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“"no big cats, no lunch, no kids under 8 for big cats-then no lunch"!”
Review of Amani Lodge

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Amani Lodge
Paris, France
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“"no big cats, no lunch, no kids under 8 for big cats-then no lunch"!”
Reviewed 15 November 2012

I called this place to have an outing for the family for a birthday of a family member. I was told on the telephone from a very strict receptionist that we are obliged to have the "big cat experience" if we would want to eat there. We were planning a day excursion from Harare.It would cost 55 Euros if you are not resident. Then when I asked for the prices she said another price for 8-11 years olds. Our kids are aged 1-5 years. Then she said they are not allowed to be in the premises since the adults would eat and be "intoxicated" and climb the fence and annoy the animals. The kids would be "naughty" and also annoy the animals. So the conclusion was that any family with kids under the age of 8 are not welcome! What French hospitality!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank gitane_in_zim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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39 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Lilongwe
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2012

The most enjoyable day out I have had in ages! Got there in time for a great light lunch. Had a walk for an hour in the extensive grounds before the big cat tour. Saw cheetahs and lions really close up, before having the privilege of being able to handle one of the pet cheetahs. Marvellous.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Carol W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mandurah,WA
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2012

Amani was a great start to our Namibian driving holiday. Only 20kms or so south of Windhoek so an easy start for jetlagged travellers. The cabins are comfortable, with expansive views from the balcony although water pressure is low for showering. The food was generally good, though everyone's chicken was underdone and had to be recooked (they were having trouble with the stove). The highlight was undoubtedly the Cheetahs, both seeing the rehabilitation program for the wild ones and being able to pat one of the semi-tame ladies. I even got an impressive scratch on the arm to show off when she playfully jumped up. The resident warthogs, Scooby-doo the dog and the lion feeding also provided entertainment. The last part of the driveway is a challenge and required 4WD with some confusion on how to find reception, but overall our stay was very enjoyable. I would certainly pencil in a visit.

Room Tip: All the cabins face the same way so no real advantage to any. Pick one closer to the main building f...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Metceni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2012

We have been there with out two kids. The location is terrific. Beautiful view and the cottages are designed very well into the landscape.
The staff was very friendly. Especially our "ranger" who took us around to the cheetah- and lion feeding, as well playing with the tame cheetahs, has been very nicely taken care of us. She explained a lot and gave us a great intro into the wildlife and the cheetah repatriation program.
There where two tame warthogs laying around on the deck chairs. Quite nice chaps - unless you make the mistake we did, and try to eat something close to them. You will learn how to defend warthog "attacks" :-)

Food was excellent and in a great atmosphere, looking through glass windows on the tame cheetahs passing by.

A must inbetween Windhoek and a safari tour!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AfricanMagic_Nomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Joseph, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
579 reviews
132 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 267 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

This place was desolate and primitive. We were the ONLY guests which was scary at night in the pitch black with lions roaring nearby! The food was awful! In the morning, the hot water carafe was filled with hundreds of dead flies! The eggs came out burnt and we basically left starving. The cabins have dead bugs and no security. The owners have a cabin nearby and never check on guests. They are quite narcissistic. Don't stay here!!

The Wild Cat Experience was all staged and felt fake.

Room Tip: Don't even bother to come here.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Stewart S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tricia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vienna, Austria
Level 6 Contributor
212 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank 72kingscc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Amani Lodge

Property: Amani Lodge
Address: 20km Southwest of Windhoek, Windhoek, Namibia
Region: Namibia > Khomas Region > Windhoek
Hotel Style:
Ranked #50 of 82 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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