Royal Chundu (Livingstone)

Royal Chundu wildlife

Royal Chundu is a haven of quiet solitude and untouched beauty. Hugging the borders of Zambia and Zimbabwe, on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River just upstream from the magnificent Victoria Falls. It is on a 15 km stretch of private waterway, which is protected by two sets of rapids providing a hideaway of tranquility. This private stretch of waterway means it is not used by other operators so this is why there is so much tranquility here.

As the first Relais & Châteaux property in Zambia, and the Victoria Falls area, Royal Chundu offers the perfect romantic escape or a unique fun-filled family holiday at Livingstone, on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. This tranquil hideaway celebrates romance and family and offers unique adventures and community empowerment projects.

Royal Chundu offers an abundance of indigenous wildlife and the most incredible birdlife.

Skip to Royal Chundu Rates or Specials and Packages

Royal Chundu Accommodation

There are two lodges to choose from at Royal Chundu, River Lodge and Island Lodge. Both have fantastic views of the Zambezi River.
River Lodge – 10 x suites
Island Lodge 4 x villas

Royal Chundu River Lodge

Royal Chundu River Lodge is the main hub at Royal Chundu and the larger of the two lodges. It offers 10 x suites scattered along the riverfront with wooden decks ensuring intimate and serene views accompanied by uninterrupted privacy. These luxurious suites gaze across the Zambezi River and peer into neighboring Zimbabwe’s picturesque landscape (actually looks over Matetsi Private Game Reserve). River Lodge suites can sleep a maximum of 2 x adults sharing with 2 x children per suite. Thatched roofing and interior furnishings echo the Zambezi hues and accentuate the surrounding natural beauty. Each suite has a double shower, air-conditioning, a fan, mosquito nets, a king-size bed, and a generous deck with excellent views of the surroundings. There are large dressing rooms and the suites are equipped with hairdryers as well as tea and coffee-making facilities.

Royal Chundu River Lodge accommodation
River Lodge Suite
Royal Chundu River Lodge
River Lodge Suite exterior

Royal Chundu River Lodge has a guest swimming pool, wine cellar, complimentary WiFi, and a gift shop. There is an upstairs library and TV room. An outdoor boma for dinners around the fire as well as a lounge and bar encompass the main area. River Lodge is in close proximity to a helicopter pad and welcomes children.

Royal Chundu Island Lodge

Island Lodge is the more private and exclusive of the two lodges at Royal Chundu. The lodge is surrounded by gentle river channels and dotted with Baobabs and two-thousand-year-old Jackalberry trees; on Katambura private island. There are 4 x magnificent villas at Island Lodge sleeping 2 people. The well-appointed suites, splashed with cobalt blue and earthy palettes, open up onto private decks overlooking the river rapids. On the decks are romantic riverfront open-air bathtubs.

They have a glass-walled double shower as well as air-conditioning, a fan, a mosquito net, and a king-size, extra-length bed.

Royal Chundu Island Lodge has a rim-flow pool and offers indoor and outdoor dining.

Children cannot be accommodated at Royal Chundu Island Lodge unless reserving Island Lodge on an exclusive-use basis. Then children are welcome with their families.

Royal Chundu Island Lodge accommodation
Royal Chundu Island Lodge accommodation
Livingstone accommodation with outdoor bath
Island Suite with outdoor bath

Victoria Falls Family Vacations

Royal Chundu Child Activities and Policies ↓

Lodge Facilities For Children

Rim flow pool
Lounge with Television, DVDs, Wildlife Shows, and Wii Games
Fun board games and puzzles of varying sizes and difficulties covering a broad age range
A selection of entertaining and educational children’s books
Life jackets for water activities

Children’s Club

Royal Chundu Luxury Zambezi Lodges offers a child-friendly getaway, affording families personal service in a relaxing atmosphere, where families can relax and play together. Upon arrival the host and/or guide will discuss activity options with the family taking the family’s size, children’s ages, and the weather into consideration. Each child will receive a River Safari Adventure Pack containing small gifts, some of which they can use during their stay at Royal Chundu.

Kids Activities

Parents are welcome to join their children in activities or choose to relax, while Chundu River Guides or Child Minders supervise children while doing the many activities offered in the supplied Adventure Passport.
A welcoming treasure hunt will help familiarize children with the Royal Chundu staff and surroundings, allowing you peace of mind throughout your stay.
Leaf and flower pressing
Frogging safari
Fishing tag and release from the deck, canoeing, or boat.
Cosmic safari (astronomy)
Insect capture and release
Butterfly capture and release
Sunset cruise
Village life lessons
Chundu chefs’ cooking lessons
Guide quiz
Certification and prize-giving

Zambia family vacation at Royal Chundu
Children’s Club – learning about insects

Royal Chundu Family Holidays Policy

  • Persons aged 12 years and older are considered adults.
  • 0-3 years old: accommodated at no extra cost and may share with adults, depending on availability of extra single beds and /or cots.
  • 4-11 years old: accommodated at 50% (half ) of the adult sharing rate and may have their own suite or share with adults, depending on the availability of extra single beds.
  • Child rates are applicable whether children share a suite with adults or not.
  • Child-minding services are available at an additional minimal cost.

Parents must supervise all swimming activities at all times.
Children under the age of 2 will be cared for at the lodge by trained child minders while parents enjoy Sunset Cruises
Child minding is done by lodge staff and can be arranged with reservations prior to arrival at an additional cost
Chundu Children’s Club activities and participation are subject to the length of stay and the availability of River Guides
Please ensure that all children bring good walking shoes, a large hat and sunscreen, and any medicine used to treat allergies

Royal Chundu Activities

From tranquil to thrilling, Royal Chundu offers a Zambezi river adventure to satisfy all. Whether you choose to simply lounge around the comfort of the lodge or want to explore more of what Zambia has to offer, the activities team is ready to arrange the perfect day for you. See our Victoria Falls Day Tours page.

Activities from the lodge ↓

Sunset River Cruises

The Zambezi is truly at its best when lit up at sunrise and sunset, with those fiery golds and reds, hot pinks, and deep purples. The colors of dawn and dusk create the most sensational backdrops on your guided river cruise. Board our spacious, pontoon boat and relax while our guides whisk you down one of Africa’s grandest rivers, a river of myth and romance.

Cruise down the beauty of the Zambezi as the sun sets in the African sky. Watch crocodiles slip off the banks underwater as you approach and listen to the snorting hippos. In the drier months, the skipper will anchor near “Ellie Corner”, where you can spot herds of elephants as they drink, play, and bathe on the river’s edge nearby. Other wildlife to be seen include baboons, impala, warthog, and buffalo.

Zambezi sunset cruise
Zambezi sunset cruise

Katombora Island Walks

Marvel in the miracle of nature when you enjoy a guided walk through the 23 Baobabs, python creepers, and 2,000yr old Jackelberry trees on the private Katombora Island. Untouched by development and undamaged by animals, this area creates the most perfect ecosystem at play. Experienced guides will share their knowledge with the guests on some of the local uses for the flora found on the island.

Photographic River Safari

The Zambezi River is full of photographic potential, a magical, moving destination for photographers of all levels to lose themselves in.

While floating down the river on a boat cruise, raise your camera to the scenes lit by the sunrises or sunsets, the golden light cast over the river and its banks. Or the elephant herds coming for a drink, and the other wildlife in the reserve on the opposite side of the river; the otters, waterbuck, hippos, and crocodiles wading in the water.

Guides will be on-board to take care of everything else, pointing out different bird species and special subjects you might miss. They will make sure you’re at the right place at the right time and will be on hand with coffee and biscotti, or G&Ts…

For a different view, take to the river on a canoe and capture the rapids and riverine vegetation close-up.

If your interest lies in food photography, there are plenty of opportunities to capture the art of dining and local foods and ingredients, as served by the Royal Chundu chefs. This could be on a private picnic, a romantic deck dinner, a lunch river cruise, or while enjoying the different courses of our special Zambian tasting menu.

You can also practice your portraits, of friends, family, and other travel partners, with the Zambezi as your backdrop.

Consider adding a day trip to Victoria Falls to your photographic adventure, for a chance to capture the Smoke That Thunders for yourself.

Zambia Photographic Safari
Photographic Safari


Picnics along the banks of the river just as picnics were in the past: Persian carpets, hammocks, Pimms upon arrival, picnic tables, and sumptuous tapas lunches or breakfasts which will find you restoring your soul in a relaxed fashion while listening to the rapids of the mighty Zambezi coursing past you. Loll about in a hammock or lie back after your meal on the Persian carpets and soak up the magical surroundings.

Zambia romance
Royal Chundu picnic


Inflatable Canoeing
An exhilarating trip, this adventure activity involves transfer by vehicle to the launch point near the Katombora rapids. The rapids are at their best when the river is low. Guides paddle guests over the rapids amidst stunning scenery and through the channels of the islands in the Zambezi. There is plenty of opportunities to enjoy the lush island vegetation and abundant bird life. Approximately 2–2 1/2 hours.

Motorized Inflatable Canoeing
Experience the beauty of the river by idling along the Upper Zambezi. This trip is a combination of a 5hp motor to gently propel you along as well as a paddle to give you the canoeing experience. A refreshing way to canoe and explore the stunning Zambezi River. Cost includes an experienced guide per canoe, refreshments & return transfers. Half Day: 15–17kms | Full Day: 25-45km

Zambezi canoe safari
Canoeing on the Zambezi

Village Walk & Community Tours

This village tour is highly recommended. The tour gives guests a rare opportunity of interacting with the villagers in a truly authentic environment where everyone continues with their daily activities. Your guide, who resides in the village, will be well versed in all the traditions and customs in the village and will be able to advise you on what plants and herbs are used for traditional medicine, making cooking oil, soap, and other necessities. Those wishing to make a donation to the village fund can discuss this with the guide of the trip. The trip starts with a journey in a Makoro (traditional canoe). Paddled by an experienced guide and then a walk around a village in the area, once the walk is finished you will return via Makoro back to the lodge.

Zambia Community village tour


Royal Chundu is renowned amongst the professional angling fraternity for its superb fly fishing and has become the venue of choice for the serious fisherman while offering an exciting introduction for the novice. The unstressed waters vary from virgin island eddies and shallow rapids to deep flowing channels which boast the notoriously powerful Tiger Fish, numerous species of Bream, and the prized Upper Zambezi Yellow Fish. One of the biggest celebrations in Africa, the Parrot Fish Run runs from June
to August. It sees millions of fish swimming for miles down the Zambezi as they get caught in the mainstream. Royal Chundu hosts the event, letting guests take part by either spectating or trying to catch the likes of prized African Tiger Fish and Parrot Fish. Local fishermen get involved too, using hand-woven reed and palm tree leave baskets to catch the fish. There are a variety of different fishing options available, all prices cover boat hire, fuel, and an experienced skipper/fishing guide. Tackle, rods, and general fishing equipment are available for hire at the lodge.

Excludes December to March, as this is spawning season.

Zambezi Tiger Fishing in Zambia
Tiger Fishing

Bird Watching Safari.

Choose from a morning (sunrise), late afternoon (sunset), nighttime, or full-day birding safari.  These safaris are tailored to individual requirements. The full-day safari includes guided vehicle transfers to the plains and other indigenous forest areas and/or river transfers to the islands. This tour is catered specifically to birding specialists who want to look for specific birds. The shorter safaris last for approximately 2 1/2 hours.

Zambia birding safari
A rescued African pygmy kingfisher

The calls of the African fish eagle and the sounds of the bleating warbler have formed the background music to stays at the Royal Chundu.

On a birding cruise down the Zambezi, guides will impart their knowledge of nature with you, pointing out the range of birdlife waiting to be sought out. Spot the Finchlarks and flufftails tempting birdwatchers from the riverbank trees or the jacanas and kingfishers normally found beside hippos and crocodiles in the shallower reaches.
The Zambezi River is the home of many strange and awe-inspiring creatures. Some consider the flowing waters as their permanent residence and others only come to play. The flowing water, the sun-baked banks, and the overhanging trees provide respite, a refuge for all species of birds. It sustains, replenishes, and invigorates.

Spa Treatments

Sisters of Africa Spa is a true African Spa with a concept that bonds modern and local healing treatments. Holistic treatments are offered, from mild facials using our local beauty products, to natural Arabica coffee scrubs. Sisters of Africa Spa brings a whole new meaning to tranquility.

Zambia Spa accommodation
Massage on the banks of the Zambezi River

Wining and Dining

Meandering teak walkways lead to the main dining room at River and Island Lodge where chefs prepare Pan-African and international cuisine. This includes a traditional tasting menu. Each dish is paired with one of South Africa’s celebrated wines. Both the lodges have indoor dining areas and viewing decks for outdoor meals beside the beauty of this private slice of the Zambezi River.

Be a part of something special, with a traditional Zambian evening in the boma. Or dining under the great branches of an ancient baobab tree on the island. Watch the flames of the campfire or barbeque. While streams of lanterns, Zambian drumming, and the masked Makishi dancers set the mood, and then sit down under the African stars to local dishes and drinks.

Enjoy the option of retreating to the privacy of your own suite with in-room dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Weather permitting, head out on a private dining experience on a boat cruise or picnic, complete with silver settings and Persian rugs.

There are full bar facilities on the mainland and the island for you to enjoy your favorite tipple at.

Romantic ideas for your stay at Royal Chundu:

Royal Chundu offers a romantic 5-star destination honeymoon, specially planned to make your honeymoon as intimate and memorable as possible. Honeymooners can take advantage of the Rest, Nest, and Digest Offer.

Bathing under the stars
Along with a romantically prepared room and breakfast in bed, slip into a bubble bath at Island Lodge, alone or with a partner, as the river flows past below. Some call this the best bath in Africa…

Private Dining
Dine in the privacy of your suite’s riverside deck or have a special beach dinner set up on the riverbanks.

Private Picnics
After a canoe or boat trip along the river, arrive at a romantic picnic spot beneath the trees on the riverbank. A discreet hideaway with hammocks and Persian rugs to curl up in, a glass of champagne or a different tipple of your choice, and a picnic breakfast or lunch… it’s the perfect setting to take in the romance of our river from.

Couples Massages
Enjoy spa treatments with your beau in your suite or on the deck overlooking the river. We recommend the Mwami (King) experience for him and Dyango (Queen) experience for her, but whichever treatment you choose, the beauty of it lies in being able to share it with your other half.

Best time to visit Royal Chundu

Royal Chundu is a superb year-round destination, with each season bringing something unique to the Zambezi and Victoria Falls experience.

October is the hottest month while the chilliest time is in June. This month also welcomes shooting stars to the sky while July and August hold the promise of the Parrot Fish Run, an incredible natural spectacle to behold.

The Zambezi River is at its fullest between February and July, and peaks between March and April. The rise in water level creates a magnificent spray from Victoria Falls, with superior rainbows worth an ogle. At the Zambezi’s lowest, between November and early December, there is very little spray; but a better view of the Falls’ full geological form. This is also a superb time to take a dip in Devil’s Pool.

Temperatures on the Zambezi River are relatively mild, generally between 64° and 86° F (18° and 30° C). Winter runs from May and is cool and dry, while from August to October temperatures rise excessively, often reaching 104° F (40° C). November to April is the rainy season, with relief coming from occasional clear skies between downpours.

Royal Chundu Accommodation Rates

Normal rates:
6th January 2024 – 5th January 2025 per person sharing
River Lodge: $1200
Island Lodge: $1470

Please note that $25 has been added to each night for Bricks & Barters. This funds our Foundation School (aiming to educate and feed 500 children a year); an adult literacy program; an online hospitality program and a culinary school. For more information visit Royal Chundu’s website for more info

Rates Include:

All meals, tea, coffee, soft and house alcoholic drinks (excl premium brands)
Return road transfers to and from Livingstone International Airport
Daily sunset experience
Statutory 16% VAT and 10% service charge

Plus the following activities:
River Cruises,
Birding Safaris,
Walking Tour of Victoria Falls (with return road transfers),
Cultural Tour

Royal Chundu Accommodation Special Offers

Rest, Nest & Digest: Stay 3 nights & receive a 50% discount off the last night.

Stay 4, Pay 3: Stay 4 nights & only pay for 3 nights.

The Royal Chundu offers are valid all year in 2024

We also do Royal Chundu Weddings (to follow soon) but feel free to contact us in the meantime.

Livingstone Accommodation ↓
Royal Chundu wildlife

Royal Chundu (Livingstone)

Royal Chundu has 2 lodges – River Lodge and Island Lodge. Situated on the Zambezi River with an abundance of activities around Victoria Falls

Sindabezi Island Camp

Sindabezi Island (Livingstone)

Sindabezi Island is a private island accommodation paradise; upstream from Victoria Falls and close to Livingstone, Zambia

Sanctuary Sussi and Chuma

Sanctuary Sussi and Chuma (Livingstone)

Sanctuary Sussi and Chuma is a luxurious lodge with heavenly tree houses to stay in. On the Zambezi River, in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park

The Royal Livingstone Hotel

The Royal Livingstone Hotel (Livingstone)

The Royal Livingstone Hotel is a 5-star colonial gem on the banks of the Zambezi River and walking distance to Victoria Falls in Zambia

Luxury Tongabezi Lodge in Zambia

Tongabezi Lodge (Livingstone)

Tongabezi Lodge and Tangala House are 12kms upstream of Victoria Falls, romantic and luxury accommodation for honeymooners and families or for an extra special occasion

The River Club

The River Club (Livingstone)

The River Club is a boutique, owner-run luxury lodge on the Zambezi River; just outside Livingstone and the mighty Victoria Falls. Kosher kitchens are available too.

Royal Chundu (Livingstone)
Royal Chundu River Lodge
Kazangula Zambia

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