It’s Monday 22nd September 2008 and hello from Chongwe River House

It’s Monday 22nd September 2008 and hello from Chongwe River House

Many of you will remember Beej, the superb guide who was with us in Luangwa for two years. He and his family (Clem and Bruce) moved to the Chongwe River House this year and this week we hear from Clem…….

BeejBruce and Clem

In early March this year, Brendan, Bruce and I left South Luangwa to start a new adventure at Chongwe River House in the Lower Zambezi. An hours flight to Lusaka, a three hour drive to the Kafue River and then a two hour boat trip with a whining cat and a tired one year old! But we made it and arrived to more high water levels. We left our house in Luangwa ankle deep in water for the second year running and were slightly nervous to find the Chongwe River lapping around the steps of the main house.

Chongwe River HouseFly fishing

The house was as impressive and spectacular as we remembered from our visit in November but there was no time to take it all in. Our first 12 days were a mad rush to get the rain damaged house back into shape before our first guests. This we did and despite walking, boating and fishing really being all we could offer at this time of year, the guests all had a great time.

interior, Chongwe River Housethe  outside bath

Soon after we had a quiet spell which gave us the opportunity to extend our own house and learn the ropes and unfortunately for Brendan to sit more exams for the area! All of which he passed with flying colours of course!

coxswain BruceBeej and Oliver

Fortunately the water never rose any higher and soon dropped enough for us to be able to drive over the Chongwe River (still over the cruiser bonnet I might add!) and into the park. The Lower Zambezi National Park is absolutely stunning with the river and the hills, such a change from the Luangwa. There definitely is not the quantity of game you can find in Luangwa. Also we are lacking in giraffe, the zebra are mostly only seen in the rains, and there are no puku.

Elephants cross  the Chongwe RiverChongwe  hippos

However, the Zambezi River more than makes up for this with boating, fishing and canoeing all on offer. It has to be said most of the game concentrates around the Chongwe River and the house itself which is great for us!! We are surrounded by elephants – waiters are forever getting delayed trying to navigate their way safely to serve dinner. Kudu, warthog, buffalo and leopard are also regular visitors. Our last guests were lucky enough to be sitting on the deck when they saw a huge crocodile leap out of the water and take a male kudu.

malachite kingfishersbrown hooded kingfishers

It’s now peak season, a busy time with a constant flow of guests. A lot of families with children visit us which Bruce loves. He is obsessed with boats and the canoes and spends all day racing around the bush chatting in Nyanja with his nanny’s two kids – a fantastic place for him to grow up.

So after a hectic beginning we are now into the swing of things and are thoroughly enjoying life here at Chongwe House.

Come and visit us!!!

All the best,

canoeing at dusk

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