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“A very special camp” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chongwe River Camp

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Chongwe River Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Jennifer Cooke
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A very special camp”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2013

We've just come back from an amazing holiday at Chongwe River Camp. This camp is very, very special. Set in an awe inspiring location, some mornings were didn't need to go out on a game drive we just sat in the lounge area watching the game across the river.

The food was delicious and the chef even prepared treats for our 5 year old!

A big thank you to Patrick our guide and Laura, Dan and Chris for making us feel so welcome.

Words can't describe how amazing Chongwe is and we can't wait to go back next year.

  • Stayed August 2013, 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 Jennycooke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 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 (33)
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English first
London Uk
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013

My wife and I just arrived back from a sensational trip to Zambia .

Chongwe River Camp is in the most incredible location on the Banks of the Zimbezi River. The wildlife that we saw from our own Chalet was more than most people see on Safari in other places.

The service , accomadation, Food were all first rate and we loved every second of it.

The management couple Daniel and Louise make certain that every possible need is taken care of and they ensured that our holiday went perfectly.

Game rides were fantastic and the canoe safari trip is a must do.

5 Stars for sure!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 barnetda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2013

This camp is beautifully situated facing both the Chongwe and Zambezi rivers. Although we did go on game drives, the highlight was a large male lion snoozing the morning sun, the best activities were on the water. Canoeing down a beautiful stream watching a family of elephants taking their time to wander from one side to the other, and fishing on the Zambezi was another great way to see beautiful scenery and get very close to hippos and crocs.
The camp itself was well run by friendly and efficient staff. I couldn't fault the food, which was varied and beautifully presented, or the tents which were very spacious and clean.
Would definitely go back.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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?
Thank Shep196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013

Chongwe river camp is located in a very beautiful setting, facing both the Zambezi and Chongwe river. Baboons, wardhogs, waterbacks and even elephants are regular visitors of the camp. From your tent you can watch the animals coming to the river to drink water. The tents are spacious, clean and comfortable offering with a beautiful view over the river. The density of game in the park however does not compare to the one we experienced in South Lwangua.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 Christina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

My mom and my two best friends from college reunited for a 3 day/4 night safari experience, and it was an amazing safari experience from the moment we arrived. We were enthusiastically greeted by the staff who then showed us around the safari camp, where we were in awe of not only the beauty and serenity of the camp itself, but also the location of the camp nestled on the Chongwe river, which gave us a constant view of water animals (hippos, crocodiles), land animals and Zimbabwe right across the river. We were happy to be kept on our toes by the animals who walked freely around the camp, and it was always a warm surprise to look out the windows of our tents to see a family of elephants walking through. The camp was extraordinarily well organized, with attentive and friendly staff who were there to not only keep our bellies full of amazing food and our glasses full of wine, but were also there for great conversation and kept us safe while walking around the camp at night.

The tents that we stayed in were beautiful and very comfortable, and since we were there in "cold" season we were pleasantly surprised to find hot water bottles to heat our beds at night. We were woken with hot tea in the morning. The bathrooms were beautiful, with an outdoorsy, open feel which allowed us to see the stars while showering.

Although this was my first safari and I have no other experiences to compare it to, I loved the fact that the safari camp is located on a river, because it gives more diverse options for activities. In addition to morning, nighttime and full-day safari drives, we went on boat cruises, went on a safari walk, walked to a waterfall, canoed down the Chongwe river and went fishing. Canoeing down the river was probably my favorite part, since we canoed in waters with hippos and crocodiles and saw many animal interactions on the banks of the water as we canoed down the river. In our three days we went on numerous safari drives through the Lower Zambezi national park where our friendly guide, Sam, did a thorough job of describing animal behavior and tracking animals,showing us numerous lion prides, breeding elephants, baboons, water buffalo, zebras, and many more animals. One of the nice things about being in the Lower Zambezi rather than a slightly more touristy area is that we rarely saw other jeeps on our safari rides and we truly felt like we were out there experiencing the magic of the animals.

I HIGHLY recommend this safari camp site, not only for the great qualities of the camp and national park, but also for the staff that work there. Thank you Sam, Michael, Watson, Laura, and Flossie, along with all the other staff that welcomed us and made us so comfortable that by the end of the trip we were singing songs and teaching American and Zambian dances to each other.

Room Tip: There are different options at the camp in terms of your level of privacy (some families, friends an...
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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?
Thank Melanie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, D.C.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

We arrived at Chongwe from Chinzombo in South Luangwa and found a completely different, yet equally special, safari camp. Framed by the Zambezi river, the water becomes a central attraction at Chongwe, with evening canoe and river cruises to watch the game come down to drink being a wonderful highlight. We stayed in the Cassia suite, which spoiled us rotten, with our own dining area and the wonderfully attentive service of our butler, Watson. On those cold winter mornings having Watson prepare an early morning fire and greet us with hot coffee was a pretty great way to start the day.

The Lower Zambezi park is a newer park, and it is closed 4 months out of the year. Moreover, we found the cover much denser than South Luangwa. The effect is the game sightings are not as dense as elsewhere in Zambia, but at the same time one does truly feel like they are "in the bush." Also, we really did "track" the game, making sightings all that more exciting.

On our last day our guide spent close to three hours tracking down a pride of resident lions. When we finally spotted them across a dry riverbead it really felt like we had accomplished something. I raise this only to say that, if game viewing is especially important to you, you should make sure to visit more camps than just Chongwe. However, in combining Chongwe with a visit to South Luangwa we felt like we got the best of both worlds -- with amazing game in Luangwa, and amazing natural beauty and the advantage of the river activities in Lower Zambezi.

Our guide, Victor, was really special. Besides helping us track down the lions, knowing how important that was to us he arranged a "special" day where we went out on an extended drive to make sure we could find the lions, then had a picnic lunch by the river, before being picked up in the evening by a boat to do a little evening fishing for tiger fish. Victor proposed all of this when we were having trouble figuring out how to spend our limited time in Chongwe. This meant more work for him, but his commitment to his guests was apparent from start to finish. Victor is a guide worth asking for if you visit.

Resident managers Flossy and Allen were great hosts and made sure everything was in order for us, and that any needs were met. The food, while perhaps not quite as nice as what we had at Chinzombo, was nonetheless excellent. Enjoying our dinners at the Cassia suite in front of our campfire, listening to the hippos in river was just magical.

Highly reccomended.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
Thank biztraveler99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
93 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2013

This was a beautiful place to stay. The extra activities, such as canoeing and fishing, made up for the fact that the Lower Zambezi NP has much less wildlife than South Luangwa - the lack of prey animals was conspicuous (July). A place to bring the kids, perhaps, or to wind down at the end of a trip, but not ideal for hardcore wildlife viewing. The accommodation itself was very comfortable and the staff attentive, so our disappointment was with the park, not the lodge.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chongwe River Camp

Property: Chongwe River Camp
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 #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Chiawa Conservancy
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chongwe River Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Also Known As:
Chongwe River Camp Hotel Lusaka

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