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Zambia Safari

Chiawa Camp

Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

Chiawa Camp offers excellent game viewing from vehicle, boat and as shown here, on foot!
Return to Lower Zambezi NP Camps                     Image © Chiawa Camp

View images of Chiawa Camp: Chiawa Images

CHIAWA CAMP RATES: Chiawa Camp Rates

Chiawa Camp is located in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park, ZambiaChiawa is located right on the banks of the Zambezi River, in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park and with the mountains of the Zambian Escarpment as backdrop, it is difficult to imagine a more idyllic setting for a safari camp. Across the River, on the Zimbabwean side, lies Mana Pools National Park - together, these two Parks provide a fertile and untamed sanctuary for Africa's big game. The Zambezi River, in some places 2kms wide, is 2,700kms long and meanders through the Park, attracting loads of wildlife to its banks.

In 1989, the Cumings family opened Chiawa Camp, pioneering tourism into the wilderness of the Lower Zambezi and becoming the first safari lodge inside the National Park. No effort has been spared to provide guests with a truly sensational Zambian safari experience. With a location deep inside the Park on the banks of the Zambezi River, a reputation for professional and personal service, expert African-born guides, a friendly atmosphere, and unequalled logistical support, Chiawa Camp remains one of the foremost safari camps in the Lower Zambezi.

With ample water, the fecund Zambezi Valley supports large volumes of game. Herds of elephant and buffalo are common place and, during the dry winter months, these large pachyderms congregate in vast numbers along the banks of the Zambezi. Plains game and antelope such as impala, waterbuck, and kudu abound, while the Zambezi River teems with crocodiles, hippo, and an impresive array of bird life. The large populations of herbivores attract predators in dense concentrations, and lion and leopard viewing in this area is excellent.

Chiawa is an excellent safari camp, with a wonderful location in a scenic and game-rich National Park. What makes Chiawa truly special however, is the active and enthusiastic involvement of the Cumings family - the result is a warm, friendly, and exceptionally well run camp, offering a range of exciting activities.  Chiawa Camp was also recently voted “One of Africa’s TOP TEN safari camps” by Conde Nast’s Best of the Best Series.

Chiawa operates seasonally and is open from April through November.

Accommodation            For images of Chiawa Camp, click Chiawa Images
Chiawa Camp is situated in an exquisite location under a shady grove of mahogany trees, in the heart of big game country, with expansive views of the mighty Zambezi River. The Camp consists of 8 spacious, well-ventilated safari tents, each set on its own elevated wooden platform under shady tress and with a panoramic view of the Zambezi. The secure tents are insect-proof, have twin or double beds with spring mattresses, solar lighting, solar/electric fans & battery charging, and en-suite flushing loos with hot & cold showers. The Honeymoon Suite is particularly romantic with a shower for two and a bath with private views of the Zambezi and the escarpment!

The access paths run behind the tents to maximize privacy. The charming, thatched lounge/bar area, with upstairs lounge/observation deck, and dining room with al fresco veranda, overlook the river and the game that regularly drinks there. A refreshing dip in Chiawa's plunge pool is most welcome during the warmer months of September and October. The fireplace is host to tales and cocktails by starlight, while friendly hosts and hostesses oversee your comfort and special requirements.

Superior Tent
New in 2004, this “tent” sets a new standard in Zambia for bush-luxury; however, it still retains the rustic and unpretentious feel for which Chiawa is so well loved.  The tent is massive, with huge windows, a curved timber deck and furnished with a king sized bed draped in Egyptian cotton linens.  The tent has a fantastic bathroom with his & hers washbasins, shower, and ball & claw bath, all with great views of the Zambezi and complemented with Molton Brown bath and shower products.  However its pièce de résistance is an outdoor tree-shower; a shower set up in a mahogany tree overlooking the Zambezi and the dry river bed.

Chiawa’s Superior Safari Tent is an ideal, romantic retreat for honeymoon couples, for those celebrating special occasions, or for those who simply want to experience Zambia’s finest tented safari accommodation.

Chiawa's chefs take immense pride in preparing their renowned cuisine, be it a scrumptious bush breakfast, a secluded picnic lunch, or a romantic dinner under a full moon on an island in the Zambezi. An unsurpassed level of care and attention is experienced during all aspects of a guest’s stay at Chiawa.
The entire fleet of well equipped, modern boats & 4x4 game-viewing vehicles are linked with Chiawa camp by our extensive VHF radio network, while camp is linked to our Lusaka H.Q. with satellite telephone, HF and VHF radio.

Any special dietary requirements can be accommodated.

Chiawa specializes in providing tailor-made safaris to best suit each group or guest. With 4 pro-guides, 4 vehicles, and 3 boats, guests are offered a maximum of choice. Chiawa’s guiding has become renowned - its guides are qualified, experienced and inspired. Activities include game viewing by vehicle or pontoon boat, bush walks with an armed guide, night drives (usually after sundowners in the bush or on the river to see the nocturnal creatures), canoeing (half & one-day trips), bird safaris, bush breakfasts, visits to iron age sites, angling for the infamous tigerfish, and more.

Chiawa Camp also has a carefully positioned viewing hide overlooking the confluence of the Zambezi & Chowe Rivers, providing excellent, peaceful viewing of birds and the large mammals, often including the big cats!  The hide is a popular spot for midday relaxation while still allowing for wildlife observation and photography.

The Chiawa guides are excellent fishermen and enforce a ‘catch & release’ policy. World record class tigerfish are regularly caught at Chiawa Camp, leading to frequent visits from renowned anglers. Most types of fishermen are catered for including fly, bait, and spin. Chiawa is currently engaged in a record program to accumulate data on Tigerfish (average size 3kg, camp record 9.5kg) and the giant Vundu catfish (average size 10kg, camp record 38kg). The best angling months are September, October, and November.

The Lower Zambezi National Park has a large variety of faunal species including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects, distributed in varying densities and in complex and diverse eco-systems.

During your stay in the Lower Zambezi, you will have a very good chance of seeing the following large mammals: elephant, hippo, buffalo, waterbuck, zebra, impala, bushbuck and kudu. Of the carnivores, there are solid numbers of leopard, lion and hyena. Other commonly seen predators are African wild dog, serval and the African wild cat. Smaller animals include the side striped jackal, dwarf, slender & banded mongooses, large spotted genet, civet, tree squirrel, honey badger, porcupine and aardvark.

These animals are widely dispersed during the wet season because there is plenty of water and forage. In the dry season they are largely concentrated along the valley floor, the banks of the river and islands in the Zambezi River.

Chiawa Camp is open during the best game viewing months - April to November. The season begins at the end of the rainy season. The vegetation is lush at this time but as the season progresses the bush dries out, the game gathers, and sightings improve.

Early Season - April to May
Visiting the Lower Zambezi after the rains is stunning as the skies are clear and the mountains seem so near. The migratory birds remain in plumage and are preparing to move on. The dense vegetation forces the lions to use the roads and the wild dog are readily seen in the open plains.

Mid Season - June to August
The season has kicked into gear, the vegetation starts to die off and thin out, the elephant and buffalo herds start to gather, and the guides are predicting the predators' next move. Definitely the coldest time of the year, please bring cold weather gear for night drives and early morning activities. The days are a perfect temperature. The Sausage Tree starts to flower, as does the flame creeper/burning bush (Chifungulu) which transforms the green vegetation to a bright red.

Late Season - September to November
Things are really starting to heat up both in terms of weather and game viewing and fishing. Most waterholes have dried up by now, so game is more often seen on the river banks and islands. Bird watching is also spectacular with summer migrating birds returning - the carmine bee eaters really put on a show along the riverbanks. October is the hottest month with a feeling of build up to the rains. When the first rains come, the impala give birth, as do the warthogs and many other species.

Top           Return to Lower Zambezi NP Camps           Return to Map of Zambia

For History and General information about Zambia, click More Zambia
For further information about the National Parks of Zambia, click Zam Parks

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