During May 2018 Bernie and I went to have a look at Chundukwa Lodge. The lodge is about 23 km from Livingstone along the Zambezi River. It is an owner-run lodge; Gail and Doug being involved in all aspects of the operations.
We arrived just as we arrived Gail was about to do a room inspection, so Bernie and I tagged along.
Chundukwa has five rooms beside the river and, when we visited, they were over the river. The river was high, one of our highest for some years. Having been built on stilts, the rooms are well over the water and it was lovely to look out from the veranda into the water which was trickling through the reeds and submerged tree trunks.
Gail and Doug have been doing renovations; mostly improving the bathrooms. The bathrooms are light and airy with lots of space, some of them having intricate designs of mosaic on the wall. The furnishings too had all been recently replaced. The rooms looked fresh and welcoming.
Between and behind the chalets, one of the few nods to keeping the bush at bay, were lawns and pathways. However, away from the lawns the environment was thick and green; the dams were full.
Gail told me that they have just welcomed a family of otters into the camp which are, in Gail’s words, very fat, after munching on the fish in the dams. Doug said they had identified over 100 bird species, including the finfoot which nests nearby.
The main area is open to the river with a small swimming pool in which to cool down after the heat of some of Livingstone days.
The old manager’s house has also been renovated to take guests. It has 6 beds, its own pool and 2 bathrooms. It is being let out as self-catering accommodation. There is a barbeque area which is perfect for an evening meal, but when we were there, it was in the river. So, if you want to barbeque while on a visit to Chundukwa, it is best to come when the river is low.
After tea and a gossip on the deck, we left.
Chundukwa is the home of Livingstone’s polocrosse field which we drove past, watching a while as Doug was giving horse-riding lessons to some youngsters. The horses are also used by Doug to take horse trails through the bush around Chundukwa. I can imagine that this is the perfect way to see many of the birds and maybe catch a glimpse of the otters.
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