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“One of a kind” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chongwe River House

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Chongwe River House
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“One of a kind”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013

This private house has an amazing design, mimicking an animal's riverbank lair entwined with tree roots, mud and rocks, the kind you would find along the banks of the adjacent Chongwe river. We hadn't seen anything like it. Our hosts for the 4 nights were Anet and Matt, who manage the excellent team of staff. Anet manages the house beautifully ensuring the smallest details are attended to. Matt is an outstanding, passionate guide, ensuring all activities are arranged and equipment is in the right place at the right time. We really enjoyed Matt's drives. We didn't see much trophy game, but that allowed us to learn more about the enormous range of wildlife that exists in the Lower Zambezi. Matt's a keen photographer and was generous sharing tips and techniques. One of the activity options is to visit a local village and cultural centre which our teenage kids really enjoyed and we recommend highly. The food is excellent, especially the lunches with various delicious salads. There were regular special touches which we really appreciated such as a surprise lunch on an island in the middle of the Zambezi. We'll never forget this one.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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 blah1025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
127 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013

A useful definition of luxury is having the "space an time to enjoy your surroundings with friends". Chongwe River House provides you with just that. The location itself is wonderful. Good game come down to the river each day so there is plenty to keep you occupied even if you choose not to go out on an exciting game drive, exhilerating canoe ride or enjoy some fishing. If you can stay here - do!

Room Tip: Enjoy the rising sun from the deck of the upper and east facing room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JamesHAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013

My first trip to Africa and a Safari. The Chongwe River house was perfect...private, rustic luxury, and wonderful,attentive staff. The house and staff make you feel as if you are lost in Africa but with all the comforts of home at hand. Matt and Anet were the best host and you could feel their love for Africa and wanting us to feel it too. I don't know what I enjoyed more, seeing the exquisite animals and terrain or seeing Matt so excited about seeing all the animals too! You can tell he loves his job, showing others the treasures of Africa, and each and every animal he encounters. Anet coordinated fabulous meals in the national park, sunset boat rides, and food beyond compare. Looking forward to returning- taking our kids and friends. This location will not disappoint you!

Room Tip: All rooms at the house are spectacular.
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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?
2 Thank LesleyAnn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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.
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.
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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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