Reviews of Tongole Wilderness Lodge
Wildlife sightings and reviews
10 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Tongole Wilderness Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Tongole - to be rebranded as a retreat"
The Managers were very attentive and the staff very good. The breakfast and lunches were excellent, but the evening meals were not quite to the same standard.
We questioned why drinking water was only available in plastic bottles rather than being filtered, as in all other camps. The Mangers were adamant that bottled water was better for visitors. There was copious use of cling film. We strongly disagree with this policy and support the removal of plastic wherever possible.
The Wildlife reserve has Tsetse fly traps throughout and particularly around the camp, although they did not bother us. However the small flies on sundowner trips by the river were very persistent and did bite.
The reserve is going through a re-stocking process with game, and hippos should arrive next year and lions within 5 years. Understandably, game drives are not offered at present, although the guides were very knowledgeable when we did walks and canoe journeys. We did see many interesting birds around the camp and along the river.
Because of the lack of wildlife, the mangers advised that they are rebranding the lodge as a retreat rather than a location to view game. they are planning on offering beauty treatments in the future.
Requested sightings: see below There no Hippo in the Reserve at present, but they may be introduced in 2020
Other sightings: Waterbuck" See all these reviews: 16n in Malawi
"Relaxing Tongole Lodge"
"Tongole Poorly Managed"
On the guide "changeover day" we were told there could therefore be no activity that morning, yet we encountered our hitherto guide helping to make-up our room! On another occasion we arrived as requested at 3.30 for tea/cakes before our afternoon activity and took our seats. We waited, and waited, even requested tea from one of the managers who mumbled to us that we would be getting it out on our activity. Did he mean sundowners, since that's all we were offered?
A very disappointing four day experience." See all these reviews: 4n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
"Pure luxury in a remote setting"
Staff could not have been more attentive and helpful. The food was excellent and the rooms huge and very comfortable.
Not really the place for prolific wildlife viewings, although we did have an elephant in the camp one night. We did see crocodiles and some interesting bird life. Emanuel was a wonderfully informative and interesting guide on the walks in the reserve.
A really relaxing end to our trip." See all these reviews: 8n in Malawi
"A must visit place."
Limited wildlife apart from a few elephants in the lodge grounds on the first night. Did a drive, a walk and a Canoe up the river all superbly run. Cannot praise the staff enough All, even including the chef, came down to the airstrip to wave us off. Would have liked another night at least.
The reserve is being restocked by African Parks and in a few years will be as good as Majete for wildlife. However, the scenery is spectacular and its worth going just for that alone." See all these reviews: 12n in Malawi; 3n in Mozambique
"Tongole Magic River Lodge"
Tongole Lodge was a fantastic few days which we spent mostly canoeing up and down the river watching birds. My highlight was the Fish Eagle which flew from a tree and snatched a large catfish out of the river in front of us. Our host and guide Emmanuel was a fund of knowledge on all the flora and forna though his speciality was birds. Birds were varied and plentiful.
The lodge cook was a genius and each meal perfectly cooked. The accommodation was up to the best safari lodge standard.
The service was embarrassingly good, made more so in that we were the only tourist there for three of our days. What a pity that the lodge did not have more guests though I suggest that this lodge is not for those who want to watch big game since there is little to see. We did see monkeys, two elephants, bush buck and crocodiles." See all these reviews: 13n in Malawi
These animals have initially been released into a 19,000 hectare fenced sanctuary to ensure their safety and well-being. Approximately 250 more elephants will be introduced in 2017.
Due to the vast size of the reserve, its not feasible to fence it initially, which will be the plan sometime in the future. So African Parks are doing this in phases, extending the boundaries of the sanctuary each time, with the second phase already underway.
"Tongole Wilderness Lodge review"
Donna must have really enjoyed our company as she came on all the excursions including 2 boat trips, which apparently is unheard of. Even though it was not Ann's birthday until later in the week, she arranged a local small band and a separate group of dancers.
We were told this was only the 4th time in 2 years this has been done. The staff really enjoyed it. as did we and it made for a special stay.
The food and accommodation were excellent and hot water bottles were provided for the cold nights.
The birds were good, particularly on the dinghy trips on the River Bua. We did not see any elephants or large antelopes, but we were right in the middle of the trans location from Liwonde and many animals were fenced into compounds until they settle in.." See all these reviews: 9n in Malawi
A new swimming pool to enjoy in completely relaxed surroundings." See all these reviews: 7n in Malawi
"A treat at Tongole"
It became clear we had a natural connection with the staff. We embrassed their relaxed but competent manner. Their knowledge of nature, their surroundings & their ambiance with people was very appealing.
Tongoli was to be the 'treat' on our adventure around Malawi - and what a treat. With our luxury lodge housing a large comfortable bed - like camping in real style.
Enjoying a soak in the massive bath while a crocodile basks on a mud bank down at the river - don't get that every day! Dined by lantern light on the terrace. Menu choice amazing for the remote location. Varied locations for sundowners - so relaxing.
Wilderness luxury." See all these reviews: 6n in Malawi
"Beautiful, peaceful, great for relaxing"
Donna and Steve were fantastic hosts
Thank you to everyone for a great start to our Malawi holiday." See all these reviews: 12n in Malawi
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