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“A very special place right on the Zambezi”

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Chundukwa River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 May 2017

Recommended by our son who honeymooned here, we decided to commence our Zambian tour at Chundukwa. What a good choice we made.

Although we lived in Africa for many years we found this charming small lodge to have the sort of peace and tranquility that is so sadly missing in many modern day resorts and lodges.

Previous postings on Tripadvisor cover all the superlatives, and they are not exaggerated.

The rooms are exceptional and evidently the only ones on the Zambezi that have open windows so you can see and hear all the water activity all through the night in the comfort and security of a 5 star stilted bedroom over the river. Mosquito nets , which are in good condition, keep you free of bugs.

Excellent food, good housekeeping, friendly staff, and knowlegible guides for land or water based wildlife watching are all here but what is difficult to adequately describe is the general tenor and ethos of Chundukwa.

The lodge is privately owned and run and our host Gail (her partner Doug was away at the time of our visit) exudes a warmth towards all her guests that is infectious and it permeates through all the staff. She is more than just an expert in wildlife, it is her life. Sitting around the fire with her and other guests after supper was one of the great joys of our entire holiday listening to and discussing so many different strands of wildlife and game conservancy.

Evidently Chundukwa has a very high level of repeat business which is not surprising. It attracts all ages of clientele.

There was not a lot of game around the lodge during our visit, but we did go to see the white rhinos nearby as well as seeing hippos and crocs in the river. Also we heard lion and saw other game on the Zimbabwe side of the river. Being the tail end of the rainy season meant that little game came through the lodge to the water but this changes as the dry season progresses.

This is the place to stay if you want to relax in good company in a tranquil idyllic riverside spot within close distance of Victoria Falls.

There is nothing we would change at Chundukwa. A perfect start to our holiday.

Room Tip: All the rooms have exceptional positional view over the Zambezi
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  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank GIW2014
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

It's so hard to respond to review like that! Except to say 'thank you' for reaffirming to us what we so hope all our guests would experience during their stay with us.
It means the world to us. Thank you!

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11 - 15 of 182 reviews

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
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  • 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.
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  • 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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Additional Information about Chundukwa River Lodge

Address: Kazungula Road, Livingstone 20100, Zambia (Formerly Chundukwa Tree Lodge)
Region: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 86 Speciality Lodging in Livingstone
Price Range: HK$3,959 - HK$11,213 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
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 
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Also Known As:
Chundukwa River Hotel Livingstone

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