay and experience the magic.
Later that year, Bart went into partnership with Richard Sheppard, experienced in the tourism business in Livingstone. Since then it has been a long and winding road, but Bart has kept the dream alive. Bart took me to The Island for the first time and I also fell in love with the place. Since then we’ve been coming to The Island as often as possible for weekends away and special celebrations, always with friends in tow.
Now we are very exited to be finally making The Island dream a reality, and what better way than with a little help from our friends, old and new…