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“Island lodge” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Impalila Island Lodge

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Impalila Island Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Eastern Caprivi Strip, Impalila Island, Namibia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Island lodge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2015

This lodge is situated on a channel of the Zambezi river. It is absolutely beautiful. Accommodations for comfortable, however not the prettiest. The communal Lodge was lovely and the swimming pool was cold but enjoyable. The food was wonderful and we enjoyed eating out under the stars. The staff was also friendly and helpful. My one warning would be to watch out for the monkeys the ball try to steal their belongings. Also, bring lots of bug spray as there are many ants that will swarm you if you're not careful. No problems with ants in the rooms though.

Stayed February 2015
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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Chichester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

The view from the balcony of our room overlooking the rapids below, while sipping coffee as the sun peeped over the horizon, was breathtaking. Add the sounds of the fish eagle nearby and the grunts of the hippo below made a memorable impression. The rest of the days were spent enjoying fishing for bream and tiger fish, (biggest tiger landed was 6.5kg) or game and bird viewing with experienced guides. And when it was a bit warm a quick jump into the pool cooled things down for a while. We loved it!

Room Tip: Loved our room above the rapids
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Yrk City
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2014

We visited this amazing fishing lodge, on Impalila Island (on the Caprivi Strip) in Namibia as part of our OAT Southern African tour. The Lodge itself is beautiful and comfortable. Our room overlooked the Mambova rapids on the upper Zambezi River and was a short walk from the main Lodge area where we ate our delicious meals. I have Type 2 diabetes which I control with diet & exercise. The Lodge was quite accommodating, preparing separate meals for me that were strictly compliant with my dietary needs.

The high point of the visit for me, was the opportunity to fly fish for the awesome Zambezi Tiger fish. The Lodge provided the boat, the guide and all equipment & flies (Clauser-like streamers). I am a reasonably experienced fly fisherman and would describe the experience as closer to saltwater fishing than to the typical trout fishing with which I am most familiar. It was hard to imagine hooking one of these ferocious 5 to 10 lb. river monsters on the 8-9 wt graphite rod that was provided; but I did and it was awesome!

I was advised that fishing quality varies throughout the year, perhaps peaking in March & April. I visited the Lodge in October and still managed to hook 3 or 4 fish in the day and a half of fishing that my wife allowed. The first fish hit my fly like a freight train and simply snapped the 2X leader. I had several other hits (which were likely Tigers) but failed to set the hook properly and lost them. Apparently, these fish have a much harder mouth than trout and require a much stronger hook set than a trout. So, there is a learning curve. Eventually, I solidly hooked one that jumped and ran, and jumped again. It looked like a 4 or 5 lb. fish that bent my rod in half and took lots of line. I was sure I was going to land this one, that is, until it swam under a tree near the shoreline and self-released. It was exciting, and though I wish I got the picture, playing this fish for the minute or so that I had it on was worth the trip. The fishing guide was very helpful, suggesting where to cast, and occasionally firing up the engine to 'get out of Dodge', when a hippo or large crocodile popped up too near the boat.

Others in the group with whom I was travelling hooked and landed Tigers using spin casting rods, provided by the Lodge, using either lures or bait, For the serious fly fisherman though, these fish can be caught and landed with a fly. They are aggressive eaters. You can read a very thorough description in a book entitled "Zambezi Tiger" by Malcolm Meintjes (ISBN 0-958 4042-4-2) published by The Entrepot, South Africa in 1999. It features the Impalila Island Lodge.

Room Tip: The Lodge had a small but comfortable swimming pool, overlooking the Zambezi. It was quite refreshi...
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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fundionafrica, Manager at Impalila Island Lodge, responded to this review, December 31, 2014
Hi Thanks for your review….Keep in mind we have TWO tiger fishing seasons!!! The one season is every month with the letter "R" in the spelling of the month e.g. Octobe":R" etc the other is in our winter June & July..the hatchlings from the flood planes are having to go into the main channel as flood waters recede and the Tigers are waiting!!!
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Alamo, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2014

This lodge provided our OAT group a great place to rest and enjoy the river. Our room overlooked the river rapids and provided us a great vantage point from the deck. The staff was friendly and the guides were so knowledgeable about the birds and vegetation along the river. Lee
Kemp gave an excellent talk about the history of So Africa and the area which was very enlightening. The meals were well prepared and each day the tables were set with colorful cloths and candles which added to the charm of the setting. The lounge area and decks provided a great place for relaxing if you did not want to go fishing or birding. The sundowners on the river were great! Our last day the elephants came right to the river banks to drink and give us a show.!

Room Tip: Room 3 has the best view of the river!
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

Stayed at this lodge while on OAT trip in August. Lodge was originally used as a fishing lodge.
OAT has been using for groups. Although very basic, the staff bends over backwards to make you happy. Major activities include bird and hippo watching boat trips + nature walks.

Unfortunately during our stay, a room was broken into during the middle of the night.
The two women in the room were threatened and their luggage was stolen. The next two
nights we had armed police overnight. A bad experience in a beautiful place.

Room Tip: Get a room as close to main lodge as possible (rooms 1- 4)
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fundionafrica, Manager at Impalila Island Lodge, responded to this review, December 31, 2014
Sadly a number of river lodges were targeted by the same group of criminals. The GOOD news was that due to the efforts of the lodges on BOTH sides of the river the perpetrators were apprehended in October 2014. Added to this is we have a state of the art perimeter electrical infra red system that uses motion sensors that alert our security team via sms if there is any movement along our fence line. We regret this incident and assure any future guests that we have taken precautions to avoid any further problems like this.
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The Villages, Florida
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

We were on an OAT trip (Southern Africa) and we stayed at Impalila Lodge for 3 nights in early April 2014. This was the end of the rainy season. The lodge has a number of thatched huts with inside bathroom facilities, mosiquito nets over a double bed, and a small lanai with most huts overlooking a portion of the fast flowing Zambezi river...nothing to write home about but more than adequate. Elecricity runs for 3 hours at a time twice a day and wi-fi although very slow was available.

Things started out fine and after a boat ride we came back to the lodge for dinner about 7 - 7:15. The dinner table set out for our group of 16 was very nicey arranged and the food was starting to be served. Then night fall came and WOW.....flying bugs like you never saw them before..so bad most could not enjoy the appetizing diner laid before them. And there was no place to retreat to for the main lodge was all open with no screened in area. The next 2 nights we tried eating earlier..it helped some in that we were almost able to complete dinner but still we knew we had to rush. Then when you went back to your huts..if the outside light was left on you had bugs allover the place and they came into the room when you opened the door. So even when you were in your rooom you did not want to put a light on. I had a head flashlight and I quickly found out why this type of ligth had a "red" light in addition to the bright whites. The red light did not attract the flying insects.

As for activities or things to do here, Some of us went "tiger" fishing the first full day and caught a number of tigers (8) during our stay.. ranging in weight from 3-8 pounds....Fishing was alot of fun. BEWARE if you are not into fishing there is very little else to do here. YOu can go hiking or go for boat rides but it rained one night and we could not even do the hike it was so muddy.

You are in the middle of no-where and although we never felt "threathened" as a previous poster mentioned, at night we did see people walking around with flash lights and what apeared rifles 3 am in the morning. After discussing this with management they said this was the Hippo patrol for hippos do come into the camp at night and they are dangerous.(it would have been good if we were notified of this before time) I mean you hear hippos all day and night but we never saw them from our lanai due to the high water.

I said the food was very good...and it was . In fact for our last diner meal we had filet mignon and it was excellent. Fresh eggs served after the morning fishing trip..food was very good.

If it were not for the fishing portion, OAT could drop this location and I dont think anyone would miss it.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fundionafrica, Manager at Impalila Island Lodge, responded to this review, January 2, 2015
We have good news here…we have installed a state of the art Victron inverter that provides power 24 hours a day!! This clever system harvests power from the diesel generator during the day and stores it in massive batteries to use at night so you have lights fans etc etc SILENT POWER… This has been a big investment but our clients are loving it!! We are so pleased you liked the food and service. We have included a quaint ox drawn cart to take our clients to see the villages on the island as well as our famous 2000 year old Baobab tree. We now have a fleet of great boats and can take our guests game viewing on the Chobe river that has the GREATEST density of wildlife along a river anywhere in the world!!
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Travelers are raving about these Impalila Island hotels

Vancouver, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

From the 45 minute boat ride with game viewing along the way to the staff singing you a welcome song upon your arrival this lodge is truly a heaven surrounded by the Namibian wetlands. Suburb spacious rooms with a very comfy king size bed, open concept bathroom with soaker tub and shower that would give any multimillion dollar home a run for its money. Step out to your own private outside shower where only the hippo’s and elephants across the river may learn your secrets or swimming in your own private mini pool and then relax by the river in hanging chairs watching the wildlife and sunset, Laureen and I did it all. The food was five star quality as was the service and we were waited on hand and foot.
This lodge is run by the owners who Laureen and I can say are the nicest people you’ll ever meet!
Will for sure be going back as we didn’t want to leave, will post pictures when we can.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Impalila Island Lodge

Address: Eastern Caprivi Strip, Impalila Island, Namibia
Phone Number:
Location: Namibia > Caprivi Region > Impalila Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Impalila Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Impalila Island Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Impalila Island Lodge is a waterbound wonderland uniquely situated at the confluence of four countries and two mighty African rivers - the Chobe and the Zambezi. The lodge lies protectively under the branches of an ancient giant baobab tree and consists of eight well appointed en-suite chalets each overlooking the world famous Mambova rapids on the Zambezi river. The lodge is perfectly situated and equipped for fly-fishers looking to take on the legendary Tigerfish, and also offers game viewing by boat cruise, birdwatching, afro-botanical walks and cultural village visits. ... more   less 
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