Reviews of Chiawa Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
72 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Chiawa Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
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." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia
"Another Great Stay at Chiawa!"
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!" See all these reviews: 16n in Zambia
"lived up to expectations"
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!" See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Luxury on the Lower Zambezi"
The camp was excellently run by Peter and Anita, who produced some wonderful "Chiawa surprises"." See all these reviews: 16n in Zambia
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!" See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia
"Chiawa Camp review"
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!" See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia
"Great Camp in a Fantastic Park"
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!" See all these reviews: 18n in Zambia
"Chiawa Camp review"
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." See all these reviews: 17n in Zambia
"Lovely camp by the Zambezi"
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?" See all these reviews: 12n in Zambia
"Wonderful camp on the Zambezi"
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." See all these reviews: 15n in Zambia
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