Chongwe River House
Lower Zambezi, Zambia
At a Glance
Tucked onto the banks of the Chongwe River, a tributary of the mighty Zambezi, Chongwe River House is unique yet organic in style and enjoys a tranquil setting in the heart of the bush.
This exclusive-use house has just four spacious open-fronted bedrooms, all en-suite - individually and quirkily designed with their own powerful ‘rain showers’ and the two upper floor rooms have open-air baths for the ultimate safari bath-under-the-stars experience.
With the dramatic Zambezi escarpment on the skyline, the captivating views from the open dining area or your own terrace of the changing light on the hills and the wildlife flocking to the river, it makes it hard to venture out!
As Chongwe River House is your own private space you can of course plan the days as you wish – the questions is how will you decide what to do first – will it be the classic game drive, an early morning walking safari along the river, kicking back in a canoe or perhaps a spot of fishing?
Children can learn how to make lion paw-print cookies in the kitchen
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
December to May is rainy season and the camp is closed.
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.
Call us on to start planning your holiday to Chongwe River House or take a look at our itineraries to Zambia
Chongwe River House is a unique private house set on the banks of the peaceful river Chongwe, by the Lower Zambezi National Park of Zambia. This beautiful and unusual house set in the heart of the bush is luxuriously secluded.
The house stands on the banks of the magical Chongwe River, close to the Zambezi, with a sensational view of the dramatic mountainous escarpment beyond. Many animals come to the Chongwe River to drink, and from the deck the game viewing can be as good as any safari activity.
The Chongwe River is a tributary of the Zambezi and the boundary of the Lower Zambezi National Park, a 4,000 square kilometre pristine sanctuary, teeming with game and said to be one of the continent’s most picturesque wilderness areas.
A policy of non-intrusive enjoyment of wildlife and low environmental impact has preserved the area and its wildlife. The Lower Zambezi has become one of southern Africa’s premier destinations for peaceful game viewing and unparalleled tigerfish angling.
Chongwe River House has a natural and novel design - with vast, curving walls, natural wood furniture carved from gigantic trunks and a wonderfully quirky feel - the house exudes an organic quality and you will not find a straight line anywhere!
The House has four exceptionally spacious en-suite bedrooms, each bathroom individually designed with its own powerful "rain" shower and bathtub. In the centre of the house is the massive dining and sitting area, and outside is a sparkling private pool and large verandah overlooking the river. The views across to the escarpment and down the Chongwe Channel are nothing short of spectacular. Every need is catered for, with private game viewing vehicles and canoes, private guides, a private chef and a house manager.
As the House is booked out privately, your days are yours to do as you wish - perhaps choose to get up early and explore the park, take a full day drive into the furthest reaches - or enjoy a lazy morning by the pool before trying your hand at fishing in the mighty Zambezi, home of the Tiger fish.
Chongwe River House sleeps eight in four spacious en-suite bedrooms, each individually designed and beautifully appointed - two rooms are on the upper floor with open-air bathtubs and large verandas on which to relax, and two are on the ground floor, reached by a winding corridor and with direct access to the large deck with its swimming pool.
|Exclusive Use House||
The house has four double rooms each with large king-sized beds, en-suite bathrooms with baths and waterfall showers.
Children over 7 years are welcome but there are no specific child care facilities. Parents should be aware that this is the bush, the House is on the edge of the Lower Zambezi National Park, and is not fenced in, so animals do roam freely past. Food can be tailored to suit younger guests and there is a child minder available on request. Children must be 12 years or older to participate in walking or canoe safaris.
The house has a private plunge pool and dedicated safari vehicles and canoes for tailor made safaris, as well as a larger boat for cruises up and down the river and the Chongwe Channel. Service is taken very seriously and every need is catered for, with private game viewing vehicles and canoes, private guides, a private chef and a house manager.
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.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
I just loved Chongwe River House. It is the most unusual design, I think it reminds me of Fred Flintstone's house! The staff are able to completely tailor make a guests stay with a private chef and guide which makes it a great option for families. There are four bedrooms and they are very flexible about adding in extra beds.
Spend the days exploring the Chongwe and Zambezi rivers by boat or canoe or for older families explore the park on foot and spot the smaller things, from brilliantly coloured birds, spoor, plants and insects. Of course it's also possible to go out on game drives to get up close to the larger mammals, lion, leopard and elephant for example and then in the evening you will make your way back to the house with the guide spotlighting the bushes to observe the nocturnal species including serval, civil and the elusive leopard.
Camilla Smith (Staff)
The best private house I have ever seen in Africa! The style is funky and stylish with gorgeous rooms and lounge areas. There is a great pool and plenty of chill out areas to sit and watch the African bush around you. The style is so cleverly done and very organic; with wood built into the walls and hanging branches through the walls. It feels pretty wacky, with a bit of a Fred Flintstone feel to it but it is incredibly comfortable and an architectural masterpiece. It is totally exclusive and just ideal for a group of friends travelling together or a family.
Chongwe River House is an architectural one-off; a spacious double-storey, four bedroom thatched mansion on the banks of the Chongwe River, whose vast spaces include waterfall showers and bathrooms open to the elements. Guest can do whatever they fancy; fish and canoe in crocodile and hippo infested waters, drive or walk through the Lower Xambezi national Park with their provatye guide and armed ranger, swim in their pool - or hang out and enjoy the soaring blue mountains of the escarpment above, and the three-filled green lawns on to which elephants, monkeys and hippos often wander. An exclusive haven in one of the most beautiful spots in Africa.
Canoeing on the Zambezi River
The Zambezi is renowned for truly spectacular canoeing as it provides you with the chance to see game from a wholly different perspective...looking up at it instead of down!
Fishing on the Zambezi River
The Zambezi River is host to some of the most incredible fresh water sport fishing in the world with both spinning and fly fishing, on a strictly catch and release policy according to the park rules. The most popular quarry is the infamous Tigerfish.
Game Viewing in the Lower Zambezi
Game viewing in the Lower Zambezi National Park, with varying options such as game drives, boat and canoe safaris, or bush walks, is the highlight of any safari trip to Zambia.
Zambia Safari for Teenagers
Livingstone, South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi
from £8700 pp inc flights & transfers for 10 nights
- A perfect holiday for families, staying in exclusive private safari houses
- Each house comes with its own guide, hostess and chef - plan your days as you wish!
- Incredible game-viewing in the Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa National Parks
Location & directions
Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Chongwe River House is set on the Chongwe River, a quiet tributary of the Zambezi, which borders the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia.
How to get there
Guests can fly into Lusaka (10.5 hours from UK) or Livingstone Airport and then connect with an air transfer to Royal airstrip. A representative from Chongwe River House will meet you off the plane at Royal Airstrip and you will be taken by 4x4 vehicle to Chongwe River House, a 20-minute drive.
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