Chikunto Safaris opened in 2018, with its first full year of trading being in 2019.
Initially born as a result of a love-story between Jens Kant and Regula Burkhalter, who had travelled throughout Southern Africa following their chance meeting in Cape Town in 2004, the dream of building a Safari Lodge in Africa started to become a reality when they met with Josephat Musoni, born and bred in the local village of Mfuwe and a larger-than-life senior safari guide at one of the Safari Camps in South Luangwa.
From there it was a case of turning the dream into reality. The objective being to build on the very best elements of the traditional camps in the Valley and to work hand-in-hand with the local community to add their own special touches.
Stage 1 was to source a location / concession that would do justice to their vision, one that needed to encapsulate everything they loved about authentic Africa, the remoteness, the untouched bush and the meandering South Luangwa River. After several sites were initially discussed, the Department of National Parks & Wildlife finally proposed the famous Big Bend site, in an ideal location inside the National Park on the banks of the river.
Passion and community have been key cornerstones throughout and the lodge itself was constructed with the help of the local people from Mfuwe, suitably upskilled – many of whom are still proud to work at the property.
See the following video that show the Trucks arriving at the virgin site and then the video that shows the first stages of the construction underway. Turn up the volume and see if you can feel the passion and excitement behind the project.
Greg was born and raised in Zambia and brings 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry. His passion is to share wonderful tourism adventures with people around the world - wonderful safaris and cultural experiences that make their trip a memorable and enjoyable experience.
With over 25 years in the software consulting and development business, Jens is embracing his challenge as a safari lodge owner. This offers a wonderful platform for him to broaden his horizon and apply his business acumen within the safari industry. Based in Germany, Jens is the technlogical head of the Chikunto family.
Brought up in Africa, Gareth brings with him 20 plus years’ experience in International Hospitality. Focused primarily on looking after our international clients and Tour Operators, he possesses a genuine passion to extend to a wider audience the life-changing memories that an African Safari at Chikunto Safaris will bring.
Chikunto Safaris is about delivering experiences and memories that leave a deep and lasting impression on our guests.
We are blessed to have such a strong and passionate team at Chikunto, with the following images of just a few of the Chikunto ‘family’ giving you an idea of who is waiting for you.
More images to follow in due course, and perhaps you will have to look at coming to visit and to meet with everyone yourself…
Chikunto Safari Lodge is dedicated, in loving memory, to Regula. Tragically, just weeks after the opening of the lodge in April 2018, Regula was struck down by a sudden illness. She was the inspiration for Chikunto Safari Lodge.
Covid didn’t stop at Chikunto either. Josephat succumbed to this terrible illness in July 2021.
Jens, Gareth and the whole Chikunto team on site ensure that their legacy lives on.