- Serene riverside location
- Near to Victoria Falls
- Wide range of activities nearby
- Great value for money
Chundukwa River Lodge is a comfortable and competitively priced owner-run property positioned in a serene, accessible location on the banks of the Zambezi River, in southern Zambia’s Livingstone area. The open-fronted accommodation commands stunning views across the river and provides a relaxing base from which to explore the nearby Victoria Falls, with hippos, elephants, crocodiles, and a plethora of stunning birdlife populating the riverbanks. Chundukwa offers excellent value for money, especially given its proximity to the Victoria Falls, and is open all year round.
Set within a classic stone and thatch building, the main area contains a lounge with coffee tables and cushioned seating. Restaurant-style dining is enjoyed beneath the stars on the large deck just outside, though meals can also be taken privately. A campfire and small rock plunge pool add to the cosy feel, and Wi-Fi is available throughout.
The accommodation comprises 5 thatch and stone chalets raised on stilts amidst the riverine forest. The units are open-sided, with protective roll-down canvas blinds for the rainy November to January season. The décor is simple and pleasant, with patterned rugs and beds draped in mosquito nets, and air conditioning and fans which help to alleviate the intense October to November heat. The semi open-air bathrooms are linked to the bedroom via a private deck, all with standard shower facilities, and one with a bath as well. Chundu House is a separate and spacious self-contained unit for private groups of up to six guests, with the option of a private chef and staff. Set apart from the other chalets, this sizeable cottage is equipped with a large veranda, deck, and private pool, one double ensuite bedroom, one double/twin room, an upstairs loft with space for two, and one small children’s bedroom.
Known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘the Smoke that Thunders’, the spectacular Victoria Falls lie 26km downstream. Beyond enjoying the phenomenal views (do come prepared for the spray!), activities include exploring the baboon-filled cloud forests, or taking afternoon tea at the Victoria Gardens Hotel. Wildlife activities include speciality bird walks and horse riding, with safari options ranging from motorboat and canoe trips, to 4x4 game drives or elephant safaris. Thrill seekers can enjoy white-water rafting, bungee jumping, gorge swinging, and quad biking, and there are gentle cultural visits for those seeking a slower pace. Most activities are paid for locally, and can be organised through the lodge.
With no minimum child age, and a wide variety of exciting activities available nearby, Chundukwa is a great option for families, though some activities may have age restrictions. Chundu House would best suit larger families, and the hotel is happy to fence the private pool when younger children are staying. For a more economical solution for smaller families, two single beds can be added to one of the chalets. Due to Chundukwa’s riverside location, parental supervision is essential at all times.
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