Presidential in every sense of the word, this historic luxury lodge was once the private bush retreat of Zambia’s former leader, Kenneth Kuanda.
Approached by way of a grand archway, and set in a fabulous hilltop location, the colonial style building was originally constructed in the 1970s, and has now been renovated to offer some of the most stylish and atmospheric lodging anywhere in the South Luangwa National Park.
food and service
In the spacious main lodge building of Chichele there is a huge lounge with fireplace and chandeliers, a bar area and a dining room, all beautifully decorated with African touches and colonial era detail. Outside, a wrap-around veranda (where meals are also served on warmer evenings) leads on to a large patio area with 360 views, a good-sized swimming pool and an outdoor fire, perfect for warming yourself while stargazing or enjoying a sundowner. Both the food and service are outstanding.
Open year-round, Chichele Presidential Lodge comprises 10 gorgeous, whitewashed luxury villas dotted around the grounds, each with air con, four poster beds, en suite bathrooms and French windows which open out onto private terraces with spectacular views of the park’s hills and valleys. Wi-Fi is available in the bar and the main lounge.
Alongside the friendly service and wonderful facilities, the dawn and dusk wildlife drives and walking safaris are yet another attraction. The abundance of wildlife, which can be spotted nearby, includes elephant, hippo, lion, wild dog, buffalo antelope and the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe.