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Tongole Wilderness Lodge
Tongole Wilderness Lodge
Tongole Wilderness Lodge
Tongole Wilderness Lodge
Tongole Wilderness Lodge

Tongole Wilderness Lodge


12°54’41.8"S 34°2’59.2"E

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

Wildlife sightings by our travellers
Starting in Jul-2018, 5 of our travellers have recorded their wildlife sightings at Tongole Wilderness Lodge.
Lion

0% success

Leopard

0% success

Elephant

100% success

Buffalo

0% success

Hippo

0% success

Spotted Hyena

0% success

Zebra

0% success

Showing 1-10 of 10
Duration
Arrival date
Mr & Mrs A
Surrey

"Tongole - to be rebranded as a retreat"

3 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2019
"A very spacious room with a lovely balcony overlooking the Bua river. A large walk in mosquito net over the bed, but there were holes in it. The main building was lovely, but lacked shade with a lovely elevated viewing platform. Many places to sit and relax at different levels towards the river. A lovely pool for cooling off.

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
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Average
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Elephant

1 sighting

Mrs S.
Zürich

"Relaxing Tongole Lodge"

2 nights Arrived 17 Sep 2019
"Nkhotakota Wildlife Resort is one of the oldest wildlife reserves in Malawi but is only at the beginning of it‘s conservation efforts. African Parks started only three years ago to reintroduce elephants etc there. So game is shy and rare, but the setting is beautiful on the Bua River, the guide Emmanuel is very knowledgeable the activities serene, for example you sit in the inflatable canoe and enjoy the scenery and don’t paddle yourself. Birds are abundant. We saw some waterbucks, warthogs, bushbuck, a rock python, crocodile, baboons and one elephant during our stay there. The management does everything to accommodate your needs. Meals are served when you wish, no fixed meal times." See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia; 6n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Elephant

1 sighting

Mr A
Guildford

"Tongole Poorly Managed"

4 nights Arrived 15 Sep 2019
"Tongole is a lovely lodge, well positioned on the Bua River, but spoilt by an overbearing management of the camp and staff by its husband and wife management team from South Africa. They are ex business people from SA with little or no experience of, or suitability to, the hospitality business. They created a strangely dark atmosphere at the lodge and, when thinking they were out of hearing of guests, spoke very badly to their staff.

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
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Poor

Location:
Good
Service:
Poor
Activities:
Poor
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Average
Facilities:
Average
Sightings Report

Elephant

1 sighting

Mrs P
Harrogate

"Pure luxury in a remote setting"

2 nights Arrived 5 Jul 2019
"A very personally tailored all-inclusive experience at this small luxury retreat 30 km down a dirt track into the wildlife reserve. Activities included a couple of guided walks in the reserve, a trip to a beautiful waterfall and a sundowner kayak trip on the river.
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
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Good
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Elephant

1 sighting

Peter & Helenka
UK

"A must visit place."

2 nights Arrived 24 Jul 2018
"Very welcoming nothing was too much trouble. Fantastic situation overlooking the river.

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
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Elephant

10 sightings

Mr & Mrs SA
Norfolk

"Tongole Magic River Lodge"

4 nights Arrived 6 Oct 2016
"Tongole Lodge is both an uplifting story and a worry. The wild life park has been fenced leaving Tongole Lodge outside the park. The animals have been moved into the park thus there should be few four footed animals to see. The birds of course fly over the fence. The water for the park is via the Bua river which when we were there had ceased to flow and was just a few water holes. With 3 months before the rains we wondered what the animals would do for water when the holes dry. Tongole always has a length of the river flowing past the lodge since the river is fed by a series of springs which have never been know to dry up. If the park elephants get too thirsty they may well knock the fence down despite the 7000 volts on it. We were not allowed into the park, a third of which had been burnt [by poachers it is thought], since there were few roads and the animals needed time to settle in after the move. A lot had come from the Shire river area. We had no particular desire to go into the park to see more elephants and the tsetse flies were everywhere.

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
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs D
Staffs

"Tongole Wilderness Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 21 Jul 2016
"Donna and Stephen were excellent managers and Emmanuel was a really good guide.

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
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Ms M & Mr G
Scotland

"Tongole treat"

2 nights Arrived 14 May 2016
"Love Tongole, my favourite place. Facilities, food, staff, wildlife all great.

A new swimming pool to enjoy in completely relaxed surroundings." See all these reviews: 7n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Ms M & Mr G
Scotland

"A treat at Tongole"

2 nights Arrived 21 May 2015
"As we stepped out of our vehicle and shook hands with our welcoming hosts, we just knew we were in a very special place and that's before we met with the local elephants - the icing on the cake!

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
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs H
Middlesex

"Beautiful, peaceful, great for relaxing"

4 nights Arrived 20 Jul 2014
"We had a wonderful time here. The lodge and accommodation were beautiful and very comfortable. The service was very helpful, personalized and friendly. The food was excellent and personal preferences were responded to. We had a great time just relaxing, enjoying the scenery and lodge, watching the birds, reading. We very much enjoyed the walks, the climb up the local hill and the game walks/drives with sundowners in beautiful spots at the end.

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
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Showing 1-10 of 10
90%
10 reviews of Tongole Wilderness Lodge by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
8
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1
1
0
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