This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu
Chindeni
Chindeni
Chindeni
Chindeni

Chindeni: Our full report

Located next to a large oxbow lake, Chindeni Bushcamp is one of the South Luangwa’s most luxurious and well ...

... furnished bushcamps. Under the ownership of The Bushcamp Company it underwent extensive refurbishment in 2010, and has emerged modern and minimalist in style. Those looking for something stylish and contemporary will love this camp.

Chindeni is built underneath a shady grove of ebony trees overlooking Chayumba Lagoon, a large and productive oxbow lake that is often teeming with wildlife, with the towering Chindeni hills as an impressive backdrop.

The shared area consists of a sturdy split-level deck overlooking this lagoon, with the upper tier shaded by a suspended canvas roof. Under this there’s a large pine table where guests dine communally for lunch and dinner, although meals can also be taken on the lower level, out under the sky. The lower level also houses a lounge with low wicker armchairs, and deckchairs made from cow-hide. Dotted around are a variety of handmade side tables and stools, hand-blown glass vases and brass bowls. Though none of this matches as such, all are very stylish and simple, so work together really well.

There is also a small but well-stocked bar at Chindeni Bushcamp and though there is usually someone around to assist, guests are welcome to help themselves.

Chindeni’s four tents are built on raised wooden platforms, with the bedroom and the bathroom incorporated in one large open-plan area. Two of the rooms have twin beds and two have a king-sized, four-poster bed; all shrouded in mosquito netting. At one end of the room is a lounge area with stylish wicker armchairs and footstools. At the other is a lovely pale wood wardrobe for hanging clothes, and a writing desk. A wooden platform extends from the front of the tents where two hammocks are suspended, overlooking the lake. Animals are often drawn to this water, particularly towards the end of the dry season, and you’ll often be able to see as much wildlife during the afternoon from camp as you will on your morning and evening activities. Our favourite sighting from camp on our last visit in 2015 was a large family of elephants crossing the lake, and having a mud bath on the opposite shore.

In the bathroom, a range of toiletries are provided. There are twin sinks, a flush toilet and hot-and-cold rain-shower. The fittings are all very modern and of excellent quality.

The tents are certainly very stylish and beautiful, and thoughtful touches like kikois (an African sarong) and bathrobes make them extremely comfortable. However, we felt that the juxtaposition of the pale wood and modern fittings in such a remote and natural environment could be slightly jarring. Those who love contemporary style and an extra level of comfort while on safari will really enjoy the tents; those who prefer traditional bushcamps may like them less, and may prefer to stay in one of Bushcamp Comapy’s more rustic camps in the area such as Chamilandu or Kuyenda.

There are two activities a day at Chindeni, usually consisting of a morning walk, and an afternoon game drive that often extends into a night drive. There is flexibility with these arrangements though should you wish to change the order or make-up of your activities. On both of these activities you’ll explore the remote surrounding area, where the wildlife is good and there are very few other vehicles around. On our last visit in June 2015 we were able to spot leopard, hyena, giant kingfishers, porcupines and even the elusive aardvark on an evening drive, all without seeing another safari vehicle.

We also particularly enjoyed our morning walk where our guide taught us how to tell an elephants gender from its dung, which vines in the area you can get clean drinking water from and showed us some of the smaller animals in the bush, such as a ground beetle fighting a large spider. For those who are really keen on walking you can do a walking transfer to Chindeni’s sister camp Bilimungwe, a walk that takes approximately four hours.


Our view

Chindeni Bushcamp is beautiful, modern and minimalist with great food and guiding. It’s location provides stunning views, and some of the best game viewing from camp that you’ll find in the South Luangwa. The description ‘Afro-chic’ is very apt, but safari traditionalists may find the design a little lacking in character, and may want to opt for a more rustic bushcamp instead.

Maruska AdyeRowe

Maruska AdyeRowe

Zambia expert

Geographics

Location
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Ideal length of stay
A very usual trip would be to combine Chindeni with a series of its sister camps: Kuyenda, Kapamba, Chamilandu and Bilimungwe.

However, for more variety we'd suggest that you consider combining Kapamba, and perhaps one of its sister camps, with some of the camps on the northern side of South Luangwa – perhaps Tafika, Kiango or even the similarly luxurious Lion Camp.
Directions
It is a one-hour flight from Lusaka to Mfuwe airport, then a three-hour drive to Chindeni which is in the more remote south part of South Luangwa National Park.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
When we were last at Chindeni Bushcamp in June 2015, we thought the food was the best of all the Bushcamp properties that we visited!

Breakfast was a light continental offering with porridge, cereals, fruit and toast. Tea and coffee was also available.

After our morning activity we returned to a brunch of wraps for which we were able to choose our own fillings from a choice of beef, chicken, onions, peppers, mushrooms, cheese, salad, hummus and guacamole. There was also a large pile of fresh and incredibly sweet watermelon for dessert.

There is usually an afternoon tea at 4.00pm with some very tasty, homemade, orange muffins.

Dinner is usually served around 8.30pm, after your evening activity. We started with a spicy and rich butternut squash soup that we very much enjoyed. As a main we had fried talipea, caught from Lake Kariba, with rice, green beans and braised red cabbage. For dessert we then had a very light and fluffy chocolate mousse.
Dining style
Group Meals
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Further dining info, including room service
No
Drinks included
Most drinks are included, apart from champagne and specially imported wines and spirits.

Special interests

Birdwatching
A mixture of miombo woodland, riverine forest and plentiful lagoons means there is varied and prolific birdlife, making the area a great spot for birdwatching in Zambia. On our last visit we saw juvenile saddle-billed storks, several kingfisher species and numerous waterfowl.
See ideas for Birdwatching

Children

Attitude towards children
Children over the age of 12 are accepted
Property’s age restrictions
Children under 12 years of age are not allowed at Chindeni, unless the whole camp is booked out by a family. No children under the age of 12 are allowed to walk in the park.
Special activities & services
No
Generally recommended for children
No – we can't recommend this camp for children under 16 years.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Chindeni

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Chindeni have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Elephant

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Leopard

100% success

Buffalo

83% success

Giraffe

83% success

Spotted Hyena

83% success

Zebra

83% success

Lion

67% success

Wild dog

33% success

Aardvark

0% success

Eland

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Roan antelope

0% success

Sable antelope

0% success

Wildebeest

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
There are no plug points in the rooms but electronics can be given to the manager for charging. In the event of several cloudy day, charging facilities may be limited, or charging could take longer than normal.
Communications
You should consider yourself out of contact during your stay at Chindeni; there is no mobile/cell-phone reception or email at the camp. However there is radio communication with Mfuwe Lodge for emergencies.
TV & radio
No
Water supply
Borehole
Water supply notes
The showers and handbasins are plumbed in. Water is solar-heated so it may take a few minutes to reach your shower. Each chalet has a flushing toilet. The water from the taps is suitable for drinking, but bottled water is also available if you prefer.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
The closest doctor is based at a camp by the Mfuwe Gate – which is about three hours' drive away. For serious medical emergencies Chindeni has links to flying doctors, who can evacuate patients to a hospital in Lusaka.
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
A watchman or manager will escort guests between their rooms and main areas at night, in case of wild animals. Each room has a digital safe for valuables.
Fire safety
There are fire extinguishers in each room and around the main areas.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Cultural excursion

    Cultural excursion

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Night drive

    Night drive

Extras

Disabled access
Not Possible
Laundry facilities
Laundry is included and clothes are hand washed, line dried and coal ironed. For this reason, Chindeni asks guests to wash their delicates themselves – and provide soap for this in the rooms.
Money
No currency exchange is available. There are no safes in the rooms, but if you are concerned then small items could be given to management for safe keeping.
Accepted payment on location
Chindeni Bushcamp is not able to take payment for any extras. Payments (eg: for extras such as champagne) are made at Mfuwe Lodge.

At Mfuwe Lodge you can use cash in US dollars, euros, British pounds and Zambian kwacha. Visa and MasterCard are also accepted – though with an additional charge of 5%.

Other lodges in South Luangwa National Park

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Tafika

Tafika

One of the best camps in Zambia, Tafika is naturally built, combining excellent service and food with top guiding skills for a superb wildlife experience.


98% (302 reviews)
Nkwali

Nkwali

On the banks of the Luangwa River, with its own access to the national park, the intimate Nkwali is open year round.


96% (221 reviews)
Kaingo Camp

Kaingo Camp

Small and owner-run, the riverside Kaingo occupies a a quiet but excellent game area, with a series of wildlife hides and a focus on photography.


97% (204 reviews)
Nsefu

Nsefu

One of the Luangwa's oldest camps, Nsefu is a great safari camp in a remote, beautiful and game-rich location with top-rate guiding.


98% (182 reviews)
Tena Tena

Tena Tena

One of the Luangwa's best camps, in a beautiful, remote bush location, Tena Tena is very small, exceedingly well-run and has top-rate guiding.


95% (146 reviews)
Mwamba Bushcamp

Mwamba Bushcamp

Small, remote and owner-run, Mwamba offers first-class walking, 4WD safari drives and superb hides, with excellent guides and a real bush feel.


99% (145 reviews)
Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp

Chikoko Tree Camp is an excellent small, rustic bushcamp that concentrates on walking safaris, and is run by a top-quality operation.


99% (114 reviews)
Big Lagoon Camp

Big Lagoon Camp

Big Lagoon Camp is a great little rustic bushcamp built to high standards that focuses on excellent walking safaris, with the emphasis on top wildlife guides.


98% (88 reviews)
Kapani Lodge

Kapani Lodge

Just on the south-east side of the national park, Kapani Lodge is the base camp for Norman Carr Safaris, one of the Luangwa's oldest safari operations. It's also a very solid safari camp that has retained lots of character, and runs very well indeed.


95% (78 reviews)
Flatdogs Camp

Flatdogs Camp

A relatively big safari camp, Flatdogs offers value for money with great guiding and good food in a comfortable, relaxed setting.


98% (73 reviews)
Luangwa River Camp

Luangwa River Camp

Luangwa River Lodge is a small and consciously stylish lodge in the Mfuwe area, overlooking the Luangwa River and the South Luangwa National Park beyond – an area renowned for great game.


96% (65 reviews)
Kakuli Bushcamp

Kakuli Bushcamp

Beside the Luangwa River, Kakuli is a comfortable tented bushcamp offering 4WD safaris and walking safaris – the best of which are camp-to-camp walks linking Kakuli with its nearby sister camps.


97% (65 reviews)
Mchenja Bushcamp

Mchenja Bushcamp

Set in a shady ebony grove on the banks of the Luangwa, Mchenja is a smart tented bushcamp. It combines well with Kakuli and Nsolo – its sister camps with a focus on walking safaris.


98% (66 reviews)
Nsolo Bushcamp

Nsolo Bushcamp

Nsolo is a small, comfortable bushcamp overlooking one or two pools in the usually dry Luwi riverbed. It concentrates on walking safaris in an interesting and diverse area, led by a knowledgeable guide.


97% (54 reviews)
Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta River Lodge

Kafunta is a laid-back, friendly and good-value lodge on the outskirts of South Lunagwa National Park.


96% (41 reviews)
Luwi Bushcamp

Luwi Bushcamp

In a remote part of the South Luangwa National Park, Luwi is a rustic bushcamp whose emphasis is on walking safaris with great guiding and a chance of seeing some rarely seen and elusive antelope.


93% (38 reviews)
Robin Pope Safaris bush-camp

Robin Pope bush-camp

RPS bushcamping in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia


99% (28 reviews)
Lion Camp

Lion Camp

Lion Camp is an established and comfortable camp with a swimming pool, located near to the game-rich Lion Plain in the northern part of South Luangwa National Park.


94% (25 reviews)
Robin Pope Safaris Mobile Safari Camp

Robin Pope mobile

RPS mobile safari camps are at the heart of their set-itinerary walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park, which start and finish at a permanent camp.


98% (23 reviews)
Kapamba Bushcamp

Kapamba Bushcamp

In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Kapamba is a small and very comfortable bushcamp offering good walks and game drives.


95% (19 reviews)
Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge is a luxurious designer camp set in a stunning location, high on a hill overlooking a floodplain within South Luangwa. Explore from here on 4WD safaris and walks.


96% (17 reviews)
Mfuwe Lodge

Mfuwe Lodge

In a game-rich area close to the South Luangwa’s main Mfuwe Gate, Mfuwe Lodge is relatively large by park standards, but it’s stylish, modern and family friendly.


94% (16 reviews)
Kuyenda Bushcamp

Kuyenda Bushcamp

Kuyenda Bushcamp is a classic bushcamp with particularly delightful hosts and offers top-class walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park.


99% (16 reviews)
Luangwa Safari House

Luangwa Safari House

Luangwa Safari House is a vast and very smart four-bedroom house specifically designed for families and small groups, and offering an exclusive and flexible safari experience.


100% (14 reviews)
Chinzombo

Chinzombo

Opened in early June 2013, Chinzombo offers luxurious and stylish accommodation with very high levels of service and excellent guiding.


98% (13 reviews)
Bilimungwe Bushcamp

Bilimungwe Bushcamp

A smart bushcamp with four very spacious chalets, Bilimungwe offers interesting walking safaris in pretty riverine woodland, as well as day and night safari drives.


95% (12 reviews)
Three Rivers Camp

Three Rivers Camp

In the remote far south of South Luangwa National Park, Three Rivers Lodge is being constructed by the confluence of three of the valleys rivers.


95% (11 reviews)
Robin's House

Robin's House

With your own expert guide, private vehicle, chef and valet, the two-bedroom Robin's House offers an exclusive, flexible safari experience – and is open year round.


95% (11 reviews)
Kawaza Village

Kawaza Village

Kawaza Village – beside the South Luangwa National Park, offers guests the rare opportunity to appreciate local village life. Visit for a few hours or stay overnight.


95% (11 reviews)
Island Bush Camp

Island Bush Camp

Island Bushcamp is a good-value, rustic, walking-only camp, in arguably one of the most remote parts of the South Luangwa, well away from all other camps.


100% (10 reviews)
Mwamba Camp-out

Mwamba Camp-out

The Mwamba-Camp Out allows you to have an incredibly adventurous night in the bush, sleeping under mosquito nets with activities led by some of the best guides in Zambia.


92% (5 reviews)
Chamilandu Bushcamp

Chamilandu Bushcamp

A very comfortable little bushcamp, Chamilandu has a picturesque setting by the Luangwa River, with a range of habitats that can be explored on foot and by 4WD, day and night.


100% (5 reviews)
Zungulila

Zungulila

Zungulila is a small, comfortable tented bushcamp with an emphasis on walking safaris, in the remote southern section of the South Luangwa.


93% (3 reviews)
Luwi Riverbed Sleepout

Luwi Riverbed Sleepout

For an adventurous night in South Luangwa National Park, come and sleep out in the bush, around a campfire, with an experienced guide and game scout.


100% (1 review)
Shawa Luangwa Camp

Shawa Camp

Due to open in June 2020, we’re expecting Shawa Luangwa Camp to be a small, intimate and rustic camp, with a good location in a remote section of the South Luangwa National Park.


100% (1 review)
Chichele Presidential Lodge

Chichele Lodge

Chichele Presidential Lodge stands within the park on a hill with superb views. Its hotel-like, air-conditioned rooms and child-friendly attitude make it ideal for families or those who don't want to get too close to the bush outside.


100% (1 review)
Mapazi Camp

Mapazi Camp

Mapazi Camp is a basic safari camp in the far north of the South Luangwa, with walking safaris led by renowned guide Deb Tittle.


No reviews yet
Chikunto Safari Lodge

Chikunto

Chikunto Safari Lodge is a new property in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park, sitting on a peninsula of land created by the meandering Luangwa River.


No reviews yet

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa