There’s still a place to find the “real africa,” and that’s at the Royal Chundu Luxury Zambezi Lodges, a private refuge that remains hidden from civilization and the irritating trappings of everyday life, but still manages to offer travelers the best of modern amenities.
Located less than 20 miles downstream from the breathtaking Victoria Falls, the Royal Chundu property sits amidst the magnificent convergence of two countries—Zambia and Botswana. It’s actually situated a short drive from Livingstone, on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, secluded on the banks of the Zambezi River whose lush waters bring life and spectacular color to the parched savannah interior, creating a piece of paradise for the region’s wildlife. Royal Chundu, its owners say, is the place where “the spirit of Africa can be experienced and savored.”
But as close as Zambia and Botswana are to Royal Chundu, those aren’t the only countries nearby. The property is also fairly close to Zimbabwe and Namibia, so clients interested in multi-national packages to those countries can put a pre- or post-stay together and maximize their African adventure.
The property itself is actually two separate locations—the main River Lodge, which is comprised of 10 luxurious suites, and the Island Lodge, located just a short distance away in the midst of the river with four luxurious villas. Both offer king-size beds, double showers, air conditioning, fans and dressing rooms, WiFi and cellular coverage, formal dining areas, a floating spa in the river offering a variety of treatments and—did we mention—seclusion.
The activities available at these lodges are virtually limitless. On the Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River, guests savor the pristine beauty of the Zambezi as the sun sets in the African sky, watching crocodiles slipping off the banks under the water, going eye-to-eye with hippos and observing herds of elephants at close quarters as they drink, play and bathe on the river’s edge. Other game that can often be seen include baboon, impala, warthog and buffalo.
There are also birding safaris where guests can choose from a sunrise, sunset, nighttime or full-day birding safari—all tailored to individual requirements. The full-day safari includes guided vehicle transfers to the plains and other indigenous forest areas and/or river transfers to the islands. This tour is catered specifically for birding specialists who want to look for specific birds. The shorter safaris last for approximately two hours.
But there’s even more—tours to Victoria Falls and helicopter tours over the falls, David Livingston island tours, walks with lions and rhinos, elephant back safaris, crocodile farm tours, safaris in Chobe National Park, bungee jumping, gorge swinging, golf and, of course, curio shopping.
Further, there’s the Authentic Tribal Village Walk, during which guests get a rare opportunity to interact with the villagers in a truly authentic environment where everyone goes about with their daily activities. The guide, who resides in the village, is well versed on all the traditions and customs in the village and will be able to advise your clients on what plants and herbs are used for traditional medicine, making cooking oil, soap and other necessities. The trip starts by journey in a makoro (traditional canoe) paddled by an experienced guide and then a walk around the village. Once the walk is finished, guests return via makoro back to the lodge.
Rates run $390 at the River Lodge with a fully inclusive package of $580 pp dbl, and $490 at the Island Lodge with a fully inclusive price of $680 pp dbl, both with a recommended stay of three nights. For more information, visit royalchundu.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.