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“Beautiful and peaceful”

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Mazambala Island Lodge
Bromont, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
318 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Beautiful and peaceful”
Reviewed 14 March 2013

Can you imagine: this lodge is located on a island in the middle of the river Kwando. You take a boat (10m ride) thru small channels before reaching this site. What a thrill ; we even had a hippo following the boat jumping out of the water behind the boat (yes-yes- they can do that) like a dolphin. Something to see once in your lifetime. We slept in small huts (thatched roof, brick walls, ceramic floors), very well equipped. And the food- WOW. : mushroom crepes- stroganoff beef Namibian style, honey carrots, etc... A chef meal.
Perfect setting for a nice evening (alone or with friends- we were 4 altogether). It is a place to go if you visit Namibia .

Room Tip: closest to the main building.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank B265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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92 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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English first
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2013

After another long drive the safari vehicles were parked up and we together with our luggage were transferred to marsh boats for the trip to the lodge. En-route we saw baby crocodiles, claw-less otter, and numerous birds. On arriving at the lodge we were warmly met by Stephanie and her staff who told us all about the lodge and the facilities. Our room was a large simple family thatched cottage that could have slept five people with 3 single beds and one double bed all with clean well fitted mosquito nets. A torn bottom sheet with only a mattress underneath on the double bed did not help with our views on hygiene and cleanliness. The bathroom was adequate but could have done with updating. Overall the room could have been somewhat cleaner than it was but with the type of building it was and with the bush type surroundings some difficulty in achieving this was clearly being experienced. Overall meals were quite acceptable and the staff tried hard to achieve a good standard. Despite the odd problem with switching from the generator during the day to battery supply at night, the remoteness of the location and the waterways all added to the safari experience, as did the boat cruise through the reed and papyrus flanked waterways where we saw many hippo's, a water monitor and an abundance of birds and other wildlife. Overall a great experience.

Room Tip: Make sure the room is clean. Use a torch because the lighting is not adequate for a good examination...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Peter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windhoek, Namibia
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 6 December 2012

This place is just amazing, I was there a few weeks ago for a week,the place is very neat and the food is amazing. All the vegetables they prepared are organic and grown in their own back yard,
We also saw alot of Elephants and Impala's on the game drive and they have a wide varienty of bird species, the rooms are very beautiful and have nets for windows instead of glass which makes the outdoor experience just more enjoyable. They also have very friendly staff and they made me feel very welcome and at home.The gamedrive guides are also very friendly and can tell you alot about the different animals and birds living there. They also have a boatcruise which takes place in the afternoon around the big Island. There is also a double story deck where you can enjoy a sundowner in the afternoon and look out onto the plains of the Kwando river. There you can see the most beautiful sunsets ever seen.The restaurant is also on a deck and you feel as if you are eating in treehouse which is a great thing. The tables are always nicely decorated and candle lit for a soft atmosphere,they also dont play music in the restaurant/bar because the sound of nature is enough music and more peaceful.
I had an amazing stay and I wouldnt mind going back there in the future.

Room Tip: The rooms at the back are quieter and you rearly hear the noise from the restaurant
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Denise M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
245 reviews
158 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2012

We stayed here for one night only as we travelled the Caprivi Strip from west to east. Having left our vehicle on the mainland, we were swiftly taken by boat/motorised raft along the beautiful reedy waterways to the island. What a way to arrive.

The lodge is neat and tidy, with about 20 cottages scattered around the grounds, and a large open sided main building with the bar and dining room, and adjacent to the huge and high viewing platform. There is a sparkling pool, but we did not use it. The views from the platform offer a different and wonderful perspective on the river landscape and it was great to while away a few hours watching the light play on the reeds and observe the birds flitting around. We could see hippos and elephants in the distance too.

We had two adjacent cottages, each with comfortable beds and large shower rooms. The cottages had mosquito netting fitted in the unglazed window openings, and were spacious, cool, light, and airy. The lack of glass meant that noise carried, but once the people in the bar calmed down(!) there were only bush noises to hear. The dawn chorus was a splendid start to the day.

Dinner was delicious, quite simple but well-prepared and presented. Breakfast was tasty if basic, but we felt a bit uncomfortable about the rude and dismissive way the manager spoke to the waiting staff (he had also lit a cigarette whilst we were eating dinner the night before, most annoying).

We did not take part in any of the activities on offer, but could have gone on various boat trips if we had had the time. As it was, the journey back to the car park gave us another opportunity to get close to the river.

We felt that Mazambala could be a truly magical hideaway, if only the management paid a bit more attention to all guests (not just those staying up late drinking in the bar) and improved their attitude to the local staff.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank TalbotTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

From the initial friendly greeting at the boat ramp, to the greeting that awaited us at the camp by the entire staff- we knew we would enjoy our stay. Rooms are simply decorated in white calico – making them look quite pristine and not as dark. Again there were single beds (apparently they do have a few doubles), a fan that works on battery throughout the night, Mosquito nets and sprays against insects (although there were not that many mosquitoes). There are neat walkways between the huts. Meals are served in a huge elevated dining area which, together with two viewing platforms, makes up the communal areas.
Led by the very knowledgeable Harris, we did the river cruise and saw Hippo up close and about 60 elephants! Some were frolicking right by our boat- it was a fantastic sighting. We also did an interesting bush walk and a game drive.
There is continuous maintenance going on at the Camp, the gardens are well looked after.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank travelhagPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
360 reviews
238 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 417 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2012

This was our first visit here although we know the area well. This is an Island in the Meanders and Oxbows of the Kwando river before it becomes first the Linyati and then the Chobe. Whilst water levels vary depending on what comes down from Angola or indeed back up from the Linyati at times, Mazambala does remain a dry Island and any activities call for a boat to get to where you want to be.
Cars are left in a secure area a few km from the main Caprivi Highway. You turn off about 3km from the Police point heading east or 4km from the small settlement of Kongola if driving west. From there a small twin hulled boat will take you to the Island Lodge. This comprises a multi story Lapa where the Bar, Lounge and Restaurant are located. Above this is a lookout tower which was under repair one day of our visit. Great views over the reed beds and of course fabulous sunsets.
Guest accommodation is in solid cottages of varying size with Reed Thatched roofs all named in the local language after wildlife.
Ours was twin bedded under a decent working Mossy net. There was plenty of room to sit and to store clothes. The Bathroom area was smaller but worked well. There was no airconditioning other than a fan. Rooms are clean enough and serviced promptly whilst guests are out and about on the various activities on offer. These include boat rides into the 'swamps', Game drives in to the nearby Bwabwata, sunset cruises and even a nature walk on another adjacent Islandd.
Meals are at fixed tmes although breakfast is very flexible to permit early game drives, walks etc., before the heat of the day.
There is plenty of Game around and of course Bwabwata is becoming renowned for its Elephant population at the right time of year! We enjoyed several (very) close encounters with these magnificent animals and large herds of 150+ are not uncommon. Hippo and Crocs are in the river system and the plains have a good population of Red Lechwe and Reedbuck with Kudu in the shrubby areas. Birdlife abounds both in the reeds and in the Lodge grounds. The standard of guiding was very good and the owner manager, Andre, is ever present.
We very much enjoyed our stay in this lovely place and will return again.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank mfuwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
64 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2011

Mazambala is a great place to stay, offering simple and unpretentious accommodation at a good price in an idyllic location.

The lodge is reached by motor boat, after leaving your vehicle at the campsite. The boat transfer takes about 15 minutes and is in itself an enjoyable trip.

On arrival we were met by Stephanie, who showed us around while our bags were taken to our chalet room. The lodge is in a beautiful setting on the Kwando River, and is surrounded by huge palm trees and sausage trees. The chalets are scattered in amongst the trees; the location is very quiet, with the only sound being of the many birds. Our chalet had a modestly sized bedroom, with a simple but perfectly functional bathroom. Mosquito nets and insect repellant were supplied, and we weren't bothered by insects.

We booked a sundowner boat trip at the lodge and it was brilliant (our guide was Gift - he was knowledgeable, sharp eyed, and also very interesting talking about local culture). We saw dozens of hippos, elephants, giraffe, water monitors, springbok, and many many birds.

The bar and dining area are elevated, so you dine among the canopy of the trees, which is lovely. We spent an enjoyable hour in the bar chatting with the owner, Andre, and his staff. Dinner and breakfast were both good.

There's also a very high viewing tower (on 2 levels) which offers expansive views. (The top level could do with a bit of attention to the decking).

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KikiBeech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mazambala Island Lodge

Property: Mazambala Island Lodge
Address: Ngweze, Katima Mulilo, Namibia
Region: Namibia > Caprivi Region > Katima Mulilo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Katima Mulilo
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Mazambala Island Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 15

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