(18 chalets) PO Box 35370, Lusaka; tel: 01 233303–5; fax: 01 222815; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; www.chaminuka.com
Chaminuka is about 50km northeast of town, beyond the airport. To get there, head towards the airport, go under the arch, then turn left straight after the police roadblock at the small signpost to the lodge. From here it is about 28km, or 30 minutes' drive, though the gravel road can take longer during the rains, when you would certainly want a 4WD for the journey. However, the lodge usually provides transfers for its guests.
The main lodge stands atop a small rise overlooking Lake Chitoka, one of four small, man-made lakes in the reserve. Once the private home of one of Lusaka's most affluent citizens, today the lodge is said to house the largest collection of traditional and contemporary Zambian art in the country. At the top is the main lounge, which is large, spacious and adorned with original art, sculptures, animal skins, hunting trophies and comfy leather sofas. Its walls are large sliding glass doors, often left open, leading on to a wide terrace. It's all very grand; some would say soulless. Dotted around this main building are square, red-brick chalets, with en-suite facilities and lots of space. Rooms have queen- or king-size beds, and some interconnect to make family rooms. All have their own music systems, solid wooden beds, phone, AC and patio doors on to the lawns that surround the lodge. There are a few small lounges spread around, plus a sunken TV lounge (the only TV on the premises), a dining room, a sauna, a small library including a section on African history, a snooker room (with full-size table), and an office where a laptop is on hand in case you can't completely ignore the rest of the world. Outside are two swimming pools, with adjacent terrace, a tennis court, a sauna and a Jacuzzi.
Surrounding all of this is 100km2 of Chaminuka Nature Reserve, a reserve dating from 1978 that has been augmented over time with decommissioned farmland. This has a variety of different woodland and savanna habitats, lots of wetlands, and about 2,400 head of game. Lion and hyena are kept in their own fenced enclosures.
The lodge's activities are flexible. In addition to 4WD game drives, walks, and fishing sorties on the lakes, there is riding available for all levels at the stable, which currently has ten horses and equipment. If you're staying for a while, consider a day or two in their bushcamp. Chaminuka is conveniently close to the airport, and many of its guests are effectively in transit; it also it increasingly seems to cater for day visitors. However, its plethora of hunting trophies or high costs may discourage some visitors.