Situated in the Lower Zambezi National Park, this remote camp is family owned and run by the Cumings family. Chiawa translates to ‘place of rest’ and the fantastic staff are all skilled in faultless customer service making each guest feel special. Chiawa Camp consists of nine superior tented suites, each set on its own split level elevated timber platform each either with panoramic views of the wide, slow moving Zambezi River or the dry riverbed that feeds down to the Zambezi and where animals are regularly seen.
The tents are insect proof and have twin or super king size beds, luxurious furnishings and 24hr electricity. The magnificent en suite bathrooms which include an indoor and outdoor shower and w.c are partially open to the river which can be seen from the comfort of the beautiful ball and claw Victorian bath.The honeymoon suite is intimate and romantic, with a bathtub overlooking the river.
Chiawa serves excellent food, which includes champagne bush breakfasts, outdoor barbecues under the stars and lunch or private dinners on a specially adapted riverboat. There is a pool and spacious lounge with upstairs viewing deck and the environment in camp is always very sociable. The campfire, the bar and relaxation area are perfect places to regale guests and staff alike with stories of the day’s activities.
Due to the camp’s location on the banks of the Zambezi River it is not uncommon for animals, particularly elephant to wander through on their way down to the river, feeding on trees ensuring that guests enjoy an incredible sense that they really are in the heart of Africa.
One of the principal attractions of the Lower Zambezi is the wide range of game viewing activities that can be enjoyed. The highly expert guides will take you walking with an armed scout and tracking animals on foot through the bush learning a huge amount about the flora and fauna as you go. You might like to spend the latter part of the afternoon paddling a stable canoe on the Zambezi watching animals coming down to drink and interact by the water’s edge. Wonderful open-topped vehicles would also take you further afield and at night a spotlight is used to see nocturnal creatures such as civet, porcupine and leopard on the prowl. Anyone who wants to try their hands at tiger fishing might catch a fish up to 20lbs and be assured of a good fight! A strict catch-and-release policy is observed.
"For myself, one fishing trip was enough when there were so many other competing activities to sample - game drives, walking safaris, bird watching and canoeing - though sometimes, I have to confess, I opted just to stay around the camp and do a bit of sketching and wait for the wildlife to come to me, as it invariably did. In one such golden moment, sitting quietly on our veranda, I found I had a baby baboon sitting beside me munching winterthorn pods, a trio of dazzling carmine bee eaters flitting about a few feet away and the famous bou bou bird in a tree overhead, whistling its loud and distinctive 'peep peep'. The sound of the African bush! Magic! And to cap it all, a bottle of bubbly suddenly appeared, just for me, because i'd missed the all important 5.30pm sundowner."
Jane North, UK
"WOW! The premier luxury tented camp in the park and a firm favourite with all at Africa Exclusive. The owner run atmosphere is warm and informal, the tents wonderfully appointed, the location on the banks of the Zambezi is unrivalled and the daily visits of elephant to camp quite simply magical. Fascinating game drives, some of the best walking areas in Africa, kayaking boat trips and the unfeasibly fun tiger fishing made for my most diverse and adventurous safari experience to date. In combination with its sister bush camp Old Mondoro this is difficult to better!"