Places we love: Kutali and Chula Camp, Lower Zambezi, Zambia

Situated in Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park lies two perfectly located camps owned and run by Classic Zambia namely Kutali and Chula Camp.  Without any super over the top luxury components, both of these camps deliver an experience which is a luxury in its own right, with the main element being the breathtaking location and landscape and the wildlife that calls this magnificent place home.

Kutali Camp

Perfectly situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, Kutali Camp is a small intimate tented camp with only five rooms, catering for no more than ten guests at a time.  Kutali Camp is the perfect camp for the wildlife enthusiast who wants a bit of luxury, without going over the top and keeping the natural elements to ensure you still feel part of nature.  The Camp is surrounded by winter thorn trees which becomes a magnet for elephants during the dry season as they go after the tasty pods that drop from these trees.

The main dining area is the perfect place to relax during the day, charge camera equipment and even do some bird and wildlife viewing whilst enjoying a meal and drink.

Chula Camp

Situated on Karengahumba island, Chula Camp gives you the ultimate feeling of privacy and exclusivity, with only five tents and a maximum of ten guests in camp.

Surrounded by Natal Mahogany trees, the camp offers fantastic shade even during the heat of the day.  Although not as close to the Zambezi River as the sister camp Kutali, the view from the rooms and the main area over open plains leading to the river is incredible.


Safari Drives:   The Lower Zambezi offers some of the best wildlife viewing you could find in Africa, particularly of leopard.  Safari drives are conducted in open safari vehicles and typically depart early in the morning and later in the afternoon.  From a wildlife viewing perspective Kutali is probably a slightly better option given its location and the time it can take the get off the island at Chula camp.  The Lower Zambezi has also become very popular for African wild dogs, and these endangered predators have done extremely well over the past few years.

Walking safaris:  The Lower Zambezi is a fantastic destination to do walking safaris in with lots of small bodies of water scattered around away from the main river which attracts an abundance of birdlife.  I would even go as far as to say that the Lower Zambezi is right up there compared to the "walking paradise" Mana Pools which is right across the Zambezi River.

Canoeing:  One of the major attractions and an absolute must do when you are visiting either of these camps is the canoe trip down discovery channel. There are few experiences more relaxing than drifting down the channels, looking at birds and even occasionally getting elephants coming down for a drink during the heat of the day.  Given its location it is probably better to do it from Chula Camp.

Boat Cruise:  Are there any better places in Africa to do a boat trip than the Zambezi River?  If my opinion there isn't.  Whether you are into bird watching, looking for elephants swimming across the Zambezi River or just want to enjoy a cold Gin and Tonic on the boat, you simply have to do this during your time here.

Tiger fishing:  Without a doubt one of the most exciting freshwater fish to catch is a tiger fish.  These super aggressive predatory fish with their tiger-like teeth and stripes will put you through your paces and often show off their acrobatic skills when on the other end of the line.

About the Lower Zambezi National Park

When it comes to untamed beauty and a rendezvous with African wildlife, the Lower Zambezi National Park stands as a testament to nature's magnificence. Tucked away in the Zambezi Valley of Zambia, this national park offers a tapestry of landscapes, rich biodiversity, and a safari experience like no other.

Picture yourself in a place where open plains seamlessly transition into riverine forests, and towering escarpments provide breathtaking views of the Zambezi River. The Lower Zambezi National Park, established in 1983, encompasses over 4,000 square kilometers of this diverse and stunning terrain.

Behind the scenes, the park is dedicated to the preservation of its ecological treasures. Conservation initiatives combat poaching, habitat loss, and promote sustainable practices. Collaborative efforts with local communities ensure that conservation benefits both wildlife and people.

Insiders tip from Johan Van Zyl

Both Kutali and Chula Camp are in great locations, but I would make use of the different activities at each camp.  For Kutali, I would generally focus on the safari drives in the morning and afternoons, especially for the first few days.  If, by day 3 or 4 you've seen a lot of wildlife, then I would potentially do a boat cruise on one of the afternoons and a walking safari during one of the mornings.

For Chula Camp I would focus on game drives or walking safaris in the morning and do the canoe trips in the afternoon.  I would recommend doing at least two canoe trips during your time here.

Personally, I prefer starting at Kutali camp and ending off at Chula, but that's just my personal preference.

Treasures of the Lower Zambezi

The Lower Zambezi National Park, by virtue of the Zambezi River and its parallel escarpment, is definitely one of Africa’s most scenic wilderness areas. Home to an impressive quantity and variety of wildlife which can be viewed by land based safari activities, from a variety of water based activities and from the camps themselves, all of which makes for a unique and exciting safari adventure.

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