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“WE ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE OF IT IN THORNICROFT LODGE”
Review of Thornicroft Lodge

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Thornicroft Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 August 2011

Our 3 nights stay in Thornicroft Lodge as been most enjoyable.
Nice chalets near the South Launga River vhere we sat in confortable outside armchairs to watch crodiles, impalas and hippos ...
Safaris from 6 am with the cheerfull Geoffrey (liked my hippo dance) who drove us trhough the park.first in and last out ! Thanks to him we could spot lions and wonderfull leopards, first one asleep and the second day two hunting ones ! Yawning hippos i asked for, porkepines, mating lions,.and of course superb Thornicroft Giraffes...
after a nice meal and rest, we go again on a night safari from 4 pm with a sindowner drink, before we spot animals at night.
First and second night Elephants visited us in the Lodge,where plenty of monkeys make
you laughf
The food was exellent and this is the right word. Thank yoy Chef.
We loved our stay and would recommand it to anyone for it is a very good value.
No need to go for an expensive Logde where yoy would see the same park and the same animals!!
Thanks to Godfrey and his team, emma, and all the night watchers.

CATHERINEe & THIERRY FROM FRANCE

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Catherine L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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111 - 117 of 146 reviews

Reviewed 22 August 2011

Having visited the Serengeti, NgoroGoro,Okovango, Masai Mara etc i thought they would be hard acts to follow, however casting around for a new location to visit we decided on the South Luangwa, i was a bit dubious at first as this area doesnt seem to be as well known as other mainstream destinations but we decided to give it a go. WOW!, the South Luangwa must be one of the best kept secrets in Africa, the scenery is stunning, the wildlife count incredible, the guides second to none- absolutely incredible. The staff at the Thornicroft go out of their way to make you feel comfortable without fawning and seem to know exactly when that cool drink is required, the lodge itself is situated on the banks of the Luangwa and at lunchtimes when not out game viewing we relaxed by sitting at the riverbank watching countles bird species, elephants, hippos, crocs, impala, bushbuck etc going about their business.Being only 10 min drive away from the gates of the park your are in the midst of all the beauty and game activity in no time. In the evening elephants visit the lodge and you can observe them from a safe distance while sipping a cool drink, the guards are always on duty and are ready to chase off the elephants if they come a little too close for your comfort. The lodge could not be better located.Check the season before booking though as the during the rainy season it is closed, August through to end of October appears to be the high season and even when fully booked it is not busy enough to feel crowded.I think you would struggle to keep very young children occupied as there isnt much inhouse entertainment for young kids, i would assume that any kid over 5 would be going on the game drives anyway, while we there a Zambian family were taking there 2 and 5 year old out on the drives and they throughly enjoyed it. Dont come to see Rhinos or cheetahs however as they departed this area a while back, this is more than made up by the incredible leopard sightings, my son and i chalked up 12 up and close encounters in 9 days. My personal opinion is this is a "must visit" and the Thornicroft would get my vote every time

Room Tip: the chalets we saw were very similar, i would go for one closer to the lodge as it could get lonely...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank dave s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2011

Beautiful setting beside the Luangwa river, chalets that want for nothing, friendly staff that cater for your every need, great food,everything you could possibly need for a wonderful safari.
As for Godfrey, our guide, he is amazingly knowledgeable about the wildlife and flora and is totally dedicated to conservatoin.,a great guy!! .I was so lucky to have so many sightings of leopard, I had an unforgettable and absolutely wonderful time at Thorniecroft Lodge.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank woody186525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2011

We loved our stay at Thornicroft's. Our guide was excellent and really made an effort to get us to see all the animals we wanted to on our safari. They made accommodation for our one year old, which was fantastic. The food was amazing; dessert with every meal! The road driving to S. Luangwa is a nightmare, but is well worth it!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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Thank lindsaywood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2011

Thornicroft Lodge has a idyllic setting right by the banks of the Luwangwa River from where you can see hippos and crocodiles (but don't get too close!) The lodge is well organised and has good levels of safety in place i.e. advising you to steer clear of the river banks and to have a guard accompany you in the evening. The chalet was beautiful. Crisp white sheets with a turn-down service in the afternoon to ensure your mosquito net was down. Having a power shower was a real luxury too.
The food provided was of a very high quality and was served at decent timings to ensure you never went hungry. The lodge seats you together in your tour group for meals and offers you the option of sitting separately if you ask for it, however, I think that the lodge has this the wrong way round. Often you've spent all day with your group and perhaps would like a bit of 'down time' and so should have the option to sit together if you so wish, but not forced upon you to avoid awkwardness.
My only other criticism is the lack of atmosphere and sparse staffing and I believe the two are inter-linked. The lodge didn't seem to have much activity going on and should you need a member of staff for a drink from the bar, you find yourself hunting around for them. Perhaps a little music in the bar area and more staff presence would address the all-too-quiet nature of the lodge.
Be careful for the bar bill at the end of your stay as no drinks are included in your price. They should consider adding a couple of extra dollars onto the package price for bottles of water on your safari. Given the environment, I felt it a bit petty and not in keeping with the luxury nature of the lodge to charge you $2 for a bottle of water on your game drives.

HOWVER, all criticism aside, the lodge is beautiful, the food is fantastic and location is stunning. The points made are thankfully things that can easily be rectified with minimal effort and I hope that they do so as Thornicroft is a fantastic place to stay.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Ruthf9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2011

We have just returned from our stay at Thornicroft in South Luangwa. We drove with Land and Lakes safaris from Malawi with our wonderful driver Henry who is the great. After a gruelling 8 hours we arrived to a very warm welcome from the staff. We travelled with our 3 month old baby and the staff catered very well for this and were excellent throughout. The food was excellent and plenty to keep me going. I didnt get through any of my snacks as I was so full.

Chalets very nice and the pool s interesting being Zambia shaped.

To comment on others' reviews I do agree about the lack of good quality coffee, especially after getting up so early it would be nice to have a decent cup of coffee (but this is a pretty minor point!).

Also, someone else wrote about white people owing it and not local people. As far as I can gather, Godfrey the excellent guide does own a part of it and he was the one that instigated the whole project but needed funding to get it started.

Overall, an excellent stay and we managed to see a leopard and a couple of lions just before the end of our final drive.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank joeswelch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2011

Set in a beautiful location on the edge of the river, Thornicroft was exactly what we imagined our first safari to be. Our guide Godfrey's knowledge and instinct was exceptional - seeing him following tracks, watching and listening to the bush for tell-tale signs, and smelling the air, all whilst driving was something to behold! We saw so many things including 4 reclusive leopards, even rarer wild dogs, lions with a kill and masses of hippos, crocodiles and giraffes. The sunsets were out of this world and the sunrises over the river at the lodge were even better. The food was great, the rooms beautiful and we'll never forget watching the giraffes' legs passing our windows inches away in the middle of the night. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank PJ201142
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Thornicroft Lodge

Address: Along the Luangwa River | Between Kakumbi village and the park entrance, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Region: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 43 Speciality Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range: £121 - £159 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thornicroft is an intimate bush-style lodge set on the banks of the Luangwa River with spectacular views over the Park. At Thornicroft you can explore South Luangwa National Park on unforgettable game drives with our expert guides. On our drives you will explore one of the best parks in Africa to see lion and leopard, not to mention all the other birds and animals that make this valley so unique.Our nine charming bush-style chalets are spread out along the banks of the Luangwa River. Each of our intimate en-suite chalets has fabulous views of the South Luangwa National Park. The chalets are designed for 2 people, but on request we can add a third bed. However if you are looking for a more affordable way to safari we have eight permanent safari dome two-person tents with shared bathroom facilities near the lagoon. The tented camp is closed from January – March.Thornicroft can also arrange transfers from Lilongwe to Thornicroft Lodge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Thornicroft Lodge Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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