TOP SAFARI RESORTS!
Zambia is home to an abundance of wildlife, from the great herbivores and elusive predators to rarer antelopes, colorful birds and more unusual nocturnal species.
Whilst there are healthy lion populations in all major parks, it is fantastic leopard viewing that Zambia is best known for, especially in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks. Cheetah can be found in Kafue, principally around the Busanga Plains, and in recent years wild dogs have been making a reasonable recovery throughout the major parks, but you should not ‘expect’ to see either species. South Luangwa hosted Africa's first walking safaris, which continue today and are an incredibly immersive way to experience the bush: smell the baked earth, hear trumpeting elephants and watch hard-working dung beetles as you in stroll this life-filled wilderness.
The mighty Zambezi Rivers of Zambia are home to a wide range of birds and huge populations of hippo and crocodile, whilst also attracting large numbers of buffalo and elephant. The wetland region of Bangweulu is home to vast numbers of black lechwe, whilst the Kafue lechwe is found in Lochinvar. Both regions have significant numbers of water birds, including Shoebill in Bangweulu. It is a raw, pristine, glorious wilderness, the private game reserve of the Zambian President until 1983 and so protected from the ravages of early unregulated tourism. It's a prettier area than South Luangwa, its landscape carpeted with thick grasslands and supporting leafy clusters of leadwoods, ebonies, acacias and figs. The valley's main predators are lions, leopards and spotted hyenas, while crocodiles lurk in the Zambezi's slow-moving water.
Night drives are common in Zambia and permitted in the National Parks, and species such as large spotted genet, bushbaby, serval, aardvark, honey badger, white-tailed mongoose, civet, porcupine and African wild cat are often seen.
Birding is superb in Zambia, with approximately 750 species recorded. Particular highlights include the rare shoebill found exclusively in the Bangweulu Swamps, the endemic Chaplin’s barbet, and Pels fishing owl, found in both Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks. These parks are also two of the best places to view and photograph white-fronted and carmine bee-eater nesting sites. Water birds are very well represented along the great rivers and in the wetland regions.
Kasanka National Park is home to the rare sitatunga antelope and also plays host to the bat migration each November, where literally hundreds of thousands of fruit bats converge on the park for several weeks. In the remote west of the country, the vast open Luiwa Plains play host to Africa’s second great wildebeest migration in November/December.
The first, and only Relais & Châteaux property in Zambia, Royal Chundu is more than a place to rest your head. It is an adventure in itself, a private getaway on the Zambezi imbued with the spirit of Zambia, a spirit that is both wild and graceful, that inspires and welcomes. Retreat to our private riverfront banks to be reunited with yourself or with loved ones through a different culture and in a different land.
Credit: Royal Chundu Luxury Lodges
Children of all ages are welcome at Royal Chundu and specifically catered for in our unique Children’s Club with a scheduled daily programe. Both the River Lodge and Island Lodge suites can sleep two adults sharing with two children. Please note that at Island Lodge children are only allowed when the lodge is hired on an exclusive-use basis. Upon arrival, your guide will discuss activity options with you, considering family size, children’s ages and weather. Each of your young ones will receive a special River Safari Adventure Pack. A welcoming treasure hunt will help familiarize them with our staff and surroundings, allowing you peace of mind throughout your stay. Parents are welcome to join their children in the activities or to relax while our Chundu River Guides or Child Minders take over the supervising.
The Art of Celebration
Whatever the occasion
There are so many moments in our lives, moments grand, moments almost missed, that are worthy of a little more time, a little more attention. The love between two people, the bonds of a family that grow with each passing year, the accomplishment of dreams… Give them the attention they deserve.
Our Wedding Package
With their majestic Zambezi River backdrop, Royal Chundu’s intimate lodges are magnificent locations for a romantic marriage ceremony, with or without guests. We cater for small and large parties from 2 to 40 guests.
We also offer a romantic 5 star honeymoon package, specially created to ensure that your honeymoon is as memorable as possible. Book this package at the fully-inclusive rate and the bride will receive a 50% discount for her first night.
A unique culinary affair
We aspire to serve dishes that you won’t find anywhere else, dishes with a distinctly Zambian flavor, from our poached seasonal cumquats and watermelon feta salad, to our berry-smoked quail. Savor the region through dishes created by our insightful chefs, who not only use ingredients from the land around us, but who hail from Zambia themselves.
All our fresh supplies are sourced from farms within a 3km radius of Royal Chundu, not only to minimize our carbon footprint, but to provide income for our local community and ensure authenticity through freshness and taste. Our freshly-caught fish, namely bream, are bought from local fishermen while our own free-range chickens provide our eggs.
Delight in the privacy of your own suite with in-room dining. Weather permitting, experience lunch or dinner on a private boat cruise or on a picnic, complete with a table set with silver on a Persian rug on the riverbank. There are full bar facilities on the mainland and on the island for you to enjoy your favorite tipple at.
The best alternative to the stalwart (and crowded) Victoria Falls Hotel, andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge reopened last summer at the andBeyond Matetsi Private Game Reserve with modern stone-and-thatch bandas in a 123,500-acre concession 25 miles up the Zambezi River from the falls. Expect good elephant herds, a gym, and an 82-foot-long pool. Matetsi Private Game Reserve offers some of the finest safari guides in Zimbabwe and boasts legendary local hospitality. Take in the exceptional views of the Zambezi River from the comfort of your suite
Credit: andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge
&BEYOND MATETSI RIVER LODGE FAMILY SUITES
Matetsi River Lodge is a fantastic destination for group and family travel. The lodge’s two family suites each consist of an adult’s room joined to a children’s
room by a passageway; offering convenient access to loved ones. Each suite features two ensuite bathrooms, a private veranda and a sparkling plunge pool.
As with all of our lodges, your children will have the opportunity to embark on our very exciting WILDChild programme,
which is filled with fun, interactive activities that offer opportunities to learn and discover new experiences and cultures. Little ones can enjoy adventures such as learning to make a fishing rod, fishing and baking biscuits in an interactive kitchen.
WHITE WATER RAFTING
With names like Judgement Day, The Terminator and Stairway to Heaven, the rapids on the mighty Zambezi River are guaranteed to offer one of the greatest white water rafting experiences on the planet. Just downriver of the plunging torrent of the Victoria Falls, the rushing waters of the Zambezi are compressed between the rocky walls of Batoka Gorge, resulting in some of the best white water action in the world. Descend deep into the craggy canyon and hang on for a wild ride as you set off on a fully guided river rafting adventure in the domain of the river god Nyaminyami.
Time + Tide
Zambia is regarded by many as one of the last true wildernesses and this continent's greatest secret.
Visitor numbers are small and her vast areas of pristine wilderness have remained unchanged for millennia. The opportunity to explore these areas and to see the wildlife that inhabits them without.
"Time and tide wait for no man", said my friend; a gentle reminder that there is no way to stop the ebb and flow of life's journey; that each moment presents the opportunity to live wholeheartedly and to do the things you love. This century-old wisdom is attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer, a man of many insights, like my friend.
Credit: Time + Tide Chinzombo
Great Parks of Zambia
Delta meets Serengeti in a single country
Spot diverse species and animal behaviours
Combine varied areas and landscapes
The Valley of the leopard
Home of walking and driving safaris
Variety of activities (canoeing, fishing, boating, walking driving)
Memorable elephant interactions
The second biggest wildebeest migration on earth
Cheetah, lion, wild cat, serval, hyena
We love kids; they are the next generation of safari adventurers and conservationists. We can tailor activities with children in mind, meals can be served at times convenient to the family and in addition to the usual safari adventures we can offer some of the following activities (private guide and vehicle recommended):
Become and game ranger for a day - an expert guide and scout to teach you how to track game on foot and identify footprints and droppings
Learn some of the local language and share stories about the differences (and similarities) in our lives
Visit the local school and meet the children. Perhaps have a game of football and join in with lessons
Learn how to eat the traditional Zambian way - sitting on the floor and eating with your hands!
Challenge yourself to our wildlife quiz - your guide will help you with some of the more fiendish questions!
'Art Safaris' - a chance to create your own custom made and design cushion cover at Tribal Textiles workshop
We recommend families with children book a private guide and vehicle to ensure their programme can be tailored appropriately.