About us – The Mukambi Family
In 2002 Edjan and Robyn van der Heide decided to switch their comfortable but predictable life style from The Netherlands to Zambia. Robyn was born in Africa and had always longed to go back and Edjan felt like Zambia could still offer real adventure… and adventure is what they got…
They moved to the biggest National Park in Africa which was a six hour drive over bad roads to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. There were no neighbours within a couple of hours’ drive so they were all by themselves! A Dutch television producer visited Mukambi and decided it was worth filming their life style and all the trials and tribulations of running a safari lodge. The result was a two-year Dutch television series, called ‘From Amstelveen to Zambia’.
When they moved to Zambia their two eldest children, Eva and Ellen were 4 and 3 years old. The move was not difficult for them as they learned to speak English within 3 months of living in Zambia. In 2002 their youngest daughter Lara was born in Livingstone, close to the Victoria Falls (her full name is Lara Victoria).
The family lived and managed Mukambi Safari Lodge for 5 years and during that time the children were home-schooled. It was a great time for the kids to grow up in the biggest National Park of Africa with pets like warthogs, impalas and bush buck. When their 2 eldest daughters Eva and Ellen moved to The Netherlands to Study Edjan and Robyn moved back to the lodge full time. Lara remained in town with someone to look after her.
Edjan says: “We still enjoy the life we chose and never regretted the big step of moving to Zambia. For the next few years we also want to further improve the quality of life of the local people through the Mukambi Community School and to conserve Kafue National Park for the next generations.