Trip Report: Chichele Presidential Lodge

Chichele Presidential LodgePost from Peter Bates, Cedarberg UK:

After Nkwali, I headed to a completely different sort of lodge in the South Luangwa – Chichele Presidential Lodge, which began its life as the bush retreat of former President of Zambia,  Kenneth Kaunda. This is a colonial lodge in a grand hilltop setting – and the location really IS spectacular, with sweeping views from the hill top to the plains below.

Very grand communal areas and there’s air-conditioning in the bedrooms so it’s good option for October (known as ‘Suicide month’ as the humidity starts to rise), and also summer visitors to the South Luangwa….

I liked Chichele (pronounced to rhyme with ‘belly’) as it doesn’t seem to be caught between one thing and another. You want a nice, expensive, luxurious South Luangwa lodge? Chichele fits the bill. If you want rustic charm then look elsewhere!

Chichele Lodge has undergone a complete transformation recently to create a spectacular new ‘turn of the century’ safari lodge. Initially this grand safari lodge might seem a little incongruous in a Zambian context but its ambience and sense of history soon grows on you.

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Kate Bergh is co-founder of Cedarberg African Travel, a specialist tour operator for Southern and East Africa.

She heads up the South African office, having lived in South Africa since 1993. Her home looks up to the Cedarberg Mountains, where she enjoys hiking and cycling, when she’s not out discovering new places to visit, with her three children in tow. Kate has travelled extensively throughout the region to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as most areas of South Africa. She also loves history, meeting people and a good thriller...


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