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“Does it get better than this?” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge

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Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge
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Next to Gonarezhou National Park, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe   |  
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Middelburg, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Does it get better than this?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

You need at least 6 hours to get there by car from Harare (depending on your type of car) or take the charter and land on their private airstrip. But it is worth every mile. Not the cheapest place by far but to me one of the best places I have ever been. When you arrive you wonder how it is possible to build something so beautiful in such a remote place. There is beauty and quality in every aspect of the building and service. The whole place just fits within the environment and you feel within nature. There is the beautiful view at the gorge to begin with. You can see elephant crossing the river, hypo's and crocks from the terrace. At night you hear the elephants and lions roar. The garden is full with beautiful birds in the morning and you can enjoy the sunrise. Food is excellent and served in the stylish dinner room where you eat with your guides so you can talk about your game-wishes for the next day. The National Park is just a 15 minute drive from the lodge.

The rooms are just great with a balcony and stunning view at the gorge. There is electricity, hot water a small fridge with free beverages and a very luxurious and spacious bed.

The staff is very friendly and every day after your game drive they wait for you with a wet towel to refresh yourself. Every time you meet someone that is working there they will ask you if you are ok and if they can help you with something.

Room Tip: Nr1 Eagle has the best view on the Chilo Gorge!
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChiloGorgeTeam, Front Office Manager at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, responded to this review, August 5, 2014
Thank you for staying with us, it was our pleasure to host you and we are thrilled that you had such an enjoyable experience with us and our beautiful corner of the world. The Chilo Team
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54 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
berlin
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

I have spent 4 nights at this beautiful lodge. I have been at many parks before and I was looking forward to being close to the remote African wilderness once more.
From the first contact I had for my booking, I have noticed that the people who work at this lodge know how to help clients. Cathie at the booking office, answered inmediately my emails requesting information, and was able to help me to find the adequate transport to the lodge. Without her help, being just a visitor in Harare, I would not have been able to find my way to Chilo. Thanks again Cathie!
Chilo lodge is located overlooking the Save river across the Gonarezhou National Park. It took us about eight hours to get there from Harare by mini van, making only short stops. Accomodation is absolutely beautiful in well appointed cabins, from whose terrase I could hear, see and feel the wilderness. Food and included drinks were very good. The people working at the lodge were most friendly and always taking care that guests were comfortable.
One of the managers is Clive Stockil, who is very much engaged in conservation of the Gonarezhou Park with a strong emphasis on taking into account the needs of the surrounding communities. His efforts have been recognized internationally and he received last year an award presented by Prince William.
The conservation efforts in the Gonarezhou National Park are a big task. Gonarezhou is wilderness pur. The animals there, specially the elephants, do remember very well that humans have been killing them for decades. The history of Gonarezhou has not been easy. Poaching and also conflicts in neighbouring land Mozambique, have contributed to agraviate the situation on this area. Elephants here have the reputation of being particularly uneasy around humans. Not because they are not use to humans, but because they remember what humans have done to them. I knew this in advance and I did not go into the Park. I had my share of sightings though, since the animals were coming to the river and the lodge offers wonderful views to the river. Besides me they were a few other guests in the lodge, who went into the park and commented very well on the professionality of the guides.

Even though Chilo lodge is a long drive from Harare it is a beautiful, wild place. I strongly recommend you go there and enjoy the hospitality of the people working there. Thank you guys at the lodge for such a nice stay!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChiloGorgeTeam, Front Office Manager at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, responded to this review, August 1, 2014
Thank you for visiting us and for being able to so deeply appreciate what Chilo has to offer. We were thrilled to host you and look forward to meeting with you again one day when you are back in Zimbabwe. Our very best regards to you. The Chilo Team
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Marondera, Zimbabwe
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

My husband and I have stayed at this lodge countless times in the past, mainly because of it's location near our beloved Gonarezhou National Park. This most recent time we were joined by my brother-in-law and his family and it occurred to me that I have in fact never written a review of the lodge! I can honestly say that we have never had a bad experience at this lodge and in fact, having undergone a bit of a face-lift recently; the lodge is now an exceptional gem offering luxury; professionalism on every level; and a first-rate safari experience. There are exceptional guides on hand for drives to the world-rated Chilojo Cliffs and particular mention goes to Thomas, who with 23 years experience, will make sure you have an unsurpassed bush experience - this last time we managed to see numerous elephant herd; most antelope including eland; wildebeest; buffalo; giraffe; abundant birdlife and a rare leopard sighting to boot!! Well done to John and Nadine for running a fabulous retreat and all the staff for their wonderful attitude and hard work! See you all soon!

Room Tip: Room 5 has a spectacular Save river view where you cab watch elephant coming to drink and bathe!
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChiloGorgeTeam, Front Office Manager at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, responded to this review, July 3, 2014
Thank you Fotini, for your wonderful review. So glad you and the family finally got there and had such a good time.
We look forward to hosting you again sometime.
The Chilo Team
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Harare
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

The last 40 km or so means that you have to use a high clearance vehicle, though they are working on the road repairing the worst stretches so it was better coming out than going in. Don't let that put you off, it is well worth the effort and the setting on the banks of the Save is spectacular. We were three couples - the food, the service and the activities were wonderful. The park across the river is pretty wild and the elephant are not acclimatised to vehicles, so there is a good chance of getting trumpeted at - we also had mock charges, a great experience for some (others were not so pleased!). Terry our guide handles it all wonderfully. It is a long haul to the cliffs - but do it.

Room Tip: Number 5 looks up the river at dawn, there is no equal
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChiloGorgeTeam, Front Office Manager at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, responded to this review, June 4, 2014
Dear Robert

We are so glad you had a wonderful time with us and thank you for staying, it was our pleasure to host you. We are fortunate to have such a beautiful untouched piece of the country to enjoy.
Hopefully you will be back again in the future!
The Chilo Team
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Sydney
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

I don’t normally stay in such luxury, so this was a huge treat for me. And I’m really glad that we decided to splurge on staying at Chilo because it was absolutely fantastic - they really do everything so well. Staff are so friendly and make you feel very welcome.

Cottages are a good size, with wonderful decks overlooking the gorge, where you will spend most of your ‘at home’ time. It is really lovely to sit out here in the early morning or late afternoon and watch the birds and animals – hippos in the water, nyala on the banks, various birds and monkeys in the trees. Rooms are furnished with quality furnishings and are very comfortable. This place has been refurbished in the last couple of years.

The food is excellent and high quality. They have a good selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee, etc. and the drinks service is fantastic.

The game drives were great, and John is an excellent guide. Over your time at Chilo you will be taken to different places in the park, with different types of game, birds or scenery. You can choose to go on as many game drives as you like, and for as long as you like. We generally chose half-day drives, but others set off for all-day drives. The guides are always more than happy to take you walking in the park if the situation is suitable. There are also places to go for the sunset – the falls and the beach. You can also do a bushwalk to the falls or a village visit (this is a real village, not a touristy one), or you can just spend a day relaxing on your balcony and watching the animals from there.

Gonarezhou NP is known for its aggressive elephants, and this proved to be true for us. It’s not a place that you would visit if you’ve never been to an African National Park before – this is somewhere special to visit when you want to get into the real African bush, somewhere remote and untouched. We didn’t see any other vehicles during our game drives at Chilo – game drives are generally just a couple of guests and the guide/driver out in the wilderness.

I’d highly recommend Chilo to anyone who has already seen the Big 5, and wants to go somewhere remote in luxury. Something a bit different, but also quite wonderful.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChiloGorgeTeam, Front Office Manager at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, responded to this review, May 31, 2014
It was our pleasure to host you Julie and we are so glad you enjoyed your time with us. Chilo and Gonarezhou are truly special places. Hopefully you will be able to visit us again sometime in the not too distant future.
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Hoedspruit, South Africa
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

The setting, the service, the staff and the wildlife experiences all make this our favourite safari lodge in Zimbabwe. We simply cannot go there enough. Our recent visit with a large group of wildlife enthusiasts from the USA was simply superb. Crossing the Save River by boat (no mean feat for the person doing the poling) was an experience in itself. If you are an elephant fanatic like us then this is the place to go to for some very different experiences. And the birdlife is stunning. What added to our recent visit was a day trip to the amazing Chilojo Cliffs - a truly amazing sight. Our guests loved the afternoon visit to the clinic in Mahenye Village plus the opportunity to donate footballs and a range of other goodies for the local school. Now we are planning next years adventure to Chiol. A pity we can't get there again this year.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChiloGorgeTeam, Front Office Manager at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, responded to this review, May 29, 2014
Thank you for bringing your group to stay with us. Your photos are wonderful. We look forward to hosting you again in 2015.
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Portland, Oregon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

Wildlife, conservation, involvement and support of local people, great food, fabulous staff make this the best of the best in safari camps. Our group of 20 were treated like royalty and I can't recommend this experience highly enough

Room Tip: All rooms were wonderful
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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.
ChiloGorgeTeam, Front Office Manager at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, responded to this review, May 29, 2014
What a pleasure it was to host your whole group. We hope that you will be back again one day soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge

Address: Next to Gonarezhou National Park, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
Phone Number:
Location: Zimbabwe > Masvingo Province > Chiredzi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Chiredzi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury Twin/KingOur beautiful Luxury King/Twin Lodges are largely inspired by nature, but with a designer's passion for elegance, simplicity and bespoke touches. Locally crafted intricate reed weaving, individually carved jacaranda headboards, luxurious cotton bedding and a mini bar have all been carefully chosen for your comfort and enjoyment.Each Lodge has its own private balcony offering spectacular views and the opportunity for you to relax, watching the multitude of river visitors, including our resident elephants, crocodiles and hippos.Nhambo Self CateringOur Self Catering Camp, Nhambo, provides guests with the option to be more independent whilst taking advantage of comfortable accommodation, panoramic views and access to the expertise, game drives and activities that we offer.Nhambo comprises four twin/double lodges, each sleeping 2 people. Each lodge has an en-suite bathroom (with shower and bath) and its own, private balcony.The double lodges share a kitchen, dining and barbeque area. There is also a plunge pool. For larger groups of friends and family, you may take all 4 lodges and enjoy the camp on an exclusive basis.The Family Lodge is spacious and private (with its own kitchen, garden and two bathrooms). It sleeps up to 6 people. ... more   less 

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