Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge

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.

Sightings - February 2014

The Luangwa River is almost filled to capacity creating a beautiful scenery along with all of the migratory birds ain the area. We were lucky to spot a Narina Trogon this month which is a rare sighting here 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 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 giraffe's came into the grounds to munch on some of our vegetation.                                                     

Sightings - January 2014

The pack of wild dogs are back in the area and guets we fortunate to also 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 congrecating in and around the lodge. Our guides have had good sighigns 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.

sightings - December 2013

The bush is now lush and many shades of green as regular rains come down.  The same pack of wild dogs seen last month stayed in the area for a while and then moved on. As usual sightings of leopards have remained great - guests even saw a leopard feeding on an impala it had dragged into a tree. The birdlife seen in the South Luangwa has also been great including sightings of African Jacana's, ground hornbill and fish eagles to name a few.                                                                                                                 

Sightings - November 2013

The firsts rains have arrived turning the bush to various shades of green. The days are also slightly cooler. Many of the antelope start birthing which also draws many predators to the area. Our guests were fortunate to see a pride of 17 lions from a few different game drives. Two separate leopards made killings close to the lodge and we've also spotted a pack of seven wild dogs out on a hunt.


sightings - october 2013

We've been lucky to see elephants daily including a few breeding herds with young ones. Over the last few month sightings of leopards have increased to a point where guests are able to spot these shy and elusive animals almost every day - some with a kill up in a tree. Bird species found in the South Luangwa have been pushed up to almost 600 with the arrival of the migrant species in the area.

Sightings - september 2013

Another great month for sightings especially leopard! Guests were luckily to spot these elusive cats 29 days out of the 30 in September. That just proofs that the South Luangwa is definitely one of the best places in Africa to see leopard. Other thrilling sightings include a lioness killing a baby Zebra at our popular sundowner spot on Chichele hill. Some of the migrant bird species such as the carmine bee-eaters are starting to come back to the valley for breeding season. Their usual habitat included river valleys and floodplains and they prefer vertical banks which is better suited for tunnelling when they breed. They are very sociable birds and gathering in large flocks, in or out of breeding season. 

Sightings - August 2013

A great month for wildlife sightings! Out of the 31 days in August we spotted lions on 22 days and leopard 23 days. The resident pride of lions have been spotted with three new three months old cubs and as they share their birthday month with Prince George the lodge guides decided to name them 'The royal cubs'. Read more about the cubs and their pride on our blog. Guests saw a lioness chasing and killing a baby puku right in front one of the rooms. A pack of 6 wild dogs chased two impalas when one of the impalas ran into the Lodge and collapsed in the pathway. The Chichele team responded quickly by covering the exhausted and unconscious impala with a towel, when after about 30 minutes the animal made a quick recovery and pranced back into the bush.