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Chongwe River House

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

Highlights

- Exclusive use
- Unique design and luxurious decor
- Abundant wildlife
- Chongwe Safaris Portfolio

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Overview

Chongwe River House is a luxurious and private safari getaway located on the banks of the Chongwe River on the southwestern boundary of the Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia. Located just one kilometre downstream from its sister property Chongwe River Camp, this unique and delightful home-from-home is designed for the exclusive use of one party, ideal for groups or families. Boasting highly original architecture and stunning views across the flood plains out to the rugged escarpment beyond, Chongwe River House comes with a hefty price tag. However, excellent service, superior accommodation, and a sense of opulent privacy amidst one of the most wildlife-rich destinations in Zambia, make for a splendid stay. Opportunities to see elephant, hippo, and water buffalo abound at the adjacent water's edge, and giraffe, lion, and leopard are commonly spotted within the National Park, along with a myriad of vibrant birdlife.

Beautifully designed with open-sided rooms looking out across the picturesque landscape, the house is an architectural feat. Nestled beneath thatch, it has flowing and curved stone walls interspersed by living trees and branches, with pebbles on the ceiling and a pretty water feature in the main area. The open-plan lounge and dining area contains a delightful carved bar, tables, and sofas scattered with plump cushions. On the deck outside there is a large pool and jacuzzi surrounded by sun loungers. A dedicated team of hosts, private chefs, and housekeeping staff ensure that all needs and desires are catered for with total flexibility. WiFi is available throughout.

The house sleeps eight guests in four enormous ensuite rooms, each containing a king-size double or twin beds, made up with high-quality linens and draped in mosquito nets. The bathrooms house both 'waterfall' showers and characterful bath tubs. Set over two floors, each room has a private seating area looking out across the surrounding landscape, which often features elephants drinking, feeding, and playing nearby in the river.

Guests enjoy the exclusive use of a game-viewing vehicle and a resident expert guide, allowing more flexibility on game-drive times and duration than the shared activities from Chongwe River Camp. Day and night game drives into the Lower Zambezi National Park reward guests with spectacular wildlife viewing, including a high likelihood of up-close encounters. Canoeing, boating, and fishing are also available from a jetty located down a short pathway from the house.

Children over 7 years of age are welcome. The exclusivity of the activities offers greater flexibility to those travelling with children, and staff provide alternative entertainment when age-restricted activities such as walking safaris or canoeing are taking place (children under 12 are not permitted). Board games and babysitting are available, as well as the lovely pool. One of the Chongwe River House’s highlights is the proximity of elephant and other wildlife, so parents should note that even though it’s unlikely for animals to approach humans, children must be kept under close supervision at all times.

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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 508 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • 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 South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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