Reviews of Chikoko Tree Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
A place to live in the moment & relax
Spending time at Chikoko camp certainly had a different feel to it than driving safari. It was Isaac Zulu who lead us to Chikoko on our first day. I remember how Isaac's great sense of humor set a positive tone to our venturing into the bush right from the start.
The remaining two days at Chikoko were spent with Brent Harris. We enjoyed his guiding style, very relaxed and easy going yet informative. On our last morning walk it was just Alexei & I so we mentioned to Brent we'd like to slow down the pace of walk and try to get closer to animals as long as it was safe. It was exactly what we did and we appreciate Brent's flexibility in helping us do so. Those few hours we spent walking in the bush without rushing, posing to see the wildlife is one of the best moments of the entire trip.
The two days we spent at Chikoko allowed us to forget about the rest of the world living in the moment. The set up of the camp contributed to it, of course. It feels even more relaxed and isolated than Tafika but you really have all the "creature comforts". With basic open fire kitchen, the food was always ready and the bread they bake is fantastic! The staff who looked after our needs are very efficient. I would certainly return back to Chikoko and I'd recommend this camp particularly for those who look for more of an active safari style.
Chikoko and Crocodile
Much more basic accomodation as expected, as these are bush camps - but I'd still describe the as luxury camping. We enjoyed both camps and the sence of isolation as there are no roads at all to the camps.
Again enjoyed the walking with Brent.
Chikoko Tree Camp review
Everything was entirely to our liking: wonderful (also vegetarian) food, the chalets, wonderful sightings of lion, leopards, wildebeest, roan antelope, eland etc. etc. The walks with Stephe were much more improvised and took us where there were animals to be seen.
Chikoko Tree Camp review
Chikoko is a walking camp, no drives were on offer. Part of the journey to camp involves crossing the Luangwa river in a canoe.
Walking in the bush is very different to jeep drives, you will see fewer animals because they are more wary of people on foot, but it is really exciting to walk amongst them. Seeing a lion watching you with nothing between except blades of grass really grabs your attention.
We judged the location to be "good" with the river completely dry, but it would have been "excellent" when there is water by the camp. The food was every bit as good as at Tafika - how they do this at such a remote location is amazing. We saw a cake baking in the oven - a hole in the ground - which when we ate it was light and delicious.
The rooms here are on two levels, with the bedroom above and facilities below. The stairs are a bit rustic in nature, and need care at night. We didn't find any problem with this however. The bedroom upstairs has only three walls, being completely open at the front. It is completely private, though, and overlooks the river (dry when we were there).
Same high standards of service as at the main camp, with not many compromises to its remote location. Enjoyed it immensely.
Ian and Michelle - Chikoko Tree Camp Review
Walking safaris are rather different from game drives. It is great being on the ground hiking along the game trails. I will admit that the heat can be fierce at times but we had been warned about that so can't complain. Our walking Guide Isaac was extremely knowledgeable about a great many things - tough to stump him with a question. He was also full of amusing stories.
The park ranger was very capable both at tracking & spotting game and also at protecting the animals by ensuring we did not put them into a bad situation.
The Tree Camp facilities were great. We liked the idea of a second story bedroom with NO WALL so we had a commanding view of the plain in front of the camp and could watch the Impala, Puku, Kudu, Elan, Warthogs, Elephants, Zebras, Monkeys, baboons, and all the birds.
One of the impressive aspects was the food. There was a small kitchen hidden behind a grass wall. We asked to see the chef after a midday meal and we were amazed to see what great food was being prepared from very rudimentary facilities, based upon open fires.
Chikoko Tree Camp review
Guide and guard full of endless knowledge
Always had things to tell you of interest never tired and work with smiles on their faces
I learnt so much and nothing seemed too much trouble
I won't forget Chikoko!
This camp is outstanding for the feeling of remoteness and for experiencing the African bush under the stars! There were some terrific night sounds including roaring lions very close to the camp which we were lucky enough to spot later on, lying in the sun, while we were eating breakfast round the campfire.
The guide was fantastic; he was very informative and went out of his way to guide us to see as much as possible. He interacted very well with us all and we felt very confident on the walking safaris.
All the staff were very friendly, attentive and professional. Nothing was too much trouble and the food and accommodation were exceptional. It was a truly amazing place to be and an experience I'll never forget.
Chikoko Tree Camp review
Another winner. Chikoko is in the most gorgeous location and the chalets (may not be the proper word) are beautifully placed and comfortable but not at the expense of their beauty and simplicity. After a little bit of a tricky start (one of our twin bedded rooms was available and we spent the first night in the guide's chalet - not with him of course!) it was perfect. Mix-ups happen and John Coppinger was most apologetic so this isn't worth any kind of fuss.
We were lucky with the other guests on the second night, who were amusing and lively company. I suppose with such an intimate set-up, we could have picked the short straw and found ourselves stuck in the Bush with people we couldn't stick, which could have been a bit of a downer (for them too as four women of a certain age isn't everyone's cup of tea) but that fate was avoided, particularly on the second night.
The staff are charming and most attentive and the food is fabulous. Bravo Patson. Alex Phiri is a charming and interesting host and most knowledgeable guide too and we loved being reunited with the irrepressible Brighton, owner of Africa's most engaging laugh for sure.
One small point is worth making. On our first day's walk there was a logistical challenge as two guests from Chikoko had to be swopped with two from Crocodile Camp, not a simple thing to sychronise in the Zambian Bush. However, the four and a half hour walk in blistering heat was too long for most of us. Two of our group is over 70 and I am the youngest at almost 60. I realise that as part of a larger group, it's not possible to hive off when the going gets too much but the walk was an endurance test for us, given the very high temperature.
Alex was able to show us some fascinating things, we would never have picked up elsewhere but we found the tests a bit of a challenge - or maybe it was just that the heat got to us.
roan antelope at last
This was our 4th visit as we like the layout and no-car style of this little camp. Walking to/from camp with Isaac & Batwell we saw 8 roan antelope, Cookson wildebeest, kudu and eland, plus a nice lion looking the other way until he heard us.
The roan we had missed on 3 previous visits - they are magnificent animals with fine ears and horns appearing like a star on their high head. Isaac patiently retaught us the flora and fauna, and his stories are a joy.
Chikoko tree camp
I loved this place! The rooms have a downstairs bathroom and the bed is upstairs along with a viewing platform which also means that the bedroom is fully open on one side, letting in air and light in abundance.
I gathered from reading the visitors book that one, there wasn't even roofs above the bed, which sounds like a great idea for stargazing at night.
The game viewing was excellent here, too, and the food retained the high quality experienced at Tafika.