Chikunto Safari Lodge
Chikunto Safari Lodge: Our View
Chikunto Safari Lodge is located inside the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia's premier National Park. This unfenced Park is approximately 700 km northeast of Lusaka. The lodge is situated on the banks of the Luangwa River (Big Bend Site) and is approximately 75 minutes transfer from Mfuwe Airport. About 45 minutes of this transfer will be in the National Park so will be done as a game drive.
South Luangwa offers fantastic wildlife viewing - it is for good reason that the area is known as ‘The Valley of the Leopard’. And indeed, South Luangwa is considered by many to be where walking safaris originated! There are some 60 different animal species in the South Luangwa National Park. Hippo and crocodile are very common in the Luangwa River. One of the best known endemic species in the Luangwa Valley is the Thornicroft’s Giraffe.
With access to some of the best game viewing areas Chikunto Safari Lodge is perfectly placed to take full advantage of this superb wildlife viewing opportunity. Guests have the option to do game drives to the south of the lodge in the area close to the main Mfuwe gate, although this is the busiest section of the park. Alternatively guests can also access the much quieter northern section of the park which has superb game viewing.
Chikunto Safari Lodge is also very private and intimate, with just 5 luxury tented suites (4 twin/double tents and 1 family tent). Compared to other bush camps inside the Park, the tented rooms at Chikunto Safari Lodge are luxurious and well appointed, perfect for clients who are looking for a less rustic option yet still want to experience that authentic and remote safari and African bush feeling. Facilities at Chikunto Safari Lodge are also very good and include amongst other a swimming pool, a rareity for a bush camp inside the Park and a real bonus when visiting during the very hot summer months.
Compared to the lodges just outside the Park gates, Chikunto Safari Lodge is more expensive. However, compared to other bush camps inside the Park it is very well priced. Additionally it offers more luxury than many of the other bush camps as well as access to some of the best and least crowded game viewing areas in the Park, hence making it fantastic value for money in our opinion.
Chikunto Safari Lodge: Quick Facts
- 5 luxury tented rooms including one 2 bedroom family room
- Game drives and walking safaris offered and subject to water levels possibly boat cruises in certain seasons (February to May)
- Cultural/village tours also offered on request instead of a game drive
- Children 7 years and over are welcome. Younger children may be allowed but at the discretion of the lodge and by prior arrangement.
- Limited WiFi internet available in the main lounge area
- Transfer from and to Mfuwe airport and also transfer to/from other lodges in South Luangwa included
- Daily laundry
- Lodge is open from mid February – mid November which is longer than most other bush camps inside the Park.
Chikunto Safari Lodge: The Details
The intimacy of Chikunto Safari Lodge is a real highlight and the 5 rooms are luxurious by South Luangwa bush camp standards. All rooms have open plan en-suite bathrooms/private shower, twin washbasins, and flushing toilets. All tents are fitted with a private, covered wooden deck, with relaxing seating including a sofa, an occasional chair, and a coffee table. Floor to ceiling net windows are provided as well as a mosquito net and fan over the bed. A writing desk with a multi-point charger is provided. All the tents are raised on stilts, quite high off the ground. Travel plug adapters are not included though so you will need to bring your own.
There is also a luxury family tented suite with two bedrooms (one king-size, one twin). This family suite has a communal living area with the bedrooms on either side, and a screened off en-suite bathroom with shower, twin washbasins, and a flushing toilet.
Chikunto Safari Lodge’s communal areas are on a raised wooden deck and incorporate a spacious reception, dining area, bar, and lounge area, all under thatch. A large social fire pit can be enjoyed during the cooler evenings. The salt-water swimming pool with a counter-current system for the energetic, is a real advantage during the hot summer months in the South Luangwa National Park. Whilst many of the larger lodges outside the Park have pools, very few of the small bush camps inside the park have one.
Like most of the other bush camps in the South Luangwa National Park the whole of Chikunto Safari Lodge runs on eco-friendly solar power.
It is the game viewing that is the real highlight in the South Luangwa though and Chikunto Safari Lodge is perfectly located to experience the area’s vast wildlife. Chikunto Safari Lodge in particular has easy access to the open plains in the north of the Park which are much less crowded than the area close to the main entrance gate. During the dry season (May - November) activities focus on morning and afternoon game drives or walking safaris. Chikunto Safari Lodge also stays open for part of the ‘green’ season from mid February onwards. During this time, boat safaris may be offered, a truly unique and very different experience in the South Luangwa National Park. Game drives and walking safaris are possible during the ‘green’ season, but may be limited to certain areas of the Park compared to during the dry season.