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Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 4


- Superb national park location
- Imposing colonial-style accommodation
- Excellent wildlife viewing

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The Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge is a stylish and welcoming high-end property offering superb comfort levels and excellent facilities in a beautiful bush setting within South Luangwa National Park, eastern Zambia. A two hour transfer from Mfuwe airport, the luxurious lodge sits proudly amidst woodland on the crest of a hill, with fantastic views across the National Park. Admittedly there’s a fairly high price tag, but the lodge provides a unique and historic base from which to explore the vibrant surroundings. The region is renowned for its excellent wildlife viewing, and is home to large numbers of hippo and elephant, along with leopard, lion, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, crocodile, and prolific birdlife.

Originally home to a Zambian president, the main building boasts imposing colonial-style architecture. The elegant guest areas comprise a spacious and airy lounge with a large fireplace and comfortable period furniture, a bar area, a formal dining room, and a small boutique. Wi-Fi is available throughout. Outside, sweeping veranda and lawn areas lead to a large, inviting swimming pool with outstanding views across the valley and the Luangwa River below. Delicious, three-course plated dinners are frequently served alfresco, at communal tables beside the campfire.

Activities focus on day and night game drives, and walking safaris with expert guides, plus birdwatching and bush dinners.

The accommodation comprises ten well-appointed Victorian style suites with double or twin four-poster beds fitted with mosquito nets, comfortable lounge areas, and ensuite bathrooms. All suites come with air conditioning, mini bar, and safe. The spacious bathrooms comprise a luxurious freestanding roll-top bath and separate shower, along with twin washbasins, and a flush toilet. French doors lead from the bedroom onto an attractive private terrace with breath-taking views.

The lodge welcomes children and demonstrates a high level of flexibility towards families. Two interconnecting suites are available, and one additional bed can be provided per suite, with any child under 16 required to share accommodation with parents. Child menus, flexible meal times, and a babysitting service are also available. There’s a dedicated children’s activity programme which includes animal tracking in the grounds, making camp fires, marshmallow toasting, and handicrafts. For safari activities, families with children under five years of age are required to book a private vehicle, whilst under 12s may participate in game drives at the discretion of the lodge manager. There is also a minimum age restriction of 12 years for walking safaris, but the lovely pool and engaging child-specific activities will ensure that younger family members are kept well entertained.

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 501 reviews


  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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