Reviews of Chikoko Tree Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
A night at chikoko with family
We spent a single night at Chikoko as a family with our sons aged 14 and 12. The camp is absolutely beautiful and the service amazing - I did feel a little spoilt with more staff than guests and every need catered for. Even down to jugs of hot water provided for our early morning at 5am. The food was fantastic and more family friendly than at Tafika - I'm not sure whether this was deliberately planned because there were no other guests but we loved the burgers and chocolate mousse at lunchtime - and the huge cake at tea which was so fresh it was still warm - the quality of cooking in this environment was simply amazing (all the food is walked into the camp).
After four nights at Tafika we walked in the morning to get to the camp - about 3.5 hours. This walk was beautiful and with lots of game - kudu, buffalo, zebra, waterbuck and of course many birds. The camp itself is also a great birdwatching place. Very comfortable and peaceful.
The chalets are set up high in the trees and the whole camp is very open. We chose to sleep one parent one child in each chalet as they are quite far apart so we felt safer with this configuration.
I think one night was a good choice with the children, since the camp is quite small and apart from the walking not much to do. I personally would like to return to do more walking but family life is always a compromise!
More rustic than Tafika - mud floors on ground floor on the two storey huts.
Hot showers in the evening and a jug of hot water in the morning. 24 hour electricity.
You have a real remote feeling at this small camp of three huts. Only one hut had a double bed when we were there.
Great and safe guide.
Crocodile Bush Camp [I didn't stay @ Chikoko]
Crocodile Bush Camp.
We had two wonderful nights at CCB. We walked about five hours to get to the camp with an armed and congenial Zambian park ranger in the lead. En route, we walked thru a huge herd of cape buffalo, some zebras, elephants, wart hogs, hippos, birds, giraffes, etc. Many of the rainy season lagoons were dry and absolutely covered with dried mud footprints of elephants and hippos. That made walking a bit challenging but survivable. A pair of walking poles (or two suitable tree branches) would have helped.
The food and accommodations were excellent. Pukus, wart hogs, and elephants right in front of the camp. On one afternoon game walk, we encountered at very close range a pack of wild dogs in hot pursuit of an impala. That was a memorable experience as was the bark of the two of the dogs whose chase we had ruined. On a morning game walk, we saw one eland and a kudu family. That was the only eland of our trip.
Great walking safari to Chikoko Tree Camp
Wonderful stay at Chikoko Tree Camp.
I especially enjoyed seeing the kitchen. We loved everything about this camp.
Issac made it so interesting and lots of animals. I can't imagine not doing a walking safari.
The food and setting was beyond our wildest dreams.
small walking camp with super animal viewing
We love this simple camp and this year we saw large numbers of wildebeest, roan antelope and eland as animals move closer to river as water dries up.
Crossed the river by truck, as water level low enough, and by boat. Food just like Tafika's so excellent. Amon in 2nd year as walking guide was good with wide knowledge and friendly style.
Long talks on his family life in the closed season gave us a good insight into how hard it is. New stairs are solid and an improvement.
Chikoko Tree Camp review
Chikoko was our introduction to walking safaris, which gave us the chance to learn about the bush at a more intimate level. Issac's many years of knowledge and experience provided insight on hundreds of things we'd never have known - from those tiny ant lions, to the territorial habits of animals, to the peculiar habits of plants and trees. The view from our hut was gorgeous, with elephants close by every day.
The food at Chikoko was extraordinary - we couldn't believe they could turn out such excellent meals from that small kitchen. Another great experience.
One small suggestion - place mounted bed lights outside the mosquito netting to discourage the entry of bugs/flying insects.
Chikoko Tree Camp review
Not sure I liked the tree houses/rooms. Would have preferred everything on one level.
This apart the whole experience was a extremely pleasurable and memorable experience.
Having a single guide (Alex) here helped make the walks more tailored and special.
Chikoko Tree Camp review
We were spoilt in having the camp to ourselves for two night stay. We felt very remote but also very safe in the expert hands of our guide and the rest of the staff.
The walking was at a pace that suited us in covering a lot of ground but also with plenty of stops to view lots of detail you miss from the vehicles.. This more than compensates for not generally getting as close to the larger wildlife whilst driving -(although tracking two young male lions and watching them eat a buffalo from 40m away was a close encounter and one which we felt very safe in.
The great delight of these camps is being able to walk out in the morning and return back on foot - especially to the smell of fresh baking bread!
Crocodile & Chikoko Camps
The walking experience & staying in the 2 completely different bushcamps for 2 nights each was fantastic. We kept the same team for the 5 days & this was also great. We were 2 couples who had only just met a Tafika, then we had Alex the Scout, Mukupa the guide & Justan as the tea boy.
As we were together the whole time, we all ended up with an excellent friendly, trusting, relationship with the team which I think they also appreciated. As our fitness was good we were walking nearly 6/7 hrs a day. I also have to mention the work of Mukupa as the guide who has a great sense of humour, & worked tirelessly for the whole 5 days as guide, host & all round entertainer.
Alex was also meticulous in his safety, advice & knowledge of animal behaviour. The highlight & most exhilarating was tracking a pride of lions for nearly 2hrs & finally finding them asleep under a bush with 9 cubs having just eaten a buffalo kill
Chikoko Tree Camp review
Chikoko Tree Camp is more elegant than Crocodile, but still has a remote bush feel. The tent platforms built up into the trees made this camp special. Again, the staff was attentive and the food was delicious.
Crocodile Bushcamp and Chikoko Tree Camp are satellite walking safari camps associated with Tafika. The 6 km / 3.5 mile walks between camps were relaxed and unhurried, though walking across areas with dried hippo footprints required some concentration. Our experienced walking safari guides, Isaac and Bryan, were excellent teachers educating us on details of the animals, birds and traditional uses of the local trees and plants. Unfortunately, wildlife was scarce on our walks.
However, we did enjoy watching elephants, puku, impala, kudu, and baboons from the elevated vantage point of our tent at Chikoko Tree Camp. We sought off after a small pride of lions that were frequenting the area near Crocodile Camp during our afternoon walk. They were close by, as we could hear them across the dry riverbed, but twilight was fast approaching and we had to return to the safety of camp. I don’t know if I was disappointed or relieved at missing the opportunity to see the lions on foot.
If I could have a do over in planning my itinerary after the fact, I would have added another night at Tafika and settled for one day walking safari at Chikoko Tree Camp, simply for the game viewing opportunities. Had we seen the lions while walking at Crocodile, perhaps my enthusiasm for the walking safaris would be different.