Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge was built for Kenneth Kaunda, the former Zambian president, in the 1970s and the original colonial style has been retained in the furnishings. A long veranda stretches outside the dining room, from which guests are afforded views down the valley to the Luangwa itself. When possible, dinner is served outside.
The roar of lions or the saw of leopards can often be heard from the wooded valleys that surround the lodge. Each of the ten elegant suites at Sanctuary Chichele has four-poster beds, air conditioning and private veranda decorated in an understated colonial style with a fully appointed en-suite bathroom. Large French windows open onto each suite’s private terrace – the ideal vantage point from which to enjoy the passing wildlife.
Game viewing at South Luangwa is considered to be among the best in the world. It is an excellent place to see leopards, particularly in the dry season when they have less cover in which to hide. Sanctuary Chichele guests can start off with an early evening game drive followed by sundowners and then a night drive back to the lodge when it is possible to see nocturnal animals like leopard, hyena and bush baby. Plains game like antelope and zebra are not scared by the lights so guests are able to get very close to them for fabulous photographs.
But it is on foot that Sanctuary’s guides can show travellers some of the most fascinating signs of the bush, many of which are hard to spot from a vehicle.
With its breathtaking hilltop situation overlooking the wildlife-packed plains of the Luangwa Valley, a stay at Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge is a truly rewarding safari experience.