Chitkunto Safari Lodge

Chikunto Safari Lodge is a superb new boutique luxury Lodge located on an amazing site within the world-renowned South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Itself recognized as one of Africa's premier National Parks and has been described by many as the 'real Africa'. Known as the 'Valley of the Leopard' and famous for its high density of game and the absence of high-volume game-viewing traffic it is a huge bonus to actually be based inside the park itself.

Chikunto was built with the assistance of local villagers from the rural Mfuwe area, under the guidance of the German/Swiss owners, and is renowned for its game-rich location, the quality of its Guiding and the superb food it consistently delivers. The close bond with the local Community has been retained, with many of the locals involved with the original construction being re-trained and continuing to work as part of the 'Chikunto Family'.  This not only gives back to the local Community, but also helps to ensure the next level of customer service.

With 5 spacious luxury Tented Suites (including 1 x Honeymoon Suite and 1 x Two Bedroomed Family Suite) it never feels crowded at Chikunto. Having said that, the extra-large fire pit provides an ideal space around which you can gather for a pre-Dinner drink or two and discuss some of the day's sightings. For those of you that might be thinking of traveling with family or a few friends the option of Exclusive Use is becoming increasingly popular, with small photo-specialist groups coming on a regular basis (note that there are also 2 x additional Guide Rooms)

The spacious main area is set under a large thatch roof, and incorporates reception, dining area, a well-stocked bar and a relaxing lounge area with an eclectic mix of African and European-style furniture - with some stunning black & white animal photography from the well-respected photographer, Patrick Bentley. 

The Lodge is built on raised decking that helps from both a security point of view (it is in the middle of a National Park, after all!) and helps make the most of the stunning views directly out to the Luangwa River. It is quite possible that the backdrop to your alfresco dining could a family of elephants making their way down to river to drink, whilst you listen to the sounds of the bush.

While the game-viewing is clearly likely to be one of the highlights of your stay (helped by the option of the Night Drives that maximize your chances of seeing one or more of the Leopard in the vicinity) your stay at Chikunto really gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the sights, the sounds and even the smells of the African bush. The salt-water swimming pool (no chlorine) has a counter-current system for those who wants to do some exercise and provides for some amazing photo opportunities for those that are so inclined. 

An amazing, elevated Stargazing / Sleepout Platform opened in June 2022, and this 6-meter-high platform provides stunning views over the Luangwa River and up to the African sky. The platform comes complete with its own private telescope and the opportunity to have a private sundowner and dinner on the deck before falling asleep to the glow of the stars and the sounds of the African bush. To then wake up to the dawn chorus and the sight of a herd of puku or impala directly beside you.

Two Bedroom Luxury Family Tented Suite


The spacious luxury Two Bedroom Tented Family Suite has two separate Bedrooms with a shared communal space. The Suite is on a raised 1.5 - 2m high wooden platform. The Suite has the option of Kingsize Double or Twin beds and face the Luangwa River with door windows that allow undisturbed view to the river and the wildlife at the banks.

Luxury Double / Twin Tented Suite


The spacious luxury Tented Suites are raised on 1.5 - 2m high wooden platforms. The double beds are king size, with the option of converting to a twin. Again all the tents face the Luangwa River with door windows that allow undisturbed views to the river and the wildlife at the banks.

Morning Game Drives

After your morning Wake Up call of 'Knock Knock' at 5.00 a.m. (everything is optional!), there is time for a warming / refreshing cup of tea / coffee and home-made biscuits before you leave for 6.00 a.m. Some of the primarily nocturnal predators are still active at this time of the day, so there is an excellent chance of coming across leopard or lion sightings, as well as seeing some of the many antelope and other animals such as the endemic Thornicroft's giraffe as well as some of the many elephant and buffalo. Your experienced Guide will find an idea scenic spot for another tea / coffee break, before you meander your way back to the lodge for mid-morning.

Afternoon Game Drive followed by Sundowner time and Night drive

After your optional afternoon siesta, it is time for Afternoon Tea and the off for another trip to explore a different section of the amazing South Luangwa National Park, with its range of diverse habitats. Perhaps this time you will across that pack of Wild Dogs, see a family of Elephants crossing the road right in front of you, or see a pride of lions feasting on a kill made earlier in the day. Just before the sun sets, it is time to get ready for your Sundowner. An extra special experience at Chikunto Safari Lodge, the various of which will last a lifetime. Needs to be experienced rather than described. Then it is time for your night game drive, in one of the only places in Africa that allows you to see predators like the lions and leopards in their natural hunting environment. The Spotter on your vehicle will also give you the opportunity to see other nocturnal animals such as the Civets, Genets and Porcupines.

Optional Walking Safaris

The South Luangwa National Park is rightly famous for being known as 'The home of the walking safari’. There is no compulsion to go on a walking safari, but one can be arranged for you during you stay - anything from a 'gentle' 1 1/2 to 2 hours to a more extended experience.

In the company of an armed Scout from the National Park, your experienced Chikunto Guide will fascinate you with details on the local flora and fauna, pointing out and explaining the numerous animal tracks. Amongst other things, you will become an expert on elephant and hippo dung and their contributions to life in The Valley! Although the larger animals tend to be more wary of people on foot than in a vehicle, you still have a reasonable chance of getting relatively close to some of the larger animals - your safety will always be the number one priority. Another memory that stay with you forever.

Stargazing and Sleep-out upgrade option

This new 6 metre high platform provides stunning panoramic views out over the South Luangwa National Park, with the river itself and the setting sun directly in front of you. Upgrading for a night or two the deluxe Stargazing & Sleep out Suite allows you to combine having your own suite with direct private access to, and exclusive use of, the platform. With your own private sun lounger and Day Bed, plus the options of a private Sundowner, private dinner and your sleep out option you will be spoilt for choice on the memory front. Imagine your private sundowner or dinner on that raised platform / deck, connecting with nature and each other, listening to the sounds of the hippos in the nearby Luangwa River and the noises of the African bush, with the sun slowly setting over the meandering river directly in front of you, stars above you, subtle lighting all around, drink in hand..then waking the next morning to the dawn chorus and herds of puku or impala beneath you - memories for a lifetime.

Relaxing on-site!

Build in time during your visit to relax and to immerse yourself in being out in the bush, away from the stresses of 'normal' life. Enjoy spending time by, or in, the unique salt-water counter-current swimming pool; lie out on the deck overlooking the waterhole, watching a wide variety of animals that come on a regular basis to quench their thirst; take time to relax in the spacious lounger area - see how many of the birds you can recognize in the voluminous Roberts Bird Guide or just sit at the bar and treat yourself to one of the premium drinks… Take time to savor some of the delicious dishes that will be served up by the wonderful team in the kitchen.

For more information on the lodge, click HERE


Splendor in South Luangwa
Stay 5 nights / Pay 4
* Valid for 2023 season