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Reviewed 24 May 2017 via mobile

We have just returned home from Zambia where we went on our honeymoon and we stayed 4 nights at Chundukwa river lodge.

Chundukwa felt like home to us from the first day we arrived and we felt so relaxed, comfortable and at ease. It was perfect. I can honestly say that there is not one thing that we feel could have been better or improved in anyway. It was intimate and authentic and had a lot of Character and charm.

The rooms were incredible with a breath taking view over the river. The grounds so clean and tidy. The food.....WOW is all I can say about the food. It felt like we were fine dinning every night and I was blown away with the quality of the food and perfect mix of flavours with every meal.

The lodge is run by Gail and Doug, with help from Alison. Doug was not there whilst we were staying but Gail was so lovely and her hospitality and kindness really made our stay at Chundukwa unique.Alison was also extremely helpful throughout.

There are lots of activities to keep you entertained at the lodge. we did a trip to the falls, horse riding, canoeing on the Zambezi, sunset cruises, all which were organised by Gail and Alison very promptly and without us having to worry about anything. The beautiful grounds and views at the lodge also provide the perfect environment if you wish to relax.

Chundukwa will hold a special place in our hearts and was a trip which we will never forget. We are so glad that we chose Chundukwa for our honeymoon. You will not be disappointed.

Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Hayley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chundukwa, Owner at Chundukwa River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 May 2017

It was our pleasure having you to stay and we were sad to say goodbye. Finding the perfect place to stay on your honeymoon can be tricky and we are delighted to hear it went so well. We hope you will be back some day and until then we wish you both a very special and fulfilling life together.

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Reviewed 26 April 2017

We spent 3 wonderful nights at Chundukwa Lodge. The rooms are so beautifully tranquil with incredible views that we didn't want to venture out. Built on stilts overlooking the Zambezi River. Coffee was brought to our room every morning. My special dietary requirements were well taken care of. Best Gluten free bread I've ever tasted. Doug and his staff are very accommodating. Wifi in lounge area. On previous trips we have stayed at more up market Hotels and lodges and I have to admit we will be returning here. The previous TripAdvisor reviews have covered everything so not much more I can add other than it's definitely worth a visit.

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Lee Calitz C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chundukwa, Owner at Chundukwa River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2017

Doug is an amazing cook and is responsible for our menu at Chundukwa! As we do not get to make gluten free bread all that often, he was delighted to hear that you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding the lodge. It means a great deal to us as you have travelled so extensively in Africa and so have a lot of first hand experience. We hope you will be back this way again soon.

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Reviewed 6 April 2017

This is a wonderful place to stay while visiting Victoria Falls. Doug and Gail are great hosts, the food is outstanding and the lodges extending out over the River are outstanding. Trips to see wildlife are available as well as boat trips on the Zambezi River.

Room Tip: House back from the river good for families
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chundukwa, Owner at Chundukwa River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2017

Many of our guests arrive at Chundukwa as result of 'word of mouth' recommendations and newly made friends who share with their friends....and to this end we are very grateful to have engaged with a community whose wish to take in the best of Zambia and what we have to offer, makes it so special to be a part of. To your band of friends who bravely stepped forth from their tidy worlds in the west to our African Bush Lodge, sharing good food and company whilst enjoying the beautiful views of the river...thank you! We hope you will be back one day.

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Reviewed 26 March 2017

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.

Room Tip: All rooms are on the river.
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank pmichalski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chundukwa, Owner at Chundukwa River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2017

With such precious little time, you proved to anyone how much there is to experience at the lodge and in Livingstone in such a short time! We love supporting our guests to make the most of their stay...to imbibe the culture and way of life here in an authentic way plus experience nature up close and very comfortably. We sincerely thank you for taking the time to write such an in-depth review on your experiences of Chundukwa and together with your new friends at the school and our village soccer team, we really appreciate your support and care so look forward to having you return one day soon.

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Reviewed 16 February 2017

Owner-run has transformed this unique lodge from lovely to superb. We have enjoyed a number of visits to Chundukwa in the past, but our most recent visit was especially memorable, now that Gail & Doug have taken over running of the lodge and added their special touch.

Gail excels in the quiet way she interacts with guests with her knowledge of Zambia and, those lucky enough to stay a few days, experience the Zambezi River in a unique way. It is rather difficult to describe, other than a good balance of being close to nature and at the same time having the comfort of a well-run intimate lodge. Comparing value for money, Chundukwa is an amazing option.

Gail is extremely helpful with organizing activities along the Zambezi and transfers to and from the lodge for any of these. One gets the feeling that the Zambezi is her heaven and she loves to help people experience it for themselves.

The relaxed comfort and being close to nature in the individual en-suite, open-fronted chalets that nestle in the riverine forest at the very edge of the water, is an experience not often found in other places. With full nets that have walking space around the beds, one is well protected from mosquitos and there are fans in each chalet for summer nights. Raised above the edge of the river on wooden stilts and with uninterrupted views due to the design of each chalet, one can gaze across the vast, restful expanse of the Zambezi from ones bed, listening to the dawn chorus of the varied birds and hearing hippo snorts echo across the river. It’s a thrill to hear hippo as they launch themselves back into the water with a splash and a grunt in the early hours of the morning.

All the meals at Chundukwa were absolutely delicious, well presented and made with the freshest of ingredients sourced locally and served with care at the edge of the river or in the open-sided dining area with full view of the river.

For a keen birder, as I am, it is a delight to have such unusually frequent sightings of the shy African Finfoot as he or she glides gracefully in and out of the reed beds below the chalets and often silently out into the open water. It is here, that I witnessed the bird propelling itself vertically out of the water to snatch at tasty spiders hanging from low branches and then flop back to the water, sounding like a fish jumping – quite incredible.

The informal garden of ponds and lawns and the small plunge pool are relaxing places to unwind, listen to nature and cool down or read a book after a day of sightseeing. It is here that I have had amazing bird sightings: a pair of Pell’s Fishing Owls spent a day in one of the tall trees above the lawn, numerous Orange Breasted Shrike families flitting and calling in the trees above the ponds and a nesting Paradise Fly Catcher, amongst many other wonderful birds.

An ideal way to end the day at Chundukwa, is by taking the evening sunset cruise which often includes getting close to the opposite side of the river. One often finds crocodiles and shore birds on the banks or can get closer to hippo pods. As the sun sinks and the sky turns red, the small 4 to 6-seater boat stops in a tranquil place. Wine is poured, beers are cracked and another Zambezi sunset calms the mind and ends an awesome day as the boat glides back to the lodge just before dusk.

Being a small intimate lodge close to nature, this place is good for the soul.

Room Tip: Each chalet has wonderful river views.
  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank vmj306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chundukwa, Owner at Chundukwa River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 April 2017

Thank you for sharing our little piece of heaven with us and indeed for translating your experiences into words so elegantly. Being in nature and on a river....comfortably, is what we are about and are privileged to share. Thank you for coming and we hope to see you again soon. Best wishes from all of us.

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