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“You will never forget the unique flora and fauna that you see here.”

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Central African Wilderness Safaris Mvuu Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“You will never forget the unique flora and fauna that you see here.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2013

Mvuu Wilderness Lodge in the Shire River, probably the most beautiful part of Malawi.
Do not miss out. The food is excellent, the Lodge is very good,
staff and rangers are excellent people.
But here's the real Africa, untouched parts. This place should not be compared with anything else, only to African conditions. This place is compared to Malawi, the local supply conditions and expected real luxury. You will never forget the unique flora and fauna that you see here. The animals are almost at your fingertips. Take beautiful pictures of animals great.
People are going to protect the wildlife, as this will make a living ... :)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank satanicopandemonium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Lilongwe
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2013

We spent 2 nights in one of the lodges with friends over looking the lagoon. It was a wonderful experience and such an idyllic setting. The safari and boat trips were amazing and the wildlife was in abundance. We saw so much of the wildlife from our veranda and so amazing to see the animals living in such harmony together. The guides had such a wealth of knowledge and never once did we feel rushed, taking all the time necessary to answer our questions and we were able to take as many photos as we wanted. The champagne evening and breakfast in the bush was a lovely surprise and a very unique experience. The staff made us feel very special at all times whether we were in the restaurant or in the rooms providing early morning coffee or tea and biscuits at 5.30 am before the morning walks. We can't wait to return to this wonderful setting. This is our 4th Wilderness Safari's experience and they keep getting better and better each time.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Julie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
82 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2013

We camped here but I would not do it again. For us it was not worth the money.

The prices are too high (again, it's managed by Wilderness safaris who is too expensive anywhere in Malawai) and ok, you have a view on the river from the lodges but you don't really see the hippo's out of the river (because banks are too high and they cannot come out there). Price camping 15 dollar pp pn.

Also people at reception (a lady) were not friendly and not nice. When I asked which roads to take for the game drives (which we did ourselves because we had a 4x4, then they didn't want to answer. According to the receptionist we had to take a ranger with us, since only they knew where the animals were. Yeah, right!

Camp site is not nicely located at all. You have to look for your own wood. Sanitary block is not so nice. Also, there was no hot water when we were there which made me ask for a price reduction (I paid 5 dollars pp pn less). If you're charging guests above average Malawi prices, then make sure that there is at least hot water! FYI I heard from people that stayed in the chalets near the water, that they also didn't have hot water!! FYI the price of a lodge was 200 dollar, chalet 160 (including 3 meals and 2 game drives). For these prices you should assure hot water, and otherwise compensate by reducing your prices.

I would advise you to stay outside the park, at Liwonde Safari Camp, and drive into the park in the morning. Camping is half the price there. And a lodge or chalet is much, much cheaper.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Maya D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Central African Wilderness Safaris Mvuu Lodge, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
The Mvuu camping price is set at $15.00 per person per night and this price has remained constant for the past 2 years. This price is a very average camping price throughout Malawi and to date we have had no other objections about this fee. Included into this cost is the use of the swimming pool, the ablution facilities, the self-service kitchen, the grassy camping stands, the braai facilities and the experience of camping in the heart of Liwonde National Park, hence a percentage of the fee is also dedicated to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.

Wilderness Safaris prices overall in Malawi are also very comparable to similar establishments in terms of service, quality and the experience received when visiting the properties.

Liwonde National Park can be a very difficult park to self drive through as many of the roads are gruelling to navigate at the best of times and a number of roads are seasonal, temporarily closed or inactive. The road network in the park is maintained by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and it is recommended to take a DNPW guide (the ranger) out on safari with you when self-driving for directional advice and also to assist with scouting and identification of both fauna and flaura. This recommendation is also a safety suggestion for our guests as wild game (buffalo and elephant in particular) can be temperamental in behaviour and if approached incorrectly could threaten the safety of our guests. Should a guest of ours get stuck, lost or injured in the bush within Liwonde National Park, Wilderness Safaris would be the company on call to assist with this breakdown and recovery. This recommendation is therefore not because Mvuu secretly knows where the game is in a ploy to steer guests onto the set activities but very honestly a guest wellbeing suggestion- the scout (Ranger) is not even a Wilderness Safaris staff member but a DNPW game scout.

The camp site at Mvuu is situated on a green grassy region alongside the swimming pool, and even though the camp site does not look over the Shire River it has a number of great stands set under pockets of natural vegetation which provide shade and privacy for each camping unit. All camping guests can walk to the shire river bank and look over the water at the hippos, crocodiles and sometimes elephant below and the camping grounds at Mvuu does get the most animal traffic during the night.

The ablution facility for campers is regularly cleaned and serviced by the Mvuu housekeeping team, however, because it is a communal facility we understand that there may be times when one group of guests have just utilised the facility leaving it untidy upon the arrival of the next user. The camping facility also has a bank of solar geysers that supply the hot shower water to the ablution block and again, if the water is completely used by the party prior then the geysers will need time to reheat before the next hot shower. Wilderness Safaris are very proud of the solar set-up at Mvuu as this reduces our ‘footprint’ within the park and enhances our sustainability drive within the portfolio.

Wood collection for firewood at Mvuu is illegal, and this is explained on arrival as this disturbs the natural balance in the park, but exotic firewood is available at the main area for any camper to purchase and use during their stay and campers are free to bring their own wood, charcoal or briquettes.

All units available for guests in Mvuu Camp or Mvuu Lodge have individual hot water solar systems and all of these systems have a gas back-up provision , should there be an issue with the supply of hot water to the said unit. This set-up enables us to ensure that every guest that books a room at Mvuu Camp and Lodge is guaranteed hot water and we have not had hot water issues at the camp or lodge.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kentallen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2013

This place is stunning, the accommodation was gorgeous, loved the option of either indoor our outdoor shower! We could watch hippos crocs and impala from the hammock on our veranda, what more could you want? The game drives, boat trips and the walking safari were wonderful, especially watching the sun go down and the stars come out, which was magical. Lots of opportunities to watch birds and animals close up, divine.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank alfiecro_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

This was our second visit. On both occasions we came with Voyages Jules Verne and on both occasions we arrived by boat transfer from Liwonde. The trip was amazing and we dallied by a herd of about 25 elephants bathing in the river. a 45 minute trip lasted over 2 hours as the boatman was more than happy to indulge us whilst we snapped away on our cameras for ages. When we arrived we were warmly welcomed despite our late arrival for lunch.

For our two days here, We were guided by Angel, a local guide with an incredible knowledge of the local flora and forna. He also remembered me from 2010, not bad considering the number of people who come through this camp.

We stayed in the tented chalets, set out alongside the river. They aren't really tents but chalets with canvas roofs. They are really most comfortable with private facilities.

The food is good and the service excellent.

The beds are very comfortable but Africa is noisy. Don't be surprised if the hippos are grazing outside your chalet during the night or you see elephant or wart hogs in the camp

The game here may not include the Big Five but the reception, guides, facilities and warm welcome are really well worth the trip -and don't shy away from the boat transfer if offered, it's great if you get to see the elephant herds or hippos giving a lift to the cattle egrets. It's magic.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jandamart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
92 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2013

From the very first minute of stepping onto the boat which took us to our awaiting lunch and chalet on the river's shore, our stay at Mvuu and the safaris we went on were nothing short of a pure delight! Everything was well-organized, clean, and well-informed. The guides really knew their stuff and answered our questions well. The one short-coming was the half-hour "program" before the evening meal which was gratuitous, not very interesting, and a trial for those of us with hungry stomachs! We wished we could have stayed an extra night to enjoy the peace and quiet (except for animal noises, of course) and serenity of the surroundings and of our lovely "tent". Idyllic!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Benchwarmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2013

You are not in Kansas anymore (sorry for US Film References). Two great nights. If you are a Birder you will love it. In two days i saw 25 different birds without really trying, but with help from our guide and Sebastian. "Tents" are great, watch the Crocodiles sun themselves from your porch. We were in the Honeymoon Suite which has a tub and gazebo. My first Safari so nothing to compare to but we were thrilled. Individual attention by guides (Justin) who knows alot about just about everything (birds, trees, animals, the bush calendar...) Don't start shooting pics of Elephants on river safari until you can hit one with a rock - that is how close you will get (but don't throw a rock). We did not do our homework on how to get there and ended up driving in on 30KM road which was in rough shape. They helped us get out by lending us a staff member to go with our daugther and we went across the river and met them on the highway. Best way is to come in on other side of river, park and take short, free, boat ride over. The drive in is about 15 KM but smoother road and interesting since it goes through cotton growing area and villages. Save your bottles for the ride out, children will ask you for them. If your perspective on how much we take for granted in the US hadn't been changed yet it will after you see how thrilled they are to get an empty water bottle.

Room Tip: All rooms on Lagoon. Pay attention to time of year and how that impacts animal viewing on the river.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank BigBird306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Central African Wilderness Safaris Mvuu Lodge

Property: Central African Wilderness Safaris Mvuu Lodge
Address: Liwonde National Park, Liwonde National Park, Malawi (Formerly Wilderness Safaris)
Location: Malawi > Southern Region > Liwonde National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Liwonde National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Central African Wilderness Safaris Mvuu Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mvuu Lodge overlooks a secret, tranquil lagoon just off the Shire River, with the main lounge, dining and bar area set high above the water. Its extensive wildlife library and telescope make the most of the exceptional bird and other life that moves around the river, and the pool is perfect for cooling off at siesta time. Highlights In this lush area, the Shire and its floodplains draw an excellent diversity of animals to feed and drink, including a dense population of hippo, crocodiles and large numbers of elephant as well as sable, Lichtenstein's hartebeest, yellow baboon and waterbuck. Non-stop birding is guaranteed here. The Rhino Tracking Experience is a unique opportunity to join the rhino Protection Team scouts and your guide in tracking rare black rhino on foot; learn about their conservation - and end with a delicious bush breakfast or dinner. No visit is complete without meeting the friendly people of the nearby villages. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mvuu Wilderness Hotel Liwonde National Park
Central African Wilderness Safaris Mvuu Lodge Malawi/Liwonde National Park

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