Built in 1978
Established in 1978 as a family retreat, Chaminuka Lodge was named after an enchanting village in Kabompo of the North Western Province here in Zambia. Andrew had spent a great deal of time there during the formative years of his life, and it holds a special place in his heart. Chaminuka means small hill or hump.
The lodge is built on a knoll overlooking Lake Chitoka, in pristine miombo woodland and savannah. It is one of the rare pieces of land that remains untouched in Lusaka and its architecture and layout are inspired by the design of an African village. Like all Zambian villages, Chaminuka was intended to blend into its surroundings and become part of it, and so everything in the village is part of it as well: from the landscape to the horizon and the sky above. The typical African village does not have conventional houses as such, but it has huts to sleep in and ‘insakas’—covered structures that have a roof but no walls—where people sit to chat and relax. It is the ingenuity of the construction of these insakas that have become central to the design of Chaminuka.
This wonderful place has been home to us for over a quarter century, and it has a charm you cannot find elsewhere. It is the roar of the lion, and the laughter of the hyena, and it is the elephant and the giraffe and the zebra and the eland and all the other animals of the Zambian bush. It is the fish eagle and the kingfisher and the ibis and the egrets that turn the islands in the lake into Christmas trees every evening.
It is also the indigo blue night sky with its myriad of stars and the Milky Way and the pure light of the day and the deep blue sky and the dark film clouds that define it. And it is the breeze and the wind and the sunset and the new moon that rises over the lake and pours a stream of lava through it. It is the morning star and the light of day that gradually pushes away the darkness of night, and the birdsong that bursts out, heralding the sunrise.
Most importantly, it is the people that make Chaminuka: it is a warm microcosm of Zambia, a hundred or so families, a mixture from all the tribes with whom we have lived and worked with for most of our lives.
In November 1998, we decided to open Chaminuka to guests with whom we could share what we consider to be insight into a unique way of life. We invite you to enjoy the wildlife on game drives and horseback; the birds and the landscape, the panoramic views and long walks, the tranquility of the insakas and sunrises from the deck, the sunsets and the night sky, and the warmth of the people. Enjoy the pieces of art and sculptures found throughout the village and the garden, which in their various forms express the essence of Zambian and African existence.
As much as Chaminuka is a village and a way of life, it is also a home. We welcome you to it and hope that you will feel its warmth. Please do not hesitate to ask any of us should you have questions or special requests. We look forward to meeting and talking with you.
Andrew & Danae Sardanis
“Over the last few decades, we’ve welcomed thousands of guests to Chaminuka. Happy family memories; business partnerships formed; strategies formalised; life-changing decisions; species reintroduced; art created – millions of moments that have had an impact on people’s lives. And we’re proud that we’ve played a part in that. Chaminuka is so much more than a resort
– it’s an institution. And, with owning a plot at Chaminuka Wildlife Estates, you’re part of that.”