Reviews of Mkulumadzi Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Superb lodge and safari at Mukumuladzi
Wonderful accommodation and food, excellent and welcoming hosts. Guides very knowledgeable. Walks and game drives really informative and enjoyable.
Surprise lunch by the river one day, just for us, was great. Staff all really helpful and courteous. Nothing was too much trouble. For two nights we were the only guests and service remained superb. We can't fault our time spent there.
Mkulumadzi Lodge review
The lodge was fine, but I think that generally people should know that they are not necessarily going to see all the game they may think they are, given the developing situation in the reserve. Also they should realise that Malawi is hilly!
It can and does get cold in July - particularly in the evening. There is a slight problem with local people thinking--through RPS at Blantyre that they can pre book events to do, without any consultation with the lodge. Again apart from the weekend when the lodge was full of locals, for whom it is very popular, there were not a lot of other guests and so the atmosphere was a bit flat.
I would say though, Chris and Emma the lodge managers, and Jake, a relief manager, did their best to make sure the people present were happy.
Mkulumadzi Lodge was a disappointment.
This lodge has the most fantastic situation of any we have been to, The rooms are second to none and it has every facility you could ever need.Furthermore for part of the time we were the only guests and had first class attention from all the staff. It is a perfect place to take time out and relax.
However we went there for game viewing intent on seeing the black rhino of which there are said to be 12. They also claim a population of all the Big 5. But what a disaster the game drives turned out to be.
First of all the weather was quite unseasonal, cold, blowing and often raining. But the lodge had the solution - overall waterproof ponchos and blankets, suitable for almost any wet weather. Consequently we set off on the first cool evening to find that the guide had only provided one blanket between the two of us and had failed to test the night lamp which was defective.. I froze and the night drive was uneventful!
On the following morning we set off early for a full day game drive to try and find the Rhinos. When the rain set in at 10.00am we discovered that the guide had failed to pack the ponchos and the hot flask of cofee was cold. We abandoned the drive and I made a complaint to the manager which resulted in us being given a new guide that afternoon.
So we did a simple but pleasant drive and boat safari with new guide Samuel complete with ponchos and blankets. He really pulled out all the stops to save the day and to a point he succeeded,
Our final day we set out an hour earlier than normal with Samuel to try and find the rhino and others of the Big 5. We drove for more than 12 hours covering many miles in the park but the nearest we got to the Big 5 was a single buffalo. Samuel and Scout Mike really tried hard but the animals were just not there.
So to conclude we suffered at the beginning by carelessness of the guide and his management who failed to check the vehicle facilities were correct. Samuel did all he could, but we would never recommend Mkulumadzi as anything other than a place to unwind, never as a game viewing destination.
Expert Africa comments
We are very pleased that these travellers appreciated Mkulumadzis location as well as the standard of its rooms and the service they received during their stay. However we were sorry to hear that they did not enjoy their safari experience there. We forwarded their comments to Mkulumadzis management team who replied saying that they were very sorry to hear about the problems these travellers experienced during their stay.
There was unseasonably wet weather whilst they were there; it doesnt usually rain in July. This affected both the game movements as well as the road conditions. This was not helped by a few hiccups: with bad road conditions they got stuck twice, an oversight resulted in the spotlight not working on their first evening night drive, and not enough warm blankets/ponchos were on the vehicle.
After voicing their dissatisfaction they were allocated another guide, the spotlight was fixed, the road repaired, and there are now better checks to make sure that blankets and ponchos are never forgotten.
Having visited Majete and Mkulumadzi ourselves, wed never recommend the park as a top Big 5 game destination although we did see some plenty of antelope, including nyala and eland, and a scattering of elephants and buffalo. Were sorry that the weather seems to have had an adverse impact on the game-viewing for these travellers.
Our own information on Majete Wildlife Reserve
currently (up to Aug 2013) notes that there are seven black rhino in the 700km2 wildlife reserve, so this isnt a destination that anyone should come to expecting good rhino sightings.
We are sorry that these travellers had a disappointing time and hope that this did not mar the overall enjoyment of their trip.
Amazing Lodge Superbly run Fantastic Food
This was the highlight of our trip.
The Managers were exceptional. This is the best run lodge we have ever been to. The continued attention to detail was fabulous.
The quality and presentation of the food was just amazing. The Chef produced a stream of wonderful meals. Service was faultless.
A perfect stay.
Mkulumadzi Lodge review
We had 3 very nice days here. There's the wonderful Shire River as the water feature, a variety of habitats to explore on land, a good variety of birds and wildlife and plenty to fill our days. Chris and his staff were fantastic.
The food was, unfortunately, the worst we have had in Africa. Their attempt at gourmet fell flat, and we were actually looking forward to the dry cereal every morning. Too bad, as it made an otherwise lovely stay memorable for the wrong reasons.
Mkulumadzi Lodge review
Mkulumadzi is a really stunning lodge.
My chalet had a great view of the river and it was nice to fall asleep at night to the sound of the river. The chalet uses solar power and has electrical outlets, a mini fridge, and an air conditioning system for the bed. The main lodge area was very nice and the camp staff and hosts were very friendly and accommodating.
The game is less dense than in other parks I've visited, but I still had a wide range of sightings including several animals and birds that were new sightings for me.
Only the food lets them down.
After two night's at lovely Thawale moved on to Mkulumadzi beautiful place Mark the host excellent, total luxury slight downside the food was pretty naff. Cannot understand why these upmarket lodges go out of there way to supply super posh nosh that basically is crap.
When in Africa after a hot day, with early starts etc you just want a hearty meal not unedible nouveau cuisine. Crispy lasange wings or what!
For that reason much preferred Thawale.
My wife and I went for a 6 night stay at Mkulumadzi. It rates as the best holiday we have ever had. The location is wonderful, the lodge being the prime site within the reserve and having its own concession with sole access. This makes it feel like you have the place to yourselves a lot of the time and are really seeing an unspoilt Africa.
The variety of game is excellent and we were consistently shown new sightings and areas, this is no drive around the same areas as everybody else and see semi-tame animals. We cannot recommend highly enough the walking safari options, taken with an excellent guide and a scout it give a completely different feel to the bush and sightings of any animals, particularly the big game, seeming to bring all your senses alive.
The accommodation is outstanding. The rooms are just as in the pictures on Expert Africa and are absolute top quality. Sleeping with the side open to the elements gave the place a feel somewhere between absolute luxury and a night under the stars, a perfect mix. The main lodge where meals are taken is another fabulous structure, open on all sides with a thatched roof. Breakfast was taken whilst watching the hippos/crocs/baboons/antelope take their morning drinks just metres away, and dinner (which was of the highest standard and presented beautifully) under the stars.
The service was always courteous, discrete, professional and very thoughtful.
In short, this place has everything I would want from a holiday and was a brilliant safari. It is run by Robin Pope and we will definitely be booking another RPS safari in the future.