Reviews of Chinzombo
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Stunning setting and fabulous facilities. Kate and Tom (hosts) could not have done more for us - they were always around to check that you were okay, or if you needed anything. Our guide - Willie - was superb. Very patient and hugely knowledgeable. Breakfasts were amazing - seeing the sun rise over eggs cooked over an open fire - doesn't get much better than that.
The one niggle I had: we were given a free foot massage to lure us into using their spa facilities. I had a massage but the price was too high (US$140.00 for an hour). I understand (ish) why you pay this sort of money in places like London and Dubai but in Zambia when they do the massage on your deck (ie not in a spa which they have had to build and maintain), the price is too high. I should have wriggled out of it when I realised this but it was too late.
Chinzombo Camp Review
Wow!! After the rustic basic feel of Tafika, I felt as if I'd truly upgraded when I arrived at Chinzombo.
Hostess Katy was charming and helpful and made my stay even more special. The lead guide, Shadi, is a legend in the valley and knew just how to get the most out of our drives. Perched overlooking the river, the camp is in an idyllic spot.
The food was the best I had tasted in Zambia. It is a true luxury camp. My chalet was gorgeous in every way. There was even a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey in a decanter in my room. In conclusion, wow!!!!
Designer gorgeous with creature comforts
I was glad that Chinzombo was the last camp of the four that we visited in Zambia. It is gorgeous and comfortable--perfect for rest and relaxation, which is mostly what we did.
Our early morning game drive was uneventful until 8:30, but finally livened up. Our guide, Willie, suited us well and seemed to realize that we'd been "around the bush" a few times and didn't need to hear all the basics. One drawback is that there are lots of other camps and self-drivers sharing the same patch of the park--we saw a dozen or more vehicles during our morning drive.
My guided walk from camp was worthwhile in terms of both much-needed exercise and useful information. I think that one can never know too much about dung!
The camp itself was so inviting that it was hard to drag ourselves away. Our villa's deck had enough comfy lounge chairs and sofas that we could move from one to another and have shade all day. Note: be sure to look for sausage tree pods above and stay out of their line of fire until the staff can climb up and cut them down!
We enjoy lazy wildlife viewing from camp, but because the camp is set on a high bank of the Luangwa River, most of the animals you see are on the far bank--close enough to spot but requiring binoculars to see well. We were glad to find vervet monkeys in the trees above our villa and hear an elephant beside our villa one night.
The designers from South Africa have created stunning villas and public spaces, but in doing so forgot some practical elements. There are beautiful bath towels but simply nowhere to hang them to dry. Most of the space for hanging and stacking clothes is occupied by handsome leather boxes and decorative storage devices that are impractical for their purpose. Lighting is lovely to look at, but it's certain that no women were involved in the decisions about vanity illumination. There is a wonderful bathtub that would take hours to fill with its meager trickle of water, and the anemic water pressure in the shower makes washing your hair a long and vexing procedure. (The managers were aware and concerned and said that a solution was expected soon.)
Managers Wendy and Findlay, both Scots, are delightful and eager to please in their first experience with camp management. There was very little interaction among the guests, with each party having its own dining table. It appeared that both managers had to work extra hard to host tables and chat with guests, whereas in most camps, guests help entertain each other. The guides have been with the Norman Carr organization for many years and the staff was always friendly and helpful. We especially enjoyed Josphat, who seemed to be everywhere at once anticipating and attending to our needs.
The food was beautifully presented--sometimes delicious and always good enough. It seemed that the kitchen was still learning how much food to prepare since, on one occasion, lunch was nearly depleted by the time we arrived at 12:15.