Chiawa camp, is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, and within the Lower Zambezi National Park – and was the first Camp opened in the Park, and is still owned and operated by the Cumings Family. As this section of the park is across the River from Zimbabwe’s renowned Mana Pools National Park, this is truly a game-rich area – with excellent populations of elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard. The area is surprisingly diverse, with woodland and open grassland. As the Lodge is also well situated between two lagoons, it makes for marvellous canoeing trips.
The main building contains a lounge-cum-bar area, complete with upstairs viewing deck and comfortable furnishings. There is also a dining area, with al fresco section, and set under a winter thorn tree, overlooking the Zambezi.
This is a small and exclusive property, accommodating only 16 guests. Accommodation is in large insect-proof safari tents on wooden decks, with canvas flysheets, all with en-suite but not enclosed facilities, and flush toilet. There is a choice between the Classic Tents, Superior Tents and Honeymoon accommodation – all of which have excellent views of the River.
For guests who wish to enjoy relaxing in Camp, there is a viewing hide, and a refreshing plunge pool, complete with wooden sundeck.
Meals at Chiawa are something to be looked forward to, and are generally enjoyed al fresco but there are a few surprises in store for brunch. Activities dictate meals, and you may enjoy breakfast, brunch or lunch as hot and cold buffet. Enjoy afternoon tea (with sweet and savoury snacks on the viewing deck. Dinners are usually 4 courses, table d’hote, always offered with a choice of main course, and served under the stars by the camp fire or, if you are visiting during the full moon, on a sand bar in the middle of the Zambezi.
Activities at the Camp are diverse, guided by well trained and professional staff, and are run with guest interests in mind. You can enjoy a bush walk, at a leisurely pace, learning more about the beautiful and diverse area. Game drives are conducted in open vehicles, and last anything from 2 to 4 hours (morning and late afternoon, and evening), and give you the chance to explore the area, and see some of the magnificent wildlife. You might also wish to experience a mid day cruise through numerous channels, and have the chance to see hippo, buffalo, elephant, and a diversity of bird species.
Chiawa Camp also has an enviable reputation for its fishing. Expert guides are on hand to assist you in finding tigerfish which are caught on fly or conventional tackle and other species that abound in the Zambezi River (such as the vundu – a giant catfish) – all on a catch and release basis.
Conservation projects are also very important to Chiawa, and the Camp supports anti-poaching work, community projects (including wildlife education), and is also involved with the re-introduction of cheetah and ground hornbill to the Park.
Chiawa is open from mid April to mid-November