Malawi is a great country...
Tongole Wilderness Lodge: Our full report
Located in the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, on the banks of the Bua River, the new, eco-friendly Tongole Wilderness Lodge is the only lodge in one of Malawi’s last unspoiled areas, and offers a truly wilderness experience in upmarket surroundings.
A member of the Expert Africa team plans to visit Tongole later in 2013. Until then, this is what we know of the lodge:
Tongole Wilderness Lodge has four spacious thatched rooms built and decorated using locally sourced materials and fabrics. All are open fronted, with large, private wooden decks offering panoramic views over the river below and the forest beyond. King-size or twin double beds, covered in crisp white bedding, dominate the rooms. Each room has a luxurious en-suite bathroom containing twin marble basins, a flush toilet, and a shower as well as a large sunken bath that doubles as a plunge pool. Hot water is available all day.
Linked to the chalets via stone pathways, the A-framed thatched main area incorporates the lounge, bar and dining area, fronted by a large wooden deck set with comfortable chairs where guests can take in the view. A winding staircase leads up to another seating area high up in the roof space and offers views over the river to the hills beyond.
The Nkhotakota Wilderness Reserve is a mix of rugged terrain, miombo woodland and rainforest. As well as buffalo, elephant, hippo, lion and leopard, the reserve is home to bushbuck and other smaller antelope and mammals. There are also plans to re-introduce giraffe and black rhino.
Activities at Tongole Wilderness Lodge focus on walks with a trained guide through the bush, game drives in the reserve, fly and freshwater fishing, canoeing and motorboat trips. More adventurous travellers may be tempted by fly-camping in the reserve, too. As there are no other lodges for miles around you are unlikely to encounter any other visitors in the area.
On the cultural side, guests may visit a local village and school and see some local craftwork – with the option of purchasing woodcarvings, paintings and masks. Any profits earned by the lodge are shared with the local community.
Our viewAlthough we have not yet visited Tongole Wilderness Lodge, we have assisted an independent journalist with a trip here, who returned back with a superb report; and we have met the team behind the lodge, who were impressive in their enthusiasm and pragmatism. We are fairly confidently expecting it to be built to a high standard and with great community activities – with the bonus of a little game-viewing included. In short, a very promising addition to the options in Malawi.
Ideal length of stay: Three to four nights would be ideal to discover this remote wilderness area.
Owner: Privately owned
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are includes except for premium wines, spirits and champagne.
Walking: The rugged terrain of the remote Nkhotakota Wilderness Reserve, with its miombo woodland, rivers and patches of rainforest make this a good walking area.See more ideas for Walking in Malawi
Attitude towards children: Children over the age of 12 years are welcome. Those under the age of 12 are accepted only if the entire camp is reserved for exclusive use.
Property’s age restrictions: No children under 12 years
Special activities & services: None
Notes: Children must be under the constant supervision of their parents.
Power supply: Solar Power
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: 0