Chiawa Camp consists of 8 spacious shaded safari tents and a larger suite which are insect-proof, have wooden floors, twin or double beds with spring mattresses, 24 hour solar lighting, and en-suite flushing loos and hot & cold outdoor showers and ball and claw bathtubs. All have spacious verandas. Some of the tents overlook the dry riverbed and the others have views of the Zambezi.
The thatched lounge/bar area, with observation deck, and dining room overlook the river. The reed enclosed fireplace is host to BBQs and cocktails by starlight. Chiawa Camp also has a carefully positioned viewing hide, overlooking the confluence of the Zambezi & Chowe Rivers, affording excellent, peaceful viewing of birds and the large mammals.
Activities include gameviewing by vehicle or pontoon boat, nature walks with armed guide, night drives, canoeing (half & one day trips), bird safaris, bush breakfasts, visits to iron age sites, angling for the infamous tiger fish. A 'catch & release' policy is adhered to and fly fishermen are also catered for.
Open: Chiawa Camp is open from 15th April to 15th November.
Location: Chiawa Camp is on the banks of the Zambezi River overlooking Mana Pools. It was the first safari lodge to be built inside Lower Zambezi National Park. You fly into Jeki from where it's a 15 minute drive and 40 minute boat transfer or a 75 minute game drive to the camp. Its sister camp, Old Mondoro, is a 1 hour 20 minute boat ride from Chiawa.
Rooms: There are 8 tents with en-suite bathrooms with a bathtub, twin hand basins and indoor shower. All have verandas with chairs and a day bed, overlooking the river. The larger safari suite has a bedroom, en-suite bathroom with bath, twin basins, toilet and shower, lounge with daybeds, additional toilet, outdoor shower, large deck with a plunge pool. All the tents sit on raised decks, some having views of the Zambezi River and others facing the dry riverbed.
Activities: Game drives in Lower Zambezi National Park, guided walking safaris, boat safaris, canoeing and fishing are all available, and there are hides from which you can watch wildlife. You can round off a busy day with a leisurely sunset cruise on the Zambezi.
Facilities: There is a large open lounge and bar area with views of the Zambezi. Above the lounge is an observation deck with a telescope. The dining area is separate and has an outdoor boma. You can soak up the sun on the pool deck and cool off with a swim. The camp has a small exercise area.
Dining: Meals are eaten communally in the dining area, with lunch often enjoyed in the grounds
Children: Children from the age of 8 years are welcome, though the minimum age for a walking safari is 12 years. The camp is unfenced and children must be kept under supervision.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is Wi-Fi internet access in all guest tents.
Notes: Credit cards are not accepted in the camp. US$ is the preferred currency.
"Although I enjoyed Chiawa, for me it's not my first choice in Lower Zambezi (sorry!), only because it seems to cater for large groups and it's right on the main river front, so there's not much game coming to drink and lots of boats whizzing past! Try and get a tent on the 'lagoon' side of the camp where a river tributory / lagoon feeds down to the Zambezi. There is a lot of elephant action in this channel and it's much quieter. The game drive in that area was good and we saw lion cubs, but we also had 2 punctures! Can't be helped I know. Meal times were very orchestrated with staff singing and pomp and ceremony with dinner, which I'm not keen on. But that's me personally. If you DO like larger camps and want to be around a lot of people then it's great."