We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Perfect!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Sambani Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Chinteche
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Sambani Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Chinteche B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
131 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Perfect!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2013

This is an incredible setting for a beautiful lodge. Directly on a quiet and spectacular beach, camping is available (very safe) and good rooms. The restaurant offers delicious chambo and the bar has cheap beers, open as long as you are there. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful. Sunrise, sunset, beach, locals, bao games, you can't beat the simple life here. Down the beach you will find some lovely small fishing villages and can walk through to the local bandawe school. Good a get a real taste of what it is like around here. You will endlessly see enthusiastic kids and meet interesting people. Up to the road is the small Bandawe town with some basic requirements available form little street stores, you can also wave down a minibus to take you 10km to Chintheche for the bigger food markets. This place is perfect to getaway into some of Malawis' beauty!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Allardyced
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

14 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    4
    8
    0
    2
    0
See reviews for
1
5
Solo
0
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Limassol, Cyprus
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2012

Sambani was great. We keep reading reviews about planned rennovations, let's hope it doesn't spoil the brilliant down to earth ambience and dirt cheap prices here! It is pretty basic but it is excellent value.

The Malawian staff really could not have been nicer or more helpful, and the spacious lawned gardens down to the fabulous beach were peaceful and restful. We didn't just enjoy the bats, we found a fairly large monitor lizard in the flower bed outside our basic but spacious chalet. And we enjoyed the chickens wandering around too, and the herd of zebu/brahman cattle which were driven along the beach.

There were only 2 small problems: without a car you need to find transport to get there and back from the main road (they called a matola for us when we left), and the children effectively begging on the beach were a pain, particularly when we decided to walk along to the upmarket Chintheche Inn for a meal.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank D H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2012

This was the third (and best) place we stayed after our arrival in Lilongwe. First was St Peter's Rest House in Lilongwe. Safe but VERY basic. Next was Katoto Lodge. Staff was nice, but building looked has fallen into disrepair.
Sambani was a welcome change of venue. Beautiful beach, basic lodging, but outlets weren't usable. The Lodge has a new owner that seems to be investing in the property. They were putting a new thatch roof on the restaurant/bar. While we were there they were having a party with very loud music. Since it was a vacation, the best thing to do was kickback and enjoy the music. Food was basic but good. Communication with the chef was difficult. I ordered Chicken "Broth" and rice twice and was brought Chicken "Stew" and rice. oh, well.....the beauty of the Lake, sunrises and the friendly staff made it well worth it. The road in is very rough, and it's a 2km walk out to catch a mini-bus. It was a convenient walk to the Njouvu village and the Kindergarten. Always felt safe and we were 2 females traveling alone. (one senior)

Room Tip: They will be remodeling so it's difficult to say.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank k75karol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boom, Belgium
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2011

During our tour through Malawi we landed at the Sambani lodge (based on the Bradt guide). The major plus points are the nice beach, rest&peace and value for money. The downside of this place is the kitchen: The food is very basic without variation.
Our room was very basic but clean.
At night is was a spectacle to sit outside and view the bats hunting for insects around the light... so gracious

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MatejKarpisek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bournemouth
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2009

You just don't feel like your in a tourist trap here. From the sunrise over the lake at 5.50 am through the heat of the day on the sperkling white sand, to the cool evening breeze under the moonlight, to the sounding of tumbling surf, and the pinprick lights of scores of fishermen out on the lake, I had to pinch myself that I wasn't already in paradise! The staff were delightful and attentive when you needed them, and the hotel's rustic feel was perfect for our group. Wonderful!

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stromulous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2009

On my second stay at the Sambani Lodge, I'm pleased to discover that its still the same.

The rooms are still basic and clean, the food is still tradtional...you can actually get chambo and nsima, and the staff are still warm and friendly. Most westerners might call it rustic but to me its a little Malawian oasis. Its where Malawians stay which only gives it more authenticity.

Of course, being located right on a magnificant sandy beach on Lake Malawi doesn't hurt. One night of star gazing, wave watching and seeing the lights from the small fish boats bobbying on the waves in the dark and you' re hooked.

Sambani has an atmosphere and pace all its own, friendly and relaxed. Its a place to talk to people...kids adults,fisherman.. who are strolling down the beach. The staff are warm, attentive and efficient but not gushing.

Meals are served in the semi open dining room, always in view of the lake, always in view of your server seated quietly near the kitchen.

This is a place to enjoy and take in even if you have only 1 night. Tawonga!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hodihodi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2009

I stayed at Sambani with friends midway through our Malawian roadtrip and I didn’t want to leave. Sambani has its own postcard-perfect, hut-dotted beach flanked by small fishing communities and an abundance of mango trees. What I loved about Sambani is that I didn’t feel penned in by the boundaries of a tourist resort and as a tourist I didn’t feel like we were encroaching upon the local people or environment.

There was a very random mixture of guests including a group of nuns, delegates from a medical conference, other travellers and Malawians on holiday, but this did make for some interesting conversations in the bar. This is a very friendly chilled out place with enough space and beach to be as sociable or reclusive, noisy or quiet and active or lazy as you want. We swam in the freshwater lake, played football, netball and volleyball with some of the local kids, lazed on the beach, played frisbee in the water, walked along the beach at sunrise to watch the fishermen coming back with the first catch of the day and used the BBQ to full potential.

My time in Malawi marked the end of a three month backpacking trip and so I was very much travelling on a budget and was pleasantly surprised at how reasonably priced and affordable the whole stay was. I felt completely safe camping next to the beach for about £2 a night, with basic but adequate toilet and shower facilities. The food is also basic but tasty and good value for money. As a travelling vegetarian used to all the cultural difficulties and awkwardness that entails, I really appreciated how accommodating the kitchen staff were. And I thoroughly recommend their vegetable curry!

Some of Sambani’s services are not well advertised and you do have to ask, but on enquiry we learned it was very possible to hire to wooden canoes, be paddled out to the island and hire a snorkel. Another tip: arrange to view paintings. Sambani was the best place to buy and bargain for paintings and small crafts because a couple of the local artists are very friendly with the owners’ family.

Not somewhere you go if you need glamour and luxury, but if you want to experience everything that Lake Malawi’s pure unadulterated beauty has to offer, it doesn’t get much better than this.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Amme1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Been to Sambani Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sambani Lodge

Property: Sambani Lodge
Address: 89 Box, Chinteche, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Northern Region > Chinteche
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Chinteche
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sambani Lodge is a lakeside hotel, guesthouse and hostel retreat for local, international and budget visitors. We invite and welcome families, backpackers and travelers who wish to discover the unspoiled Lake Malawi beaches and hospitality Sambani Lodge has to offer. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sambani Lodge Malawi/Chinteche

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing