As its name indicates, Royal Chundu Island Lodge is owned and operated by Royal Chundu. It’s one of two properties in the company portfolio, the other being River Lodge. Royal Chundu invests considerably in the local community, and its projects to date have included a foundation school. The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, a daily sundowner river cruise, all internal activities, and transfers between the lodge and Livingstone’s international airport. The lodge is open throughout the year. When the lodge is booked exclusively, all children are welcome to stay.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is accessed via 50 kilometres’ road transfer from Livingstone’s international airport, followed by a 5–10 minutes’ boat trip. It’s situated on the River Zambezi’s serene and secluded Katombora Island.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT ROYAL CHUNDU ISLAND LODGE:
There are four guest villas. All are positioned on the banks of the island and raised above ground level to maximise vistas over the Zambezi river. The interiors are exquisitely presented, featuring rustic-chic furniture and elegant lighting amidst palettes of river and earth tones. The open-plan bedroom and lounge contains a double bed with mosquito netting, bedside chests and lamps, two trunks at the bed’s foot, and a couple of plush easy chairs. There’s also a little dining table and chairs, for private meals. Additional in-room amenities include air conditioning, a fan, a mini-bar, and a safe, and the en-suite washroom offers a flush toilet, twin washbasins, and a walk-in shower. Doors from the lounge and bedroom areas open out onto a spacious private deck, where you’ll find additional seating and dining furniture, as well as a bathtub! This is the perfect place to relax, all the while marvelling at your river views.
The communal facilities at Royal Chundu Island Lodge are also very well appointed. Within an attractive timber-and-thatch structure, there’s the charming lounge, featuring leather and suede seating, pouffes, and even swing seats around coffee and occasional tables. This area is partly divided by a striking wall feature incorporating a cosy fireplace. The lodge’s restaurant is adjacent to the lounge, and it contains separate tables-and-chairs set up in readiness for tantalising meals, accompanied by drinks from the well-stocked bar. These spaces flow out onto spacious decks, offering additional lounge and dining furniture as well as lovely river views! To one side of the main structure there’s the fire-pit, where guests gather to share their experiences. And there’s a swimming pool on the farthest edge of the riverbank, where you can cool off and enjoy the finest vistas over the water.
ACTIVITIES AT ROYAL CHUNDU ISLAND LODGE:
In common with sister property River Lodge, Royal Chundu Island Lodge provides a superb range of Zambezi-based and Victoria Falls experiences. Here are a few examples:
River cruises- Royal Chundu owns a number of pontoon boats. Cruises on the mighty River Zambezi are available at sunrise and at sunset. Illuminated in pinks and other colours, the wildlife highlights you’ll enjoy include hippos, crocodiles, and an exciting variety of waterbirds! And during the dry months, boats can anchor at ‘Ellie Corner’, where elephants like to bathe, drink, and play together.
Birding safaris- This activity also takes place aboard a pontoon boat. During the morning, late afternoon, night, or even over an entire day, you’ll get to know the region’s feathery friends, with assistance from Royal Chundu’s expert guides. Among the region’s specials are eagles, jacanas, and kingfishers.
Canoeing- Experienced guides are on hand again, as you paddle downstream in an inflatable craft through the Zambezi’s thrilling rapids and channels. Motorised canoeing is also possible, and all excursions can involve a picnic stop and chances to view the birdlife.
Fishing- River fishing is offered during the period from April to November, as the other months of the year are spawning season. Using equipment supplied by the lodge or making use of your own gear, you can cast a rod for the likes of tigerfish, yellowfish, and bream.
Cultural tour- Anyone with an interest in culture will appreciate opportunities to visit two local villages. Tours take the form of meeting the residents and finding out all about their ways of life during guided walks and interactions.
Victoria Falls tour- Island Lodge offers return road transfers to the world’s largest waterfall! Here’s our summary of Falls experiences, such as wet-and-wild watersports and helicopter or microlight flights over the astonishing spectacle.
Children’s activities- As mentioned, all children are welcome at Island Lodge when the property is booked on an exclusive basis. Royal Chundu’s activities for youngsters include cruises, catch-and-release fishing, birding and frog safaris, village life lessons, and much more!
*This property is unfenced and although animal densities are not that high along this stretch of the Zambezi River, there is always the potential for dangerous game. So if you opt to stay here please always be cautious and look out for wildlife when walking around, especially at night.