Royal Chundu & the Art of Essential Travel

Essentially Royal Chundu


If you’re looking for a new way to think about travel, about life, about your life, consider this journey on the Zambezi River, as Royal Chundu strips things back to what’s truly essential. In their own words, this is the art of Essential Travel…

Getting out into the world, feeling time and space in the different parts of the globe, is one of life’s untouchables. One of the few good and necessary things, vital for a healthy and whole life.

The concept of getting away from it all is our way of resetting. Of taking care of ourselves, for the sake of the long-run we are fortunate to have on Earth. Whether it’s a cottage in the country, a short drive from home or a remote island in the middle of the Zambezi, a private hotel room in a new city or a tent in the mountains. These escapes remind us of what’s essential.

Travellers say it again and again. When we travel, fitting our lives into one or two bags, we realise how much less we actually need.


Royal Chundu River Lodge


Looking at old photographs, notes scribbled or posts shared about trips gone by, we remember the people we were and the people we became, the deeper routes we found into our own hearts and minds.

We remember most fondly the modest moments. The unadorned, the honest. Running through tall grass barefoot, flowers alive with bees, hot coffee on a cold morning on the river, the longer hugs, the comfortable silences, strange and seductive accents, nights when wine bottles replace the concept of time, the inspiration that finds us on afternoons in the hammock…

Take away everything else. Silence the noise, the expectations, the impossible standards, the judgements.

Come back to us, in the moment. Allow the essentials to do their job. Feed yourself, your mind, your heart. Feed others’ minds and hearts. Water the garden. Waters others’ gardens. Slowly whittle away at the things holding you back – throw yourself into the great dance.

Some of your adventures will be wilder than others, rushed, busy, full. But make time for the silence in between. For the essentials.



This is our mission for the year. A return to the essentials and a stern “no thanks” to that which infringes upon them.

This is essential travel.

The kind of travel that is necessary not only for your own peace and restoration, for wholeness and harmony, but very often for those you meet – in our case, at the lodge, and the way the communities we work with benefit from our travellers’ presence, from our focus on empowerment and upliftment in every way possible.

These are the journeys that are good for you, and good for the land and people.

This is about returning to the core of life. Of existence. Of being. The essence.


Royal Chundu Hippo

Our 5 Essentials of Essential Travel

  1. Community – Our social needs and acts ~ compassion and kindness, love, family and fellowship, giving back and doing good.
  2. Food and Water – For health and energy, best when sustainable, fresh, clean and local.
  3. Quiet and Rest – Needed for survival, and to reconnect, regroup, realign, relax, focus, feel, eat, think, plan, see, listen, talk, love, come together, grow…
  4. Play – Physical play, using and maintaining our bodies, engaging in active pursuits, for self-esteem, strength, joy of life, overcoming fears, confidence, nature’s tonic and connection.
  5. Art and Culture – For expression, purpose, inspiration, unity, hope and enjoyment.


Art Royal Chundu


We’d love for you to join us in this journey back to the essential.

What is essential to you? Share your experience of the essential while at Royal Chundu using the hashtags:

#thisismyessential #essentialtravel #theroyalchunduexperience

Let’s make this a year of going slow, doing what’s good for us and others, and taking care of this beautiful planet.