Reviews of Chiawa Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
lived up to expectations
Super camp , really fantastic guides and very helpful staff. Two comments,,,,,the first is my husband and I both hate communal dining, we didn't realise how much until we met an Antipodean couple who reinforced our gratitude to our ancestors who sent certain people to the colonies. The female of the species was "inebriated by her own verbosity" to the extent that she "delighted" the whole table with her opinions and experiences that at 9,0 the rest of us were waiting for her to even start her soup (we had all finished) she was so assured of her captivating personality.
The staff were dying to serve the meal and go to bed but "Rayleen" went on and on and on.....In the end my husband and I just left the table and abandoned the meal,. The second niggle was that we were told the evening meal was at 8, approx. One couple did not return until 8.45 and the rest of us had to wait. This is unacceptable, far too late to eat and get up at 5.30 in the morning , one did that at university, but not now!
To be fair once we had told the camp .manager of this they accommodated us, no problem, I do not want to give the impression that we wanted exclusivity, we are perfectly happy to dine at a reasonable time with the guides and/or the staff but some of our fellow travellers have an intellectual capacity below that of the animals we are observing, we have to accept their presence on the game drives but dining with them as well is purgatory!
Chiawa Camp review
Chiawa was a real shock to the system after Old Mondoro and Potato Bush where there were only three or four other guests at each. Going into the bar before dinner on the first day at Chiawa and seeing 14/16 people drinking G&T was a surprise. However, the camp was very well organised and the pre-arrangement of food and activity options worked very well.
Once you were out on activities you were not conscious of the greater number of guests in the camp. The location of our tent was excellent overlooking an area with regular visits from Waterbuck and Buffalo. The canoe trip was particularly enjoyable.
The area covered by game drives overlapped with that covered by Potato and hence six nights between the two was probably too many.
The camp has a lovely spot right on the Zambezi within the national park. We loved the camp, the staff were great and we really enjoyed the variety of activities - we drove, walked, went on a canoeing trip which was wonderful and went out on the boat.
Game viewing, particularly on drives, was fairly quiet. To be fair, there was an abundance of certain animals, in particular elephants, it was just that we didn't see the variety of game we have seen in other places. This may have been bad luck or possibly the time of year?
Very good guiding yet again and guides were on rotation as at Tafika so you had a different guide for each activity.
The food was excellent and the lunch and dinner we had on the water were particular highlights. The bush barbeque was fantastic - the blackened beef is something we will long remember!
Chiawa Camp review
A much bigger Camp than the Sister Old Mondoro. But an unforgettable stay at a wonderful place on the banks of the Zambezi. Tent No. 9, was wonderful.
Great Statt and excellent activities with a lot of opportunities on the water, which has encountered to several unbelievable wildlife sightings. Lunch on a Cruise Boat with Champagne etc.....and so on.....Luxury pur!
Great Camp in a Fantastic Park
Chiawa Camp was the first of six I stayed in on my Zambia safari, and what a great start it was! The camp is simply stunning, and the "tents" as comfortable and aesthetically pleasing as can be, given the remote location. Luxurious extras, like twin his-and-hers vanities and a ball and claw bathtub, will surely please the "comfort queens" of the safari world!
The common areas are outstanding, as well. Well-designed, with plenty of space to stretch out, relax or socialize in.
Service is outstanding, without being over-the-top. Camp staff are efficient and genuinely friendly, and no request goes unanswered.
The quality of guiding is very good, the vehicles comfortable and in good shape. Sightings were not as frequent and animals not quite as abundant as in some parks, but ... that said, we had incredible, high-quality sightings with Chiawa! Watching a mother leopard and her eighteen-month old female cub play and interact in a tree, then groom each other on the ground, then call and greet the eighteen-month old male cub when he came home from his walkabout, is something I'll never forget! Nor another female leopard grooming her two, tiny cubs! Lower Zambezi Park truly deserves it reputation for leopard sightings!
The only small criticism I have regards the dinners, which were a bit uneven. The brunches (served buffet style) were outstanding, beverages on offer outstanding, but the dinners -- plated, 3-course affairs -- came out a bit flat, in my opinion. There seems to be a need to offer haute cuisine; as we are in the bush I am not sure why the catering folks don't simplify things and serve food that is perhaps more appropriate for a bush setting.
That said, the culinary highlight was a full moon BBQ (braai) set up and held on a small island in the middle of the Zambezi River -- truly magic!
Chiawa Camp review
Great camp despite being the largest we visited. We would not have liked to stay anywhere bigger.
We did find the number of hosts ( Peter, Anita, Tess and David ) plus the presence of the owner Grant, a bit overwhelming given that the camp is only twice the size of Tena Tena and Old Mondoro.
We have been married for 44 years , so it was very sweet of them to put us in The Honeymoon Suite!
Guides, as everywhere, were great company and very knowledgeable on game drives and over meals.
Lovely camp by the Zambezi
We enjoyed our stat at Chiawa, particularly the water activities. Sundowner on the Zambezi was lovely and the canoeing was really good.
Guides were helpful and gave us a lovely experience of a leopard. We stayed at the honeymoon tent which was really comfortable, if a bit hot and airless.
A rather smart camp did not quite have the "bush" atmosphere of others - maybe we should have stayed at Old Mondoro?
Wonderful camp on the Zambezi
Tents were delightful. Spacious, very clean and very well equipped with a great attention to detail.
Beds very comfortable and facilities excellent. Food was excellent. Camp activities were varied and very well organised. It was easy to choose an activity to suit and the guides were very helpful at tailoring activities, e.g. when one of us wanted to go birdwatching.
Chiawa Camp review
The most luxurious of all the places we stayed further upmarket compared to sister camp Old Mondoro
Run exactly the same
Very nice indeed
See whole trip comments
Chiawa another nice camp
Both managers and staff of Chiawa are friendly and the food was excellent.
Guiding was good though we did not see much on our night drives as we did at Tafika and the red light used does mean that taking photographs was tricky, though we do understand why it was used.
The canoe trip was excellent and I highly recommend taking the longer canoe trip. Having a meal on the boat as it travelled down the river was also a lovely surprise, though I wish we had known a little in advance as we would have taken our binoculars and cameras with us.