Reviews of Chongwe River Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
This was a really good stay - a great place to add on to a visit to Luangwa as it provided water based activities.
The tents were luxurious and it was good to have a swimming pool. The open lounge and dining area on the river was a lovely place to sit (or lie) and laze after lunch- particularly when the elephants stroll by.
I really cannot fault any aspect - only suggestion would be possibly to add mosquito nets around the beds - they seem to be able to sneak into the rooms despite the netting on the windows and doors.
Chongwe River Camp review
A magnificent and picturesque site and the icing on the cake was to be upgraded to a suite. There was loads to do, canoeing, fishing and trips up the Zambezi as well as the game drives.
The food was excellent and the staff most helpful and obliging.
Chongwe was at a level and cost appreciably higher than the other three camps. The managers were involved and attentive. Beautiful locations.
We would have appreciated a less hectic motor drive on the river. Pottering through the reed islands is what we wanted. On the other hand the fishing trip was a great success.
Justin and George were excellent guides.
Canoeing, the Zambezi & luxury-a good combo!
Other than an unforgettable experience where we got up close and personal with a bull elephant who fancied chomping on albida pods right by our outside bathroom (about 3 or 4 ft away at most), it was the little touches that made our stay so special.
For example, we arrived from the airstrip mid pm, but lunch had been kept for us; we were able to go canoeing on the Zambezi within an hour of arriving so no time was wasted; we arrived back to a lamp-lit dinner for two on the banks of the Zambezi with the moon, the river, a fire, a suprise bottle of champagne, and the silhouettes of the local hippo pod to complete the scene.
Edward, one of the Albida Suite's two dedicated staff was wonderfully attentive and yet non-intrusive. The suite itself was unabashed luxury in a tent and superbly situated on the confluence of the Zambezi and Chongwe rivers.
Chongwe River Camp review
Lots of activity choices in the bush and on the river. Fishing for Tiger Bass was a thrill!
I'd recommend that the staff do a more thorough job warning guests not to approach the elephants that freey walk around the camp. I can see someone getting too close and getting trampled on.
Chongwe River Camp review
A really enjoyable stay, made all the more special by the attentive hosts.Read more about the whole safari
Chongwe River Camp
This was our second visit to Chongwe and it was even better this time.The management staff went out of their way to make sure we had a great holiday.
Our suite was superb and our dedicated butler made sure we were always well served. The birds animals and fishing all exceeded expectations. We will surely visit again.
Baboons in the bathroom
Fab - wonderful views of the river. A much more spacious camp accommodation wise, although the bathroom could have done with a screen in front of the shower! It was bliss to have a pool.
Elephants were frequent visitors - bit too frequent really! Baboons went into our bathroom and threw the toiletries all over the place, and stole the toothpaste (our only tube of course) so NB to other guests to take your essentials into the tent.
No kikois here - It would be a good idea to advise future travellers to take a sarong that can be damped down if the weather is too hot. Also old flip flops for wearing to the bathroom and in the shower would be a good tip.
Russell, the chef, and his team were a marvel. How such superb food was created in the back of beyond in all that heat is baffling. And unfortunately, fattening...! Caroline was a superb hostess who seemed to be at work behind the scenes but also always with us. We all enjoyed listening to Duncan - there cannot be much he doesn't know about the bush and all that entails. A great asset. This was my favourite camp - probably because of the water.
We went on a river crusie, a game drive, went fishing (caught 2 tiger fish), canoe down the Chongwe - wonderful.
Expert Africa comments
We're delighted that these clients enjoyed their time at Chongwe River Camp. We passed their comments to Chongwe, who have replied saying:
“We are refurbishing the bathrooms at Chongwe Camp in time for opening next season and these will be designed to allow extra privacy whilst showering. We are also sourcing kikoy wraps for guests for the summer heat.
We were sorry about the “baboons in the bathroom” situation – historically this has not been a problem at camp but as a result of this feedback we will be advising guests to keep their belongings outside and not in the bathroom area.”
OK - but not perfect
The "Albida Suite" is very good. Excellent accommodation, and a good concept. But - they do need to keep to that concept, and not invite others in the camp to dine, as happened on our second night.
We were not very impressed with our guide ("Leve" ?): he didn't see a lot and ended by dropping us at Sausage tree at 9.00am, which caused some consternation.
Logistics leave a bit to be desired (plerase call if you want more details)
We asked for a walk, and were told that "ZAWA don't allow walks because the elephants are beoming too skittish". But no problems at Sausage Tree - over to you.
Beautiful setting, sparse game at this season
The overriding memory of Chongwe will be the elephant in camp. We saw several every day, some almost too close for comfort! The staff were always on hand to advise what to do with the elephant when they came in close. The activities on offer were varied, although mainly water based.
As Lisa [Ed: Lisa is one half of this couple!] is not keen on water it was possible for her to go with the vehicle & have her own private game drive on 2 occasions when Chris went canoeing (the vehicle then collecting the group from further up river).
Going to Lower Zambezi Conservation to see Zamma the orphan baby elephant was a highlight. Silky the impala who lives around camp always turned up for her cornflakes at breakfast & was found indside a tent one day sleeping by the bed!
The food was good - however, although a good vegetarian option was provided each day for lunch, at dinner this seemed to be forgotten & the veggie option was simply the meat dish minus the meat.
While the proximity of the river meant this was a great area for birds, there was a distinct shortage of mammalian game apart from elephant & impala (presumably because the drought had meant that those animals that could had moved up to the hills in search of grazing).