Chongwe River House. Lower Zambezi. Zambia
Why we love it
Chongwe House is situated on the Chongwe River close to the confluence with the Zambezi River - a stunning spot where David Livingstone camped during his explorations along the Zambezi River. The award winning, one-of-a-kind villa was the brainchild of renowned architect Neil Rocher who said he was inspired by the shape of a termite mound. The entire house is built of Ferro walls and wild wood. So the walls follow the natural lines of the branches used. In fact there is not a single straight line to be seen! The house is adjacent to the Lower Zambezi National Park which is known for its elephants, exceptional landscapes and excellent fishing.
What to expect
Chongwe House has 4 spacious bedrooms, all ensuite, accommodating 8 people in total. It has a remarkable sitting room where the furniture has been carved from a single huge fallen winter-thorn tree. The en suite showers echo the waterfall which lies just upstream. From the deck guests can look out over the spectacular pool. There are 4 staff including your own guide, chef, butler and host
What to do
You can go on day and night game drives into the Lower Zambezi National Park and look for lions, leopard, big herds of elephant and many other species that occur here. There are also boats to take you to the main river looking for elephants, hippos and crocodiles. Walking trails are offered or you can try your hand at bream and tiger fishing. If you want to get close to nature and birds you can also go canoeing - a wonderful experience. A popular trip is to the waterfall up the Chongwe River. There are also cultural visits to the local village. Alternatively stay in camp and wait for the elephants - they frequently visit in the late afternoons. The area is famous for its large and very relaxed elephant bulls.
Kids With your own private team its easy to manage kids, and the staff will plan meals and activities around their needs. This is an ideal place for kids over 7 years of age. The boat trips and game drives and fishing trips also make it diverse and exciting. The lodge team has activity books for kids and plenty of games in the library.
The good news
Chongwe is a strong supporter of the Conservation Local Zambezi which is the local conservation authority and also supports the Zambian Wildlife Authority.
Best time to visit
May to August are prime months. For tiger fishing you will want to have your lines in the water in September and October when these legendary fighting fish are on the bite. You will want to avoid the rainy season (December to February) and also October which can be extremely hot.
How to get there
Its a 30 minute light aircraft transfer from Lusaka. The itinerary combines well with Luangwa House in the South Luangwa Valley, which is an easy flight away.