We reckon Chundukwa River Lodge is something pretty special! If you are looking for a peaceful base camp from which to explore the Falls, and especially if you like the idea of going on horseback safari, this little property is highly recommended for you. The Lodge is positioned in lush forest on the banks of the Zambezi River. It is owned by Zambian couple Gail and Doug, who do their utmost to ensure that every guest has a wonderful time here. This year (2016), Chundukwa won a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The Lodge is accessible via a 35-minutes road transfer from Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport. Set in lagoon grounds, it has a very serene feel. Chundukwa River Lodge is situated just 24km upstream from the breathtaking Victoria Falls.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The communal building is a classic stone–wood–thatch structure, blending seamlessly into the natural surroundings. It is open fronted, with amazing views of the River and beyond. The lounge area contains comfy seating and a coffee table – all chairs and sofas are neutral in colour, but there are plenty of colourful cushions and a vibrantly patterned rug! The dining area has smart separate tables and chairs. Both spaces flow on to a deck, where there are further places to sit and watch the wildlife go by. The deck also boasts a lovely rock plunge pool, ideal for taking a dip during the heat of the day. Chundukwa has a campfire too, and even its own stables! This is why the Lodge is able to offer horse trails – for more information, see below.
Guest accommodation at Chundukwa consists of five thatched chalets and a spacious cottage, all with wonderful river views! They are connected to the communal building by neat tracks through the trees. Each chalet has its own name – Bee-eater, Honeyguide, Francolin, Jacana, Kingfisher – inspired by the local birdlife. All are open fronted and comfortable, with fan, full-sized mosquito netting, electric blankets for the winter months, lock-up safe, and en-suite bathroom including dressing gowns and a range of complimentary organic bath products. The décor is similar to that of the main lounge/diner – neutral tones jazzed up with lots of colourful patterns! All chalets have either a queen-size or king-size double bed and it is possible to add two extra beds to Jacana, to make up the family unit. Larger families or groups of travellers are well accommodated in Chundu Cottage, which boasts one double en-suite room, one double or twin room, one children’s bedroom, and an upstairs loft that can sleep another two people! With pleasant living spaces too, not least a private veranda and a swimming pool, the Cottage comes with its own team of staff to prepare your meals or it can be booked on a self-catering basis.
Due to its proximity to Victoria Falls, Chundukwa is able to offer loads of activities. Wildlife lovers can take part in game drives, rhino walks, elephant-back safaris, birding, and a visit to the local crocodile and snake park! There is plenty to keep sports fans happy too – white water rafting, bungee jumping, gorge swinging, quad biking, tennis, and golf, to name just a few. Other things to do at the Falls include canoeing, fishing, river cruises, microlight flights, helicopter rides, and jaunts on the steam train! Travellers who like to take in a little culture will enjoy checking out the curio markets and museums of Livingstone Town and visiting Mukay Village, which is close to the Lodge.
And at Chundukwa, you can saddle up and ride out into the bush on one of Doug’s 33 horses! Most of these are thoroughbreds, rehabilitated by Doug himself. All riders are welcome, from beginners to advanced levels, and there is a good range of trails to try. For example, the River Ride is available during early morning and late afternoon and follows the Zambezi along tracks through the Kalahari sandveldt and riverine forest. The Land and River Ride leads up into the surrounding hills and forests before returning to the river, while Multi-day Bespoke Trails along the Zambezi are perfect for adventurous riders who would like to explore a little bit farther! There are even trails especially for children, the Pony Tales – parents are welcome to accompany the youngsters on foot.