Lower Zambezi Weekend Highlights
What fun to combine a family and friends weekend away in the Lower Zambezi with a few site inspections along the way! We had an incredible three days in the Valley, accompanied by good friends Jo and Robin Pope and there was something for everyone! Fantastic game – we saw four out of the Big Five, good fishing for the kids, a visit to the Chongwe Falls which was a first for me, and a chance to visit some of the camps, meet the teams in place for the season and see recent changes. We landed at Jeki Airstrip and headed to Amanzi for brunch. On our drive we saw a lovely male lion, elephant, buffalo and lots more! Amanzi is managed by Sollie Tevera who recently joined the team and I was very impressed by this small and intimate bush camp, highly recommended for anyone looking for a top end experience in a game rich and more remote part of the park where you will be guaranteed a very personal level of service. We popped into Anabezi for a quick drink and site inspection to see the changes since our last stay there 2 years ago. With the addition of a swimming pool off their main deck and a few more furnishings the lodge is looking great and an ideal spot for small friends and families groups. We then drove through the park to Sausage Tree and Potato Bush Camps. A long drive but well worth it with the fantastic game we saw en route and the groves of huge albida trees we drove through. Sausage Tree have totally rebuilt their main area and it is looking very chic and comfortable. A soft refurb is about to take place in the rooms with some lovely bright linens being brought in to compliment the furnishing in the luxury tents. Potato Bush is a delightful little luxury family camp with only 4 rooms, one of them being a 2 bedroom family room. The tents are huge with their own private plunge pools.
By now everyone was tired and ready to get to our destination for the night. We boated on a very calm, but low river, to the mouth of the Chongwe River where we were warmly greeted by Chongwe House managers, Alan and Nikki. Chongwe House is one of my favourite places (now our 3rd visit!) and with its four en suite bedrooms, it is specifically targeted at small family and friends groups. Alan, Nikki and the staff take care of every small detail and during our two night stay there we ate the most delicious food (too much!) including a special Mongolian dinner on the banks of the Chongwe and were privately guided by Alan on all our activities. During our stay he took us on a fun visit to the Chongwe Falls where the kids did some fishing and we had the chance to do some rock climbing, as well as a couple of lovely boat cruises.
The next morning we headed to Chiawa to have a look at their new tents (two new tents so far), swimming pool and gym. We were warmly greeted by the Chiawa Team and new managers, Ashley and Tara Rowe. We spotted the most beautiful male leopard en route to Chiawa on the banks of the Zambezi, and luckily he was still there on our way back also. A quick site inspection at Chongwe River Camp finished off our inspections for the day! Flossie and her team run a fantastic camp – with my favourite being the beautiful 2 bedroomed Albida Suite. On our last afternoon before flying out of Royal I popped in to have a look around Kasaka. This is a very comfortable and well run mid range property ideal for clients wanting to experience the park on a lower budget.
A short late afternoon flight back to Lusaka courtesy of Proflight and we were back home!