Chongwe River Camp
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
At a Glance
Canoe the Chongwe Channel with your expert guide
Have a private dinner under the shade of towering Winterthorn trees
Take a walk deep into the park to find big game such as elephant and lion
Take a relaxing sunset boat cruise on the mighty Zambezi River
Enjoy sundowners on the river as the setting sun turns the water to molten gold
In October, the game comes to you - vast numbers of elephant visit the camp to rest in the shade.Anna Hearn
Meet our specialists
Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Chongwe River Camp or take a look at our itineraries to Lower Zambezi
Chongwe River Camp is nestled under a complete canopy of huge winterthorn acacias, in an area where elephants are more numerous than people - there are no fences and the animals have complete right of way! Occupying a unique and unrivalled location the camp is located directly opposite Mana Pools and looks onto the confluence of the Chongwe channel and the Zambezi River, with the mountains of the escarpment to the north. The Chongwe channel is perfect for canoe trips as it is relatively free of hippos and strong currents.
All eight large, well appointed Mulati tents are kept cool by their thatched roofs and situated under a canopy of albida thorns, surrounded by lawns with stunning river views. They have recently been upgraded and offer superb accommodation. The open-air en-suite bathrooms mean guests can shower both under the stars and in the early morning sunshine. Game including elephant, lion, hippo and buffalo – amongst many others – can sometimes all be viewed from your tent!
In 2007, Chongwe opened the Albida suite - designed by the same architect who designed the Chongwe River House. This superb suite has two bedrooms and is perfect for families or two couples traveling together. It is situated in a perfect position away from the main camp and with beautiful river views, while remaining secluded and private. Each of the tented rooms has a separate en-suite bathroom with his and hers vanities, twin showers and a claw-foot bath.
The rooms share a very comfortable and stylish lounge complete with a dining area (although you can take your meals either at camp or in the suite), a bar, your own camp fire and a refreshing plunge pool. The design is eclectic - much in the same style as Chongwe River House, the walls are organic and flowing without a single straight line in sight. The overall effect is one of stylish relaxation.
In 2008, Chongwe opened the supremely luxurious Cassia suite, designed along the same lines as the Albida, with a private living area and plunge pool. The Cassia has been specifically designed for honeymoon couples, a perfect private and intimate hideaway.
Activities offered at Chongwe are varied, from day and night 4WD game drives in open vehicles, walking safaris with your guide and an armed parks scout, to river activities including canoeing and gentler trips in the larger motor boats. You could also choose to take a full day drive into the park if you wish - Chongwe is situated just outside the park boundary in the Game Management area but still in a very game rich area. Or you can try your hand at fishing, on a 'catch and release' basis - tiger fish are a specialty and the guides at Chongwe are all expert fishermen.
There are nine tents which are airy and spacious, with either a king sized or two single beds with cotton linens, local textiles and hand-crafted furniture blending seamlessly with organic fittings and fixtures, all designed to make the most of what Mother Nature has provided, including the incredible views. All of the tents are under thatch, ensuring maximum coolness in the heat of the day. Each has a large outdoor bathroom with hot and cold running water, shower, toilet, vanity unit and dressing area with a wardrobe and full-length mirror. The tents also have their own private verandas overlooking the river, making them an ideal place for relaxing between safaris.
In addition, the camp also has two-tented suites which are luxuriously self-contained; one which sleeps two and the other which sleeps four guests in two spacious, octagonal bedrooms set on either side of a private dining room and lounge area with its own bar fridge, plunge pool and fire pit. It is ideal for families or friends traveling together.
There are no specific child care facilities but children over 8 years are welcome. Food and meal times can be adjusted to suit younger guests and babysitting may be provided on request. Parents should be aware that this is the bush, the camp is on the edge of the Lower Zambezi National Park, and is not fenced in, so animals do roam freely past. Children must be 12 years or older to participate in walking or canoe safaris.
The camp has vehicles and canoes for tailor made safaris, as well as a larger boat for cruises up and down the river and the Chongwe Channel. The food is excellent, created freshly on site, and all dietary requirements can be catered for. Often the table will be set out so guests can enjoy dinner under the stars.
The Albida and Cassia Suites each have their own butler, and meals can be taken either in private in the suite’s dining area or at the main camp.
At Chongwe River Camp, activities are tailored to make the most of this incredibly diverse wilderness. Game viewing can be done from a vehicle in either the Lower Zambezi National Park or the Chiawa Partnership Park or, if you prefer, from a boat on the Zambezi. Canoeing, walking and, of course, fishing, are also offered. For those interested in the rich cultural heritage of the area, community visits can be arranged.
Location & Directions
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Chongwe River Camp is located at the confluence of the Zambezi River and its tributary, the Chongwe River, which forms the western boundary of the Lower Zambezi National Park.
When to go
The Lower Zambezi has a moderate to sub-tropical climate with three distinct seasons: from November to March is the Emerald, or the rainy season, April to July is Zambia's winter, when the weather is cool and dry, and August to October is summer, when the weather is hot and dry. In terms of game viewing, the drier months, meaning a higher concentration of game at the permanent water sources, are a superb time to visit. Alternatively come for some superb birdwatching at the end of the rains.