It is an association that has set the standard for excellence in hospitality. Its mission? To spread its unique and discerning philosophy across the globe by selecting outstanding properties with a truly unique character.
The story of Relais & Châteaux began in 1941 when two former music hall entertainers, Marcel and Nelly Tilloy purchased 'La Cardinale', an estate in the Rhône Valley. In 1952 the Tilloys began recruiting other hoteliers and restaurant owners that shared the same standards of quality, passion and excellence. In 1954, this group of kindred spirits merged together to create Relais & Châteaux.
The first and only Relais & Châteaux property in Zambia, Royal Chundu is more than merely a place to rest your head. It is an adventure in itself, a private getaway on the Zambezi imbued with the spirit of Zambia. Two properties represent this outstanding name Royal Chundu River Lodge and the Royal Chundu Island Lodge
From poached seasonal cumquats and watermelon feta salad, to berry-smoked quail. Savour the region through dishes created by chefs, who not only use ingredients from the land around, but who hail from the region themselves.
All of Royal Chundu’s fresh supplies come from a three km radius of the lodge to minimise the carbon footprint, provide income for the local community and farmers and ensure freshness and taste. Royal Chundu purchase fresh fish, namely bream, from local fishermen, and have theirown free range chickens and eggs. All water is recycled and purified on the premises and they recycle all biogradeable waste via a wormery, which feeds the vegetable garden.
Wining & Dining
Dining at Royal Chundu is an integral part of your experience. Meandering teak walkways lead to the main lodge, where pan-African and international cuisine is prepared by the Executive Chef, including a six-course traditional tasting menu, where every 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 Zambezi.
Enjoy a traditional Zambian evening dining outside in the Chief's Boma, the lodge barbeque area. Dinner is cooked on open-ﬂames and includes many local delicacies, while Zambian drumming and Makishi dancers, the masked dancers of Zambia, provides the entertainment.
Delight in the privacy of your own suite with in-room dining. Weather permitting, experience lunch or dinner on a private boat cruise or on a picnic, complete with a silver set table and Persian rug on the riverbank.
There are fully serviced bar facilities on the mainland and on the island for you to take your favourite tipple at.
There are so many ways to experience the largest curtain of falling water in the world.
Slip through the Zambezi's ravine on a white-water rafting cruise or fly overhead in a microlight or helicopter – a chopper ride you can continue to the private helipad at Royal Chundu. Test your nerves in nature's infinity pool at Devil's Pool and feel the Falls' spray on your cheeks on Zambian soil or a border hop away, in Zimbabwe. Make it a whole day adventure on a tour that combines several unique ways of experiencing Mosi-oa-Tunya, as named by the Toka Leya tribe, or Shimenda Abila, meaning, 'The Smoke that Thunders'.
The Flight of Angels
Drop all inhibitions on a microlighting trip over the Victoria Falls and the spectacular gorge the river has carved out for itself. Opt for a 15 minute flight and soar over the islands on the Zambian side of the Falls, or for the 30 minute tour over not only the Falls but also upstream over Kalai Island, for a low swoop over the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.
Victoria Falls as the birds see it
What better way to see the magical winding Zambezi River and the crashing of the Victoria Falls than from above in a helicopter? Get up close to the Victoria Falls while flying through the gorge on a helicopter.
Royal Chundu offers guests riveting heli transfers from the airport that take you over the Falls before delivering you to our doorstep at Royal Chundu's helipad.
Let the light shine in
'Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by Angels in their flight,' Livingstone proclaimed about the Victoria Falls. These scenes are all the more lovely when the rare moonbow appears. While rainbows usually appear through direct sunlight, the Lunar Rainbow is a rare event that occurs at full moon as a result of the light reflected from the moon's surface. You can experience this phenomena for three days during full moon, from the month of March to July.
Ride the raging Zambezi
With names like 'Stairway to Heaven', 'Washing Machine' and 'Oblivion', you can imagine what the white water rapids of the Zambezi River have in store for you. Your experienced guide will assist you through the rapids, helping to manoeuvre your boat down the fourth largest river in Africa.
111 metres of pure adrenaline rush
If you're a thrillseeker or ever fancied trying to fly, take the leap off the Victoria Falls Bridge. If you dare, you will join the more than 50 000 brave souls that have made the jump before you.
On the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls, next to Livingstone Island, you'll find Africa's most dangerous infinity pool. The most dangerous, but surely also the most beautiful… Each year for a short period of time, when the Zambezi's water levels are at their lowest, it becomes safe enough to swim right up to the edge and take a frightening look over the cliff.
Experience the African bush on horseback
There are a variety of trip options available ranging from half day novice rides to full and multi day adventures for experienced riders.
A walk on the wild side
The power of walking with a wild animal cannot be denied. The thrill of it, as much as the awe it inspires. We are confident in recommending Mukuni Big 5 Safaris in Zambia as one place to experience just this.
The high life
Sail over or down the Zambezi gorge on a high wire, whether horizontally on the flying fox, at an angle on the foefie slide, or swinging across the gorge. Alternatively, abseiling is ideal for the whole family, as there is no minimum age limit.
Walking the Victoria Falls on a day tour, a half day
Guided walking tours of the world famous Victoria Falls and rain forest, a visit to the local African market, a tour of the Livingstone Museum, the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Game Park and tea and coffee at a local café.
During your time with us, try your hand at a game of golf on either side of the Victoria Falls, whether Zimbabwe or Zambia.
Jet boating on the Zambezi River requires your daring-do spirit to take a stand. Things are about to get bumpy… Speed through the dramatic Batoka Gorge below the Victoria Falls aboard a powerful jet boat. Race over rapids, past the gorge's basalt rock walls, and feel your heart race.
The original walking safari
Visit the South Luangwa National Park, a park that is still home to a healthy elephant population. The spectacular Luangwa Valley was, after all, once known as the Valley of the Elephants. It is also home to the walking safari, the very place where this exceptional experience, no doubt one of the finest ways to explore Africa's wild spaces, first originated.
The route less travelled
Explore Zambia's other highlights, starting with Royal Chungu on the Zambezi River and your own Victoria Falls adventure, and then heading off into the remote South Luangwa valley for a riverside safari. Explore the region from the unique Chinzombo Lodge, on the banks of Luangwa River. End your journey in Malawi, a destination less frequented by travellers, and all the more special for it. Just across the border, you'll stay at the luxurious beachside lodge of Kaya Mawa, set on Likoma Island in Lake Malawi.
The wildlife of Kenya and Victoria Falls
Experience the wildlife of Kenya and Victoria Falls in a spectacular tour taking you to some of the best wildlife spots on the continent. Home of some of highest concentrations of predators and prey in the world, as well as possibly the greatest show on earth – the Great Migration, Kenya is the quintessential safari destination. Experience it for yourself, before coming home to Royal Chundu for a continued adventure along the Zambezi River and to experience the natural world wonder of Victoria Falls. This is the ultimate bush adventure to introduce you to the beauty of Africa's wild spaces.
Endlessly changing horizons
The highlights of Southern Africa with three incredible, but completely different destinations. Climb Table Mountain, go wine tasting in the Cape Winelands and enjoy exploring the 'Mother City' before flying to the Kruger National Park for a spectacular Big 5 safari. Finally, fly to the Victoria Falls to stay Royal Chundu, on a private corner of the Zambezi.
Kruger, Victoria Falls & Botswana
In whichever order you choose combine these three highlights, this is the ultimate African experience. Sarting with the Kruger Park in South Africa, where you'll be tracking the Big 5 in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve – which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park and is without a doubt the world's best place to see leopard and the Big 5. From there, move on to ogling the Victoria Falls in Zambia, where you'll call Royal Chundu home, before heading off to Botswana, to meander through the Okavango Delta and Selinda Reserve.