In contrast to most of the camps in the Lower Zambezi, the Cumings family, who own Chiawa Camp, have created something a little different in Old Mondoro. The concept of the camp is simple – to step back from the ultra-luxurious lodges seemingly springing up everywhere, and rather provide guests with an authentic remote safari that concentrates on the wildlife and bush experience. Where the call of the hyena replaces the hum of a generator, where some of the best guides in Africa will help guests experience a closer look at one of Africa’s finest wildlife sanctuaries.
The camp is set in a grove of acacia winter thorn trees on the banks of the Zambezi River in the Lower Zambezi National Park, near the Chakwenga River confluence. It is a beautiful site overlooking a maze of hippo-inhabited islands and channels where elephant and buffalo swim out to feed. Here, the park is characterised by vast flood plains and open woodland creating ideal walking and game-viewing opportunities. This is very different from the rest of the park, which is on higher ground with thicker bush and large inland lagoons. The park offers excellent game viewing throughout.
Guests will also enjoy the very different “back to the bush vintage” atmosphere of Old Mondoro. Appropriately constructed from canvas and natural materials, the camp has an open and more adventurous feel, yet offers personalised service and provides a comfortable retreat after a day filled with excitement in the bush. There are some excellent walking areas right out of camp and in the afternoon you would usually combine a short walk with a night drive with a spotlight.
The four “bush chalets”, have en suite facilities with an indoor flush toilet and wash basin and an outdoor shower and 'splash tub' all overlooking the Zambezi. The bush chalets are left with open views during the day and at night canvas drop-down blinds with windows are lowered to provide more privacy and security. Two have two twin-beds and two are doubles, all with thick mattresses, comfortable bedding, large mosquito nets and radios. There is also a two bedroomed unit suitable for families. All bush chalets have outstanding views of the Zambezi or the Old Mondoro lagoon.
The lounge and dining area rests under a winter thorn tree and next to a sausage tree overlooking the Zambezi. A traditional bush kitchen supplies outstanding meals and fresh bread baked daily from a homemade oven. The area is renowned for leopard sightings and zebra and kudu can also be seen in the area. The entire experience is unpretentious and uncomplicated, but promises a unique safari that gives guests the best bush experience possible.
"No surprise why it's so many people's favourite camp in Zambia; small and stylish with fantastic guides. Canoeing downstream along the channels of the Zambezi is a hugely enjoyable activity, drifting past hippos, elephants and fish eagles."