Chamilandu stands beside the Luangwa River, and has 3 chalets raised up on stilts.
Chamilandu Bushcamp: Our full report
Chamilandu Bushcamp is a small, stylish and very comfortable safari camp set above the Luangwa's banks and with sweeping views of the river to the Nchindeni Hills. A grove of tall African ebony trees keeps the site shady and cool, offering a welcome respite after a foray into the bush.
There are just three spacious chalets at Chamilandu Bushcamp, set well apart. Each is thatched, with reed walls on three sides, and is raised about 2m off the ground on a timber platform. The interiors have recently been refurbished and, though still very African in style, are now both contemporary and chic. We loved the black mosquito netting which works wonderfully with neutral colours and high-quality but simple furniture. Each room has a king-size bed, or two small double four-poster beds, and is open-fronted, with no barriers between the bedroom and a private viewing deck where comfortable chairs face out over the river.
Chamilandu's chalets have a curtained doorway leading through to an open-air, en-suite bathroom. Here, a low front wall affords a great view over the Luangwa River and the game management area on the opposite bank. Each bathroom has twin sinks, a flush toilet and a large open shower. Discreet solar panels provide lighting and hot water.
At the centre of Chamilandu, just metres from the riverbank and enclosed on three sides by a waist-high reed wall, is its main area. As well as hanging wicker chairs, moulded wooden chairs and low slung sofas with comfortable cushions in the lounge, there is a bar cabinet, a small library and a long dining table. The high thatched ceiling provides a convenient roosting place for epauletted fruit bats, and you'll often find groups of these watching you from the rafters.
Nearby, the campfire is used to heat porridge and cook toast at breakfast, and later as a gathering place for pre-dinner drinks. Behind the camp, away from the river, a thatched hide on stilts overlooks a small lagoon where animals often come to drink. A short walk from the main area is another small lagoon which attracts a variety of wildlife. A raised, thatched hide built in the shade of African ebony trees overlooks this pool.
Activities from Chamilandu Bushcamp comprise of walking safaris and game drives (day and night) in a variety of environments, including riverine forest, mopane woodland, clearings and open floodplains. These attract a diversity of wildlife, from plains game such as Crawshay's zebra and impala, to wetland animals like puku and waterbuck, and the shyer species that prefer the riverine thickets, like kudu and leopard.
There is usually one guide in camp at Chamilandu at any given time. As the camp takes a maximum of only six guests, activities are usually done as a group, so the choice will depend on other visitors as well as yourself. We suggest a stay of at least two or three nights to be fairly sure of doing some walking and some 4WD safaris.
Our viewChamilandu has only three chalets which are large and set in a stunning location. It's a great small bushcamp if you don't want to compromise on 'luxury', provided that you're comfortable to choose any given activity – walking or 4WD safari – as part of the group.
Directions: After arriving at Mfuwe Airport on a flight from Lusaka or the Lower Zambezi, a game-drive transfer through South Luangwa National Park takes approximately three hours to reach Chamilandu Bushcamp.
Owner: The Bushcamp Company
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: The food served at Chamilandu Bushcamp is good quality and tasty with a variety of dishes using fresh ingredients. Breakfast is usually eaten around the campfire over which porridge and toast is prepared. A buffet table is set up nearby with a choice of cereals, yoghurt, fruit, spreads and juices.
After the morning activity you return to camp around 11.00am for brunch. This is more like lunch than breakfast, often including two or three salad dishes, a meat dish and a vegetable dish in the form of a quiche or mini pizzas.
After a rest during the heat of the day, afternoon tea is served before a second activity, often in the hide overlooking a small lagoon. On our last visit to Chamilandu we were spoilt with scones, jam and cream!
After a spotlit night drive, at about 8.00pm, comes a three-course dinner. During one of our stays we enjoyed a starter of bruschetta topped with guacamole and tomato, and a main course of roasted chicken breast and crunchy roast potatoes served with green beans. Dessert was vanilla cream topped with a caramelised lid.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Chamilandu Bush camp has a well-stocked drinks cabinet. All available drinks are included when staying at the camp – including beers, local spirits, house wines and soft drinks – although you won't find many esoteric imported spirits, fine wines or champagnes here.
Generally recommended for children: We'd recommend for children ages 16 or over.
Notes: Chamilandu is not fenced, allowing animals to pass through the camp. These animals are wild and can be dangerous, so children must be under their parent's supervision constantly.
Power supply: Solar Power
Communications: Chamilandu is in 24-hour radio contact with its sister camps in South Luangwa and with its base camp at Mfuwe Lodge.
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: A doctor is sponsored and accommodated by the various safari operators in South Luangwa National Park to be available in case of a medical emergency for their guests or staff.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: Guests are escorted to their chalets after dark. We recommend that you hand any valuables to the manager to keep in the camp's lock-up facility.
Fire safety: Water hoses and fire extinguishers are available throughout the camp in case of fire.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: A laundry service is included at Chamilandu – it is all hand washed and line dried. Washing powder is provided in the chalets for guests who wish to do any hand washing.