- Beautiful riverside setting
- Excellent guiding
- Day and night game drives
Chiawa is a family run, high-end safari camp situated in the prime wildlife region of Lower Zambezi National Park, southern Zambia. Occupying a beautiful woodland setting on the banks of the Zambezi River, the camp is renowned for its quality hosting, superb guiding and exciting mix of land and water based activities. The scenic wilderness of the Lower Zambezi is home to an impressive range of wildlife including lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile, and hippo.
The camp's main area is a two-storey wood and thatched building with panoramic river views. There's a spacious lounge and bar area with comfortable seating, a library area, and a first floor viewing deck with telescope. Outside is a decked terrace and lovely swimming pool, plus a peaceful campfire area, perfect for sundowners. The camp has a well-equipped fitness facility with riverside views, and two viewing hides for observing and photographing the resident wildlife. An al fresco dining area with both individual and communal tables overlooks the water, and the cuisine is high quality, seasonal and delicious. Guests enjoy generous, buffet style breakfasts, whilst the evening meal, usually served by candlelight, includes several courses, and special diets can be accommodated.
One of the camp's highlights is its wide range of contrasting activities, including day and night game drives, guided walks, canoeing excursions, day and evening river safaris on the Zambezi, and catch and release fishing.
The accommodation comprises nine well-appointed tents, built on raised decking, with spectacular riverside views and complimentary Wi-Fi. Spacious and extremely comfortable, the tents have ensuite bathrooms with freestanding claw-foot baths, twin washbasins, and both indoor and outdoor showers. Each unit comprises one king or two large single four-poster beds, draped with mosquito nets. Outside is a private decked veranda with comfortable sofas and a day bed, perfect for enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
Families with children over the age of 8 years are welcome at Chiawa Camp, although there is no child specific itinerary at present. One of the tents is currently undergoing refurbishment to provide a larger, two bedroom unit, perfect for families. Due to open in June 2017, facilities will include an ensuite bathroom with freestanding bath, twin washbasins, flush toilet, and both indoor and outdoor showers. Outside will be a large, private veranda with a pool, and alfresco lounge and dining areas. Note that there is a minimum age restriction of 12 years for guided walks and canoe excursions. As the camp is unfenced, and wild animals do wander through, parents are reminded that children should be supervised at all times.
Chiawa Camp provides a welcoming and authentic safari experience in an idyllic waterside setting.
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!
Woan 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
Catherine 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!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019