Arriving at Chiawa by boat is just magical and gives a real feeling of being in the wilderness. We were greeted on arrival not only by the friendly staff and lodge managers but also by on of the (almost) resident elephants that roam freely through the unfenced camp. The presence of the ellies in camp gives us a chance to relax with a drink while Lynn gives us a briefing on what to expect during our stay (while they wander off in search of more juicy foliage). Wed been upgraded to the honeymoon suite so had a late private lunch on our deck with stunning views over the Zambezi before embarking on an afternoon walk. As were on foot were not intending to meet anything too large and our guide instead gives us a fascinating insight into the hidden life of the bush. Did you know that civetone, an essential ingredient of most modern perfumes, comes from the anal glands of the civet? As the light begins to fade we return to our vehicle and have a great sighting of a pride of lion, three females and five cubs plus and adult male, before night falls and we begin our night drive back to camp. This is amazing productive and gave us fantastic sightings of a hyena and cub, two porcupines and a pair of honey badgers. Back at camp, after a relaxing candlelit bath overlooking the river, another treat is waiting for us in the form of a private dinner on the san pan, a flat-bottomed boat that is anchored in the middle of the Zambezi and supplied with wine and dinner. We enjoy the solitude and the distant voices of the local choir serenading the other guests in camp. All in all, a very special stay.
Review posted on 29 November 2010