This property is ideal for travellers who like their creature comforts while on safari! Unlike the authentic little bushcamps for which the South Luangwa is well known, Chinzombo is stylish and super-luxurious, offering villa accommodation.
Chinzombo is one of ten properties listed in the Time + Tide portfolio, which spans Zambia’s South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi, and Liuwa Plain, as well as Madagascar’s Nosy Ankao. Time + Tide has a conservation heritage that dates back to 1950, with famous safarist Norman Carr. This is one of the most lavish safari camps in the collection, designed by world-renowned architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens. The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, all game-viewing activities, transfers between the camp and Mfuwe Airport, Wi-Fi, toiletries, and a laundry service. The property is open all year round.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The property is accessed via an hour’s transfer from Mfuwe Airport. It’s situated on the banks of the River Luangwa, within the central region of the South Luangwa National Park.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT CHINZOMBO:
Guest accommodation consists of six villas, including one family villa. All are positioned along the riverbanks. Entering a standard-size villa by way of wooden double doors, you’ll find a very spacious bedroom, featuring a king-size bed or twin beds with mosquito nets, bedside stands and lighting, a writing desk cum vanity table and chair, and a separate seating area offering a couple of easy chairs and an explorer’s chest put to use as a table for drinks, reading material, and so on. Additional amenities include air conditioning, standing fans, a tea-and-coffee station, a mini-bar, and free Wi-Fi. To the left of the bedroom space is a large washroom, which contains a separate flush toilet, twin washbasins, walk-in shower, and freestanding bathtub. There’s a lot of extra storage space here too. Doors from the living area lead out onto a wide veranda, which is set with a comfy sofa and a coffee table, in addition to a table-and-chairs for private dining. The veranda also boasts a sunken lounge and a plunge pool, with sunloungers alongside! The family villa benefits from all these features, plus a second bedroom with en-suite facilities.
The open-plan lounge and dining areas at Chinzombo are housed in a structure positioned amidst trees, also on the banks of the Luangwa river. Very contemporary in style, this building is both open fronted and open sided, affording beautiful river views. In the lounge, comfortable sofas and other types of seating are set out around tree-stump tables, with the camp’s bar conveniently close by, towards the back wall. This wall is used to showcase a number of photos and artefacts, so guests have plenty to interest them while enjoying a drink or two. There are a few reference books too. The dining area features chic tables-and-chairs for separate and communal meals. Food is of a high standard here, enhanced by the selection of wines available in the on-site cellar. Both the lounge and dining areas flow out onto a spacious terrace, which also incorporates two infinity pools. The camp’s ‘loo with a view’ is also worth a mention, due to its delightful vistas over the river. In-villa spa treatments can be arranged on request, and guests can also enjoy relaxing around the fire-pit, which is usually the setting for hearty breakfasts and evening gatherings.
ACTIVITIES AT CHINZOMBO:
Chinzombo offers an exciting variety of activities, as follows:
Expertly guided game drives– The South Luangwa National Park covers 9,500 square kilometres of sprawling plains, woodlands, and water sources, not least the River Luangwa and its wildlife-rich lagoons. Drives from camp offer opportunities to enjoy sightings of all sorts of predators and herbivores, among them four of the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo! Other highlights include impressive populations of spotted hyena, wild dog, Thornicroft’s giraffe, Cookson’s wildebeest, Crawshay’s zebra, and antelopes.
Night drives– Head out with your expert guide after sunset, and you’ll have a lot of fun finding the nocturnal species of the South Luangwa – leopard, civet, bush-tailed mongoose, scrub hare, honey badger, and the prickly porcupine.
Walking safaris– Also accompanied by your guide, and with an armed scout present for your protection, walks are fantastic for anyone interested in taking a close look at the smaller lives of the park – the plants, insects, and birdlife. Among the birds described as ‘Notable’ here are great white pelican, Verreaux’s eagle owl, and the gorgeous little southern carmine bee-eater. Please note, walks have a minimum age requirement of 12 years.
Sleep-outs under the stars– What better way to end your day on safari, than drifting off to sleep under the star-studded skies, with the sounds of the bush all around you? And come morning, you’ll tuck into a delicious breakfast around the campfire.
Seasonal boating safaris– Boating season in the South Luangwa is February and March, when the river is at its highest. Visit during these months, and you can spend a little time on the water, watching a range of species coming to drink on the banks as well as spotting the river’s residents – hippo and vibrant waterbirds.