We could not be happier that our travel agent led us to Chundukwa. If you are looking for an unforgettable and unique experience near Livingstone, look no further. Here is what makes it so special:
THE OWNERS: This is the last "owner-managed" lodge on the Zambezi. Doug and Gail are essentially inviting you into their home and sharing their love for Zambia, nature and wildlife. They were both raised in Zambia (Doug is 4th-generation) and have lived though its history. They are gracious and warm hosts welcoming you each morning and saying goodnight each evening--they live on the premises. You will get to know their friendly dogs and cats. Before dinner, all guests sit around an open fire with cocktails and share backgrounds and stories (the highlight being Doug's and Gail's tales and perspectives on Africa). Meals include their family recipes, with Doug supervising the kitchen. They can also advise on and arrange any activities in the Livingstone area.
THE LODGE: Each room is a large, separate chalet on the bank of the Zambezi. While tastefully appointed and very comfortable (a big canopied bed with mosquito netting, lounge chairs facing the river for sunrise coffee and sunset drinks, a couch and coffee table), this is one of the last (the last?) up-scale lodges on the river to retain the feel of luxury camping in the bush, with the front of each chalet completely open to the river (others have lost that feel by adding glass doors and air-conditioning). They can keep their glass--there is nothing like waking to an open air pastel sunrise and the sounds of hippos, with nothing but a mosquito net separating you from nature. This is the Africa of your dreams.
THE FOOD: The meals were extraordinary. Breakfast is a cook-to-order hot breakfast (with cereals, yoghurt and fruit available). Lunch and dinner are a set menu each day, with beautifully fresh salads, exquisite preparations, sauces and presentations, and incredible desserts. Because of the small size of the lodge, meals times can be adjusted to fit guest schedules. Coffee and drinks are happily delivered to your room for the morning sunrise or evening sunset.
THE STAFF: Doug and Gail have cultivated and trained a wonderful staff, many of whom live in the nearby villages. Amos and Alex were our waiters--they could not have been more friendly, more attentive or more professional. Victor was our river boat guide, having a tremendous knowledge of the wildlife around the river (and a remarkable ability to spot animals on the banks, in the air and in the river). Be sure to take the Make village walk with one of the staff, learning first-hand about the rhythms of the village, meeting locals and seeing where and how they live. Doug and Gail do much to invest in the village, particularly its children.
Chundukwa is one-of-a-kind, thanks in large part (completely?) to its owners and their passion for Africa, its wilderness, its wildlife and its people. Do not pass up the opportunity to experience their world.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chundukwa River Lodge is an African Bush Lodge built on stilts overlooking the Zambezi river. It is beautifully situated with panoramic views of the river - upstream from the Victoria Falls. Offering the best of both worlds - only 30 min from the falls and far enough from Livingstone town to be away from the noise of helicopters and traffic. Essentially perfect for nature and bird lovers and for those who simply want to absorb the best of Africa. There are flights from Johannesburg and Lusaka every day and easy road access from Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. Our private thatched cottage is perfect for those wanting to enjoy a home on the Zambezi. It has 1 double en-suite bedroom, 1 double/twin bedroom and one child's bedroom, a second bathroom, an open plan lounge/kitchen area, shaded patio, deck and rock splash pool. The cottage comes fully staffed with a personal,waiter and house-keeper. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Chundukwa River Hotel Livingstone