Chikunto

Chikunto is a new lodge to South Luangwa, built in 2017. It is one to visit before the crowds come. In a prime location between the north and middle sections of the park, you can cover a lot of ground in a day which is prime for sightings not that you need to go far, it seems the animals are also fond of this new lodge and you can have some incredible sightings from home!

The lodge has some incredible features, which sets it apart from others. Including, the new activity of boating safaris during the green season, during which you can experience a unique and gentle way of viewing the animals from the water. With huge luxury tents, a pool, a masseuse who kneads away any stresses from the comfort of your room and some of the best food we’ve had on safari, it’s one for those looking for, a bit of, luxury in the wild.

Why we love Chikunto!

Chikunto in the perfect location in the valley-away from the crowds surrounded by wildlife! With some of the best food we have had on safari, incredibly friendly staff and one of the valleys oldest top guides, it is becoming the place to visit in the valley and should definitely be on your list to visit!

–  Last visited by Chloe McCormack, marketing & sales – October 2019

Chikunto is the epitome of bush elegance, the sleek and modern safari tents ooze African chic. Kitted out with top European fittings, super comfortable beds and views to die for, they’re siesta-perfect! The main lodge is gorgeous, with some stunning wildlife photographs that you could stare at for hours and a sparkling pool overlooking the river and wilderness beyond. Now, I’m saving the best for last – the FOOD! Such creative and carefully prepared meals with quality ingredients and full of flavor, they’ll keep you salivating (and full) all day long…

– Gabi Costantini, marketing & sales

A lot of thought and effort has gone into making Chikunto feel like a welcoming home, and you surely appreciate this during your stay. There is everything you could ever want from a lodge spaciously placed over the vast dark wood decking. Outstanding attention to detail has been afforded to everything from the décor to the sumptuous food inside the lodge. Nature starts at the edge of the decking, so let one of the best guides in the valley escort you around his home turf. Boutique safari at its best.

– Toby Webber, director

Experience Rating

Experience Ratings Explained

The star ratings are based on a variety of different criteria.

Namely it is a comparative aspect against the other lodges in this country and/or area. We like to think of this rating as a mix of the accommodation (please do remember just because the rating is lower doesn’t mean it is a bad lodge more that it maybe more of a rustic nature), guiding and wildlife in the area, food, safety and general vibe.

The lower ratings tend to either be due to being a rustic lodge or being in e.g a busy area of the park. This should be used as a general guide but please do contact us for more detail or check out the reasons why we love these lodges.

Fast Facts

Location

South Luangwa National Park

Rooms

5 Rooms (including a family room)

Rooms starting from

$785 (pppn)
Promotion Special when you stay 4-6 nights

Great for

Honeymoons/small groups

Children welcome

Yes. Ages 8+ (discount available)

Open

March – November

Ideal length of stay

5 nights

Fans

Yes overhead

Wi-fi

Yes in the main area

Lodge Key Features

Location and game

Chikunto is set on a magical area of South Luangwa between the Nsefu and Mfuwe sectors. The Mfuwe sector can be busy because it is a hot spot for sightings (perhaps so easily found by the well-trained spotters). The Nsefu sector is a quieter area, further north, but also a game rich area.

So, if you don’t find something in the morning drive you can head in a different direction and be sure to see it in the afternoon. One of our own saw an Aardvark here on an evening game drive after seeing little in the morning. Talk about luck!

Food and ambience

Chikunto surprised us all with the quality of their food. Usually when lodges are brand new it takes a little training for the chefs etc. but not here! This was by far, amongst, the best food we have eaten on safari full stop. We admire the creativity of the chefs from a full spread at lunch with exciting salads, meat and vegetarian options on the table and refreshing soups (including cold ones in warmer months) to gourmet 3 course dinners.

Taking things away from the usual beef fillet and potatoes we had a bean mash, garlicky greens and interesting spices and exotic themes to the meals. Looking forward to going back to try the rest of the menu! Not to mention Chikunto are one of the few lodges to play some music at dinner. Contrary to expectations this didn’t seem to scare off the animals but rather attracted the Puku!

Boat safaris

Almost entirely unique to the valley (if you exclude a few short river crossings), Chikunto will be offering boat safaris during the wet season. Take a gentle ride down the Luangwa River, famous for its 40 thousand+ hippos, huge crocodiles, abundant birds and of course the elephants who cross every day, in and out of the park, to cheekily grab something from the villages at night.

A very gentle and relaxed way to enjoy a safari and get up close and personal to the wildlife from a completely different perspective. Imagine sipping a gin and tonic as you gently drift next to a pod of hippos? We think it’s a must!

Client Reviews

  • Natural Authenticity

    Chikunto is not a Safari Lodge, it is so much more! One could describe it, as a true reflection of understated luxury. It has all the modern touches with German precision, yet executed in the most authentic earthy way. The lodge showcases the real heart of Africa; being tented, open, carefully crafted and created of natural finishings – yet allowing one to experience this uniqueness in five star comfort and style. What brought the added extra for me, which one can not put a price to; is the story behind the lodge, the story of the building of the lodge and the story of the people and incredible community that own, work at and run the lodge. This is no ordinary story and makes the whole Chikunto experience, just that much more special.

    Jay7902
  • WOW!

    What a nice stay! This has been so far our very best lifetime experience! We spent 3 nights in the brand new lodge and everything was just perfect! We were picked up from the airport and on our way to the lodge we received already the first safari:) We saw several Elephants, Giraffes and a lot of other animal (see my pictures). When we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff and they showed us around. The lodge is just brand new and owned by a German (you can see and feel it when you`re there, everything is very well organized and thought through). Our tent had everything we needed and was very big with a great veranda to just relax or remind your day.

    simsar21

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