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“Outstanding in every way” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge

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Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bali, Indonesia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Outstanding in every way”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2013

There are certain, very special places in the world that magically combine a stunning, world class property with warm and welcoming service; highlighted with a very personal touch. Chilo Gorge Lodge is definitely, one of these places. I travelled to the lodge from Harare, via the airstrip Mahenye by charter plane with my three young daughters aged 10, 9 and 7. My family and I felt compelled to make our first experience in Africa at Chilo Gorge Lodge after watching Mr. Clive Stockil's (Chilo's founding father) plight in the CNN documentary (Sept 2013) where he received a prestigious tusk award from Prince William for his work with conservation in Africa.

From arrival to departure, my family and I felt pampered and professionally taken care of. The resort itself is just beautiful and our room was out of this world (number 5). The views from the terrace offer hippos and elephants bathing in the river, alligators, baboons, and an eclectic array of bird life! Wow. The first class meals are served together with the guides or managers of the lodge. This makes for a very personable, entertaining, and insightful experience and we enjoyed spending time with everyone. The food was excellent and all the staff looking after us in this department were lovely.

We booked a 5 day, full board option which included two safari drives a day, escorted by the wonderful guide Lionel. The journeys into the National Park, crossing the Save River (it was dry during our stay) were so awe inspiring; Lionel is an interesting and funny, wikipedia of knowledge about the flora and fauna, local wildlife and folklore of the region. The pure solitude and raw nature surrounding you, combined with Lionel's unique ability to engage and satisfy children and adults alike, proved to be an outstanding daily experience!

My daughter, Athena had her birthday on our last morning at Chilo and the staff had prepared a surprise birthday cake and all the trimmings. Lionel presented the cake to us on the lookout above the waterfall. A wonderful ending to a dream like stay.

I found that each individual working at Chilo has added an amazing piece into the formula that makes up this truly incredible place. Chilo is a team of highly dedicated, professional and welcoming individuals. From the service staff to the management, and for us, in particular, Lionel, effortlessly created an absolutely unforgettable journey.

If you are considering a trip to Zimbabwe, make sure you add the world class Chilo Gorge Lodge and the Gonarezhou National Park to your itinerary.

Room Tip: Room number 5 was stunning!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LisaTribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Homeless
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2013

Location is excellent with great view over the Sabi River. Lots of wildlife in the area. It is right on the border with Gonarezhou National Park.

Lodge itself is very comfortable, helpful staff and good food.

If you want to visit Gonarezhou while staying in luxury, this is your place.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Richard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macclesfield, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2013

I had the greatest of pleasures this October along with my husband, staying at Chilo Gorge for a week with 3 days camping in the bush. The lodge is situated literally up above the great river Save giving unbelievable & amazing views from your balcony any time of the day. The rooms are luxurious, clean, very well maintained & boast a mini fridge (stocked!) hairdryer & toiletries for those who like their home comforts. Given I'm a vegie, the management & staff catered for me without hesitation & can easily cope with the 'more choosy' palates. Given the distance from civilisation, the kitchen & bar were as well stocked as you would in a 5* city hotel - frankly better !! They really did have any/everything you needed. The camping was out of this world, infact you can't really call that camping. Each tent had beds & bedside table, again with the home comforts. Warm water for a shower which I did not expect. The site is close to the great river so again unreal views. Each game drive is accompanied by the driver who is a qualified guide. '''Unlike Kruger''' you would be lucky to see another vehicle - just an abundance of wild animals & birds all to yourself. We were lucky enough to get some great photo's of a big African Lion. All drives are equipped with drinks & even a picnic if your out over lunch. The food whilst camping was of the same standard as the lodge - all kept, prepared & cooked freshly. There are mozzies' & they do bite, so take some mozzie repellent, although they were the only bugs we really saw. Also the midday sun is very strong, so a hat is a must - keep all camping clothes to natural/dark colours. Head torches are a great idea or some sort of small camping light/torch as once the sun goes down it's just you & the stars with a few oil lanterns. Overall the only thing I would complain about is that it wasn't for long enough. ! :)

Room Tip: We stayed in room 3 & friends in room 2 - Great views., however the lodge caters for self cateri...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Johannab999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2013

After 4 weeks of camping in Zimbabwe and Zambia, we decided to end our trip with a little bit of luxury before returning to South Africa. We stayed in the self catering camp at Chilo Gorge, and loved every minute of our stay.

The self catering camp is beautiful, with lovely rooms on the river, bar/dining area and even its own swimming pool. You still have the option to eat meals at the main lodge and participate in activities, but it was also great just to hang out at the camp and relax in such beautiful surroundings.

We ate a couple of dinners at the main lodge and the food was excellent as were the staff. We also highly recommend the drive to Chilojo cliffs, the view from the top is about the most amazing we have ever seen!

This really is a special place, and truly was the perfect end to our trip!

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Dana_Martin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harare, Zimbabwe
Level Contributor
62 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2013

The lodge offers a luxurious haven of opulence in the middle of pristine African landscape. Built on the edge of a river the experience is surreal and worth every penny.
Excellent guides and managers/staff with homely but professional meals.

Room Tip: The honeymoon sit is the best
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Carl A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bern
Level Contributor
76 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2013

Recently spent 3 nights here with my husband ! Our first visit to Gonarezhou, so to base ourselves in this beautiful place was ideal! Everything about the lodge is first class! Our room had an unobstructed view of the river and the quality of it was just what one would expect from a top class lodge in Africa!
Our host and head guide John was extremely knowledgeable about the entire area and also very entertaining! The communal dining concept is one we always enjoy and could not be more atmospheric on the vast veranda under candlelight !
I must mention Lionel, our number two guide who took us on a 10 hour game drive to the Chilojo Cliffs, he is a star in the making!
We will most definitely return

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BeeBern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harare
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

We went in early September 2013 as an away from the family anniversary break. We had a difficult trip down from Harare owing to a breakdown but clear instructions on the phone from John Laing got us safely in through the dark. The Nissan Hardbody twin cab coped well with the road which takes about 45mins for the forty-three kilometres of gravel. The gravel road would probably need a 4x4 in the wet weather.
From the relaxed welcome at the entrance throughout our stay the staff were attentive and unobtrusive. The guides were excellent and the trips into Gona-re- Zhou (the place of the elephants) and round to the Chilojo (Elephant tooth) Cliffs were spectacular. Lionel was particularly patient while we hunted Baobabs in the sunset and expanded our knowledge of local flora and their uses. We stayed in the full board section and the lodges were well laid out and cool and secluded. Each lodge is completely separate and nestles in its own small environment and is complete with mini-bar shower and loo all to a very high standard. The linen and towels soft clean and fresh. The gardens are well laid out and blend with the natural bush and the decking area in front of the pool gives a beautiful view of the Save river below complete with a pod of Hippo and Open-bill Storks and Grey Herons feeding below with a large flock of Trumpeter Hornbills making their way to the Baobabs across the river. Getting up early to catch the dawn over the Save river was well worth the effort - and coffee appeared as if by telepathy! The Shangaan Festival took place during our weekend and the highlight for us was the walk up the river to watch the traditional Nsenza fishing.
We will definitely return and I would say the other reviews on this site are accurate.

Room Tip: Some rooms have a view of the river but all are quiet and restful.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 957JonathanLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge

Property: Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge
Address: Next to Gonarezhou National Park, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
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 #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Chiredzi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge 3.5*
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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