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“Great place”
Review of Mkulumadzi Lodge

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Mkulumadzi Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 21, 2013

We're not really safari types - this place was recommended to us as a great "safari for wimps" location and so it proved.

It is a beautifully appointed lodge on the bank of the Shire River. Lovely chalets, nice pool area. Chris and Emma make splendid hosts. Guy is a good cook and the staff are all friendly and helpful.

Our safari experience was limited by our laziness on the first day and some unseasonal rains thereafter, but during our three nights (two days) we still did some very enjoyable walking safaris and enjoyed watching the safari come to us at the lodge. Just from our chalet and poolside we saw plenty of elephants, hippos, antelopes, monkeys, birds and (much to Janie's needless concern) crocodiles in the Shire.

One wonderful feature is the air-conditioned mosquito nets - what a superb and (relatively) green invention, allowing delightful comfort with minimal energy-use. Give that inventor a Nobel and top marks to Robin Pope Safaris for installing them here.

It's a great place - highly recommended.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank IanLHarris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 - 69 of 83 reviews

Reviewed October 18, 2013

One of the nicest things about Majete is that it is far less crowded than the more popular parks on the Southern Africa safari circuit. Mklulumadzi has its own private concession adjoining the park and so encounters with another vehicle are rare. Usually 6 guests or less are assigned to a vehicle. The reserve is not a great location for big cat sightings, which is probably why it is comparatively so peaceful. Great views of elephant though, and the guides are familiar with the personalities of the matriarchs of each group. Bird life is varied, but a little skittish and so requires patience. Spotted genet, civet, bush baby and porcupine on night drives. Boat trips and walks make a nice change from the typical game drive.

Rooms are a little close together (would be nice if they were more private) and have great views of the sun rising over the Shire river to awaken you. Open to the elements, it takes some adjustment but is doable. It did get quite hot (over 40C) in October, but there's a very effective cooling system over the beds that enables a comfortable night's sleep. Lodge provides the most effective use of solar energy I've seen yet, from the bed cooling to system to showers with hot water almost instantly available.

Food ranged from very good to excellent, staff work to ensure you have a pleasant stay.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Livetowander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

I really enjoyed my stay at Mkulumadzi. The chalets are beautiful, the landscape is amazing and the service is excellent.
Chris and Emma are very welcoming and they are managing the lodge keeping it clean, tidy and cozy.
Staff is well trained and the guides are available, talkative and expert.
Not so many animals to be seen but at the end this is the less important point amont all that flourishing vegetation and amazing scenarios.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank pappagalliparlanti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Mkulumadzi Lodge was the perfect getaway. We stayed in a family room with our two small children (age 1yr and 3 yrs). There were two lovely en suite bedrooms with a sitting area between the two - all beautifully decorated and very comfortable. The beds are comfortable and even have their own built in air - conditioning run off solar! Our hosts, Chris and Emma, couldn't have been better. They were attentive and intuitive and made us feel so welcome with two small children in tow. Our game drives with Chris were great and there was even finger food for the children. Everything was thought of it and it couldn't have been more relaxing. The setting is stunning and wild. We would higly recommend it.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank GMMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2013

Mkulumadzi Lodge certainly lived up to our high expectations based on the other reviews here.
We spent 3 nights at Mkulumadzi and this was by far the most comfortable accommodation we enjoyed in Malawi. The location at the confluence of the Mkulumadzi and the Shire River is spectacular. The food was also some of the best we had during our 2 week trip through Malawi and we very much enjoyed all the game drives with Chris who is incredibly knowledgable. The rooms are incredibly spacious with lovely outdoor showers, large terraces and air-con mosquito nets (which I had never seen before, but we didn't need because the nights were cool). Anyone spending time here shouldn't miss out on the Boat safari. It gives you a totally different perspective viewing game from the water and we had some lovely elephant sightings. Emma, Chris and the entire team go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable.

Room Tip: All rooms are great. They are spread out for privacy and all of them face one of the two rivers.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank gbwt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

April (2013) 4 of us stayed two nights at the Mkulumadzi Lodge. We all agree, this is the most beautiful and well managed lodge in the southern part of Africa. You feel like you are in a movie while inhaing the beauty of the Shire River location with river rapids which fan out into hippo pools. The staff are excellent. Chef Guy presented us with gourmet meals. The Acting Co-Manager (while the managers were on holiday) sat with us at the firepit and was extremely personable and efficient. The cost is quite reasonable when you realize that everything is included - lodging, food, drink (excellent South African wines), safairs, and ambience. This is a luxury lodge not to be missed during any holiday in southern Africa.

Room Tip: Rooms are spread out with good distance between them. Ask for a close room if you do not want to wa...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Rosalie&Bryed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

We stayed 2 nights with my parents when they were celebrating their wedding anniversary. The staff and the place is awesome. Even though it's in the middle of the bush, they had cold drinks and great food. The rooms are open to the river, but the bed has a lovely canopy net with a built in air conditioner that drops cool air down on you as you sleep! Some of the other guests had seen the lions and rhino, but on our trip we didn't see them. We saw many other animals. The food was high quality and the staff were pleasant, friendly, and professional. During our boat safari we even saw a family of elephants swim across the river from an island back to shore!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank T P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Mkulumadzi Lodge

Address: Majete Wildlife Reserve, Chikwawa, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Southern Region > Chikwawa
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Chikwawa
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mkulumadzi Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Majete Wildlife Reserve is one of the outstanding success stories of African conservation. Granted protected status in 1955, it became the subject of extensive poaching in the 1980s and 1990s. But a concerted joint effort since 2003 by the African Parks Network and the Malawi government - including the reintroduction of endangered species - has turned it into a model of sustainable development and biodiversity. In 2012 Majete became Malawi’s only Big Five Park. Located in the south of Malawi, Majete is an area of 70.000 hectares, part of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. The reserve is made up of mature miombo woodlands and granite topped hills that contrast with picturesque river valleys and lush riverine forest. For connoisseurs of wildlife many exciting encounters lie in store, with the chance to view many species including black rhino, leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, eland, kudu, sable, suni, klipspringer, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and zebra. Surrounded by 7,000 hectares of private concession, Mkulumadzi enjoys an idyllic location at the confluence of two rivers shaded by giant leadwood trees. It is the perfect combination of splendid isolation and first-class facilities. The lodge has eight superb chalets, each with spacious living quarters and private viewing deck. Guests can swim in our pool, dine under the stars, enjoy river cruises, game drives and walking safaris. Undiscovered by tourists, Majete is a true wilderness where every trip into the bush with our team of experienced guides will feel like an adventure. Guests arrive by a footbridge suspended over the Mkulumadzi River to discover a friendly welcome and many home comforts. The lodge has a restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining, a lounge and terrace, a bar and shop, swimming pool, viewing deck and a lapa for evening campfires. The perfect combination of luxury and isolation, Mkulumadzi boasts eight superb chalets set on the banks of the Shire River, shaded by giant leadwood trees and wild mangos. Each chalet has a spacious bedroom and lounge, ensuite bathroom, outdoor shower and private viewing deck where guests can sit back and marvel at the sights and sounds of the river. The bush chalets are luxurious and spacious with contemporary furnishings, some crafted from locally-sourced materials. They are flooded with natural light, giving you the sense of being in the forest without compromising your comfort and privacy. There is also an outdoor shower with a large rain shower where guests can enjoy the sensation of bathing under a waterfall. The shower is open to the surrounding bush with stone-clad walls for privacy. Each chalet has a sloping vegetated roof planted with indigenous species such as succulents, aloes, shrubs and grasses. This minimises their impact on the environment and keeps them cool in the hot season. Game drives and walking safaris are offered in the mornings and late afternoons, giving guests plenty of time to relax beside the pool, gaze at the resident bird population or listen to the grunt of hippos wallowing in the river. Afternoon tea is served on the terrace and on most nights dinner is served beneath the stars. ... more   less 

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