Chichele Presidential Lodge: Our full report
Chichele Presidential Lodge was originally built in 1972 as the holiday home for the former Zambian president ...... Kenneth Kaunda. From a commanding spot on the top of Chichele Hill, it has stunning views over South Luangwa National Park, the Luangwa River and the Chindeni Hills. It is a solidly-built lodge with a more colonial feel than most. Please note that Chichele Presidential Lodge closed at the beginning of October 2018 for a major rebuild and refurbishment, and is currently due to open in 2021. We'll be following the progress and update here when we have further information - please call us for the latest developments.
After major refurbishment, Chichele Presidential Lodge was reopened by Mr Kaunda himself in April 2011.
For the last 10 years, the lodge has functioned as an upmarket luxury safari lodge, with spacious, air-conditioned suites with double or twin four-poster beds draped with mosquito nets.
French doors lead onto private verandas, set with table and chairs where you can sit and enjoy the views. The large en-suite bathrooms featured a ball-and-claw roll-top bath as well as a separate shower cubicle, with twin washbasins set into wooden top beneath wood-framed mirrors, and toilets with old-fashioned cisterns set up on the wall with a pull chain.
The main area at Chichele is spacious and airy with a large fireplace for cool nights, and outside is a large covered veranda where most meals are taken - the views from the lodge are some of the best in the Luangwa. The lodge also boasts a large swimming pool.
The lodge will be run and managed by the same team running the nearby Puku Ridge, which has recently been rebuilt, and so we're expecting a similarly high level of style to the new lodge, along with the high standard of guiding and service we've come to expect from these camps.
Activities at Chichele Lodge will concentrate on day and night 4WD game drives, with walking safaris on offer as well. The lodge is located in the area south of the Mfuwe Main Gate, with drives taken near the Luangwa River and in the surrounding woodland.
Chichele Presidential Lodge is currently undergoing significant renovations, and we're excited to see the new look of the lodge when it's completed.
- South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
- Ideal length of stay
- A stay of three to four nights in this area of the national park would be ideal.
- The nearest airport is at Mfuwe, a 90-minute drive from Chichele.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- On previous visits, the food at Chichele is of a very high standard. On our visits to Chichele's sister camps we've also enjoyed delicious meals, and would expect similar from the new lodge when it reopens.
We're expecting that the lodge will follow the generally standard meal times as the other safari lodges in the park.
Breakfast is normally served before the morning activity. A buffet table is laid out with an assortment of cereals, fresh fruit and fruit juices as well as freshly baked bread. A cooked breakfast is also usually available to order.
On returning from the morning activity, brunch is served. This is generally a selection of salads and a hot dish such as barbecue chicken or a quiche, and is followed by a dessert.
Afternoon tea is served at about 4.00pm and consists of both a sweet and a savoury snack.
- Originally built as a holiday home for Zambia’s first president, Kenneth Kaunda, Chichele Lodge stands high on one of South Luangwa’s few hills. It’s been converted into a very comfortable safari lodge with high ceilings, wide verandahs and a certain colonial style.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- As soon as we have information on the age policies at Chichele we will update these details.
- Special activities & services
- We don't know as yet what additional services will be available for any children staying at the lodge.
- The lodge is likely to have WiFi. Limited cell phone reception is usually available in this area of the park.
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- There is a doctor based in the Mfuwe section of the park. For more serious incidents, travellers would be flown to Lusaka, or Johannesburg.
- Fire safety
- We understand there will be fire extinguishers throughout.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is likely to be included.
- Rooms are likely to have individual safes.
Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.