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“Beautiful setting, great hospitality” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chongwe River House

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Chongwe River House
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting, great hospitality”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2012

I stayed at Chongwe River Camp last week and love it.
The setting is stunning - on the confluence of the Chongwe River and the mighty Zambezi.
Their guides are excellent - we did a walking safari, game drive and canoeing, all of which were fantastic. The park is full of game and empty of people - just the way you want it! Compared to other national parks elsewhere in Africa this place feels like a private oasis.
They also treated us to a wonderful out of camp dinner, on the banks of the river, with an amazing bbq and white linen table all set up in the wilderness. The star constellation guide was a great touch - you will not see skies as bright as this in Europe!
The rooms are very comfortable and luxurious and the staff are very welcoming.
A wonderful place to stay that I highly recommend.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ACAGLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
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  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
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English first
Antwerp, Belgium
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2012

Our third safari and our second time to Zambia. We stayed at some excellent camps but Chongwe House is magic.
We travel at least 4 to 5 times a year to luxury places in Asia, M.E., Africa and Europe but the House is in my top 3 of most favorite ones ever stayed at.
Staying in a private house gives you a complete different feeling of safari. It’s like being on your own in the wilderness, you feel vulnerable to everything what is outside as the house is completely open but it doesn’t really matter, you feel very safe and well looked after.
Perhaps for people going for a first time on a safari they would feel more comfortable (safer) in a lodge or tent as part of a camp.
For our children 12 and 14 years old, it was their first safari experience; they stayed the first 2 nights in a lodge nearby the falls, then 2 nights at the albida suites at Chongwe camp before moving to the house. They felt very safe.
The hosts Janie and Sean are so nice and warm and doing a wonderful job. They gave us the feeling that we spend 2 nights at the house with some old friends although we were just the 4 of us, myself, wife and 2 daughters,.
We should not forget about all the other people who took excellent care of us. The guiding by Victor was very very good.
What’s so nice about Chongwe house is that you have a variety of activities at your own choice, which is not always the case when going on a safari. We had the game drives, the night drives, the walking safaris (we did some excellent hiking by one of the small mountain rivers), fishing from the shore on one of the small branches of the Zambezi river, there are river cruises and river fishing and canoe trips and a village visit belongs also to one of the possibilities.
If we are going back one day to Zambia, Chongwe house would be a must for us to stay at.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank G V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitton, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2011

Incredible place to stay on your travels, the wildlife comes to you including an elephant coming to have a drink from the pool. If you want a choice of what to do and when to do it - this is the place for you. Wonderful setting so close to everything with knowledgable and hospitable staff - we are planning to go back for a celebration in the future.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ktofwhitton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carbondale, Colorado
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2011

When we first arrived at Chongwe, we were greeted by a herd of elephants ambling around the grounds and one was even drinking from the pool! The next night we were called in early from our lovely "Sundowner" river cruise because there was a leopard a few minutes drive from the house up in a tree feasting on a kill. The daily game drives, canoe trips and walking safaris were expertly guided by our very knowledgeable and friendly guide, Victor. The house itself was a unique and amazing experience with its incredible architecture and more than comfortable rooms. Sean and Janie were exquisite hosts and ensured that everything was taken care of and even anticipated our needs before we knew them. The food was delicious and plentiful. We were spoiled rotten for our entire stay and didn't want to ever leave.

On a side note: If you get the chance, consider visting the local village and meeting the people there. We toured the school and medical clinic there and received a little taste of what it would be like to live there. There are many ways to help this (and other) village if you are interested. Visiting the local villages made us feel very connected to the people and was a highlight of our trip.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TamiCass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2011

Our Zimbabwe-Zambia safari ended with several days at this amazing wholly open-to-the-outside small lodge. Initially we felt some panic at the openness but soon relaxed as we realized that the builders of Chongwe River House has essentially succeeded in creating the sense that we were one with the river and the outdoors. Our three adults and two 9-year-olds were the only guests at Chongwe House and enjoyed all aspects of our very special treatment. Food was excellent, especially the surprise outdoor night feast done in their nearby camp, with the Chongwe staff entertaining with native music and dance. Our local touring was excellent, including the time we spent at the close native village, the fast-boat touring of the rivers, and the river fishing done by the children (with exciting catches, helped by Chongwe's staff). Jane and Sean's warm hospitality and conversation made this visit a great finish to this African trip.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Edward R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exmouth Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2010

We were so lucky to be in the Flinstones Grotto as we called this wonderful House, just the 3 of us. Fantastic Managers, Clem and Brandon, service from Kennedy(morning) and Francis(afternoon/night). The food produced by Moffat and Patrick was outstanding
nothing was too much, everything was done for us. Mario our guide took us fishing and took us to his village. After spending 4 days n safari in the south Luangwa NP at the Kafunta Lodge, which is brilliant, we just wanted to chill out and go boating and fishing.
Brandon took us to see the Lion Brothers and Leopard with its kill in the tree. We had Ellies in our front yard, crossing the river in front of us. Hippo's chasing us. Brilliant tiger
fishing for James. It was fantastic with the light aircraft taking us to the airstrips, cannot
praise all staff enough for our stay. Thank you, Wytske, James & Ian Australia

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank africa001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2010

The title says it all. Chongwe River House was the perfect ending to our trip. I can only describe it as "rustic luxury". The house is everything that it is famous for, and more! Crazy design (in a good way), beautiful location and setting, and just a wonderful staff that is friendly, accommodating and makes you feel right at home. Clem and Beej were tremendous hosts (and Bruce will be one day too), while Francis, Kennedy and Mario provided exceptional service. Kudos also to the chefs. The food was outstanding; probably the best we have had amongst many safari camps we have visited.

Highlights of our trip: 4 individual bedrooms open to the Chongwe River with beautiful views; the waterfall showers (which I preferred over the rainfall showers); elephants grazing right next to the house; warthogs in the backyard -- as if they were house pets; witnessing a lion kill and lions mating; bush breakfast; outdoor Mongolian dinner our last night, along with staff singing and dancing; fishing on the Zambezi; watching elephants and later a lion crossing the Chongwe River, which was unusually high for the time of year... Just an idyllic 4 days! Can't say enough good things about this property.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ksol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chongwe River House

Property: Chongwe River House
Address: Lower Zambezi, Chiawa Conservancy, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Lusaka Province > Chiawa Conservancy
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Chiawa Conservancy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zambia's Lower Zambezi is renowned for its magnificent herds of elephant, exceptional predator viewing and of course the Zambezi River. It’s also home to a most spectacular and unique private villa. Chongwe River House, sleeping up to eight in four spacious ensuite bedrooms, makes an ideal safari base for a group or family wanting a totally private safari. Activities include walks, drives, boating, canoeing, fishing and just relaxing on the deck. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chongwe River Hotel

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