Chongwe River House is a spectacular, 4-bedroom safari house looking out over the luxuriant banks of the Chongwe River. A joint venture between Robin Pope Safaris and Chongwe River Camp, the house is, Chongwe River House is, in effect, a private safari camp for families or groups of friends, with a large private pool, its own staff, including guide, chef and management couple, and dedicated safari vehicle, fishing boat and canoes.
Designed by Neil Rocher, Chongwe River House is a stylish and original creation of flowing walls and soaring spaces under a thatched roof. As at Shompole, which established Rocher, the furniture is hand-crafted from fallen trees. A vast open lounge-dining area has superb views over the Chongwe River, where elephants come to quench their thirst, and the mountains beyond; and quiet corners in which to retreat. The four en suite bedrooms are spacious and luxurious. There are no doors or glass in the windows. The upstairs bedrooms have baths from which you can view the bush; downstairs, the showers flow from the stone ceiling (The upstairs showers are more like cascades.).
Chongwe River House enables you to set your own schedule. Exclusive morning and night game drives in open safari vehicles can begin and end when you wish, or concentrate on those species in which you have a particular interest. Your safari guide will take you on walking safaris, accompanied by an armed ranger, or you can fish for bream and tiger-fish in the Zambezi. Boat trips, canoe safaris are also on offer. It can be hard to tear yourself away from the deck – there is so much to see.
The food is luscious and inventive. It is amazing to find such delicious meals in so remote a spot, and it feels like an incredible treat. The chef will plan the menus with you and the hour at which they will be served.
Chongwe River House welcomes children aged 7 and over, but you should remember that this is a real wilderness location and there is no telly. A variety of activities are available for children, independently of their parents.
A 35-minute flight from Lusaka, the house and pool face the Lower Zambezi National Park, just across the river.