Chinzombo Safaris, The Family Lodge

Written By: The Lowdown - Dec• 31•00

cover2000-12Chinzombo Safari Lodge is a small (only 9 chalets) highly personalised safari camp. Opened by the Late Norman Carr on behalf of Zambia Safaris in the early 80’s, it was purchased by Save The Rhino Trust (SRT) in 1984 to generate funds for anti-poaching. The lodge was run by the Trust until 1990 when it was leased out to the present management. The rentals received are still used to assist in anti-poaching activities.

Situated in a shady grove of ebony and mahogany trees on the banks of the Luangwa River, the chalets are either double or twin and two of the chalets have large enclosed verandas, in which extra beds can be placed for children. Chinzombo, unlike some of the other lodges in the Luangwa Valley, welcomes children although children under twelve years of age may not go on game walks. They are, of course, welcome on game drives and the lodge considers itself the leading family oriented lodge in the Valley.

Each chalet is en-suite with hot showers and flush toilets and as they are connected to the national electricity grid, all chalets have ceiling fans. The open-air ‘chitenge’ with a fully stocked bar overlooks the Luangwa River and also the plunge pool, which is extremely popular during the day. Vervet monkeys and Chacma baboons swing through the canopy, elephants occasionally drop-by to feed on the winterthorn pods and hippos trim the lawn most nights reducing wear and tear on Chinzombo’s lawn mower.

Game drives are conducted in open Land Rovers and the early morning ones leave the lodge at first light, following morning tea and a snack. Drives last for about two to three hours and return to the lodge for a sumptuous breakfast, after which you can relax until the afternoon game drive. Afternoon drives leave the lodge at about 4 pm so that you can enjoy sundowners on the river before you experience the wonder of the ‘bush’ at night. With the help of a sport light, the night drives are something not to be missed – you will more than likely see a leopard stalking its prey or a pride of lions hunting. But even if you miss these, the odds of seeing a hyena loping away or a lumbering hippo bursting from a thicket are excellent.

Walking Safaris are also available from June to November. Chinzombo prides itself on accommodating guests specific requirements, provided ample notice is given, so if you want a full day game drive or want to go on a microlight safari, all you have to do is discuss it with the management and they will work it all out for you. Chinzombo’s rates are extremely reasonable and include full board and accommodation, fees to enter the National Park, all game viewing activities, bar, laundry and airport transfers from Mfuwe Airport. They have two rates, one for the dry season from June to October and a lower rate for the green season from November to May and unlike a number of the other lodges in the Valley, Chinzombo is open throughout the year.

For bookings and enquiries contact your travel agent or the Lusaka booking office on tel: 225-976, fax: 226-736 or email:


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