Chichele Presidential Lodge
South Luangwa National Park, Luangwa Valley, Zambia
At a Glance
Enjoy superb game-viewing in the wonderful southern sector of South Luangwa National Park
Expert guides will introduce you to the bush; discover its highlights by vehicle or on foot
Enjoy superb hospitality and a fine wine selection from Chichele's hand-picked wine cellar
Take an all-day drive with a picnic lunch to discover the far reaches of the National Park
In the heat of the Zambian day, relax around the lodge's swimming pool with a cool drink
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Zambia 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 bird-watching at the end of the rains.
To start planning your holiday to Chichele Presidential Lodge
Situated in a prime position on the top of a hill in the southern sector of South Luangwa National Park, Chichele Presidential Lodge is a wonderful option for those wishing to explore this varied and game-rich area of the park.
Once the private home of Zambia's ex-president, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Chichele Presidential Lodge has undergone a full refurbishment and retains the colonial lodge feel.
Perched on top of a hill with commanding views across to the Luangwa River, Chichele Presidential Lodge has a beautifully designed and open main area, with a refreshing pool to while away those hot Luangwa afternoons - from the pool the view stretches across to the Nchindeni Hills in the background, taking in some of the most beautiful plains of South Luangwa.
The lodge has just ten very spacious and air-conditioned suites which are dotted about the hill, with their characteristic green roofs; each enjoys splendid views across the park. This southern area of South Luangwa is known to be prolific with game; so expect great views of predators including leopard and lion, and some lovely elephant interaction - even from your own veranda!
The guiding here is superb, as it is across Zambia, and your activities include either bush walks accompanied by an armed scout, or day and night game drives deep into the Valley. In the evenings after a superb dinner under the stars, relax around the camp fire and exchange stories from the day.
The lodge features 10 Victorian style suites. They are elegantly decorated and have large French windows giving you fabulous views of the Luangwe valley and allowing lots of air and light into the room. The rooms have four poster beds, air-conditioning, lavish furnishings and a modern en-suite bathroom. On of the suites is interconnecting - a perfect solution if travelling with children.
Game viewing in the South Luangwa is considered to be some of the best in the world. From Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge, you can go on night game drives when it is possible to see all sorts of animals that are seldom seen by day - like leopard, hyena and bush baby. The early evening is the best possible time to see diurnal animals and a little later is the best time for nocturnal wildlife, so a game drive combined with sundowners gives you the best of both worlds.
During guided walking safaris you can become acquainted with some of the most intriguing signs of the bush, many of which are hard to come across when in a vehicle.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
Chichele Presidential Lodge has a very colonial feel and is found in a wonderful position high on a hill taking advantage of the endless views and the breeze. When you walk in the door you feel as though you are stepping back in time, with a grand piano in the corner and trophies on the walls of the lounge. Meals are served either on the terrace or in the gardens in the evening. There is a dining room but this is really only used when the weather isn't good enough to dine outside. The dining room is also home to the billiard table, for some evening entertainment.
The rooms all have a terrace and are traditional and spacious in style...the perfect place to relax after a hard day on safari seeking out elephants, lions and of course the elusive leopard.
Game Drives in the South Luangwa
Game drives are the most common way of exploring the African bush. A vehicle allows you to cover distance quickly and comfortably and offers visitors the best opportunity of getting very close to wildlife in a safe and controlled way.
Green Season Game Drives
The Green Season, Rainy Season, Emerald Season, Secret Season - what ever you decide to call it, this is a beautiful time of year to be on safari. Activities are rarely disrupted by weather and the bush is full of life.
Green Season Walking Safaris
Walking in the African bush is a special experience at any time of the year, but the opportunity to walk in somewhere like the Luangwa Valley in the Green Season is a treat for even the most experienced visitor to Africa.
If you get the opportunity to head out after sunset you should take it. The bush transforms under the cover of darkness as the nocturnal wildlife gets going. Using a spotlight your guide will scan the bush for eye-shine picking out some great action.
Location & directions
South Luangwa National Park, Luangwa Valley, Zambia
This historic hilltop lodge is found in Zambia's vast South Luangwa National Park. Home to probably the highest concentration of hippos in the world, as well as lions, leopards and elephants, South Luangwa is famous for its walking safaris.
How to get there
The nearest airport to Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge is at Mfuwe. You can fly into Mfuwe from Lusaka (1-hour), Livingstone (2-hour, via Lusaka), Zambezi Kulefu airstrip (1-hour 40-minute) and Jeki/Royal (1-hour 30-minute). The transfer time from Mfuwe airport to the lodge is approximately 2 hours in 4X4 vehicle (45-minute road transfer through village followed by 1-hour 15-minute gravel road transfer through the national park with game viewing possibilities).