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“Four nights in Thornicroft”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Thornicroft Lodge

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Thornicroft Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Salisbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Four nights in Thornicroft”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2012

We stayed in Thornicroft for 4 nights in September and it exceeded our expectations (which were already pretty high!). The lodge is comfortable, the views and environment are stunning, and the staff are a true highlight. Godfrey, our guide was the most knowledgeable and engaging guide you could ever wish to come across. His game drives were fantastic, always unveiling something new. We would also highly recommend a walking safari with him, we learnt so much about the flora, smaller animals/insects, and Godfrey's tracking skills on ours.

Puk, Kenneth, Dale, and all the guys (including the cooks) in the camp also deserve specific mention as they looked after us perfectly - we didn't want for anything.

If you are looking for a comfortable lodge, with a warm welcome and relaxed atmosphere, with happy staff this place is for you. It may not be as 'high end' as some of the accommodation in the park but this place has achieved a perfect balance in ensuring South Luangwa will be a highlight of your holiday whilst also feeling like a home from home.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Dudandlorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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132 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    5
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2012

Whilst the South Luangwa National Park is the same for all, finding a great lodge can be tricky! This was my third time to the area and by far the best lodge & service I've received. Expectations were exceeded. Food was incredible and they even catered for our gluten free guest! Fresh bread daily, three course dinners, friendly atmosphere and incredible views.. Chalets beautiful, clean and unique! Will be back next year.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Handsandhearts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thornicroft, Puk Daniels, Director Operations / Sales at Thornicroft Lodge at Thornicroft Lodge, responded to this review, 29 September 2012
It was also great having your group as guests. Special diets are no problem at all and perhaps we have a new service when you all might come back: Rent a bike ;-)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Neots, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2012

We were fortunate enough to stay at Thornicroft back in 2010; the reviews on this page echo our feelings for the place and the people alike; amazingly friendly, the staff all go above and beyond expectations to make you feel as comfortable as possible! This was our first safari ever, and to wake up in the middle of our first night as there was an elephant eating from the tree hanging above our chalet - literally 5 meters away from the mesh window - was something just incredible. Godfrey is a wealth of knowledge and a great guide, a really friendly guy too.
The only review on this page that hasn't given Thornicroft five stars mentions the lack of wifi / TV etc..... YOU ARE ON SAFARI IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AFRICAN BUSH! Why on earth would you want to watch TV????????
If you are considering Thornicroft, take my advice and book it. You wont regret it.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wiggyjnr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salisbury
Level Contributor
36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2012

If you are looking for a relaxed, friendly and extremely comfortable lodge then this is your place. The booking process was friendly and helpful. The welcome was great with cold drinks and friendly faces. We had elephants in the camp every night and visiting hippos regularly. The staff really make this lodge special. Godfrey has to be the best guide in the park. Not only did we see regular leopards and lions, we also went on a fascinating walking safari and learnt about the much smaller animals and plants. He is simply a minefield of information. It didn't stop there as the restaurant and bar staff were great (especially Kenneth). The service was special and individually tailored. Simply can't wait to get back.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank CanineSalisbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2012

I came to Thornicroft (beginning of April) with my mother, while she was visiting me during my internship in Zambia.
By arrival, after an almost private flight with Proflight Zambia, we were warmly welcomed at the lodge by the staff and a passing herd of elephants.Those elephants kept on visiting us the next days together with a whole host of other animals.
We happened to be the only visitors at that time, so we got for 3 days a private lodge !!

Accomodation is great; everyday there's a different final touch how beds are made.
The food is of a high quality, we didn't know there was such a variety of overwhelming recipes to prepare pumpkins (thans for giving us those recipes to try it back home!).

We enjoyed all the little talks we had with everybody of the staff (Nicky, Caroline, Godfrey, Steven, the night guides, the cook and his boys,...). We read about the superb guide Gofdrey, but we didn't dare to hope we would have him as our guide. And certainly not as our 'private' guide during our stay. He certainly surpassed all our expectations. We gave him "carte blanche" to show us everything. And we got it all: lions, some leopards, wild dogs, lots of birds,... .

We would also like to thank Puk because he answered immediately our first mail in Dutch. This made the further communication very easy. We had an incredibly pleasant experience at Thornicroft and therefore we will strongly recommend this place to anyone.

It is really "the place to go" if you want to have an unforgettable African experience.

Jan Bogaerts & Ria Berckmans

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blantyre
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2012

My wife, 7 year old son and myself stayed at Thornicroft Lodge for three nights in early August 2012. We cannot fault our experience from our initial online enquiry to our departure.

Thornicroft do all the important things exceptionally well and everything else is very good and more than adequate. Our main reason to go to S. Luangwa is for the game viewing, the experience in the park and being informed about the flora and fauna. To this extent the game drives were exceptional with extremely knowledgeable guides. This was my wife and myself's sixth visit to S. Luangwa and so the guides (River and Godfrey) took the time to find out what we were interested in apart from the standard big game and made an effort to accommodate our interests (we saw our porcupines, honey badger and bush baby!!). Even our 7 year old son was not bored sitting in a vehicle for about 8 hours a day and the guides made an effort to include him and keep him interested! We saw pretty much everything during our stay and even saw 7 different leopards on our last evening drive.

The lodge and accommodation is in a natural setting and is comfortable, clean and more than adequate. It ticked all the boxes for us and considering we spent very little time in our chalets we did not need anything more than was provided.

The meals were simple and maybe limited in variety, but what was served was delicious and generous in quantity. Home cooked style is how I would describe it and we thoroughly enjoyed what was offered. One night we were the only guests and the staff made the effort to ask us if there was anything in particular we wanted them to prepare. As we were very happy with what had previously been served we did not make any special request and left it up to the kitchen.

The lodge staff were all very helpful and friendly. They were discreet but not absent and were always available if we had a query or required anything. The staff seemed to enjoy having our son around and they all took an interest in him.

The pool (which was clean) kept our son amused in between drives and he even managed to drag in his dad while mum napped:)

Overall, we had a great stay and a fantastic game experience. We have stayed in some lodges that would be considered more luxurious, but with far inferior game experiences than we had with Thornicroft (and also with food that seemed more mass produced and canteen like). We have also stayed in some lodges that were just too basic and hence uncomfortable. Thornicroft do all the things that are important to us exceptionally well and have found a nice balance to ensure a great experience at great value for money.

Would we recommend Thornicroft? Absolutely. Will we go back? Absolutely.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Abbas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2012

Stayed at Thornicroft from July 31 to Aug 03 in a party of 9 and have to say the entire experience was wonderful and could not expect anything more. Saw tons of animals especially numerous sightings of leopard. Game viewing literally started on our arroval into the camp. Four elephant walked through the camp while we were having evenng drinks !!

Entire experience from start to finish was professionally handled. I booked directly with Thornicroft and Puk was there to assist every step of the way and answer any questions I may have had.

Would definitely recommend Thornicroft to anyone who visits Luangwa !

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jay D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Thornicroft Lodge

Property: 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 #12 of 43 Speciality Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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