Reviews of Chinzombo
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
excellent until appalling american arrived!
the camp ,guides, location and food are excellent, the staff were attentive and professional but were unfortunately extremly harassed by the arrival of an american who made their lives very difficult, he complained about everything, the food ,the guides the lack of privacy ....pages of complaints. Unfortunately once he had recovered from food poisoning, which he accused Chinzombo of giving him, he came on the last game drives with us. It is difficult to describe how such a vulgar man can get away with such behaviour, but he ordered the guides and staff around with total lack of courtesy and manners, they were in an impossible position as he kept reminding them that he had paid a lot of money for this safari and he wasn't getting his moneys worth. The poor staff at the camp were very afraid that his threats to put his opinions on trip adviser would jeopardise their jobs. However we had a super time especially after I had the satisfaction of telling him a selection of home truths!Read more about the whole safari
Expert Africa comments
We are sorry that these travellers didn't enjoy the game drive that they had to share. It is usually possible for us to book a private vehicle in advance of travel, for those that prefer to have a vehicle to themselves. This is an additional cost at most camps.
True luxury at Chinzombo.
This amazing creation, a vision of perfection much like one of NCS 's finest hosts who will be missed. This is luxury beyond anything in South Luangwa but it is the friendly staff and great guides that make any stay here very special.
The chalets cater for every need. So much space, very comfortable beds, a bath, shower, varied seating inside and outside which has a pool. From the pool/ sun beds and cushioned seating outside you have grand views to the river where elephants and hippos are at play.
The food was excellent, a buffet for brunch and a menu provided to choose your three courses for dinner. Excellent wine to accompany dinner. The bar area has a touching tribute to Norman Carr.
Special thanks to Innocent for his excellent guiding and sharing the experience of the 14 lions trying to take a young elephant- long live Hercules! What an event!
This camp is a real 5 star experience. The staff were friendly and couldn't do enough for you. Although this is classed as outside the reserve it actually sits on the other side of the river and so its a 1 minute boat ride into the national park, this means that there is wi-fi,electricity etc in the tents. The Manageress Katie was wonderful she goes out of her way to make your stay a lifetime experience, including running a bath for you champagne in the room and setting a table for two up on your decking.They also offer spa treatments in your tent.
The meals are generally served in the main area and the nice thing about this camp as you can sit separately from the other guests, which if you have just spent the last 7 days sharing tables with other guests is a welcome change.
the game viewing is also really good and saw lion kill a buffalo on our first day. Its slightly busier than Kafue or Lower Zambezi and so you will encounter more vehicles on the roads. i really recommend this camp as the last part of your trip.
It was highly luxuries and rather too modern for our needs.
Guiding was excellent but our guides effectiveness was handicapped by the sheer number of other vehicles, especially at night. Traffic is something we normally avoid.
Stunning setting and fabulous facilities. Kate and Tom (hosts) could not have done more for us - they were always around to check that you were okay, or if you needed anything. Our guide - Willie - was superb. Very patient and hugely knowledgeable. Breakfasts were amazing - seeing the sun rise over eggs cooked over an open fire - doesn't get much better than that.
The one niggle I had: we were given a free foot massage to lure us into using their spa facilities. I had a massage but the price was too high (US$140.00 for an hour). I understand (ish) why you pay this sort of money in places like London and Dubai but in Zambia when they do the massage on your deck (ie not in a spa which they have had to build and maintain), the price is too high. I should have wriggled out of it when I realised this but it was too late.
Chinzombo Camp Review
Wow!! After the rustic basic feel of Tafika, I felt as if I'd truly upgraded when I arrived at Chinzombo.
Hostess Katy was charming and helpful and made my stay even more special. The lead guide, Shadi, is a legend in the valley and knew just how to get the most out of our drives. Perched overlooking the river, the camp is in an idyllic spot.
The food was the best I had tasted in Zambia. It is a true luxury camp. My chalet was gorgeous in every way. There was even a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey in a decanter in my room. In conclusion, wow!!!!
Designer gorgeous with creature comforts
I was glad that Chinzombo was the last camp of the four that we visited in Zambia. It is gorgeous and comfortable--perfect for rest and relaxation, which is mostly what we did.
Our early morning game drive was uneventful until 8:30, but finally livened up. Our guide, Willie, suited us well and seemed to realize that we'd been "around the bush" a few times and didn't need to hear all the basics. One drawback is that there are lots of other camps and self-drivers sharing the same patch of the park--we saw a dozen or more vehicles during our morning drive.
My guided walk from camp was worthwhile in terms of both much-needed exercise and useful information. I think that one can never know too much about dung!
The camp itself was so inviting that it was hard to drag ourselves away. Our villa's deck had enough comfy lounge chairs and sofas that we could move from one to another and have shade all day. Note: be sure to look for sausage tree pods above and stay out of their line of fire until the staff can climb up and cut them down!
We enjoy lazy wildlife viewing from camp, but because the camp is set on a high bank of the Luangwa River, most of the animals you see are on the far bank--close enough to spot but requiring binoculars to see well. We were glad to find vervet monkeys in the trees above our villa and hear an elephant beside our villa one night.
The designers from South Africa have created stunning villas and public spaces, but in doing so forgot some practical elements. There are beautiful bath towels but simply nowhere to hang them to dry. Most of the space for hanging and stacking clothes is occupied by handsome leather boxes and decorative storage devices that are impractical for their purpose. Lighting is lovely to look at, but it's certain that no women were involved in the decisions about vanity illumination. There is a wonderful bathtub that would take hours to fill with its meager trickle of water, and the anemic water pressure in the shower makes washing your hair a long and vexing procedure. (The managers were aware and concerned and said that a solution was expected soon.)
Managers Wendy and Findlay, both Scots, are delightful and eager to please in their first experience with camp management. There was very little interaction among the guests, with each party having its own dining table. It appeared that both managers had to work extra hard to host tables and chat with guests, whereas in most camps, guests help entertain each other. The guides have been with the Norman Carr organization for many years and the staff was always friendly and helpful. We especially enjoyed Josphat, who seemed to be everywhere at once anticipating and attending to our needs.
The food was beautifully presented--sometimes delicious and always good enough. It seemed that the kitchen was still learning how much food to prepare since, on one occasion, lunch was nearly depleted by the time we arrived at 12:15.