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Lower Zambezi National Park Zambia
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About

#1 of 19 Speciality lodging in Lower Zambezi National Park
“Best in Africa” multi-award winning hospitality and guiding - the family owned and operated Chiawa Camp is the original and authentic Lower Zambezi National Park safari.
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Lower Zambezi National Park Zambia
Getting there
Royal Airport13 kmSee all flights
Jeki Airstrip21 kmSee all flights
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288Reviews7Q+A84Room tips
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DS14640 wrote a review 13 Sep
Cockeysville Hunt Valley, Maryland86 contributions26 helpful votes
This camp defines luxury in the bush. The service, food and wildlife sightings are 5 star. Simon the manager is always there to make sure you are taken care of. The guides are the best in the business. Each meal featured 4 courses and always were serviced in a special, romantic spot. We had a meal during a private boat cruise and several in a private location that overlooks the river. Not only were we treated to their normal 5 star service, but because there were only 4 of us there two of the nights and just the 2 of us the final night, we had the staff completely to ourselves, tending to all of our needs. The wildlife around the camps is amazing. Elephants are regularly coming in to camp along with warthogs, etc. Don't let COVID scare you away. Everyone on staff is vaccinated and being in the bush is the safest place you can be! Plus there are very few tourists traveling there now so all of your meals and game drives are done in private. Now is the time to experience Zambia and Chiawa needs to be part of your itinerary!
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Date of stay: August 2021
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Rosnicjay wrote a review 01 Sep
Lusaka, Zambia18 contributions1 helpful vote
We spent 2 fabulous nights at this gem. Arrived and felt like VVIP's from the start. The location is gorgeous and the lodge itself is small and personal. The food is exquisite and nothing is too much trouble. After being welcomed into the lodge and having a delightful lunch, we were escorted to the safari suite which is set apart from the other chalets and is like home away from home. We were blown away by the attention to detail and the luxury of it all. It was so nice that we had all our meals on the private deck by the pool. For a romantic getaway it was top class, then add in there the activities and it will be a safari to remember fondly. All in all a top destination getaway where you will be attended to with great hospitality and the extra mile!
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Date of stay: August 2021
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AmericanTraveller55 wrote a review Jul 2021
Wilmington, Delaware37 contributions7 helpful votes
Undoubtedly 5 Star. Lovely spot on the banks of the Zambezi. Food and service excellent. Guiding and wildlife very good. Great team. Keep up the good work and I wish you all the best. Would love to return.
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Date of stay: June 2021
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Room Tip: All the tents are well positioned and offer privacy.
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Judy L wrote a review Jul 2021
Los Altos Hills, CA1613 contributions145 helpful votes
+1
Chiawa was a large and very luxurious camp right on the Zambezi. We had chosen it for the variety of activities, and it definitely delivered on that Every day at Chiawa was like a movie with a story. Even as we were landing at the Jeki airstrip, there were elephants on the runway, and as soon as we got on the jeep, we saw a big breeding herd wallowing in mud. The area was filled with elephants and hippos and we ended up spending quite a bit of time dodging both. We arrived by boat and our room was huge and gorgeous with multiple sitting areas, 2 showers (one indoor and one outdoor) and a big bath tub. We can see animals right from our room, including some elephants who detained us in our room for a little while before lunch. Chiawa was a more formal camp than our usual choices. Meals were generally not communal (not sure if this is due to COVID) and both lunch and dinner were coursed out. That said, the camp served meals in all sorts of delightful settings, each a little happy surprise. Our guide was Chris, another 20+ year veteran, who was also the camp activities director (?). He came by at lunch to go over all the activity options. Since we only had 3 days and wanted to do everything, we opted to go for a boat cruise, do some finishing and a night drive back to camp on our first afternoon. Having never fished before, we were extremely inept. The fishing soon turned into drinking while we enjoyed the scenery. After the sundowner it was time for our night drive when the first action movie occurred. We started hearing baboon alarm calls and Chris soon spotted a leopard. There were also impala alarm calls in front of us, and another jeep said there was another leopard a short distance away. We decided to keep following “our” leopard until some hyenas came along and the leopard ran away. While we were parked trying to figure out what to do, a big male impala sprinted out of a bush, with hyenas at its heel, and smacked into the side of our truck. We were so lucky that the truck had doors, or our spotter Fraser would have been toast! Minutes later the hyenas succeeded in killing the poor impala, and started calling other members of the clan, and we saw 10 hyenas feeding. It was a bit like watching wild dogs interact with all the behavioral rituals, for example, how the submissive males (much smaller than the females) had to screech and beg for food. It was the first time we’ve seen hyena pack feeding like this. Super interesting. Next day we decided go canoeing followed by a night drive. Drifting along the Zambezi in a canoe was serene unless we had to dodge hippos – then it was a bit nerve wracking. However, Chris and Fraser were very skilled canoers and kept us safe. As we neared the end of the channel, we started hearing baboon alarm calls again, and Chris thought there was a leopard in a tree, but it turned out to be a young male lion with an impala kill. He was harassed by elephants and we got a brief glimpse of him from the water as he ran away. At the end of our canoe trip, we hopped in our waiting vehicle and soon found him hiding. Unlike South Luangwa, there were guests at Chiawa and other camps, and this was our first multiple-vehicle sighting for the entire trip. Since we couldn’t really see the lion, we decided to go have our sundowner instead. When we returned, the lion had moved into the open. We watched him for a while and Chris said we should go check out the stomach of the impala to see if it attracts other animals. For examples, crocodiles often enjoy this particular delicacy. Just as he finished his sentence, we saw a huge crocodile with the stomach in its jaws right in front of our jeep, crossed the road, and scurried into the bushes. 5 seconds earlier or later we wouldn’t have seen it. Again, it was like a movie, and I have pictures to prove that this really happened! On the way back to camp, we saw a bunch of lights, and Chris said they were illegal campers. But instead, we were surprised with a barbeque dinner under the stars. We have always loved looking at the southern sky and the Milky Way, so the dinner was extra special. On our third day, we had another mini-documentary movie. Again, we saw another vehicle and were pointed to a lioness with 3 very small cubs – maybe only 2-3 weeks ago. We found them walking with Mom in the open. All three cubs were struggling, but one fell behind and couldn’t keep up. He started mewling but the Mom just kept going and left him behind. It was really pitiful as it couldn’t possibly survive on its own. We followed the Mom and the 2 cubs for quite some time off road and found a sister lioness with a slightly older cub next to waterbuck kill. The first Mom had been leading the 2 cubs to food and safety. As soon as she dropped off the two cubs, she headed right back out, presumably to find the other cub. It’s tough being a mother of three! This story did have a happy ending: when we went back in the afternoon, all cubs were accounted for. That night, the camp surprised us again with a private dinner on the river, just us. We would radio and the staff would bring our next course. It was lovely to have dinner by ourselves on the last night of our trip. Since our flight doesn’t leave until early afternoon, we were able to go on another game drive in the morning and watched the cubs some more. On our way back, the camp radioed that they saw a big male lion while working on the road. They stayed with the lion so we can find it easily, and gave us the first and only male lion sighting of our trip. This was typical of “above and beyond” service we received at Chiawa. Everything was meticulously arranged to maximize guest enjoyment. Truly a first-rate operation!
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Date of stay: June 2021
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Indium49 wrote a review Jun 2021
Lubbock, Texas61 contributions21 helpful votes
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There can not be a more beautiful arrival at a lodge in Africa, than your arrival at Chiawa. You are met at the “airport” by a guide for a short drive to the Zambezi where you will take your boat the camp. Set right on the banks of the Zambezi, you will think you’ve arrived in heaven when you see Chiawa. We stayed in the Safari Suite which was completely private with every amenity you can think of, including a huge deck and a plunge pool. A very, very special treat. I had a look at the other newly rebuilt cabins, and they are gorgeous as well, all with beautiful views directly over the Zambezi. Everything else at Chiawa lives up to your initial impression. The staff are all genuinely warm and friendly and delightful to visit with. The activities are fantastic. Our game drives with Moses were outstanding. We saw elephants, lions, impala, kudu, warthogs, buffalo, porcupines, genet, civit, and more birds than we could count. And we saw two bush pigs!!!! Wonderful sightings with the bush pig in full view close to the vehicle for several minutes. Canoeing is not to be missed. There is nothing like gliding through a channel off the Zambezi with animals and birds coming down to drink as you pass by. Also, there are more special surprises in store for you than you can imagine, but I don’t want to spoil them for anyone who goes. We had another fantastic stay. (We’ve been here 5 times). Thanks to all of our old Chiawa friends Moses, Joshua, Simon, Boaz, Nobby, and our new friends as well. For those with Covid concerns, Chiawa will put you at ease. It is very spread out with more than enough room for social distancing. Our temperature was taken when we arrived. Hand sanitizer was plentiful and the staff all wore masks. We were greeted with hand sanitizer after every game drives. All of the staff were also vaccinated. Africa is the place to be if you have Covid concerns. They have taken things really seriously and are waiting with open arms, socially distanced of course. Thank you to all our Chiawa friends. We’ll be back.
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Date of stay: May 2021
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Response from Grant Cumings, Owner at Chiawa Camp
Responded 08 Jun 2021
Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback and of course, not only for visiting us again but for traveling during such uncertain times. It was our pleasure to welcome you back and help you enjoy the gorgeous Lower Zambezi National Park as much as ever, whilst keeping you safe from this unwelcome virus. We look forward to welcoming you back in hopefully not too long from now.
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LOCATION
ZambiaLusaka ProvinceLower Zambezi National Park
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Frequently Asked Questions about Chiawa Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Chiawa Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a pool.
What food & drink options are available at Chiawa Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Chiawa Camp?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Chiawa Camp have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Chiawa Camp offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Chiawa Camp have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the river view available here.