Chiawa Camp

Reviews of Chiawa Camp

Excellent(97%) From 57 travellers
Excellent
48
Good
9
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 57 of our travellers who have visited Chiawa Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr D. from Witney
Arrived on: 26-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Chiawa Camp

On arrival at Chiawa, I informed the manager that I was unwell and somewhat disinterested in food and so we were quite stunned to find that they had a special brunch of fillet steak with champagne for us aboard one of the boats. It was obviously something they had planned/always give new arrivals and they didn't seem to understand that neither of us really wanted a special meal and being on a boat with no 'facilities' made me particularly wary. Neither of us ate much and we both felt guilty that they had gone to a great deal of effort that was ultimately wasted and not appreciated.

If they had asked, I would also have told them that Judy doesn't drink alcohol and doesn't like boats either! I understand that camps want to make things special but springing this on us without a choice felt insensitive at the very least. We terminated the boat ride as soon as we could to return to camp and the 'facilities'.

I spent the whole 3 days in camp due to my uncertain requirements but was able to enjoy the very close visits of elephants and warthogs around our 'tent'. I recovered in time to move on to Old Mondoro.

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Mrs J. from London
Arrived on: 19-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Chiawa Camp review

A superb camp and run beautifully. Having so loved Old Mondoro and its informal luxury, we were a bit concerned that Chiawa would be a bit too "posh" for us

Yes, it was beautifully run, but without all that "poshness" that we would have hated

It also was very laid back and had informal luxury

Food superb

We simply loved the range of activities available----unusual and "right up our street"

We felt the same on this point at Old Mondoro

Rooms were superb---we had one night in room 6 and then for the next nearly 5 days we were moved to The Honeymoon Suite---for no cost: This was unbelievably superb and can't begin to say how huge and spacious it was-----so many places to sit inside and outside

So many candles everywhere, which I used every solitary night

Our own pool

Our own loungers

Our own camp fire

I could go on and on

We even had 2 x private dinners at our Suite----the staff call it "The Palace"

We realise that we will never get it again, as next year they are going to officially start to sell it, and the rates will no doubt be exorbitant!

However, for any of your clients wanting to really splash out, then we cannot recommend highly enough this Honeymoon Suite---it is "to die for"!

We intend going back to both camps in 2019---in Sept----and would request Room 7 as our 1st choice and Room 8 as our 2nd choice

No complaints whatsoever

However, there was a camp fire at breakfast, but never in the evening----I mentioned this, and was told that I only had to ask to have one built---that was not the point---there is nowhere like a camp fire for getting clients to mingle and to discuss their day's activities---like a camp fire

Their answer in truth, was that they don;t want to wake up guests who have gone to bed at very early hours (from our point of view!) by the guides needing to walk them home, when they might be a little noisy, and wake up the sleeping guests!

I don't agree with this----one is only talking about maybe sitting at the camp fire after dinner for an hour --max!

As it is, with dinner at 8 pm, most of the time, dinner is over by 930 pm at the latest----and although one gets up at 0530, a further 45 mins chatting around a fire, is hardly late

But I doubt that they will change their minds re a camp fire every night----of course, as the nights get much warmer, it is almost too hot for a fire!

We had a wonderful dinner off-site at what they call their "Bedrock" facility----all the tables are set up completely in the open,beside a red canyon, with lamps hung everywhere all over the canyon------too magical to express----and all the hard work that goes into making these dinners so special, is unbelievable!

Again--please do not let them get any bigger!

We met and spent quite a lot of time with Grant, the owner---had lunch and dinner and many chats with him on his "2 sleeps" at Chiawa---as he calls them---a great fun, completely down to earth with a lovely sense of humour

We all discussed convservation quite a bit, as Mike is a Trustee of both Born Free, headed up by Virginia Mckenna and Will----and he is also a Trustee of The Galapagos Trust---so we all had heaps in common---and of course Grant has done a lot to encourate the other camps in the area to see the benefits of getting involved in conservation of the Lowe Zambezi---which they now do----good on him

In fact, we asked to visit the Conservation site near to Royal airport, on our way to Royal to fly to Lusaka, and we spent nearly 1 hour with them---the do a great and very necessary job

Mike is intending putting in money into this Conservation project on the Lower Zambezi

So a wonderful experience

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Mrs & Mr W. from Darmstadt
Arrived on: 14-May-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Chiawa Camp review

it was our first time in a camp and we enjoyed it very much.

We very much enjoyed the professional and friendly team, the management, and the guides.

To listen to the Chiawa choir before dinner was wonderful.

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Miss H & Dr B from London
Arrived on: 31-Aug-2016 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Chiawa Camp

Beautiful tented rooms.

Canoe safari was definitely worth doing, and the night drives were amazing.

We tracked 2 leopards who were mating - didn't realise this was quite unusual until we got back to camp.

Had a very close encounter with Matata the bull elephant who tried to climb up our tent to reach seed pods on the roof!

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G and L from Washington DC
Arrived on: 27-Aug-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Absolutely terrific

Much like Tafika, I had read a great deal about Chiawa and Old Mondoro. I wondered if each could live up to all that I had read. They did and more.

Chiawa is set at an absolutely beautiful spot on the Zambezi River. The camp and the "tents" are well done...the "tents" border on the luxurious. Lots of wildlife right around the camp including many elephants.

The staff - including Daniel, Joshua, Warwick, Marshall, James and Clement and others that I have forgotten did everything possible to make our stay memorable. The highlight was time spent on the river with Lynette catching a 30 pound Vundu catfish and my catching a 10 pound tiger fish. Lots of lions, elephants, etc...never a dull moment.

Much like Tafika, we hope to return to Chiawa and Old Mondoro sometime.

Again, I can highly, highly recommend Chiawa and Old Mondoro to anyone considering a Zambian safari. You will not be disappointed.

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Mr J. from Thailand
Arrived on: 24-Jul-2016 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Another Great Stay at Chiawa!

This was my second visit to Chiawa Camp, and I came away as satisfied as I was after the first visit. Chiawa Camp and its "bush camp" sister -- Old Mondoro -- show just how excellent a Zambia safari can be, when location, camp, activities and staff all exceed expectations. It is well deserving of its reputation as one of the best safari camps in Africa, and a camp that I would not hesitate to return to again and again.

Location -- Excellent! Fabulously situated on the Zambezi River, with panoramic views over the river and offshore islands and sand bars that never grow old. Combine this with a locale that is rich in game and you have a winning combination.

Rooms -- Chiawa's tented cabins represent the best of "Africa Chic," without going over-the-top. I love the open-fronted cabins and the spacious feeling of the accommodations. They are spaced far enough apart from each other that, despite the fact that there are nine cabins in camp, one feels a sense of privacy.

Service -- Top notch, all the way. I get the feeling that staff -- from the humblest "behind-the-scenes" staff to the guides and camp managers -- truly enjoy working here. Level of service is on par with what I receive at 6-star hotels in Thailand (where I live), here in the bush of Africa! Truly amazing.

Food -- Excellent, extremely high quality. It is mind-blowing what the kitchen of Chiawa does in the bush. My favorite food experiences here are the "brunches on the boat," floating down the Zambezi.

Activities -- One of the highlights of my stay was a canoe excursion through the nearby channel, where we came face-to-face with elephants, crocs and the odd hippo. Birdlife was simply stunning. The game drives lived up to their billing with everything major making an appearance, often in mind-blowing numbers (four leopard sightings on one afternoon game drive is simply insane!)

Facilities -- everything you could ask for, including decent wifi service (I know this is a vacation and I am supposed to totally "turn-off," but I am a business owner and appreciate being able to check in with the [sad] real world once in a while.

Overall -- CAN'T WAIT TO COME BACK!

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Bridget
Arrived on: 5-May-2016 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

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!

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The Sand Martins from Oxfordshire
Arrived on: 27-Sep-2015 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Luxury on the Lower Zambezi

We first stayed at Chiawa five years ago, and were keen to return to the Lower Zambezi. Chiawa is a very luxurious camp, with the highest standards. It offers a wide range of activities on land and on the river, including canoeing and sunset cruises. We had two memorable walks with Paul Grobler: he is an outstanding walking guide, a true naturalist whose breadth of knowledge of the natural world is awe-inspiring.

The camp was excellently run by Peter and Anita, who produced some wonderful "Chiawa surprises".

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Mr & Mrs M from Reading
Arrived on: 19-Sep-2015 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

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.

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Mr & Mrs G from Basingstoke
Arrived on: 8-Jul-2015 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Beautiful Chiawa

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!

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