Set high on a hill overlooking the Save River and Gonarezhou National Park, Chilo Gorge is a natural, traditionally-built safari lodge that’s part of a story of hope for the area’s wildlife and people.
What’s Chilo Gorge really like?
Chilo’s Director Clive Stockil has been based in the area for decades and helped forge partnership between the park and local community to protect the animals. Today the lodge is a snug base to explore the park from, built from sturdy stone, thatch, and gnarled wood. There are ten luxury chalets (also referred to as lodges) with a cosy, rustic décor and en suite bathrooms. These are quite traditional in style, but perfectly up to the job! In front is a lovely a private balcony looking towards either the sunrise or sunset. Rooms are cooled by fans, and while there’s no a/c, Chilo does have a pool which can be a real godsend during the baking heat in October/November. Meals are wholesome and warming, and often eaten on the deck overlooking the river.
What can I do at Chilo Gorge?
It’d probably be fair to say that you don’t get the sort of big game experience in Gonarezhou that you might in the better-known parks further north, and yet game drives here are often rewarding, with good elephant sightings, a huge variety of antelope, and excellent birding. If the river is high a boat may be needed to cross the river into the reserve. There are also excellent walking safaris (for over 12s only), hikes to Chivalila Falls, as well as all day trips to see the spectacular Chilojo Cliffs. Lastly, we’d heartily recommend a visit to Mahenye Village to experience a little of local life and the vital role of the community in conservation.
Giving back at Chilo Gorge Lodge:
Founder Clive was the driving force behind setting up the first CAMPFIRE programme in Zimbabwe at Gonarezhou, and this pioneering commitment to community engagement in conservation remains. Today guests and friends of Chilo can donate to the Mahenye Charitable Trust to help support the local community.
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