But the pair were forced to abandon the project when Ruth, now 32, flew back to the UK to give birth to baby girl Indianna.
They returned to Africa, opening Pinnon Lodges last year and realising ex-British Army officer Lyndon’s dream of living in the African bush. The couple’s journey was filmed for Channel 4’s Our Wildest Dreams programme.
“I can’t explain why, but I was really up for it. I think my saying ‘Yes, let’s go’ really spurred Lyndon on. A few weeks later we were in Zambia registering Pinnon Lodges.
“However, hauling myself up off a mattress on the floor was getting harder and harder. If I wanted a bath I sat in a large washing up tub with water I had boiled over a fire.”
When baby Indianna was born, dad Lyndon flew back to Zambia to complete the chalets. The couple accepted their first guests in autumn 2016.
“It was amazing finally welcoming guests to the lodge, almost surreal,” said Ruth. “We have been really lucky.”
However, tragedy struck last November after a catastrophic fire burnt down their lodge’s restaurant and kitchen: “A gas canister exploded and since the building was thatched within minutes it was all gone. It’s incredible no one was injured considering the size of the fire and the amount of gas and fuel that ignited.”
In the Channel 4 show, ex-Rifles officer Lyndon, 35, said: “This time three years ago I’d come back from operations and you were a teacher. It just goes to show if you’ve got the drive and determination you can just do anything really.”
The couple now have a second child, Ivy, just seven weeks old.