Amalinda Lodge

Reviews of Amalinda Lodge

Excellent(96%) From 32 travellers
Excellent
26
Good
5
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 32 of our travellers who have visited Amalinda Lodge, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Dr D from Salisbury
Arrived on: 27-Sep-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amazing architecture in striking envirnoment

Amalinda is an extraordinary lodge, built between the massive granite boulders of the Motopos National Park. We were in the two 'honeymoon 'rooms (9 and 10), which were thatched cathedrals between the granite outcrops at the top of the lodge, with spectacular views over the Motopos. Just being there is an amazing experience.

The pool is a stunning pool in a natural, granite bowl, looking out over the Motobos. The poolside bar has a sunset lounge where you can drink you sundowners if not out on a drive or on the high rocks above the lodge.

The staff were friendly and knowledgeable and Melissa, the new lodge manager, was on top of her job after only 10 days in post. The food was excellent and service impeccable.

Our guide Kevin was a very switched on guy, with an in-depth knowledge of nature from the smallest plant and insect, up to the rhinos, along with detailed knowledge of the history and culture of Zimbabwe (ancient cave paintings included). Kevin took us to see the cave paintings, walking with rhinos and to a memorable sundowner at the View of the World burial site of Cecil Rhodes, high in the Motobos. he was great company in every respect.

I would highly recommend a stay at Amalinda for the stunning lodge on its own merits, but particularly for a stay focussing on the geology, culture and history of Zimbabwe and the Motobos. You won't see the range of wildlife seen at the Zim lodges, but you do get the chance to track rhinos on foot with the guide and Park Rangers - a real privilege.

Disabled access might be an issue for many areas of the lodge, with steep and narrow access through gaps in the boulders.

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B family from Surrey
Arrived on: 18-Sep-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Good
Good

Lovely setting

Not an ideal trip due to extensive fires in the park, meaning we could not safely visit the caves.

Seeing rhino is dependant on finding the rangers who know where they are.

We wasted time while the guide disappeared looking for them to no avail - this was not atypical of having a well meaning guide, but who did not listen properly to our wishes.

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Mr & Mrs R from Hants
Arrived on: 18-Sep-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great Zimbabwe and rock art from Amalinda Lod

Amalinda Lodge reflects the local scenery with rooms built into the great rocks. You needed a degree of agility to get to our room!

The main dining area felt slightly cramped with insufficient room for everyone to comfortably gather and mingle before meals and the mix of one large table and two small tables seemed awkward. However, the whole lodge felt friendly and well run and it was a superb base for exploring the Motopos area. The work done by Amalinda to protect the local habitat and wildlife is laudable.

We had the pleasure of two days with Paul Hubbard, a local archaeologist. We had a 4 hour drive to Great Zimbabwe where we spent 5 hours exploring the fascinating medieval ruins. Paul's knowledge of the beautiful sight was inspiring.

The following day we had another full day out with Paul, firstly tracking a group of 6 White Rhino, then exploring a number of sites with stunning rock paintings. The quality and state of preservation of the paintings was staggering and again Paul's knowledge made for a fascinating day.

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Mr & Mrs J, from Edinburgh
Arrived on: 12-Sep-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Just a wonderful place - highly recommended!

Amalinda was our favourite stop of our whole trip to Zimbabwe - beautiful setting, wonderful rooms, fantastic infinity pool and great hospitality.

Although the game drives are quite benign compared to elsewhere in the country, but scenery is stunning and the close encounters with the white rhino are an amazing experience we will never forget.

Our day being guided by Paul Hubbard was also a real highlight, with Paul really bringing the history and rock art to life.

We didn't want to leave this very special place.

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Mr & Mrs M from Weymouth
Arrived on: 9-Jul-2019 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Fantastic location, amazing rooms in rocks

Totally amazing the ingenuity in working out exactly how to make rooms among the rocks which form parts of the interiors of the rooms.

We had our first sight of a white rhino due to the persistence in searching by "Bones" our guide, with the help of a couple of park rangers, unfortunately the rhino had been dehorned, supposedly to prevent it from being poached.

Great views from Cecil Rhodes grave.

The highly polished concrete floors in the rooms mean that it's very easy to slip and fall - which my wife did!!!

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Expert Africa comments

We were delighted these travellers enjoyed Amalinda's design so much and managed to see a white rhino while staying here. However we were very concerned to hear about this lady's fall on the slippery floor. The lodge sent us their apologies for this and explained they are adding further carpets and rugs to the rooms in order to eliminate as much of the slippery surface as possible.

Andy & Karen from Hereford
Arrived on: 25-Jun-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Unique lodge built around granite boulders

This is a special lodge, set amongst and within the granite boulders of the Matopo landscape, and a good base for exploring the sites of Matopo NP.

The rooms are designed to reflect the surrounding landscape, moulded around boulders and utilizing the crevices of the cliff face against which it sits. But this is no Fred Flintstone experience and the rooms are spacious, well furnished and cleverly designed. We stayed in Room 3 and frankly could have fitted a coach party in there! Its is one of the lower rooms (good if you are a little unsteady on your feet), but I would have chosen a room up above the elevated dining level given a choice.

Billy and the staff were all very friendly and attentive, the food excellent. Bit more choice on the soft drinks would be nice for us non drinkers!

Good guide took us around the local sites and into the park, although wildlife pretty scarce. Come here for the rhino tracking and landscapes.

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Mr & Mrs W from Georgia US
Arrived on: 15-May-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amazing place!

You wonder about this lodge as you are driving in and the road disappears and you continue driving up over the rock hill. On the other side a small building - the reception area - appears. Everything else is so cleverly constructed and tucked into the boulders, you don’t even see a “lodge”! Wow, it was all phenomenal.

The pool area was magnificent. We enjoyed lunch there each day. Our room was unbelievable - huge, with a giant bed, a sitting area, a shower carved into the boulders and a sunken tub.

Everyone on staff was excellent. We highly recommend having a massage!

Kevin, our guide, was great. He was amazing at spotting various birds and animals to point out.

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Mrs F. from London
Arrived on: 18-Jan-2019 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amalinda Lodge

What can I say! Such an extraordinary place. I loved the way it is built and my room No 9 was spectacular.

We had to get up very early for the long drive to Great Zimbabwe but it was worth the visit. I had seen photos and read about the ruins but the reality is so much better, it is really worth a visit. The Khami ruins were interesting too. Howard my guide was so knowledgeable and interesting, I really enjoyed his company and good humour.

We walked in the Park and saw a rhino mother and four month old baby which was very special. The rock paintings were superb and the visit to Worlds View with the graves of Rhodes and others was great too.

A very special place to stay and such an awesome setting.

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Carol M from Illinois
Arrived on: 1-Nov-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amalinda is Amazing!

The highlights of my three-night stay at Amalinda were the two Rhino treks and the visit to Bambata Cave to see the San hunter-gatherer rock art with my wonderful guide Kevin. On each Rhino trek we saw a mother and baby as well as a male White Rhino, and the hike up to the cave was nearly as stupendous as the rock art itself. Kevin is a bright, conscientious, hard-working guide who continues to study even as he is teaching his guests about the flora and fauna of Matobo National Park. It was a pleasure to ride, walk and talk with him as we looked for wildlife and as I learned about the history of the area.

We saw many birds I had never encountered before, and my favorite was the imposing Black (Verreaux's) Eagle. Among the mammals, an entire herd of Sable Antelope was the standout .

My "thatched suite" (No. 1) was well-equipped, comfortable and, luckily, the one closest to the reception and dining areas. The entire staff was pleasant and ever helpful, and the food was excellent. My only regret at Amalinda was not having time to go for a dip in its enormous swimming pool, which is situated in an indescribably beautiful setting.

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Mr M. from Ramsgate
Arrived on: 15-Sep-2018 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Amalinda Lodge review

Amalinda Lodge was a fantastic place. The location is out of this world and the layout is brilliant. Our room was some distance from the main building - very private. We had to climb through a crevice in the amazing rock formation to access it (although there was a track which was less direct but accessible by vehicle or on foot).

The room itself was very large and beautifully furnished. There was a double shower built into the rock. The seating are outside the front door of the room looked over a valley with a small waterhole. We had access to a second seating area reached via a rope bridge over the valley directly above the bottom and saw some wildlife there - water birds and baboons.

On our first afternoon, we relaxed for a couple of hours after we arrived then we walked up into the hills above the lodge for sundowners. The views were lovely.

Next day after breakfast we drove into the National Park. The Park Rangers took us on foot through the bush to where a family group of white rhino were sheltering from the sun under some trees and we got close to them which was very exciting. This was the high-light of our stay. Less exciting was finding a snare set by poachers on our way back to the vehicle but it brought home to us the real danger the wildlife and rangers face. Our guide was excellent and managed to find Sable Antelope which we had been hoping to see since we arrived. That was a second high-light.

We returned to the lodge for lunch and a swim and then in the afternoon went back into the Park. We visited a cave which contained an outline painting of a white rhino made by ancient bushmen, and which was why the Government decided to re-introduce the species in that area.

Then we went on to World's View to see Rhodes Grave which was well worth the climb. The view is spectacular and the sunset beautiful. We were lucky to have it to ourselves that evening except for the brightly coloured lizards hoping for crumbs from our snacks and the dear little Elephant Shrews that wanted the water dripping from condensation on the outside of our G&Ts.

The big disappointment at Amalinda was that the emphasis seemed to be less on wildlife viewing than in the safari lodges. We set off at 08:30, which seemed very late to us, but the other people we shared the vehicle with preferred to have a leisurely breakfast before setting off so by the time we got inside the camp it was getting on for 10:00. When we found the rhino, we were told 'an hour ago they were foraging out in the open' which was frustrating. The same was true of the Sable. We did see them but at some distance because they had retreated into the rocks to avoid the sun.

As our flight to Johannesburg was not till mid-day the next day, and Bulawayo Airport was only 30 minutes away, we asked our guide if we could set off early and visit the main site of cave paintings on the way but were told that there was not likely to be an appropriate vehicle available. It sounded like an excuse and seemed to show a lack of flexibility.

The meals were fine - dinner was taken as a group but breakfast was at separate tables on the deck. The bar and pool area were very special and it was most enjoyable to have lunch there (excellent lunches) and then sit with a book, have a swim and watch birds and lizards come and go. Overall, a very enjoyable couple of days.

These travellers also commented, in their general comments on their whole trip:

It may be a good idea to recommend at least 3 nights at Amalinda if visitors would like to see cave paintings and visit World's End. We hadn't realised we wouldn't have time to do both.

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