I travel to Livingstone three times a year and stay usually 5 or 6 nights each trip. I have stayed at the Chapa for over 40 nights combined by now. Two trips I have come with my wife and the rest with a colleague. The last time I was there was in November, 2012. I plan on a return trip next month.
The Chapa is not perfect but it is quite adequate, clean, and affordable. The rooms are kept clean and I have noticed the same cleaning woman all along - she does a nice job. I have had hot water for showers every time, only the water pressure has varied now and then. The rooms come with a large mirror which is nice and with shelves and closest space. Again, it is not luxury standards but more than adequate. The air conditioner has always worked. The room has always been comfortable. The staff has always been very friendly. Keep in mind this is Zambia so staff will be friendly but will not usually have a "take charge" posture.
The breakfast has improved in the past year. It will usually have cold cereal, juice, toast, eggs, baked beans, and a meat. However the serving of the food is not at all up to American standards. It all gets put out around 7 or 7:30 AM. The staff seems unaware of making sure there are enough plates, spoons, glasses. If something runs out it runs out. And the toast and eggs which you order are pretty slow coming. But again this is Zambia - all the restaurants take an unbelievable amount of time to prepare and serve food. It is what it is. It is adequate, but not what you are used to as far as efficiency.
The pool is a nice place to sit in the sun and relax. The grounds are nice and overall the place is quiet and secure. Internet is available and is free. Sometimes it is inconsistent in reception but again, this is Zambia and that tends to be true everywhere. The Chapa seems to be a busy place and I have noticed various groups staying and having meetings there.
In the evening, we have had several of our Livingstone colleagues come to the Chapa where we visit and go over materials. We use the breakfast dining area and the staff has been excellent at accommodating this. Last November, they had a large group staying and using the dining area too so the staff allowed us to use the meeting room for our evening visits. They were very helpful with this.
As for the owner, he has always been pleasant and professional. I have never had a problem so I cannot give an account how he resolves problems. Due to our frequent visits, he has been fair in negotiating with us.
All in all, I am quite pleased with the Chapa and intend to continue to stay during our Livingstone visits. There are nicer, more upscale places and they cost more. But for the price, the Chapa is reasonable, clean, safe, and adequate. I can easily recommend it.
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