Upon arrival at the camp we were greeted by singing and dancing, a very friendly welcome which immediately put us at ease. The manager, Thompson, greeted us and showed us through to the beautiful communal bar/lounge area which overlooked the vast expanse of the floodplains. Chitabe is built on raised wooden walkways creating the feeling of being up in the trees and really at one with nature!
After lunch, we retired to our rooms for a siesta. The rooms are simply beautiful, there are 8 in total which are all positioned apart ensuring total privacy. While the walls are certainly canvas, the rooms themselves are a million miles away from camping… Offering spacious en suite bathrooms with both an indoor and outdoor shower (I promise – this is a must to experience!), and a huge double bed positioned to capture the view of the Delta.
In the afternoon we headed out on a game drive to see what the area had to offer. Within the first hour we headed to an overgrown area where the guides had previously spotted leopard. We waited eagerly, looking this way and that way,straining our eyes to make out any signs of a predator… Finally, we found what we were looking for, a leopard cub positioned beautifully on a tree with the evening light reflecting to create the most breath-taking photographs. We returned to camp feeling exhilarated.
Dinner was communal, a great way to interact with other guests and make new friends. The meal was 3 courses and absolutely delicious.
Retiring to our rooms we settled down to a night sleep, with the whooping of hyenas the chorus to our dreams.
We were woken at 5:30 am while it was still dark and very cold (bearing in mind this is mid winter). For a moment we questioned our sanity… why are we heading out on a game drive in this freezing cold weather?! As it turned out, we will never ever regret that decision! Within the first hour we came across a pride of 3 lion taking shelter under a tree. One lion was blind in one eye, a very unique thing to see. But the best part came after that, as we headed back to camp we were informed via radio that a cheetah had been spotted on a kill. When we found the cheetah, it was panting heavily with the Impala kill lying next to it. Cheetah sightings are rare and it was fantastic to see it with a kill.
Returning to camp we packed our bags, and with heavy hearts we bid farewell to the fantastic staff and guiding team of Chitabe. A well run, beautifully located camp in a wildlife haven – we don’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone!