Reviews of Mkulumadzi Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mkulumadzi Lodge review
This lodge is somewhere where every serious safari traveller should visit. At present it doesn't have the big game of other safari locations but it compensates with great antelope and bird sightings. The lodge itself is superb and the staff are exceptionally welcoming. The views over the Shire river are breath-taking.
The accommodation is superb being very stylish and spacious and the food is of the highest order. The atmosphere is very relaxing and so are the safari trips but we still saw sable, hartebeest, kudu, impala, waterbuck, reedbuck and nyala as well as over 50 bird species. The night drives also seemed more productive than anywhere else and it was great to see bushbabies.
Liwonde was a good guide, very knowledgeable on birds and helpful with my photography. I'd like to say a big thank you to Alex and Karien who were very helpful and supportive while my wife was poorly during our stay. They made us feel so welcome that Mkulumadzi was an brilliant end to our safari holiday. On one night they served our evening meal at our chalet which was special.
The highlights of our trip were seeing the elegant sable, a two day old warthog and the bushbaby that visited us while dining in the evening. There are no negatives about this camp other than the lack of predators to see - but this will surely change over the coming years.
Anyone considering a balanced safari holiday, with a touch of something different, should seriously consider a trip to Mkulumadzi. It is an easy transfer from Zambia to Malawi and the views of the Shire river are inspiring. Finally, anyone visiting is helping Malawi recover its wildlife heritage and enable it to become a safari destination of choice.
A beautiful place to stay.
Mkulumadzi is set in an excellent location overlooking the Shire River. It is peaceful and very beautiful,we could watch the hippos, warthogs and so on from our chalet and all common areas.
The chalets are simply beautiful, spacious, stylish, everything you could wish for. Staff is friendly and attentive. Food is great.
Wild life viewing is, however, disappointing, in spite of the fact that I knew about this when booking. We did not manage any lions, leopards or rhino. The guides were good and did their best to make the best of this, but some more predators are badly needed. ,
Wonderful lodge and food, great game drives
We had a wonderful 4 days here. The lodge and accommodation were great with a beautiful river setting with hippos, crocs and birds. The food was superb and service from staff throughout was professional, friendly and individualized.
We thoroughly enjoyed the game walks and drives and particularly appreciated the professional approach of our main guide, Osman. During our transfer he went out of his way to take us everywhere we wanted to go, took us to the nearby town to buy a present and gave great information during the drives and walks. He helped to make our stay really enjoyable.
Thank you very much to everyone.
Mkulumadzi Lodge review
Efficient friendly staff, fabulous setting and lovely accommodation.Read more about the whole safari
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.