Chilo Gorge Lodge


Into the wild

At over 5,000 km², Gonarezhou is the second largest National Park in Zimbabwe, cutting a swathe of sandstone cliffs, scrub and baobab trees along the country’s southeastern border with Mozambique. Largely undiscovered by the outside world, this striking land is one of the last great pristine wildernesses in Africa.

On a clifftop along a river that marks the park’s boundary, Chilo Gorge is a luxury lodge whose founder, Clive Stockil, has been working with the community to protect this wild place for over four decades. Its ten thatched rooms are decorated with local crafts and have balconies overlooking the water below where elephants, crocodiles and hippos wallow.

The main lodge has a lounge, bar, library, dining room and shaded swimming pool for cooling off between activities. The safari here is a real adventure, and the scenery is spectacular, but it’s the guides, community links and story that make it truly special.


At a glance

  • Ten thatched rooms

  • Swimming pool

  • Dining room and bar

  • Lounge and library

Chilo Gorge Lodge 2


  • Chilo Gorge Lodge 9

    Game drives

    Venture into a true wilderness that few others get to see as you search for elephants lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, buffalos, hippos and giraffes, can all be seen within the boundaries of Gonarezhou.

  • Individual exploring Chilo Gorge in proper safari wear.

    Walking safaris

    There is no better way to explore an area than on foot. Chilo Gorge offers morning and afternoon game walks in Gonarezhou National Park accompanied by professional guides.

  • Chilo Gorge Lodge 5

    Community visit

    The intimate working relationship between the lodge and the local Shangaan community makes a visit to Mahenye Village a uniquely rewarding cultural experience. Meet the locals, visit the school and perhaps visit the palm winemaker for a tasting.

Community & Culture

Sustainability and conservation are central to everything done at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge with the understanding that the local community is vital to protect the park. The first CAMPFIRE programme (Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources) in Zimbabwe was started here, and its principles have since been replicated across Africa and the rest of the world. Clive Stockil, the founder of Chilo Gorge, initiated the programme in the early 1980s to great success, seeing his methods replicated across Africa.

Continuing the positive momentum created by CAMPFIRE, the Mahenye Charitable Trust was set up by the Directors of Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge to help further benefit the community. The charity provides an easy way for guests and friends of Chilo to make donations and raise funds for the village, safe in the knowledge that the monies are being directed to projects that will directly benefit the local community. Projects are identified in conjunction with the village elders and the implementation is supervised by members of the Chilo team.


Thanks in part to Clive's work in the park, poaching has greatly reduced and over the years, guns have been replaced by cameras, and local people and visitors alike have learned to appreciate the animals as they should be; unmolested in their natural habitat. In recognition of his unswerving commitment, Clive was awarded the Prince William Award for Conservation in 2013.

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Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

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