CHIAWA CAMP - LOWER ZAMBEZI  - ZAMBIA

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CHIAWA CAMP

CHIAWA CAMP

The family owned and operated Chiawa Camp in the incredible Lower Zambezi National Park is Zambia's premier luxury safari camp and offers unusually varied activities such as game drives, walking, canoeing, boating and angling in the company of Africa's finest guides.

Indulge in attentive yet unpretentious, personalized service, fabulous cuisine and fantastic "tents" with spectacular views of the Zambezi and its resident wildlife. All this in a beautiful setting with leopards, lions, elephants, hippos and other wildlife as your neighbors. Along with Chiawa's renowned dedication to its guests, staff, local communities and conservation, share in Chiawa's passion and experience so that you can enjoy one of Africa's very finest safari camps and the wildlife adventure of a lifetime.

Chiawa Camp blends in effortlessly with its idyllic surroundings and provides a retreat which guests are invited to make their home away from home, where guests receive the friendliest of welcomes, the biggest of smiles and where guests, who leave as friends to return time and again, experience the very best in Africa.

On the banks of the Zambezi River, under a grove of evergreen Mahogany trees, Chiawa Camp holds the prime position in the heart of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park.

It is at this very spot where the Cumings Family first explored this area for themselves decades ago, where David Livingstone had ventured through nearly 150 years previously, and where in 1989 they created the very first photo safari operation in the Lower Zambezi National Park - and through their efforts what has since become one of Africa’s most desirable, sought after safari destinations.

A stunning thatched lounge/bar area with upstairs viewing deck provides one of the best views of the Zambezi whilst after enjoying Chiawa’s renowned cuisine on the al-fresco dining veranda, one can relax by the open camp fire with a cocktail in hand to reminisce of the day's adventures before retiring to the tents, each a sanctuary of luxury and peace to dream about what tomorrow may bring.

ACCOMMODATION

The tents all have timber floors and verandas with excellent views and are accessed by paths running behind them to maximize privacy.

All share ample comforts, conveniences and unexpected luxuries such as 24/7 lighting and charging facilities (220v UK plugs), 24/7 hot & cold running water, king size beds, Egyptian cotton linens, his & hers washbasins, indoor and outdoor showers and ball & claw baths complemented by Molton Brown amenities.

We believe these “tents” set a new standard for Zambia in bush-luxury; however they still retain the rustic and unpretentious feel that Chiawa is so well loved for.

Tents Seven, Eight and Nine all overlook the "dry riverbed" with quartering views of the Zambezi River whereas Tents I - VI face the Zambezi directly

Tents One to Six

Completed in April 2009 these fabulous new safari "tents" take Chiawa Camp's accommodation to new heights, offering plenty of space and classic luxury yet utterly appropriate to the ethos of Chiawa Camp and the environment it strives to protect.

Taking inspiration from Grant & Lynsey's own bush home and from Chiawa's existing superior tents we are confident they provide the perfect balance of form and function, offering guests privacy, comfort, convenience and the finest tented accommodation in Zambia.

Views of the Zambezi River, a gorgeous split level timber deck with daybed and comfy locally made furniture make for an ideal mix of modern and timeless Africa.

All feature super-king size beds with Egyptian cotton linens and huge mosquito net, en-suite bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, a ball & claw bath and his & hers washbasins complete with Molton Brown amenities.

Tents Seven and Eight

These two tents house their bathrooms on the side and have views quartering onto the Zambezi River and the usually dry Chowe floodplains which attract a variety of wildlife, making for excellent game viewing from your bed, deck, bath or shower. These rooms catch the afternoon sun and so have thatched roofs for additional cover.

Tent Eleven

Relocated and rebuilt from scratch in 2010, this incredible "tent" has a private and commanding view, perched 20m high, above the Zambezi River and its flood plains.

Being the most private, and closest to nature with its very outdoor and remote feel, this is most suitable for Honeymooners and more adventurous couples. The outdoor verandah is a gorgeous split level deck with private dining area, day bed and comfy furniture. The bathroom features an indoor and outdoor shower, His & Hers washbasins, ball & claw bath with a fabulous view of the Zambezi.

It has the only outdoor bathroom at Chiawa Camp and whilst still on the deck and under the roof, is outside the tent, whereas the other tents bathrooms are incorporated within the tents.

DINING

Chiawa Camp is renowned for its excellent cuisine, oft described as an Afro/Euro fusion, in which even the most demanding palates are catered for.

Chiawa’s imaginative Executive Chefs ensure meals are of the highest standard, that they are prepared with the freshest of ingredients and with the utmost of care.

Depending on the day’s activities, breakfasts, brunches and lunches are served plated or hot & cold buffet, usually al-fresco, sometimes in the bush, and even on a boat in the middle of the Zambezi!"

Afternoon tea with sweet & savoury snacks is usually served upstairs on the viewing platform overlooking the Zambezi and just prior to the afternoon safari activities.

Dinners are usually 4 courses, table d’hote, always offered with a choice of main course, and served under the stars by the camp fire or, if you are visiting during the full moon, on a sand bar in the middle of the Zambezi.

THE TEAM

In 1989, the Cumings family founded Chiawa Camp and pioneered tourism into the Lower Zambezi National Park. As a family run operation, no effort is spared to ensure that every guest receives personal attention and a truly first class African safari.

The team at Chiawa Camp has an absolute love of the Lower Zambezi, and the determination to provide nothing but the best. This is reflected in everything that we do!

Trained to the highest of standards, our friendly, competent guides will show you the ways of the wild while always looking out for your safety and comfort.

Personal attention is the name of the game at Chiawa Camp. Our well-trained staff are always on hand to ensure that your comfort and convenience are well catered for.

ACTIVITIES

At Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro it is all about the wildlife, the bush and the river, and an impressive variety of safari activities are available, led by award winning team of Africa-born guides with an unmatched fleet of vehicles, boats and canoes at their disposal - for all of which Chiawa's safari operation has become world-renowned.

This means that guests will enjoy levels of choice & convenience not found elsewhere and where the duration of a safari activity is determined by the rhythm of the bush (& enthusiasm of  guests) rather than by the clock.

Not only that, your guides who are to differing extents products of an  in house training program, will guide sympathetically with the best interests of the wildlife, the environment and you at heart meaning that you will get the very best out of your visit to the Lower Zambezi National Park.

Safety is always a priority so all guides have recurrent Advanced first aid training and all boats and vehicles, canoe trips and walks carry first comprehensive first aid kits and are linked to both camps by our VHF radio network.

GAME DRIVES

This is the safest and most effective way to view big game. Drives are conducted in open 4wd vehicles that have been specially adapted for safari use with comfy seats, pockets to stow your gear and bean bags to steady your camera for those all important photos. Usually departing in the early morning, drives can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on what's seen and the requirements of the guests. In the late afternoon drives set off for an hour or so before stopping at a scenic point for sundowners.

Once the sun has set night drives commence. Zambia is one of the few countries that permit night drives, perhaps the most interesting of safari activities.

Using filtered spotlights, which do not interfere with the well being and behavior of the subject and which make it much easier on your eyes too, this is an opportunity to see nocturnal creatures such as civet, porcupine, genet, and also to see some of the larger predators on the move. It is not uncommon to see a pride of lions on a kill or a leopard stalking through the bush. These drives last as long as they need to.

BUSHWALKS

Pioneered in Zambia, bush walks are essentially a "micro-safari". An armed ranger with your qualified and experienced pro guide will guide you through the wilderness on foot, interpreting spoor, identifying the various flora and fauna, and highlighting conservation issues. However elephants and buffalo are seen on most walks and sometimes the big cats so expect anything at anytime. The pace is leisurely and the duration is determined by guests' requirements – and what is seen on the walk. Typically, a few hours are sufficient.

RIVER SAFARIS

One of the great aspects of a visit to Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro is the variety of activities offered by virtue of our presence on the Zambezi river.

These are two of the few camps permitted to conduct waterborne safaris within the National Park, and our custom built, motorized pontoons are ideal to take advantage of this.

Enjoy morning or afternoon cruises exploring numerous channels, viewing hippo, buffalo, elephant and prolific bird life.

Also on offer are sunset and sundowner cruises, often completed with a night drive back to camp.

CANOEING

Although the Zambezi offers many activities, perhaps it is best known for canoeing.

No where else is there such a combination of breathtaking scenery, varied wildlife and such interesting channels to paddle through. Six meter long Canadian canoes are used and these trips may last anywhere from 1 hour to 1 day. The most popular canoe safari is 90 minutes long where guests paddle (always downstream!) from the lodge to "Sunset Strip" for sundowners and then a night drive back to Chiawa Camp.

Tranquil yet exciting, these trips can be longer and may drift through the likes of the Waterbuck Island and Chifungulu Channels, which are an excellent way to enjoy another aspect of the Zambezi River.

FISHING

Chiawa Camp is internationally acclaimed as one of the world’s leading fishing destinations. Recommended by authoritative anglers and in publications such as The Best Fly Fishing Trips Money Can Buy and Forbes Traveler, expert guides are on hand to assist you in finding the notorious tigerfish (camp record 10.1kg, average 2kg) which are caught on fly or conventional tackle and other species that abound in the Zambezi River.

"Superlatives cannot describe the speed and power of this amazing creature. I've fished them all and I can say without reservation that the tigerfish truly is the toughest freshwater fish" Larry Dahlberg, international adventurer and host of ESPN's Hunt for Big Fish.

"Having the fuselage of a bonefish, the tail of a tarpon, the paint job of a striper, teeth like a bull shark and a compound hinged jaw that works like a turbo powered paper shredder, Hydrocynnus vittatus (Latin for striped river dog) is perhaps the most capable and impressive freshwater predator on earth."

The waters of the National Park are free from netting and are hence your best bet for lots of big fish. Naturally we enforce a strict catch & release policy. Best months for tigerfish are September - November.

Because of Chiawa's privileged situation inside the National Park, they are restricted to operating two boats at any one time. Chiawa Camp can therefore only host a maximum of 4-6 fishing clients. Boats used are 6m pontoons. Guide, fuel and tackle are provided, however we recommend serious sport fishermen bring their own gear. Medium-heavy action 20lb spinning or bait casting rods/reels work best. Wire leader is essential, as are good quality sharp hooks attached to bright, shiny spinners and spoons.

The vundu catfish is the largest freshwater fish in southern Africa and can weigh in excess of 40kgs. Camp record 35kgs, average 15kgs.

THE LOWER ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK

At just over 4000 square kilometers, the Lower Zambezi National Park stretches in a narrow swathe from the Chongwe River in the west to the Luangwa River in the east.

Rich in biodiversity, there are a number of biomes, or eco-systems in the park, ranging from jessbush thickets, miombo woodland in the escarpment, grassy floodplains and riparian forests. Like the adjacent Chiawa Partnership Park, the Lower Zambezi National Park is home to all of the major species in the valley with excellent sightings of elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard a regular occurrence. Birdlife in the area is also outstanding, making this a real hotspot for ornithologists. Kasaka River Lodge offers a range of game activities in the park including full-day picnic trips, canoeing, fishing excursions, walking safaris and day and night game drives

 

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