CHICHELE PRESIDENTIAL LODGE
On a magnificent hilltop location in the South Luangwa National Park, Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge was once the personal retreat of Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda.
Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge was originally built for Kenneth Kaunda, the former Zambian president, in the 1970s. This historic property was recently carefully restored to maintain the original colonial style. A majestic arched entrance leads you into a huge colonial-style lounge and outside the grand dining room, a long veranda stretches with views down the valley to the Luangwa River. The main area features a comfortable lounge, intimate fireplace and bar area.
In keeping with the grand colonial style of the lodge, the suites are decorated in the same understated elegance of years gone by. In the ten Victorian-style rooms, the large french windows offer a light, airy feel to the suites and open onto private terraces overlooking the valley – the ideal vantage point to relax and enjoy the wildlife. Air-conditioning, plush furnishings, a four-poster bed, and a luxurious bathroom can make you forget you’re in the bush. The lodge also features an interconnecting room – perfect for families.
Game viewing in the South Luangwa is considered to be some of the best in the world. It is a notably good place to see leopards, particularly in the dry season when they have less cover in which to hide. From Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge guests have the privilege of being able to go on night game drives during which it is possible to see all sorts of animals that are seldom seen by day – leopard, hyena and bush baby. Plains game, such as antelope and zebra, are not scared by the lights so you are able to get very close to animals for fabulous photographs. The early evening is the best possible time to see diurnal animals and a little later is the best time for nocturnal wildlife, so a game drive combined with sundowners gives you the best of both worlds.
There are wonderful opportunities in the area for walking. Guided walks are conducted by a professional guide and an armed park scout. It is on foot that Sanctuary Retreats’ guides can show you some of the most fascinating signs of the bush, many of which are hard to spot from a vehicle. It’s not just the big animals that are fascinating – termites, dung beetles and chameleons all have their stories to tell too. The park hosts many herds of the endemic Thornicroft giraffe which can always be found in the prolific Mopane woodland on the valley floor.