Zambia Chichele Presidential Lodge 3

Game viewing in the South Luangwa is considered to be some of the best in the world. The area is excellent for spotting predators especially if you're a leopard lover.

The area is well known for its endemic species such as Thornicroft's giraffe, Crayshay's zebra, and Cookson's wildebeest. Home to probably the highest concentration of hippos in the world, the park also has considerable numbers of elephants, crocodiles, buffalo, lions, wild dogs, impala, puku and various other game. It is estimated that about 400 of Zambia’s 732 species of birds appear in the South Luangwa National Park. These include 39 birds of prey and 47 migrant species.

Chichele Dec 14 Wild Dogs


The rains finally arrived and the bush started turning green. More migratory birds have arrived this month, such as white storks, some cuckoo species and Angola Pitta. The pitta is an intra-African breeding migrant, and arrives in southern and south-central Africa to breed around November-December, then departs around March-April for its non-breeding grounds in equatorial Africa. 

There were big herds of elephants crossing the Luangwa River, which could be seen from the lodge's terrace. There have been excellent wild dog sightings - 10 of the 11 puppies born in September 2014 were seen and the pack numbers 17 now. Lions and hyenas were sighted quite often - and leopard sightings were incredible, with the big cats being seen almost every day of the month. 

South Luangwa Elephant


Some migratory birds have been seen this month, such as the Cuckoo. The water levels of the Luangwa River have been very low - so there is a greater concentration of animals around the river. There has been no rain - so the game sightings have been excellent with increased predator activity. 

Big herds of elephants have been seen very often this month. There were also good sightings of leopards, hyenas and lions and even wild dogs were seen a few times. 

Hippo Zambia


The South Luangwa is truely leopard country - with these big cats being seen almost every day of the month. There were excellent sightings of elephants, buffaloes, lions and hyenas too.

The wild dogs were seen a few times during September in the Park and also in the lodge area. Prey is quite weak at this stage due to the extreme heat and lack of food - so the sightings of lions with their kills has increased. The hippos are taking strain with the heat too and with the river's water levels being quite low, they are unable to fully submerge themselves; so they have been seen sitting in the shade of the trees during the day.

Chichele Lions Aug 2014


The South Luangwa produced a brilliant month of wildlife sightings. Buffaloes and elephants were seen every day. 

Predator activity was high with very regular sightings of lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. The wild dogs were spotted with their puppies. 

Leopard South Luangwa NP


Elephant and buffalo sightings were abundant during the month. The water hole in front of the lodge is almost dry and large herds of buffaloes were seen drinking there. We have also started seeing much bigger herds of buffaloes coming to the main river to drink.

The wild dogs and their puppies were seen frequently, but they have now moved off to a new den. The big pride of 21 lions was spotted a few times - two males from the pride were also spotted feeding on an elephant carcass. The female leopard and her two cubs were seen frequently during game drives and were also seen feeding together.

Buffalo Herd S Luangwa


The wild dog are still in the area and were spotted quite often. Two sets of guests saw them hunting and bringing down prey.

There was an excellent sighting of a big lion pride. They were seen feeding on a dead buffalo near the lodge. Leopard sightings are getting better and better. Its has been a great month for seeing leopards in the Chichele area. There were also big herds of buffalos around Chichele. 

The lodge's water hole attracted lots of big game. Elephants, Zebras, Kudus, Hippos and many other game came through to have a drink.

Elephants Chichele April

sightings - APRIL 2014

A pack of wild dogs was often seen on morning and afternoon game drives. They were seen hunting and bringing down impala on a number of occasions. An excellent sighting was a mother leopard with her two cubs; and leopard were seen quite often. Hyenas were seen a few times during the month.

Elephants were seen in big numbers in individual herds. There were a lot more babies in these elephant herds. The pride of 21 lions has been spectacular as they were seen throughout the month from one kill to another.

The water level in the main river is rising again and pontoon crossings were set to start before the beginning of May.

Chichele Wild Dogs March

sightings - MARCH 2014

Mrach 2014 provided a varied and exciting game viewing month for guests. A pack of six wild dogs were seen on a number of occasions next to Chichele Hill and a male lion was spotted on the plains down the Chichele Hill.

Rumbling herds of elephants and buffaloes were frequently seen during March. Meat eaters including lions, leopards and hyenas were seen a couple of times too.

Chichele - Feb 2014

Sightings - February 2014

The Luangwa River is almost filled to capacity creating beautiful scenery along with all of the migratory birds in the area. We were lucky to spot a Narina Trogon this month which is a rare sighting in the Luangwa Valley. Our resident leopard is in the area and even made a killing on the grounds of the lodge and then dragged it into a tree right next to us. We also saw the pack of six wild dogs on a number of occasions and even had a few new visitors as three giraffes came into the grounds to munch on some of the lodge's vegetation.                               

Chichele - Jan 2014

Sightings - January 2014

The pack of wild dogs are back in the area and guets were fortunate to see them hunting as they ran and chased an impala - this time the impala got away. Most of the low-lying areas are quite wet due to the ongoing rains, which means a lot of the game have been congregating in and around the lodge. Our guides have had good sightings of the local Chichele pride of lions and our resident leopard has been hanging around the lodge. In this image, he was having a peaceful sleep in the middle of the road leading up to the lodge.