SuiteIn 2007 Chongwe River Camp opened the Albida suite. This is on the south edge of the main camp, and consists of two totally separate, quite modern, stylish, octagonal tents, each with its own adjacent bathroom. Between the two tents is an elegant, open-sided lounge area.
Each bedroom tent is spacious with large mesh windows for a light and airy feel. The tent's walls can be solid canvas in case of rain; huge mesh windows to let air through but not insects, or left completely open. (Fortunately they're just a little too small to permit elephants to enter!)
Each bedroom has lots of hanging space, a large writing desk, dressing gowns, a very comfy armchair and – in the centre – twin or double beds. The bed-side lights are electric, but paraffin lanterns are dotted around outside at night for atmosphere.
Around the tents, the lounge area and the individual bathrooms are a series of stone walls. These have been built, like Chongwe River House, using a unique technique to make them curvy and organic – almost fluid! There isn't a straight line in any of these walls and the whole place has the feeling that we'd expect from the Flintstones' house. (These suites are all very different in style to the more traditional safari tents at Chongwe River Camp.)
Adjacent to each tented bedroom is a bathroom, which is mostly surrounded by one of these curvy stone walls, and partly shaded by a large canvas roof. These bathrooms still feel a little open-air in many ways; they look stunning, but aren't suitable for more nervous travellers. Each bathroom has twin sinks, two open-air showers, a flushing toilet and a claw-footed bath.
The two rooms of the Albida suite share a comfortable lounge, with a well-stocked bar, a dining area, a camp fire and a small plunge pool all overlooking the Chongwe River. Meals can be taken here or back at the main camp, which is in walking distance – the choice is yours!
New to Chongwe River Camp, the Cassia suite opened in August 2008. Built in the same style as the Albida suite, the Cassia suite differs in that it has only one tent, with its own en-suite bathroom and private lounge, bar and pool. This suite is designed for couples who are looking for very private accommodation, but you will still join other travellers on guided safaris.
Note that these suites have separate attendants who act as private 'butlers' – briefed to look after their individual guests. On our last visit, Edward seemed to have found the perfect balance of being attentive and helpful, without being intrusive. He checked on us regularly, volunteered drinks whenever we felt like them, gave us complete freedom of where we ate, and even seemed to do something lovely and unexpected to the bedroom whenever we returned! He was a star!
In conclusion... these suites are quite a departure from the rest of the camp; they're modern, stylish and quite opulent compared with the relatively traditional main camp.
The Albida suite is superb for a small family (with older children) or group of friends, but can also be used by two unrelated couples. The Cassia Suite is the perfect place for a honeymoon!
Safari Tent | Suite |