Reviews of Mkulumadzi
Wildlife sightings and reviews
28 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Mkulumadzi and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Mkulumadzi Lodge review"
I thought the design of the chalets , although luxurious and comfortable ( particularly the ingenious in-mosquito net air-conditioning ) and very modern, was all a bit at odds with the ethos of a safari lodge. In particular the massive concrete construction of the chalets which didn't really blend in with the surroundings. This is of course just my opinion. I did find the swimming pool very refreshing as it was particularly hot during my stay.
another noteworthy feature is the "rope bridge" which is the only access to the camp. It is undoubtedly spectacular , and a very different way of entering and leaving , but gets a bit tedious when used several times a day, particularly in the dark with limited lighting. Also if several people use it together it tends to sway and undulate. I find it remarkable how all the supplies for the camp , regardless of size ( as I saw ) are carried across this bridge, so hats off to all the staff !
The activities were good , with very good game drives. There are very few predators , so I was not expecting to see any. There were excellent sightings of Elephant, and many antelope. Some magnificent Kudu, also sable and Nyala and many waterbuck. We also had an excellent sighting of a magnificent Crowned eagle which are not often seen.
There are waterholes scattered in the Majete reserve, one with a very good hide which gave good views of many animals , particularly elephants coming down to drink in intensely hot weather.
We had a very interesting boat safari on The Shire river , seeing many waterbirds and mammals of all kinds on the riverbank. One factor in planning these boat trips is the river level which tends to fluctuate depending on the activity of the nearby hydro electric dam. We did get briefly marooned when the water level dropped , but got back safely! The guides Mustafa and Mali were truly excellent and each had an engaging sense of humour to match their other skills.
Majete reserve is not the easiest to navigate in view of the numerous gullies and small hills , and the tracks are quite rough and stony in places , which necessitates good driving skills. The bush is dense and mostly comprised of small trees, and even in the dry season with most trees devoid of leaves , calls for skilful guiding. Unfortunately we saw no Rhinos, but these animals are very elusive and hide in the dense bush.
The food was very good , although not to quite the same standard as I had had in the South Luangwa. The managers David and Tandy were friendly and professional, and helped make my stay very pleasant." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 6n in Malawi
"Spectacularly located Mkulumadzi"
The National Park has done well to re-populate the park so quickly, although the elephants are less than happy which makes for uneasy encounters.
The waterholes created as a focus for wildlife, with hides for use by travellers, meant we got to see large numbers of different plains game and antelope which might otherwise have been elusive.
The nyalas were particularly special." See all these reviews: 9n in Malawi; 4n in Zambia; 3n in Botswana; 1n in South Africa
"Great staff and service"
The rooms were huge and setting overlooking the river was gorgeous. Loved the sundowner boat ride.
Dave you're the best!" See all these reviews: 6n in Malawi; 5n in Botswana; 5n in Zambia
"Good but no game!"
The stone built chalets with thatched roof are well appointed, spacious and comfortable with hot water available at all times but you might have to wait some 10 minutes or more for the shower to run from cold to hot. There is a mini fridge stocked with beers and soft drinks but no tea making facilities (ie. no kettle) but the staff will bring a hot thermos to the door so you can make tea or coffee which are provided. Food was very good, no bush food served, and the 'full English' breakfast following the early morning game drive was most appreciated. The chalet viewing deck could do with some TLC - there were rusty nail and screw heads protruding through some fairly uneven boards which could easily rip your feet.
The downside was there was virtually no game to view. In the 4 days apart from plenty of antelope species and many birds we saw the back end of 4 Zebra and a glimpse of 5 elephants. Appreciate it may have been the rainy season but the area is very large and although there is supposed to be 500 elephants, 17 rhino, Leopard, and one lion pride (no cheetah or giraffe) the land is mostly dense thicket so the chances are actually seeing any game is fairly slim since they 'disappear' very quickly.
The staff were very attentive and welcoming and no effort spared to ensure our stay was enjoyable and despite the lack of game the guides were very enthusiastic." See all these reviews: 7n in Kenya; 5n in Zambia; 5n in Malawi
"High style and dramatic location above river"
The lodge is fantastically stylish and clearly a work of great innovation and drive. The main buildings are beautiful and full of art, with amazing views across the rocky river Shire and the rapids upstream. The approach across the long, pedestrian suspension bridge over the Mukulumadzi river is a dramatic, Indiana Jones entry to the lodge and nothing disappoints on arrival.
The rooms were huge and beautifully appointed with very effective in-mostiquito net air conditioning and great views over the river. The pool was the best of all the lodges - a perfect place to watch the wildlife with a gin and tonic. The staff were friendly and charming and the guiding top-class - Eric our guide, Mani the apprentice and Edo our ranger were great company and we had some adventurous guiding and exciting encounters with wildlife.
The Majete is a great success story in restocking a once barren game reserve; the bush is much thicker than the South Luangwa, so game is glimpsed often, but this gave a different not diminished experience." See all these reviews: 6n in Zambia; 5n in Malawi
"Mkulumadzi Lodge review"
The birds were not as good as at Mvuu. This was probably due to the fact that river trips are not available as the lodge is between two hydro stations and they were taking much of the water. I don't know if this changes during the rainy season but everyone was disappointed that boat trips were advertised and not available.
We had the best elephant encounter we have ever had. Eric was very good at the slow approach and we must have watched a herd of elephants including young ones all around us going about their business for 30 minutes.
The food was good and a large cake was provided for Ann's birthday which we shared with some of the other guests and staff." See all these reviews: 9n in Malawi
"Mkulumadzi Lodge review"
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." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 3n in Malawi
"A beautiful place to stay."
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. ," See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 7n in Malawi
"Wonderful lodge and food, great game drives"
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." See all these reviews: 12n in Malawi
"Mkulumadzi Lodge review"
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