We travelled with Landlake safaris from Lilongwe, Malawi, one of the agents for this lodge, we had excellent service and transport with Henry from Lilongwe. Thornicroft is recently opened and had a certain amount of construction going on away from our Chalet. The rooms areexcellent and well equipped, the pool rather awkwardly Zambia shaped so a plunge rather than swimming pool.
Godfrey our guide had years of experience and an incredible depth of knowledge of birds and animals. He was adept at finding Leopards and Lions, but also skilled at getting close enough with the light right for astonishing photography. The Chef was also excellent, working with local ingredients to produce delicious meals. Apparently he used to be personal chef to the Zambian Vice president. These two individuals are critical to the success of any safari lodge, and the Thornicroft has done very well to recruit them. It is a little depressing that 50 years after the wind of change blew through Africa that it is still white expats are still the employers, I hope that they are paying these two well as they have the capability, if not the capital to run a first class lodge themselves. This is a criticism of the neocolonialism of African society rather than the Thornicroft, as I could make similar comments about all the other places that we stayed in Malawi and Zambia.
The management are Dutch and very helpful and the position on the river excellent, with elephants, crocs and hippos visible from the bank. It is only a few minutes to the park so no prolonged drive to the main park, with two drives per day at 0600 and 1600 for a total of 9 hours per day. This was punctuated by rest stops to have tea or a sundowner so not tiresome. The landscape and animals made the the park, often seeing only one other vehicle each day so quite unlike the Kruger in RSA.
There was a considerable frog and gecko population in the lodge and baboons and elephants often in the grounds. The guards are to watch for these rather than human interlopers. Drinks were a bit over priced at $1.50 per soda and $3.00 for local beer, but water was free and with an 0600 start not a good idea to have too much alcohol.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Thornicroft is an intimate bush-style lodge set on the banks of the Luangwa River with spectacular views over the Park. At Thornicroft you can explore South Luangwa National Park on unforgettable game drives with our expert guides. On our drives you will explore one of the best parks in Africa to see lion and leopard, not to mention all the other birds and animals that make this valley so unique.Our nine charming bush-style chalets are spread out along the banks of the Luangwa River. Each of our intimate en-suite chalets has fabulous views of the South Luangwa National Park. The chalets are designed for 2 people, but on request we can add a third bed. However if you are looking for a more affordable way to safari we have eight permanent safari dome two-person tents with shared bathroom facilities near the lagoon. The tented camp is closed from January – March.Thornicroft can also arrange transfers from Lilongwe to Thornicroft Lodge. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Thornicroft Lodge Zambia/South Luangwa National Park