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“Great Big Cat Experience!”
Review of Amani Lodge

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Amani Lodge
Reviewed 11 April 2012

Did a day trip one Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed the Big Cat Experience. Our guide, Andrew, was very knowledgable and he patiently answered all our questions. Its a great way to see lions and cheetahs (their leopard just died :( ) up close. They were so close I was able to take amazing photos! The sunset was also amazing and the roaring of the lions while the sun was setting completed the experience.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Tricia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 16 of 39 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2012

To start with I will point out there are 2 sides to the Amani Lodge: 1) The lodge itself, which functions as a B&B and 2) The Big Cat experience. Most reviews of Amani are old, so this reflects the recent state of the lodge and is about the lodge itself. This lodge is on the expensive side and when in comparison to other lodges/camps we stayed at in Namibia in the same price range there was just no justification. There was so much that was wrong about the lodge that I will simply list the issues:
1) The owners (Alain & Oliver) were not there, nor was any senior mgm't - in fact the lodge appeared to be run by the very nice dining room hostess, who was also our wait staff and the receptionist. We had no contact with anyone else, although the cheetahs that roamed around the dining area did seem to have an interest in us.
2) The condition of the lodge, the huts and the grounds were in general - bad and getting worse. It appears the lodge has fallen on difficult times financially and maintenance in general has been abandoned.
3) Conditions I noted within the first 30 minutes: a) The entrance road is not for the faint of heart nor a 2x4 vehicle without significant ground clearance, plus the final signage led us to the overnight parking which was nearly impossible to reach by our vehicle, b) Our hut needed considerable attention (screen door ripped, no bathroom amenities, broken lamp, cobwebs, no safe. floor mats 5 years past their dispose date, etc), c) the grounds in general needed attention and the pool was in need of cleaning - if you could navigate the wooden pool deck which should have been replaced 5 years ago as it was full of holes/missing misses of decking, etc,
4) The food. Dinner (not included, but necessary as departing the lodge once we arrived was not going to be done except to leave the next morning due to the entrance road) consisted of a lackluster salad, a piece of chicken that wouldn't qualify as "rubber" as it was dry, tough, over cooked and a dessert. Breakfast (included in price) was underwhelming and led us to buy a very early lunch that day.

A note about the "Big Cat" experience - before we embarked on this trip we thought the Big Cat experience was included as we were told to arrive at the lodge before 3 pm in order to take part in the experience. When we arrived we found this was NOT included in the cost and would be an additional 550 Namibian or about 55 Euros each. As we had been on safari and had also done a similar cat drive 2 weeks prior (for about 10 Euros each), we declined this option. There is however a very nice dog and 2 tame warthogs (who think they too are dogs), so we enjoyed their company.

Room Tip: Don't go and you won't have to be concerned about a room, but if you do all huts appear to h...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2011

I had limited time to go on any real safari which require a minimum of three days. After consulting locals the big sanctuary at Amani lodge was short listed.

It is about an hour drive out of Windhoek and at an elevated spot, costs around US$100. The high points are feeding and closely watching leopards, cheetahs and lions. The drive to their respective spots is scenic and somewhat adventurous. When the sun start to set around 6:00pm that light and the surrounding basked in that light became an amazing view. Even the cats looked different in that light. Their brochure says 'end the day with lion’s roar'. Although we waited for them to roar after the feed but that only happened as we were getting out of the place. In short, it was a worthwhile experience.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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5  Thank arshadaltaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2011

30-40 minute trek out of Windhoek onto remote hill top. No true game around, but dining room has a glass wall into the cheetah pen which is amazing. Our family room was nice, spacious, with a lovely deck. Landscaping and pool area is lovely. Wild horses, warthogs, and a feral cat wander the property. The big cat experience is a very good way to see lion, lepoard, and cheetah - more like a wild animal park than wild bush experience. We saw no other game about. Staff were very nice and accomodating.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank DSK3some
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2010

Stayed here for 1 night at the end of a 2 week trip in Namibia and was one of the highlights of the holiday.

Despite reservations regarding the 'big cat experience', for which there is an additional charge, this was very well done and the owners are very upfront in what they are trying to achieve. These animals are held in captivity but would not survive in their natural habitat.

Great food but disappointing service from the reception staff. Our guide for the big cat experience, however, was excellent.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JonandVib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2009

The setting is lovely, and the male lion's roars in the evening add a lot to the atmosphere. Service is spotty and communication with staff can be difficult. There is no literature in the rooms, or anywhere, to tell you what activities are available - you must ask, and even then the information is minimal. Food was fine, well presented, but not special. Do we aware of the warning regarding money in your room. I came back from a walk and found my door open, even though I am certain I locked it securely. I'm not certain if any cash was taken, however.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled solo
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3  Thank BeenAroundAptos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2008

We had been 2 years ago at the amani lodge. The lodge himself is very beautiful, the food fabulous and the owner and his son are extraordinary people.
Unfortunately some money was stolen out of our room which was closed. Later we read that this happend to other people as well.
We found it a bit disappointing that inspite of knowledge by the owner he didn' tell his guests about the situation.

  • Stayed: March 2006, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Umfolozi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Amani Lodge

Address: 20km Southwest of Windhoek, Windhoek, Namibia
Region: Namibia > Khomas Region > Windhoek
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 88 Speciality Lodging in Windhoek
Hotel Class:3 star — Amani Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Also Known As:
Amani Hotel Windhoek

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