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Chongwe River Camp

Chongwe River Camp

Chongwe River Camp is set under a canopy of winter thorn trees on the confluence of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers, with fantastic views of both waterways and out towards the rugged escarpment. A pod of hippos lives in the Chongwe River just in front of the lodge, and crocodiles laze on the opposite riverbank alongside storks, herons and geese, while a resident fish eagle is often seen swooping down into the river to catch its lunch. A wide variety of other birdlife can be found in the trees around the lodge, and elephants often meander down to the river for a drink during the day, coming into camp to feast on the dropped seed pods. The nine tents and two suites offer a tranquil place to stay and your private veranda is the perfect place to watch the wildlife. In the afternoon, guests can relax in the comfy seating areas in the centre of the camp or by the pool.

Our rating: First Class

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Rooms

Chongwe’s nine safari tents face directly on to the river and consist of large, comfortable mulati tents, covered by thatched roofs, with a large, partially open-air private bathroom at the rear. All tents have outdoor seating to enjoy the majestic scenery.

The Cassia Suite is a standalone unit that is perfect for honeymoon couples, or those looking for a little exclusivity on their safari. Tucked away from the rest of the camp, this suite has a tented lounge area, separate bedroom and a private plunge pool.

The Albida Suite comprises two en suite deluxe bedrooms, with a shared lounge/dining area and pool. It is an ideal option for families with older children, or two couples, and has the option of private guiding.

Location

Occupying an exclusive location at the meeting of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers, the camp boasts endless views and a wide variety of local wildlife on the doorstep, all set against a dramatic backdrop of mountains. Just a 15-minute game drive from the nearest airstrip, the camp is easily accessible but still maintains a remote and wild feel.

Food and drink

Making use of local ingredients and always fresh, tasty meals are eaten al fresco on the banks of the river or under the starry night skies. Guests dine as a group, swapping stories and enjoying sundowners together. Buffet breakfasts and lunches are served between game drives, and snacks are plenty whilst out in the bush. 

Families

Guests aged 8 and over are welcome at Chongwe River Camp, and the two-bedroom Albida Suite is ideal for a family stay. 

Facilities and activities

Activities from the lodge include game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles, walking safaris, boat cruises along the Zambezi, canoe trips along the beautiful Chongwe River and tiger fishing under a 'catch and release' policy. Back at camp, there is a wildlife hide, ideal for photographers to capture amazing memories. There is also the option to ‘Sleepout under stars’ close to camp. 

Environmental and social responsibility

A small fee from each stay goes toward two major Responsible Tourism schemes that Chongwe are actively involved in. The first is a construction project to ensure that as many children as possible are able to attend the only local high school, which has suffered from a serious shortage of classroom space. The other is a community and conservation project that protects wildlife looks to prevent hunting and poaching in areas of land just outside the Lower Zambezi National Park.

Our opinion

The lodge is in a fantastic location, with great views on all sides. The staff and managers are very friendly, and the place is imbued with a lovely and relaxed atmosphere. With game passing through the lodge, this is perhaps not a place for the very nervous, but it is certainly one of our favourites.

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