It’s Monday 11th May 2009 and greetings from Chongwe River House

Greetings, we hope all who are reading this are well. It’s been sometime since we last wrote a masterpiece for its Monday so we do hope that you all haven’t forgotten about us and this beauteous place.

Chongwe river houseview of Chongwe river house

As you all know the House is not open to guests between the end of November till the beginning of April due to the rains. During this time, myself and Bruce our soon to be 3 year old son and our small team of staff had the job of protecting and maintaining it against rain, wind and beast. We did however take a break in February and came back early March to commence battle with the house and the elements to prepare for the first guests. It was all going well until mid March when a deluge or rain battered us for over a week and the Chongwe River swelled to bursting point. We just watched as the water levels crept higher and higher towards our little house and we prayed that this wouldn’t be the third year in a row to be flooded out of our house, the two previous in South Luangwa.

Luckily by the 22nd March the rain subsided and the water levels also fell rapidly, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief and continued with the job at hand.

Brendan, Clem and BruceBruce

All ended well though our first guests, the Hill family, enjoyed a good four days with us and managed to catch a couple of noteworthy tiger fish. We were sad to see them leave, however they did promise to visit again soon.

Tiger fish

The bush this time of year is still green and lush. The elephants have returned to the area now and are helping with the bush clearing operations. We have had a few magnificent bulls around the house recently who I think have plans to eat every living plant and leave us surrounded by desert. It is quite amazing lying in bed at night with a 6 tonne elephant bull standing 4 metres away eating its way through huge amounts of foliage. You can literally hear its digestive juices working overtime.


The lions have been around a lot recently, but they too have been night time visitors, we wake up to their deep magnificent calls and find their tracks all over the place in the morning. We have caught up with them along the Chongwe a couple of times though and they have treated us to some wonderful intimate moments.


In January I was also lucky enough to go up in “Bluebird” the Conservation Lower Zambezi plane. It is used for anti-poaching operations and is an important tool in the ongoing battle. We did sadly spot 2 old elephant carcasses but we did have some superb sights of buffalo herds on the open plains as well as fantastic views of the valley.

Herd of Buffaloes

That’s all from us for now, I leave you all with a scenic shot to make you all wish you were here. Keep well.

Brendan, Clem, Bruce and the Chongwe House team.


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