Ten years on and the tale just gets more exciting! Our particular tale, the Royal Chundu story, is inextricably linked to its storytellers ~ the Royal Chundu family. The people of Zambia, of the Zambezi. Our story started in 2010, but it has been in the making for generations, through the families whose lives, traditions, talents and values imbue and support, run, supply and feed our Relais & Châteaux lodge. The families whose lives are in turn supported and fed by Royal Chundu.
We get to share our story with each guest who comes to visit us on our secluded 15 kilometre stretch of Africa’s fourth-longest river. But we wanted to share our storytellers with the rest of the world too. Because through your support, we are able to give our team and the suppliers, producers, artists, gardeners, farmers and fishermen, musicians, teachers and entrepreneurs of Zambia a place to be heard, to be seen, to shine and importantly to support themselves.
We are very excited to share our latest video with you! Meet our people and witness how tourism empowers lives >
The Royal Chundu story is very special.
At Royal Chundu, the village provides, but it also runs, supports, drives and benefits from the lodge. We are a community-run lodge, one of very few of its kind in Africa. 99% of our team are Zambian and our managers are stakeholders. Most of us come from or live in one of the two villages right next door to the lodge.
All of our food is sourced from Zambia, mostly supplied by local fishermen and village gardens – whether it’s our own lodge chicken coop and herb and vegetable garden, or the lettuce and mangoes brought in by staff from their home gardens, or Edith and the women of Malambo, with their impressive beds of mielies, chilies, impwa, tomatoes and spinach, and their village chicken and free-range eggs.
We support the village gardeners through a Seed Project, donating seeds to anyone who wishes to grow crops for our kitchens, which we then purchase at market cost. We support local fishermen and fish farms by buying fresh bream, tilapia, yabbies or parrot fish. This enables us to give our guests a true taste of Zambia and ensure that sustainable fishing measures and regulations are adhered to.
As much as possible, we look to our local sphere for suppliers. Our own staff have created spin-off businesses from the lodge, such as transfer services for our guests, between the airport and our front door, and courier services (such as Best, our Head of Security, who delivers firewood and fertiliser to us by a cattle-drawn cart).
To ensure that even the littlest ones in the communities we live beside on the Zambezi benefit from the lodge, we set up the Royal Chundu Foundation School, to provide children nearby with quality affordable education close to home. Many of our team’s children attend the school, tucked between the trees behind the lodge and learn the entire Zambian curriculum on tablets, giving them access to the digital world otherwise removed from them.
Be sure to read more here > and take a look at our Nutritional Label below!
Take a look at our Nutritional Label and pie charts below, to see just how your stay at Royal Chundu benefits and empowers the local community: