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South Luangwa National Park

Marula Lodge

Mfuwe Main Road, South Luangwa National Park n/a Zambia
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Traveler (421)
Room & Suite (53)
Dining (21)
Certificate of Excellence


Certificate of Excellence
We are a family-run, family-friendly lodge that prides itself in offering excellent service, food and adventure at budget friendly prices. Our rooms are guaranteed to be comfortable and clean; we have few airs and graces and can promise a wonderful time to all who visit. Our wildlife is amazing and we often have a family of elephants or a giraffe wandering through the camp. We look forward to welcoming you to Marula Lodge!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Breakfast available
Airport transportation
Laundry service
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
River View
Hotel links
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Mfuwe Main Road, South Luangwa National Park n/a Zambia
E-mail hotel
Getting there
Mfuwe Airport15 miSee all flights
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368Reviews5Q+A74Room tips
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Popular mentions
My husband and I are backpacking throughout Southern Africa for three months, and decided to spend a longer amount of time in Mfuwe. I stayed at Marula via full package six years ago, so I made sure to stay here again! This time around, my husband and I are on a budget this trip, so we inquired about the accommodation-only option. The management, Ken and Lauren, are SO welcoming and flexible in order to suit your needs. We were able to stay in the tents for 16 nights, pay for their amazing three course dinners, and choose the dates we went on a morning and evening drive. They even allowed us to use their kitchen to make our other meals, and they let us tag along during trips they made into town to pick up/drop off staff. I can't say enough about the management, the front waitstaff, the kitchen cooks, the house cleaning and laundry, and the night watchmen. They work so hard to make everyone's experience pleasant, and they go above and beyond to make you feel at home. They are some of the most genuine and passionate people around, and we are thankful to have met them!
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Coming from South Africa and visiting the Kruger Park about 4 times a year, we were nervous to spend so much money on a trip to South Luangwa (we could have flown to Europe for cheaper) as we have always thought that the Kruger Park is unbeatable! That is until we got to South Luangwa! WOW WOW WOW! Over 3 days we saw 6 leopards, 19 lions, 3 wild dogs, and countless other animals and birds. This is by far the best park we have ever visited. Donald, our guide was absolutely fantastic! Marula Lodge was one of the only 'budget' accommodation options we could find. It's location is perfect, right on the river, and 5 minutes to the park gate. Everyday elephants visited the lodge which made it so special. The staff are all so friendly and they can't do enough for you. The accommodation is basic, but serves it's purpose. Our trip was so memorable, we wish we could have stayed longer!
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We (Roy and Jose) spent 4 weeks at Marula Lodge and do not regret it for a moment. We stayed there the whole month of September. Our Hosts Jenny and Mike, Ken and Lauren were so welcoming, they made our stay fell like staying with friends. They are very helpfull and hospitable. Room: We stayed in a very comfortable room, Flame Lilly. During our stay it was very hot but the fans in the room did a pretty good job of keeping us cool. We had Elephants and Hippo's wandering past our room. As well as the baboons, bush bock and some times even giraffes. Location: The location of this lodge is stunning with amazing views of the Luangwa river from the sandbanks. The game park is on the other side of the river. Elephants, pukus, bushbucks, hippos, walking every day through the lodge. Sometimes you see elephants crossing the river, we have even see lions feeding on a karkas of a died hippo. You can have close encounters with elephants, but all of the do's and do not's were well explained. And when you follow this then there is no danger. Sit still and don’t talk. Hippos come at night to feed. The lodge have night guards to make sure you are safe at night. The food: The food is plentiful and always tasty - and all the staff are friendly and enthusiastic. They provide nutritious meals at the perfect time and the service was amazing. The staff is hospitable, friendly (thank you Mr B, John, Adam and Jacob, kitchen personal and the cleaners, etc.). All of them are working very hard to make you’re stay comfortable. Game drives and walking tour: Game drives and walking tour were excellent. Saw lots of animals. And during the walking safari you learn a lot about the small animals and plantlife. They offer two drives per day (early morning and an evening drive) and the drivers are just great. They know how to find the animals – we did 20 game drives and we saw just about everything that is possible to see, wild dogs (7 times, we also saw them hunting and catching a puku) lions (almost every drive, even eating and mating), leopards (5 times, we even saw some cubs), elephants (every drive you see dozens), zebra (every drive), giraffes (almost every drive), hippos (look in the river and you see a lot of hippo’s), buffaloes ( a lot of times and 3 times we have seen big groups of them), porcupine ( 2 times) and a lot more – the guides are well trained and know a lot about the wildlife. We are looking forward to stay there again. Beware Watch out with the ATM in the village because our 2 credit cards were skimming.
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I have been on multiple safaris and many countries in East and Southern Africa over the last 20 years. The ambience service and staff at the lodge were fantastic. It has everything you need for an excellent stay with a big dining and lounge areas, and large outdoor areas to relax and enjoy the enchanting river views right in front of you. Staff and management were always helpful. SLNP is a truly beautiful park. I have now been in 21 parks in Africa, and this is one of the best due to the semi open nature, mix of habitat types, and range of tree species. Wildlife viewing was terrific. We saw lions and leopards every day and also had two wild dog sightings. Thanks Marula!😀
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Response from marulajen, Owner at Marula Lodge
Responded Oct 8, 2019
Thanks for the review! It's great to hear that South Luangwa National Park is right up there with all the others you've visited, and that our team made your stay enjoyable, it was a pleasure having you stay with us, from booking to checkout! Hope to see you again, maybe in the Emerald season next time! Keep well!
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Overall - Superb for value and definitely the best value safari lodge I have been in Africa so far (compared to Serengeti, Masai Mara, Ngorogoro and Tarangire) Staff - Very friendly and were of great to me personally. Well run and efficient. Jacob, Adam and John were great and I look forward to meeting the team in the future. Location - Wow. Simply excellent. Amazing views of the Luangwa river from the sandbanks. With elephants, pukus, bushbucks, hippos walking through periodically through the lodge. Close encounter with an elephant but all of the do's and do not's were well explained. Game Drives - South Luangwa was beyond expectation with multiple leopard sightings (generally once a day), lions, wild dogs (once every two days), and an array of birds (brilliant for birders as well). David who was our guide, had an intimate knowledge of the park and ensured we saw everything. I'm a photographer so David was great with providing good angles for photos and good knowledge of light etc. The night drives were very good too and saw alot of the nocturnal animals. We were tad unlucky as we did not have a major encounter with a predator in the night, but the other cars definitely did so (kills etc) Guides - one word. Knowledgeable. David (guide) and Nelson (Spotter) were very good and took their time to explain the nuances about the animals. Admin Staff - Lauren, Mike and Sue were amazing and very friendly. Easy to chat through and would compromise where possible. Sue would go on early drives as a spotter before the main vehicles set off at 6 AM. Great for an early heads up to the vehicles. Thanks Harry (the one with the big camera and lens)
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Response from marulajen, Owner at Marula Lodge
Responded Sep 28, 2019
Thanks for the lovely review with all that detail. We have great staff and will pass your compliments on to them. Here's hoping you come back sometime!
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ZambiaSouth Luangwa National Park
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Frequently Asked Questions about Marula Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Marula Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Mulberry Mongoose (3.3 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Marula Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a pool, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Marula Lodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Marula Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Marula Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Marula Lodge have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Marula Lodge offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Marula Lodge have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the river view available here.