Voted as the 4th Best Resort in Africa and 9th Best Resort in the World in the Condé Nast Traveler’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, Royal Chundu sits on the banks of the Zambezi River which hugs the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Our tranquil hideaway celebrates romance and family, tranquility in a secluded setting, unique adventures and community empowerment. Further downstream is the roaring, thundering, smoking Victoria Falls, only 30km away.
Zambia’s first and only Relais & Châteaux property, Royal Chundu encompasses two lodges, River Lodge and Island Lodge, both with views of the Zambezi. 10 exclusive River Lodge suites, set among the trees are nests of seclusion and peace.
The charm and secrecy of the 4 spacious Island Lodge villas is accentuated by its location on the private Katombora island in the middle of the river, sheltered by rapids.
Delightful All Year Round
Royal Chundu is a superb year-round destination, with each season bringing something unique to the Zambezi and Victoria Falls experience. At 3,540km long, the Zambezi River is the fourth-longest river in Africa and the largest that flows into the Indian Ocean from the continent.
Its journey begins in Zambia, moves through eastern Angola, weaves along the eastern border of Namibia and the northern border of Botswana, onwards between Zambia and Zimbabwe, before eventually reaching Mozambique, where it finds its way into the Indian Ocean.
October is the hottest month while the chilliest time is in June. This month also welcomes shooting stars to the sky while July and August hold the promise of the Parrot Fish Run, an incredible natural spectacle to behold.
The Zambezi River is at its fullest between February and July, and peaks between March and April. The rise in water level creates a magnificent spray from Victoria Falls, with superior rainbows worth an ogle.
At the Zambezi’s lowest, between November and early December, there is little spray, but a better view of the Falls’ full geological form. This is also a superb time to take a dip in Devil’s Pool.
Temperatures on the Zambezi River are relatively mild, generally between 64° and 86° F (18° and 30° C).
Winter runs from May and is cool and dry, while from August to October temperatures rise excessively, often reaching 104° F (40° C). November to April is rainy season, with relief coming from occasional clear skies between downpours.
Getting to Royal Chundu
We are set some 30 kilometres upstream from the Victoria Falls and 50 kilometres from HMNIA – Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport (formerly Livingstone International Airport), the closest airport. GPS Co-ordinates: 17°50’37.0″S 25°24’59.1″E
Arriving & Departing
A lodge representative meets all guests at HMNIA – Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport upon arrival to transfer them in a private, air-conditioned minibus to River Lodge (45 – 50 minutes).
Island Lodge is followed by a short boat trip (5 – 10 minutes). The transfer to HMNIA departs each lodge according to flight times. We can also collect guests from Kasane Airport (BBK) and Victoria Falls Aiport (VFA) at an additional transfer cost.
Daily flights run from Johannesburg to Livingstone International Airport on the following carriers: British Airways, Kulula, and South African Airways. Monday – Saturday (excl Thurs) direct flights run from Nelspruit (MQP/KMIA) to Livingstone on SA Airlink.
A return transfer between Livingstone International Airport and the Lodge is included in the accommodation packaged rates. Any alternative transfer can be arranged with central reservations at an additional cost. A lodge representative will meet all guests at Livingstone International Airport.
What to Pack
The dress code for dinner is smart casual. It’s a good idea to pack a light jacket in summer and a thick jacket in winter.
A waterproof, light raincoat is recommended when visiting Victoria Falls during high water months. Sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended all year round. Binoculars and cameras for birding and game viewing are an added bonus.
Zambia is a malaria area. It is advised that you use malaria prophylaxis and consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding recommended brands.
Insect repellent is provided in the Royal Chundu suites and public areas and all suites are furnished with mosquito nets. Herbal malaria prophylaxis, Demal 200, is a safe malaria treatment for children.
Temperatures on the Zambezi River are relatively mild, generally between 64° and 86° F (18° and 30° C). Winter runs from May to July and is cool and dry, with temperatures around 68° F (20° C).
August to October, temperatures rise excessively, with October being our hottest month, often reaching 104° F (40° C). November to April is rainy season with relief coming from occasional clear skies between downpours.
The larger of Royal Chundu’s two lodges, River Lodge scatters 10 suites along the riverfront with wooden decks ensuring intimate and serene views accompanied by uninterrupted privacy. These luxurious suites gaze across the Zambezi River, and peer into neighbouring Zimbabwe’s picturesque landscape.
Thatched roofing and interior furnishings echo the Zambezi hues and accentuate the surrounding natural beauty. An outdoor boma for dinners around the fire as well as a lounge and bar encompass the main area. In close proximity to a helicopter pad, River Lodge is easily accessed and welcomes children.
Be transferred by boat to Katombora Island, wrapped in the watery embrace of the Zambezi. With only four spacious villas on the island, Royal Chundu’s Island Lodge illuminates tranquility, exclusivity and privacy.
The well-appointed suites, splashed with cobalt blue and earthy palettes, open up onto private decks overlooking the river rapids. Refresh in the infinity pool and in the evenings relax in a riverfront bathtub – the perfect romantic getaway.
The Art of Dining
Feeding the Soul
Food is intergral to Zambian culture. Our local gastronomy is full of distinct flavours, ingredients and customs. Dining at Royal Chundu takes you deeper into local life, into the terroir, into the history of the Zambezi.
Our chefs are all Zambian and imbue each meal with the unique qualitites of cuisine that they grew up with. Ours is a taste of Zambia that tells the stories of the land and people, but with a twist of international classics and techniques.
Local & Sustainable
Soon you’ll know just what we mean when we talk about delele leaves (‘Jew’s Mallow’ or wild jute), katapa (cassava leaves), impwa (African eggplants), chibwabwa (pumpkin leaves), chinshungwa (a wild vegetable only found in the rainy season) and mundambi (a species of Hibiscus)… You’ll know the delicious flavours of village chicken and kapenta (the Tanganyika sardine).
All of our fresh supplies are sourced from our own vegetable gardens or farms neighbouring Royal Chundu, not only to minimise our carbon footprint, but to provide income for our local community and ensure the greatest freshness and taste.
Our freshly-caught fish, namely bream, is bought from local fishermen, while our own free-range chickens provide our eggs. All water at Royal Chundu is recycled and purified on the premises and all biodegradable waste is disposed of sustainably via our wormery, which feeds our vegetable garden.
Sit Down to Something Delicious
Meandering teak walkways lead to the main dining room at River Lodge and Island Lodge, where pan-African and international cuisine is prepared by our chefs, including a traditional tasting menu, where every dish is paired with one of South Africa’s celebrated wines.
Both our lodges have indoor dining areas and viewing decks for outdoor meals beside the beauty of our private slice of the Zambezi River.
Bomas & Baobabs
Be a part of something special, with our traditional Zambian evening in the boma or dining under the great branches of an ancient baobab tree on the island.
Watch the flames of the campfire or dinner being prepared on the barbeque, while streams of lanterns, Zambian drumming and the masked Makishi dancers set the mood, and then sit down under the African stars to local dishes and drinks.
Enjoy the option of retreating to the privacy of your own suite with in-room dining for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Weather permitting, head out on a private dining experience on a boat cruise or picnic, complete with silver settings and Persian rugs. There are full bar facilities on the mainland and island for you to enjoy your favourite tipple at.
Whatever the occasion
There are so many moments in our lives, moments grand, moments almost missed, that are worthy of a little more time, a little more attention. The love between two people, the bonds of a family that grow with each passing year, the accomplishment of dreams… Give them the attention they deserve.
Our Wedding Package
With their majestic Zambezi River backdrop, Royal Chundu’s intimate lodges are magnificent locations for a romantic marriage ceremony, with or without guests. We cater for small and large parties from 2 to 40 guests.
Our wedding package provides everything you’ll need for a memorable, perfectly executed wedding, but feel free to talk to us about creating a personalised experience for your dream wedding.
Book 3 nights at the applicable rate and you will get a complimentary fourth night – as well as your wedding, free of charge. Includes:
- Your own dedicated wedding coordinator
- Wedding location at the lodge, decorated and styled to your chosen theme, with a separate room for the bride before the ceremony
- Wedding cake, music and a professional photographer; champagne and canapes after the service
- Individual Bride and Groom Spa treatments
- Romantically prepared room with luxury bath and celebration breakfast in bed
- Accommodation available: Island Lodge (4 Private Suites) and River Lodge (10 Private Suites)
Our Honeymoon Package
We also offer a romantic five-star honeymoon package, specially created to ensure that your honeymoon is as memorable as possible. Book this package at the fully-inclusive rate and the bride will receive a 50% discount for her first night. Includes:
- All meals and drinks (excluding premium brands); tea and coffee (excluding speciality coffees)
- Return transfers to and from Livingstone International Airport (10% service charge)
- All internal activities
- On arrival Honeymooners receive a bottle of sparkling wine in your room
- A private dinner
- Romantic room turn down and luxury bubble bath (Island Lodge only)
- Spa Treatment Mwami (King) Experience for him; Dyango (Queen) Experience for her
Photography, a love affair with life
The Zambezi River is full of photographic potential, a magical, moving destination for photographers of all levels to lose themselves in.
While floating down the river on a boat cruise, raise your camera to the scenes lit by the sunrises or sunsets, the golden light cast over the river and its banks; to the elephant herds coming for a drink and the other wildlife in the reserve on the opposite side of the river; the otters, waterbuck, hippos and crocodiles wading in the water.
You can also practice your portraits, on friends, family, and other travel partners, with the Zambezi as your backdrop.
Our guides will be on-board to take care of everything else, pointing out different bird species and special subjects you might miss. They will make sure you’re at the right place at the right time and will be on hand with coffee and biscotti, or G&Ts…
For a different view, take to the river on a canoe and capture the rapids and riverine vegetation close-up. If your interest lies in food photography, there are plenty of opportunities to capture the art of dining and local foods and ingredients, as served by the Royal Chundu chefs.
This could be on a private picnic , a romantic deck dinner, a lunch river cruise, or while enjoying the different courses of our special Zambian tasting menu.
Consider adding a day trip to Victoria Falls onto your photographic adventure, for a chance to capture the Smoke That Thunders for yourself.
Bird’s eye view of Victoria Falls
What better way to watch the magically winding Zambezi River and its drop into Victoria Falls than from above in a helicopter?
Get up close to the Falls while flying over the gorge – an adventure that guests always return from renewed, with stories ad infinitum. This is no doubt one of the best ways to photograph the largest sheet of falling water in the world.
Royal Chundu offers guests riveting heli transfers from the airport that take you over the Falls before delivering you to our doorstep at Royal Chundu’s helipad. Venture a little further, if you wish, over the neighbouring game reserve, taking in the wild sights below.
Paddle into the Wild
Explore the lifeblood of Victoria Falls by canoe, going boldly into the waters of the upper Zambezi River, where hippo and crocodile roam. Travel downstream in our inflatable canoes, with one of our local guides to accompany you.
Each journey down our waters is a chance to measure yourself against the power of the river and its animals, a chance to find stillness, to get up close and intimate with nature, and to see and hear more than you could ever imagine.
Your journey starts at the Katombora rapids and continues through the channels of the Zambezi’s islands. Let your guide take the reigns or feel free to join in… the choice is yours.
As you make your way to a secret picnic spot beneath jackalberry trees on an island riverbank, look out for the hundreds of different bird species that call this region home and the wildlife that frequent this essential water source. You can also explore our stretch of river by cruise boat or motorised inflatable canoe.
A unique community tour
We invite you to meet the people who call the riverbanks around Royal Chundu home, the faces we interact with daily, the hearts who remind us just what makes this part of the world so special. We exist in unison with the surrounding villages of Mushekwa and Muluka.
We exist because they do. Discover more about our community on a walk through the villages. Learn more about the ways of Zambia, and by extension, Royal Chundu.
We will escort you to and from the village by boat, slipping along the Zambezi River to the welcoming wave of your guide from the village – one of the mothers of Mushekwa. Discover more in our blog, The Ubuntu of the Upper Zambezi.
You will gain insight into the local traditions and customs as well as on the plants and herbs used for traditional medicine and to make cooking oil, soap, and other necessities. Feel free to talk to the guide about adding a donation to the village fund.
One of the biggest celebrations in Africa
Most people are familiar with the Great Migration through the Serengeti and Masai Mara, and they’re familiar with the salmon run as they migrate from the ocean to river, but have you heard about the annual Parrotfish Run?
Every year, from June to August, the Parrotfish Run takes over the Zambezi River, upstream from Victoria Falls. After the heavy rains, millions of fish from the floodplains are pulled downstream by the main river current.
Once they hit the smaller rapids, they make for an easy catch for fishermen perched and waiting with their handwoven fishing baskets, made of reeds and palm tree leaves.
Families set up camp along the riverbanks to take advantage of this annual event and the amount of fish caught over the event provides enough sustenance to last the local villages an entire year.
From Royal Chundu, guests can take part in the run – whether spectating on the sidelines or attempting this unique angling style themselves.
Greet the day or night by boat
The Zambezi is truly at its best when lit up at sunrise and sunset, with those fiery golds and reds, hot pinks and deep purples. The colours of dawn and dusk create the most sensational of backdrops on your guided river cruise.
Board our spacious, pontoon boat and relax while our guides whisk you down one of Africa’s grandest rivers, a river of myth and romance. Watch crocodiles slip off the banks and into the mysterious waters and listen to the chorus of snorting hippos, while you enjoy a morning coffee or a sundowner G&T.
In drier months, when the sandbanks are exposed, the skipper will anchor near “Ellie Corner”, where you can spot herds of elephants as they drink, play, and bathe nearby. Other wildlife to be spotted and photographed include baboon, impala, ottter, warthog, waterbuck, giraffe, and even buffalo and the odd elusive leopard.
At sunset, watch the African skimmers return to nest on the water’s edge with their tell-tale red beaks, listen to the call of the fish eagles and see how many of the Zambezi’s kingfishers you can spy through our binoculars.
Marvel at the miracle that is Mother Nature
These words of acclaimed poet, Sylvia Plath, perfectly echo our own sentiments when it comes to Katombora, our private island in the middle of the Zambezi. Step off the boat onto our wild islet downstream from River Lodge and discover this untamed microcosm of nature in the Zambezi for yourself.
Join us for a guided walk through the island, adorned with python creepers, knob thorns, fever trees, waterberry trees, 23 baobabs, and 200-year-old jackalberry trees.
Our experienced guides will share their knowledge with you about the traditional and medicinal uses of the flora you will come across on the island. Untainted by development, this area represents the perfect ecosystem at play.
The trees that can be spotted along the Zambezi River and on our island have very interesting tricks of their own that help them to survive in a wild world.
Trees are our protectors. In their living forms they provide homes and shelter to millions of living creatures and by absorbing carbon dioxide they are major protagonists in the war on climate change. Even when dead, they continue to warm, feed and house us.
Royal Chundu’s Spa
Invigorate body, mind, and spirit with the serenity of the Zambezi
A journey in Africa brings a sense of calm to the mind, whether enjoying the continent’s wild and rugged expanses or its remote and peaceful corners.
Discover this peace with natural and holistic treatments through the healing hands of our local massage therapists. Treatments are enjoyed in the privacy of your own suite, indoors or out, with the gentle sounds of the Zambezi River playing a song of serenity throughout your spa experience.
Royal Chundu’s therapists all possess an understanding of the pressures and demands placed on our guests by modern life.
In keeping with our holistic approach and our commitment to organic health, the treatments are specifically designed with attention to natural plant technology while our therapists hail from nearby villages where they grew up learning about the surrounding flora’s medicinal and healing properties.
Discover more in our Spa Menu – with information on the natural, local products used and the range of enticing treatments offered.
Romance and relaxation, just what lazy river days are for
Our family have a long history of picnicking on the banks of the Zambezi. In homage to them, we invite our guests to take part in this Royal Chundu tradition, complete with the same bells and whistles of yesteryear and a few new treats.
Imagine Persian carpets, hammocks between the trees, chilled Pimms served on arrival, a picnic table adorned in silverware and the chitenge colours, a roaring pizza oven and that riverside breakfast or lunch… Whatever your family traditions may be, perhaps it’s time to create new ones.
Here, with us. Spend your time outdoors relaxing while listening to the rapids coursing past you; romance your loved one in a hammock built for two; or roam about the riverbank under the trees after your meal and soak up the magical surroundings.
Meet the predators of the Zambezi
Royal Chundu is renowned among the professional angling fraternity for its superb tiger-fishing location. It is the choice of serious fisherman and offers an exciting introduction for the novice.
Our unstressed waters vary from virgin island eddies and shallow rapids to deep flowing channels which boast the powerful tigerfish, bream, and the prized Upper Zambezi yellowfish.
Cost includes boat hire, fuel, and an experienced skipper and fishing guide. Feel free to use your own fishing equipment or the lodge’s gear which is available for hire.
Birdwatcher’s Guide To Zambia
Our guides have grown up on the banks of the Zambezi. They know the river’s depths and inhabitants like the path that winds from their homes to the water itself. The calls of the African fish eagle and the sounds of the bleating-warbler have formed the background music of their childhoods.
On a birding cruise down the Zambezi, our guides will impart their knowledge of nature with you, pointing out the range of birdlife waiting to be sought out.
Spot the finchlarks and flufftails tempting birdwatchers from the riverbank trees or the jacanas and kingfishers normally found beside hippos and crocodiles in the shallower reaches.
Choose from a morning (sunrise), late afternoon (sunset), nighttime, or full-day birding safari, tailored to your individual requirements. The shorter safaris last approximately two-and-a-half hours.
Catering specifically for birding specialists, the full-day safari includes guided vehicle transfers to the plains, other indigenous forest areas, and/or the Zambezi’s islands. With binoculars and our extensive birder’s checklist in hand, tick off all the species you manage to glimpse.
Steam Train Dining
Romantic 5-star dining on the tracks
Board the Royal Livingstone Express for a 15-kilometre journey starting in Livingstone and venturing through the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, along one of the most historic railway lines on the African continent.
During the journey, you can disembark to take in the sunset and enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the lounge or observation cars before your six-course meal, prepared and served by Sun International’s Royal Livingstone, in the dining carriage.
Chobe National Park Day Tour
Home to some of the largest concentrations of game in Africa
This full day-tour into Chobe National Park in neighbouring Botswana offers exciting game-viewing on 4X4 game drives and boat cruises down the immense Chobe River.
This trip is a superb safari add-on to any Victoria Falls and Royal Chundu itinerary, guaranteeing sightings of elephant and other game, with strong chances of lion and predator spotting, too. This full day tour departs from Royan Chundu at 8AM and sees guests returning at 5PM. Includes:
- Transfer from Royal Chundu to the border ferry and boat transport
- The opportunity to view four countries simultaneously from the river – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe
- Guided game and/or photographic cruise on the Chobe River in the park (includes boat, park, and guiding fees)
- Lunch at Chobe Marina Lodge
- Game drive in the park (transport, guide and park fees included)
- Return transfer to Zambian border and transfer back to the lodge
Trace the steps of a great explorer
Discover the island from which Dr David Livingstone first witnessed the Victoria Falls – Livingstone Island, situated towards the roar and rising cloud of mist suspended above a cliff over which the Zambezi River plunges.
On 16 November 1855, Makololo paddlers landed the great explorer here on ‘Goat Island’ (now Livingstone Island) on the lip of the chasm.
A few steps through the small rainforest later, he gazed upon one of the most spectacular sights in the world – ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ (The Smoke that Thunders) which he named after his Queen as The Victoria Falls. It is here that you will witness the most thrilling natural infinity pool in the world – Devil’s Pool .
Today visitors are picked up in a twin-engine boat with powerful motors and a skilled skipper retraces Livingstone’s approach to the island to witness the very best view of the Falls there is.
All visits to the island are during the ‘low water’ season, which usually begins in mid July and goes through to the end of January. High water visits are not possible as the island is continuously covered in the spray/downpour from the Falls.
Pick up is from the wooden jetty adjacent to the Royal Livingstone River Deck by an aluminum boat launch with twin water jet propelled engines which then transfers guests on a 5 to 10 minute ride to the island.
Drop off is again at the Royal Livingstone the trip. The trip includes a short-guided tour of the island and a view of the Falls as well as a light snack depending on the time of the visit.
The Flight of Angels
Abandon all inhibitions on a microlighting trip over Victoria Falls and the spectacular gorge the river has carved out for itself over millenia.
Opt for a 15-minute flight and soar over the islands on the Zambian side of the Falls, or for the 30-minute tour over, not only the Falls, but upstream over Kalai Island for a low swoop over Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.
Cruising over this UNESCO World Heritage Site makes for some unique game viewing while the micro-light’s open cockpit and unique, wing-mounted camera captures the event for you to experience again later.
Please note: flights are restricted to individuals over the age of six and with a maximum weight of 100 kilograms.
Victoria Falls Walking Tour
Let us show you Victoria Falls
Discover Victoria Falls on a day tour, choosing one of the tours below or custom-designing your own one to suit your own interests. Road transfers are available from Livingstone, Kasane, and Victoria Falls airports but our helicopter transfers by air are guest favourites.
Walking Tour – Half Day
This guided walking tour of the Falls and its rainforest includes a visit to the local African market, a tour of the Livingstone Museum and the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Game Park, and tea and coffee at a local café.
Amendments can be made if you’d like to visit other sights, such as the Steam Railway Museum. Our rates include park entrance fees, guided tours, and transfers.
Walking Tour – En Route
Visit Victoria Falls en-route to or from Royal Chundu. This makes for a great introduction to the area or last goodbye before heading home. Our package includes park entrance fees, guided tours, and transfers. Guests can also opt for a helicopter pickup for their Victoria Falls Tour at an additional charge.
A wellspring of wonder
On the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, next to Livingstone Island, you’ll find Africa’s most dangerous infinity pool. Despite the danger, Devil’s Pool has been luring curious travellers for centuries thanks to its beauty and unusual location.
Each year, for a short period of time and when the Zambezi’s water levels are at their lowest, it becomes safe enough for visitors to swim right up to the edge of the Falls and take a frightening look over the cliff.
While this time varies every year, it is usually from around late August to early January, but be sure to contact us when planning your visit to Royal Chundu to find out closer to the time.
Experience the thrill of the Zambezi River rushing past you as it tumbles 120 metres over the edge, and, if you’re bold enough, take a wild somersault in and frolic in the cool waters in one of the most beautiful corners of Africa.
The Lunar Rainbow
Let the light shine in
“Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight,” Livingstone proclaimed when talking about Victoria Falls. These scenes are all the more lovely when the rare moonbow appears.
While rainbows usually appear through direct sunlight, the Lunar Rainbow is a rare event that occurs at full moon as a result of the light reflected from the moon’s surface.
You can experience this phenomena for three days during full moon, between March to July, from the vantage point of Victoria Falls as the spray from the water tumbling over the edge casts a moonbow over the chasm. Chat to us about organising this nighttime tour during your stay with us.
Ride the Raging Zambezi
With names like “Stairway to Heaven”, “Washing Machine”, and “Oblivion”, you can imagine what the white water rapids of the Zambezi River have in store for you. Daredevils will be guided through the rapids by an experienced guide who will help manoeuvre your boat down the fourth largest river in Africa.
Be warned: you will get wet, but a photographer will be chasing the rapids with you to capture it all on film when you do. Visitors can opt for a half day or full day trip.
The dry season offers a much bumpier ride, while the months following rainy season are just as exciting, as the whirlpools and boils present a few of their own surprises, too. End your adventure with a magnificent hike up the gorge and enjoy lunch overlooking one of the most magnificent rivers in the world.
111 metres of pure adrenaline
If you’re a thrill-seeker or ever fancied trying to fly, why not take the leap off the Victoria Falls Bridge? If you dare, you can join the ranks of the 50 000 brave souls who have made the jump before you.
Challenge the limits of the mind and test the edge of fear as you soar like an African fish eagle with the Falls behind you, the great Zambezi River below, and the Batoka Gorge directly ahead. You can tandem or go solo, do a standard head first dive, or jazz it up with flips, backflips, and inward tucks.
Experience this part of Africa on horseback
Whether you’re a novice or a natural, there are a variety of horseback riding opportunities on offer.
From half-day rides to full and multi-day adventures that venture into the splendid Teak forests and mopane woodlands, all travellers with an equestrian flair will be catered for. Explore the riverine woodlands found along the Zambezi or marvel at the dramatic scenery above Batoka Gorge.
The High Life
If Into The Wild stirred the adventurer in you, as it did us, with its call to “begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt”, perhaps this is the answer. Or at least the beginning.
Sail over or down Batoka gorge on a high wire, whether horizontally on the flying fox, at an angle, or swinging across the gorge.
If the rockface is more appealing, abseiling provides fun for the whole family as you meander down a 120-metre cliff face. True thrill-seekers can attempt rapp jumping. Whichever way you choose to fly, the high wire activities are some of the greatest at the Falls.
Fancy a round?
It is the follow through that makes the difference, but a good view doesn’t hurt. During your time with us, try a round of golf on either side of Victoria Falls.
We recommend two top-class golf courses: the first is set in the historical town of Livingstone in Zambia – the Livingstone Royal Golf & Country Club, a beautiful 100-year-old 18-hole golf course boasting a historical clubhouse with a veranda, restaurant, and bar.
The second is Zimbabwe’s Elephant Hills Golf Course. Designed by PGA-great, Gary Player, the course provides more than enough of a challenge in tts 18-holes (and the odd warthog or waterbuck to compete with, too).
Jetboating on the Zambezi
The high-speed gondola of Batoka Gorge
A jetboating adventure on the Zambezi River requires your daring spirit to take a stand because things are about to get bumpy. Speed through the dramatic Batoka Gorge below Victoria Falls aboard a powerful jet boat.
Race over rapids, past the gorge’s basalt rock walls, and feel your heart race while enduring the “Hamilton Spins” – the jet boat goes from full-speed into a spectacular 360-degree spin on flat water.
The entire adventure takes about three-and-a-half hours while the jet boat ride itself lasts around 30 minutes. Your captain is a professional of his craft, with thousands of trips on the river under his belt.
You’ll be collected by 4X4 and taken for a scenic drive to the base station at the top of the gorge before beginning your spectacular descent into the gorge itself. Helicopter transfers to and from Royal Chundu are also available.
Victoria Falls Bridge Tour
A hundred-year journey
Join us for a voyage on Victoria Falls Bridge, a journey that goes back a hundred years to the time when Cecil John Rhodes laid out his plans for a Cape to Cairo Railway.
On this tour, travellers will discover how the bridge was constructed and how a full locomotive was transported across the gorge before the actual completion of the bridge. Our highly knowledgable and experienced guides will ensure a safe and informative two hours on and around the bridge.
Stop to peer over the edge at the incredible valley below, so-called no man’s land, where Zambia and Zimbabwe meet. It is from here that the brave launch themselves into the depths below during a bunjee-jumping experience.
Experience Victoria Falls & Beyond
At Victoria Falls, Yeats’ world of magic lies in wait more than ever – from a rainbow’s dance at full moon to the cascade of one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders.
We invite you to discover just why this marvel, 30 kilometres downstream from our setting on the Zambezi River, is considered the Adventure Capital of Africa.
There are so many ways to experience the largest curtain of falling water in the world – a title granted due to the Falls’ width (a hefty 1,708 metres) and height (towering above at 108 metres).
Slip through the Zambezi’s ravine on a white-water rafting cruise or fly overhead in a microlight or helicopter – a chopper ride you can continue to our private helipad at Royal Chundu.
Test your nerves in nature’s infinity pool at Devil’s Pool and feel the Falls’ spray on your cheeks on Zambian soil or a border hop away in Zimbabwe. Make it a full day adventure on a tour that combines several unique aspects of Mosi-oa-Tunya, so named by the Toka Leya tribe, meaning ‘The Smoke that Thunders’.
Kenya & Victoria Falls
Experience the wildlife of Kenya and Victoria Falls on this spectacular tour taking you to some of the best wildlife spots on the continent.
Home to some of the highest concentrations of predator and prey on the planet as well as the greatest wildlife show on earth, the Great Migration, Kenya has to be the quintessential safari destination.
Experience it for yourself before joining us at Royal Chundu to continue your adventure a few kilometres upstream from Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ultimate bush adventure will ensure travellers are properly introduced to the beauty of Africa’s wild spaces.
An African Voyage
Savour the Journey
Go on an African voyage aboard one of the world’s most luxurious passenger trains, travelling between Victoria Falls and South Africa. From Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, the Rovos Rail will play escort as you head to the Victoria Falls.
Aboard your carriage, dine in style and get to know South Africa a little better, not only through the scenes passing you through the window but through some of the country’s finest wines.
Experience the roar of the Falls before arriving at your final home, with us at Royal Chundu, for more adventure or some rest and relaxation on the banks of the Zambezi River. Alternatively start with Victoria Falls and enjoy a spectacular helicopter transfer through the gorge to the lodge and then head out with Rovos Rail.
Zambia & Malawi
The route less travelled
There’s far more to Zambia than just Victoria Falls, but let’s start there, shall we? After a few days with us on the Zambezi River, head off in the direction of the remote South Luangwa valley for a riverside safari.
Explore this region brimming with wildlife from Chinzombo Lodge, your base. End your journey in Malawi, a destination that has yet to attract scores of travellers – a quality making it all the more special. You’ll be staying just across the border at the luxury beachside lodge of Kaya Mawa, found on Lake Malawi’s Likoma Island.
The Wild Three
Kruger, Victoria Falls & Botswana
In whichever order you choose combine these three highlights, this is the ultimate African experience.
We recommend starting with the Kruger Park in South Africa, where you’ll be tracking the Big 5 in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve – which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park and is without a doubt the world’s best place to see leopard and the Big 5.
From there, move on to ogling the Victoria Falls in Zambia, where you’ll call Royal Chundu home, before heading off to Botswana, to meander through the Okavango Delta and Selinda Reserve.
Cape Town, Kruger & Victoria Falls
Endlessly changing horizons
This tour showcases Southern Africa’s three top attractions spread across three corners of the region. Climb Table Mountain, embark on a wine tour in the Cape Winelands, and explore every aspect of the ‘Mother City’ before flying to the Kruger National Park for a spectacular Big 5 safari.
The final leg of your trip takes you upstream from Victoria Falls and to us at Royal Chundu, our private stretch along the Zambezi.
Building Zambia’s Future
Help Us Build a School
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela
We are thrilled to announce some big plans for The Royal Chundu Foundation School, at Royal Chundu in Zambia, in our hopes to offer and create quality education, close to home, to even more people in the local area around us.
We are building a new and bigger school to hold more students, and aim to school around 500 kids a year, from early education to 12th grade, with an adult literacy programme, online hospitality programme and a culinary school, linked to the chefs at Royal Chundu.
We hope to provide even more students with tablets loaded with the Zambian curriculum, as we do currently. Our students will also be provided with a healthy breakfast and lunch each day.
To raise funds for this project, we are appealing to you, our guests, suppliers, partners, travellers, companies, individuals around the globe, to play a part.
The Royal Chundu Foundation School
We started the school for the young children of our staff members, so that their kids would be close by and still receive a high level of education. The school slowly grew to include the children from our neighbouring villages , which we work greatly with in the running of Royal Chundu.
Soon our teachers, together with Headmistress Luckie Siamoonga, were educating up to three grades of children, from four to six years and doing so using the educational benefits of modern technology. We began with a mere 10 children two years ago and today have over 50 students. Help us educate up to 500!
Chundu’s Children’s Club
A family-friendly getaway
Children of all ages are welcome at Royal Chundu and specifically catered for in our unique Children’s Club with an exciting daily programme. Both River Lodge and Island Lodge suites can sleep two adults sharing with two children.
Upon arrival, your guide will discuss activity options with you, considering family size, age and weather. Each of your young ones will receive a special River Safari Adventure Pack.
A welcoming treasure hunt will help familiarise them with our staff and surroundings, allowing you peace of mind throughout your stay. Parents are welcome to join their children in the activities or to relax while our River Guides or Child Minders take over the supervising.
Before, during or after your visit, or even as a faraway friend and follower, you can join in on our Zambezi lessons in our online school, The Royal Chundu Homeschool, through our blog and social media!
The Faces of the Zambezi
At Royal Chundu, the village provides, but it also runs, supports, drives and benefits from the lodge. We are a community-run lodge, one of very few of its kind in Africa. It’s a model that we believe can create massive positive change across Africa, and that can help build a stronger, more equal Zambia.
Starting with our people… 99% of our team are Zambian, including our managers. Most of us come from or live in one of the two villages right next door to the lodge – the agricultural Malambo village and the fishing-centric Muluka village.
Providing training at the lodge, we’re able to give our team significant opportunities for growth. We offer training to anyone in our community through online hospitality courses and then practical experience at the lodge to back the online course, in order for villagers to obtain certification.
All of our food is sourced from Zambia, mostly supplied by local fishermen and village gardens – whether it’s our own lodge chicken coop and herb and vegetable garden, or the lettuce and mangoes brought in by staff from their home gardens, or Edith and the women of Malambo, with their impressive beds of mielies, chilies, impwa, tomatoes and spinach, and their village chicken and free-range eggs.
We support the village gardeners through a Seed Project, donating seeds to anyone who wishes to grow crops for our kitchens, which we then purchase at market cost.
We support local fishermen by buying fresh bream or parrot fish – often from mekoro arriving at River or Island Lodge. This enables us to give our guests a true taste of Zambia and ensure that sustainable fishing measures and regulations are adhered to.
As much as possible, we look to our own sphere for suppliers – such as seamstress work, for our chitenge uniforms, cushion covers, doormats and dish covers, woodwork for our wooden doorbells and mini-mekoro for the Tasting Menu and boutique, for artwork on the walls.
Our own staff have created spin-off businesses from the lodge, such as transfer services for our guests, between the airport and our front door, and courier services (such as Best, our Head of Security, who delivers firewood and fertiliser to us by a cattle-drawn cart).
The impact of this is the immediate upliftment of the people who live right beside us – and the families that rely on them. The impact of this is that everyone is invested in the lodge and rather than being work, the lodge is something we are entwined with, in heart and soul.
The impact is a uniquely, proudly and distinctive Zambian flavour, look, sound and feel. In our food, in our colours and patterns, in our words and smiles, in our stories and music and dance.
Guests walk away having experienced real Zambia, having connected with the people born from its land, having tasted the ingredients and cooking styles of the nation.
Guests leave having helped to support not simply a lodge in Zambia, but countless families, school children at the Royal Chundu Foundation School, women empowerment initiatives and local entrepreneurship.
Your support shines a light on our communities and makes each member proud of the beauty of what is theirs, of our culture and customs. We need to share our own stories, and have them told by our own people.
We need to not only give local communities a piece of the pie, but empower them to bake and serve the pie themselves.