Reviews of Amalinda Lodge
Wildlife sightings and reviews
32 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Amalinda Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Amazing architecture in striking envirnoment"
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." See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe
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." See all these reviews: 13n in Zimbabwe
"Great Zimbabwe and rock art from Amalinda Lod"
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." See all these reviews: 12n in Zimbabwe
"Just a wonderful place - highly recommended!"
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." See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe; 3n in Botswana
"Fantastic location, amazing rooms in rocks"
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!!!" See all these reviews: 17n in Kenya; 9n in Zimbabwe; 6n in Tanzania; 5n in Botswana; 5n in Zambia
"Unique lodge built around granite boulders"
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Zimbabwe
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Zimbabwe; 3n in South Africa
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." See all these reviews: 8n in Zimbabwe; 6n in Zambia
"Amalinda is Amazing!"
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." See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe; 10n in Zambia; 7n in Malawi
"Amalinda Lodge review"
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." See all these reviews: 8n in Zimbabwe; 6n in Mozambique; 3n in South Africa
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