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Chula Island Camp

An exclusive tented camp on an island in the Zambezi River in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park.

Chula Island Camp, together with sister camp Kutali Camp, offers one of safari Africa’s most genuine and authentic safari adventure experiences. Chula Camp is located on the Katengahumba Island, separated from the mainland by the Discovery Channel, and is surrounded by dense Natal Mahogany forest. The style of the camp and the potential focus on walking may immediately limit the appeal to many visitors to Africa, but for those seeking a bit of adventure with superb guiding, a fun and friendly communal camp atmosphere, plenty of walking and a genuine ‘close to nature’ wildlife experience, this operation is a real gem. Owners Luke Evans and Kyle Branch have a real passion for the bush, and their team is offering an experience that is no longer widely available in Africa. Walking is complimented by game drives and river activities (night drives are limited as you need to be back on the island by dusk), and private groups can have complete flexibility on activities. To be able to walk, drive, boat and canoe from the same location, surrounded by stunning Lower Zambezi scenery and high concentrations of wildlife, whilst being guided by a high quality guide, at an affordable price, is a real privilege! There is huge value in Chula, providing of course you are not looking for a luxury lodge experience.


Accommodation is for a maximum of 10 guests in five rectangular lightweight fly camp tents, especially designed with three sides entirely made of gauze allowing for excellent visibility. There are roll down ‘windows’ should the weather be inclement or for greater privacy. The tents comprise of twin or double beds, a small bedside table and luggage rack. Bamboo walls enclose the partially open air en suite bathroom which comprises a flush loo, bucket shower and washbasin with a mirror. Solar powered lighting and lanterns are provided. Canvas safari chairs are found at the front of each tent.

Central Areas

Meals are taken under a canvas awning, an area which also doubles as the bar and lounge with tables and chairs and large scatter cushions. Solar powered charging facilities are available in the central tent.


Wi-Fi – No
Power for charging – Yes
Swimming pool – No

Habitat & Wildlife

The Lower Zambezi National Park follows the northern banks of the mighty Zambezi River and offers a wonderful mix of miombo, mopane and acacia woodland interspersed with open plains and thick riverine forest.

Along the river, hippo are everywhere, snorting away in their ‘pods’, whilst crocodiles bask in the shallows awaiting their next meal as animals come down to quench their thirst. Elephants are numerous too and can often be seen crossing channels in the Zambezi to reach islands where they can feed peacefully. Buffalo stir up the dust as they approach the river to drink, whilst kudu, eland, zebra, impala, bushbuck and waterbuck graze the sweet grasses or browse on the tasty albida pods. Lion and leopard are the main predators, with leopard incredibly successful in the park and seen very regularly. Wild dog roam through the area, whilst spotted hyaena and side-striped jackals are never far from the action. Night drives can reveal the nocturnal species such as honey badger, porcupine, genet, civet, aardvark and even pangolin. The birdlife is spectacular, with both waterfowl and woodland species in abundance. During the late dry season (late August onwards), both white fronted and carmine bee-eaters nest in the banks of the rivers providing a colourful spectacle.


Activities focus on walking and canoe safaris, and guests should be happy to walk each day, however this is complemented with game drives by day, boat cruises and fishing (minimum age of 14 years for canoeing and walking).


Chula Island Camp operates between May and October, though the best game viewing will usually be experienced between July and October.

Chula Island Camp would be a great choice for adventurous families with older children. Although the camp accepts children over the age of eight years (unless it is taken exclusively), there is a minimum age restriction of 14 years to partake in walking or canoeing. For families that may wish to be all under one roof, the tents are large enough for children to sleep on extra beds within the same tent.

Chula Island Camp is operated by Tusk and Mane who are longstanding supporters of Conservation Lower Zambezi, offering both monetary and logistical support to this highly effective conservation organisation.

One of Tusk and Mane’s directors, Kyle Branch, is among Africa’s leading professional guide trainers (a co-founder of the TEVETA national accreditation syllabus and examinations for Zambia’s professional guides) so the company is very passionate about training Zambians to become ambassadors of the country’s wilderness areas.

The camp has a very light footprint. As well as operating entirely by solar power, all rubbish, including human waste, is driven out of the park to recycling facilities in Lusaka and for composting in Chiawa village.