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“Laid back Livingstone”

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Chundukwa River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 24, 2013

We booked 4 nights at Chundukwa River Lodge and were very pleased with our stay. Although the Lodge is remote from town ( about 25-30 min) That's also a plus. There was no hustle or bustle from the city or the relentless sound of helicopters overhead. At night, we fell asleep to the sounds of hippos asserting their territory in the river below us, or the occasional dog barking in the distance. They say some elephants trek through the grounds at times, although we never saw them, but we did get visits from the local donkeys. :-) The Lodge has a fantasticly laid back vibe.

We loved our little chalet, on stilts overlooking the river... no glass windows, just canvas roll down shades for inclement weather or cold. (we enjoyed perfect sleeping weather with them up) The mosquito netting was not only part of the ambience but also practical, however, we didn't find any problem with unwelcome bugs! We also had a lovely ensuite bathroom with rain shower head. Beds were comfortable and the chalet was spotlessly clean. We also had a little deck with chairs ideal for just chilling.

The Lodge was all inclusive for us, including laundry service, which we really appreciated, as this was at the end of our African trip. Meals were good and served al fresco on the patio and every attempt was made to accommodate any dietary restrictions. We enjoyed being able to meet fellow travelers and compare notes. At night, a little fire was lit on the patio of the lodge, which was appreciated as nights cooled down. There is also a pretty little pool, but is really just a dipping pool. Relaxing though after a busy day... or not.

The staff is always on hand, professional and ready to help. Also included was a sunset boat ride on the Zambezi which we adored. Our driver and guide had a keen eye to the wildlife in and around the river and got us as close as was safe to it. The sunset was simply magical.

All in all, we really enjoyed our stay at this unpretentious, comfortable and laid back Lodge. I would gladly recommend it.

As a side note, Zambia is not a wealthy nation. The Lodge accepts clothing donations for the staff's village and fairly distributes it.. It was win-win...We were able to lighten our load and make room for our souvenirs, while helping out the staff that had worked so hard for us.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ABR-Seattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 - 104 of 182 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2013

Following a safari in Botswana decided to visit Victoria Falls on way to Mauritius. Our agent recommended Chundukwa Lodge and what an idyllic place it turned out to be. About 25K from the Falls this only has 5 lodges but they are all beautifully clean and well equipped. There is cerainly no need for TV as all the Lodges are on stilts on the bank of the Zambezi River. They have a completely open aspect over the river for ever changing views.
Food is taken next to the small swimming pool again overlooking the river and is very well prepared and of high quality.
Lizanne and John, the management team, really do go the extra mile to ensure you get the maximum from your stay and were very willing to organise our Falls Trips, Tour of Livingstone and a very special visit round the local village.
All in all a great place to stay for a visit to the Falls.

Room Tip: We stayed in Lodge 1 but I think they are all pretty much the same.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Thowdies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

The Zambezi River - WOW! To have a room that allows you to practically touch this beautiful river from the windowless windows - DOUBLE WOW! To have the lodge to ourselves, the best and most personal service you could dream of, and some excellent food to boot - TRIPLE WOW!

And the added extras; warm fresh popcorn with our sundowner drinks after a long day visiting Vic Falls, all guide and transfer arrangements made on our behalf by John and Lizanne, and Livey who took us on an amazing sunset cruise on the Zambezi, served our exceptional dinners and kindly showed us around his village where we had the honour of meeting some of the school children.

What have I missed? Oh yes, the elephants! Watching an elephant swim is extraordinary but watching 15-20 elephants swim is, well, loud! Elephants can be found cheekily stumbling around the lodge, eating anything green, pulling down tree branches, blocking paths and generally causing gentle destruction. But that's what makes the lodge so special and natural and we wouldn't have had it any other way.

With thanks to John, Lizanne, Peter, Henry, Livey and Pascal plus all the other hardworking staff.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Spoons_6512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

From beginning to end, I had a fabulous 5-night stay at Chundukwa after a hectic safari. The welcome, unexpected upgrade to separate rooms, the rustic beauty of the rooms (with 'windows' open to the sights, sounds and smells of the river), the stunning view of the River Zambezi and Zimbabwe, the food (including fulfilling our request for decaff coffee), and the friendliness and attentiveness of all the staff were all wonderful. It is quite a skill to be attentive at all times but unobtrusive at the same time and they achieved this with perfection.

It was lovely to see the river from all angles – from the peaceful terrace, the lodge, and with our sundowners from the boat with Livey, whose gentle manner and skill at spotting the wildlife is exceptional.

After our trip to Livingstone, it was delightful to return to the seclusion and peacefulness of Chundukwa River Lodge away from the whirring engine noise of the helicopters over the Falls and the hustle and bustle of busy hotels, returning to the serene and beautiful location of Chundukwa and watching elephants swim across the river. It all seems such a long time ago ...

It was so relaxing that we became known as the ‘lazy ladies’. Thank you so much again for everything and for making our all-too-short a stay in Zambia so wonderful and please pass on our thanks to everyone who played a part in making our time with you so special.

And I’m glad to hear that your friendly neighbourhood rogues (aka elephants) are behaving themselves, especially after all the hard work to complete the new bridge crossing! Hope your lemon tree is still intact though!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Anne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

We stayed at Chundukwa at the end of August for 3 nights and loved it. It was super relaxing on the Zambezi river, out of the way of the business of Victoria Falls. While some have noted the distance from the falls, I much preferred staying in the slightly more remote location. It really is only about a 30 minute drive from the falls, through a national park where you may have elephant and giraffe sightings (so it really isn't that bad!)

The lodge is very quiet and calming, the perfect respite after a busy day. Your stay comes with a sunset cruise on the river and a full day tour of the falls and whatever other activities you would like to do (activity costs not included, but driver included for the day). Lizanne and Jon will work with you to try to fit your activities into this day, but we wanted to have a more relaxed stay and opted to spread out our activities over two days.

The lodge is all-inclusive, 3 meals a day plus beverages (including alcohol). It was simply lovely - the food was very delicious, gourmet meal style! Usually started with a salad of fresh ingredients, a main dish (we had pork, steak, etc.) and dessert (usually some kind of delicious cake!)

The chalets overlook the river and we were able to see a pretty active hippo pod right from our room. The beds are super comfy and have electric blankets for the cold nights.

The staff was very friendly - we loved Levy and Pascal, and they really made our experience memorable. All in all, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to folks - I was initially nervous about the distance from the falls, but it was no problem at all, and I was very happy actually to return each night to our chalet...away from the helicopters and touristy nature of the falls (to be honest you really only need 1 afternoon to do the falls and Livingstone Island, so I wouldn't be overly concerned with staying right there).

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank citysearcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

We had 2 fantastic days and nights at Chundukwa. This lodge is ideal for that relaxing African experience, its got the most beautiful setting on the banks of the Zambezi. Perfect for sundowners on the Lodge deck with the Hippos snorting and Fish Eagles calling. The chalets very comfortable and are open to the river so you can hear the Hippos and birds whilst you lie watching the African stars at night. You are under a HUGE net over your bed so no unwanted bugs or mozzies. There was a whole family of Elephants visiting throughout the day/night, specially in the early morning, they were all around the water pools just outside the chalets. The beds were so comfortable with electric blankets on to keep you warm (and it was quiet chilly even in August), the food was very good and the staff were very warm and friendly, they looked after us so well. We also had a great boat cruise with Levy our first evening, sundowners on the river, fantastic!! I would highly recommend Chundukwa, as part of your Zambian experience!

Room Tip: Bring your Binoculars so you can view the hippos and other animals from your chalet!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank MoiZam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

We had a fantastic stay in the lodge! The service and literally all the people who works there is extremely nice and wants to do everything to make your stay happy!!! The sunset cruise by arriving is already a nice start. And when we were enjoying our drink after a fantastic day, a whole bunch of elephants were crossing the river, we asked if we could come any closer. Immediately without thinking they made the boat ready for us to make the most amazing pictures ever!!! We went back by bus to Lusaka. They arranged the tickets and gave us a wonderful lunch for on the road. This time I was with my husband, I love to come back with our kids to experience the warm, spiritual and zen lodge!! Fam Nederpelt/ Barcelona / Spain

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Mimoushka N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chundukwa River Lodge

Address: Kazungula Road, Livingstone 20100, Zambia (Formerly Chundukwa Tree Lodge)
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 86 Specialty Lodging in Livingstone
Price Range: $508 - $1,436 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chundukwa River Lodge is an African Bush Lodge built on stilts overlooking the Zambezi river. It is beautifully situated with panoramic views of the river - upstream from the Victoria Falls. Offering the best of both worlds - only 30 min from the falls and far enough from Livingstone town to be away from the noise of helicopters and traffic. Essentially perfect for nature and bird lovers and for those who simply want to absorb the best of Africa. There are flights from Johannesburg and Lusaka every day and easy road access from Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. Our private thatched cottage is perfect for those wanting to enjoy a home on the Zambezi. It has 1 double en-suite bedroom, 1 double/twin bedroom and one child's bedroom, a second bathroom, an open plan lounge/kitchen area, shaded patio, deck and rock splash pool. The cottage comes fully staffed with a personal,waiter and house-keeper. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chundukwa River Hotel Livingstone

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