Lodge style Jewel of Zambezi
First class safari
Located inside the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia and overlooking Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools, is this owner run Chiawa Camp. Founders Dave and Jenny Cumings have a great commitment to the bush, Lower Zambezi, the surrounding communities and wildlife. They love to share this with you as a guest. Together with management-couple Ashley and Tara Row, who are just as passionate about offering their guests a first class experience, you too, may find yourself returning to this camp again and again. What makes it so special? Resting peacefully on the banks of the Zambezi River in a grove of mahogany and acacia trees, Chiawa Camp has one of the most beautiful river locations in Zambia, where elephants and buffalo wander freely. Trained to the highest of standards, the competent guides – they are among the best Africa has to offer - will show you the ways of the wild, while always looking out for your safety and comfort. The guides have a great eye for detail, spotting fresh tracks of leopard, amazing birds or even the rare Pangolin. Not only the guides care for details, the staff won’t miss an opportunity to pamper you either. Without giving away all the surprises, dinner might be served at some unexpected and ‘wildly’ beautiful locations during your stay…
At Chiawa Camp no effort has been spared to provide you with a truly luxurious, authentic safari experience in the nine superior tents. Raised above the ground on wooden decks, the inviso-screening insect-proof tents include canvas flysheets, solar powered lighting and en-suite facilities. The bathrooms have recently been upgraded to include a larger, more expansive indoor shower, including a roll top ball and claw slipper bath (with views over the grounds), indoor and outdoor shower and his and hers washbasins. The king bed (or two large single beds) is a perfect spot to lay your weary safari-heads at night while the mosquito net keeps you protected from the small critters. Wake up to a fresh coffee, enjoyed while sitting on your private verandah that commands uninterrupted views over the Zambezi River. The main camp areas are constructed mainly of natural materials comprising of a large open bar and lounge that overlooks the Zambezi River, an elevated observation deck above the lounge with a telescope, a separate dining area, an outdoor boma for starlit evenings and a swimming pool (large enough for some laps) with sun loungers. If you are a Cross Fit enthusiast - and want to exercise off the abundance of excellent food – there is a gym waiting for you. However you enjoy your time at the camp, there’s simply no way to be bored in between safari activities.
Activities at Chiawa Camp
Chiawa Camp offers a lot of activities aside from the traditional vehicle safaris, but let’s start with those. The vehicles no longer have canopies, as they interfere with the views of trees and birds during the day and the stars at night (this makes photographing easier, too). Leave the camp in the early morning and return before brunch, halting for a mid-morning coffee stop in the middle of the bush. As mentioned before, your highly skilled guide will point out interesting details as if by magic: a flick of a tail here, a curve of an ear there, a movement. If you opt in for a game drive in the afternoon, you will depart after a scrumptious high tea and stop at sunset for sundowners: amazing cocktails coming from the ‘mobile bush bar’. After drinks, an expert tracker assisting the guide switches on a red filtered spotlight and looks for the nocturnal creatures on a night drive. Even the vehicle’s headlights are red filtered, as this type of light reduces discomfort for both animals and you. Besides game drives, there are daily canoe trips, fishing (try your luck at snagging a whopper of a tiger fish), walking safaris and sunset cruises. Or you can just hunker down and observe the numerous animals that walk right through the main camp area. Stay once and you will likely return to Chiawa Camp.
Tripadvisor comments Chiawa Camp
Chiawa sets high standards for hospitality, accommodation, comfort and food, but the game viewing and bird watching does not take second place. During our short stay we had good sightings including Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and were incredibly fortunate to see a Pangolin in daylight. Our river cruise on the last morning was quite amazing and produced the best bird watching we have had in Africa. Everything works so well thanks to the dedicated guides and camp personnel under the direction of Peter and Anita.PeakTravellers12 from Bakewell, UK
Others have already shared many of the same things we did. The rating doesn't go high enough for the truly excellent staff who make the camp so exceptional! The activities are wonderful, the animals are plentiful and the food is delicious. Everything was outstanding.DeniseH216 from Des Moines, Iowa
The game viewing is spectacular. We saw lions and leopards every day and it seemed like there was a herd of elephants around every turn. Each drive or boat ride was filled with amazing sightings: hippos, cape buffalo, civets, genets, porcupines, kudo and much more.cathieski from San Diego