Reviews of Amalinda
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
very different to camp hwange
The weather has a big effect on the availability of game and the tourists attitude, so a drop of 20degC from 40 in Hwange to 20 in Matopos is bound to colour my comments and the staff at Amalinda were very good but they suffered in comparison with Camp Hwange. It felt more like a"commercial organisation" which was relying a little too much on the funky chalets built into the rocks, which had their problems particularly when the power failed in the dark. Game viewing was O.K. but because of the temperature we didn't see Rhino until the 11th hour.
Enjoyable but if I had to miss out on something this would be my choice.
Everything about this stay was excellent, except we had a thieving mouse who stole the early morning flapjack biscuits and our soap!!
The guides and staff were superb, so was food and service. The location and ambience were wonderful.
Our visit to the orphanage was eye opening and game drives and rock paintings were excellent.
Electric blankets were a nice touch, as it was cold in the early morning. We were sad to leave?
This park is a bit devoid of mammal species due to the poaching activities some years ago. We were told populations were slowly re-establishing.
A broad and rewarding experience
We wanted to do something which was a bit different to the 'normal' safari experience and, in a very positive way, Amalinda provided just that.
First, the Matopo Hills are scenically very beautiful and worth a visit for this alone.
Second, one of our main reasons for going was to see some of the cave paintings. We were really impressed by the paintings; and, in Amalinda's Paul Hubbard, had the best possible guide. Paul also impressed us with his more recent historical knowledge. Paul's (wet afternoon) lecture on the early white incursion into what became Rhodesia and reflections when we visited Rhodes's grave were both highly informative and entertaining; and we were delighted that he devoted an afternoon to take us round the Bulawayo museum, which is well worth a visit.
In between the cultural activities, we had some good birding and were delighted to find white rhinos during our stay.
The camp itself is well run by Priscilla, Billy and the team.
Motobo Hills, Camp Amalinda
Fantastic room with wonderful views.
Made welcome on arrival by pool after a long journey from Harare.
Howard, our guide was excellent and infinitely patient. Cannot speak too highly of his knowledge and skills.
A cave with a view
We booked 4 nights because we thought there it would provide a wide range of experiences. We weren't wrong! The camp is set in an amazing location in the Matopos Hills. Most of the rooms are folded into the granite rocks. We had one of the honeymoon suites (again!). We had to squeeze through a crack in the rocks which opened out to the pathway to our large cave house that had a veranda and a swinging walkway to a gazebo looking out over the hills. It was just the best place to relax, remember our place in the grand scheme of things, and learn something about the culture of Zimbabwe.
The camp staff were great - very kind and efficient - and we were lucky to have Paul Hubbard as our guide during the stay who is a real expert not just on Matopos but on archaeology and the history of the area generally. He took us into the Matopos National Park to look at some amazing cave paintings; to see Rhodes grave; and to visit a rural school and children's home and was a generous and friendly companion. We didn't go on game drives here but the white rhino are nearby.
The camp was a great place just to hang. It has a good library, a lovely natural swimming pool, and an interesting mix of guests. We'd really recommend it.
On our approach into the Matoba Hills area we were preparing ourselves for a bit of disappointment, with its dry and seemingly uninviting landscape. This quickly changed to an absolute wonderland of nature's rock sculptures, head-high grasses and stunning vistas.
Our guide, Nduzi Ndlovu, was priceless, although we did figure out on the third and final day that we weren't finding black rhino because he and our accompanying park ranger were afraid to stumble over the often-angry creatures in the bush. Fair enough.
The lodge was spectacular, our room without equal, and the staff was top-notch.
Very good. Beautiful place.
Great staff. Howard is top guide.
Only negative is breakfast. Cornflakes, all bran, cartons of yogurt and full English. Not everyone wants this kind of unhealthy food especially in such a wonderful place. Need healthy options as in the Hide.
Lunch and dinner were good.
Amalinda has been cleverly built around some of Motobos granite rocks so that our very spacious and luxurious room had a huge boulder which cleverly separated the sleeping area from the washing area. The boys loved the place with its infinity pool and open bar area which were the perfect place to hang out in the late afternoon as the sun plays on the magnificent rock face surrounding this lodge.
We went off on evening hikes (much less animal spotting here so safe for the boys to roam around) with a great young guide called Edwin who was really good at engaging the boys. The view of the Motobos from up high is simply breathtaking and your guide takes along the drinks so you can have a cool refreshing beer at the top as you watch the sun set over the Hills. Leopards love Motobo because they are shy and they have so many places to hide here but sadly we did not see any.
I fell in love with this place and the landscape instantly. It has a very spiritual feeling and we visited a number of caves with ancient rock paintings of the San people.
Our excellent guide Paul Hubbard (an archeologist) who spent a day taking us to all the key places of cultural interest is simply a mine of information. He is passionate about his country and his knowledge of its culture and history is encyclopedic. Sharon and Phillip who own the place are lovely people and made a point of joining us at dinner one evening.
placid atmosphere in a primitive location
The rooms are really amazing and set discretely, taking in consideration the unique morphology of the place.
The only negative aspect of our room was the floor: very shiny but a bit slippery, what requires to move carefully.
The activities are very interesting and differentiated, from game wieving to prehistorical paintings, which makes the stay varied.
Just an annotation on the park fees: park entrance is 15 USD per person and World's Wiev is 10 USD per person for non residents.