Environment & Community
Chundukwa's eco-conscious living
Animal and nature lovers, we have grown up in this beautiful country and would like to do as much as we are able to conserve and protect this area.
Our 5 stilted river chalets are made from wood, with thatched roofing and walled with a Kalahari sand and cement mixture, in keeping with the traditional local method of walling. The chalets have little interference with the river bank – we haven’t cut away reeds or trees, thus allowing birds and wildlife such as hippos and otters to move freely between land and water.
Our power source comes from the National Grid, which uses hydro-electric power drawn off Victoria Falls. In addition, we decorate the lodge with solar-powered lamps and candles. Added to the use of solar lamps and L.E.D. light bulbs we also have back up inverters installed in all the rooms.
Chundukwa River Lodge is built by Doug with his team of local artisans. All building materials and furniture are produced in Zambia. From locally burnt clay bricks, to sustainable local reeds, Kalahari sand, recycled wood and steel, our local artisans of weavers, thatchers, tinsmiths, tailors, welders and carpenters from the nearby villages work their magic.
The décor is an inspired measure of traditional printed fabrics worn by men and women here. The lodge exudes a feel of this peaceful synchronicity of colour/design/community and nature all fused together.
In season, our veggie patch produces wonderful crops of organic cherry tomatoes, strawberries, aubergines, marrows, rocket, lettuce, coriander, parsley, basil and other herbs, all nourished with our compost waste from the kitchen and our farm yard. There are some excellent local suppliers of chicken, beef, pork and vegetables whom we purchase directly from.
We provide bottled spring water stations in the lodge where guests can top up their own water bottles, or have the use of our own appointed re-usable bottles so as to reduce the impact of plastic on the environment.
Chundukwa River Lodge also uses no pesticides, herbicides or chemicals on our land. Other than the bleach that is used to keep our linen spotless all materials provided and used in the lodge are environmentally friendly.
Caring for the community
Most of our team live in the nearby ‘Muke’ village. We are very proud of our small team of dedicated staff who have been for the most part with Chundukwa for many years, having started on the farm and stables before working their way into key positions in the lodge. Our aim is to offer them a grounding in many aspects of hospitality i.e. everything from learning how to make compost, gardening, maintenance, making beds, guiding, cooking, first aid, conservation and waitering – oftentimes taking relevant and useful tips home to their families and community. Zambians are a very kind and hospitable people, always smiling and welcoming, whichever part of the county you may travel to. Zambia is rated the 11th most peaceful country in the world.
Muke village has a community pre-school that was built from proceeds donated through Chundukwa River Lodge and various individuals who have lent extensive helping hands through the years. It is also supported via Pack For A Purpose. This organisation details what materials are needed for this particular school, should visitors wish to bring some supplies out with them. Muke village is off the beaten track and so visits to this village lend a true insight into normal Zambian life. Visits to Muke Village and the community pre-school, also in the village, are popular amongst our guests, and the mutual learning between parties is shared. Proceeds from visits are donated to the village fund.