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“A more authentic African safari”
Review of Marula Lodge

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Marula Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
“A more authentic African safari”
Reviewed 10 November 2013

We visited Marula lodge in August and had a great time. Mike and Jenny provided a very personalized experience and made for a highlight of our African safari vacation. The support staff and food was excellent. We went on safari drives in the morning and evenings and relaxed during the day. You can sit overlooking the river and watch hippos, elephants and crocs in the river. The communication with Jenny prior to arriving was great as we booked this directly through the lodge. Overall great experience and would highly recommend.

Room Tip: I would get a 'hard sided cabin' vs. a tent if you have any fears of wild animals. The eleph...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Owner-AD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marulajen, Owner at Marula Lodge, responded to this review, 20 December 2013
Thank you so much for visiting and for taking the time to send in a review. I will pass on your compliments to our lovely staff!
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276 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
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English first
Torslanda, Västra Götaland, Sweden
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 November 2013

Lovely proprietors, excellent guides and a magnificent view of the river. Elephants and hippos come visiting in the garden, and the park as such is full of exciting experiences. The guides are very knowledgeable, so don't forget asking about the smaller animals, birds and plants despite the excitement overklig the big five. And don't miss the old Baobab tree who has been watching over the animals for hundreds of years!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Julia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marulajen, Owner at Marula Lodge, responded to this review, 20 December 2013
Thank you so much for coming to visit and for taking the time to write a review for us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lusaka, Zambia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013

Jenny, Mike and their staff are excellent and very friendly. The guide (David Tembo) on their game drives is skilled and experienced, and they know the right place to get the best view of the animals. Jenny and Mike also contribute a lot of time for charity works for the community in Luangwa and Jenny teaches swimming lessons for kids.
Elephants & Hippos frequently visited to the bar and grasslands of the lodge in the Night, But it is safe and can watch the movements of the animals. Well trained staff is there to look after the guest

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank kokul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marulajen, Owner at Marula Lodge, responded to this review, 20 December 2013
Thank yo so much for coming to stay at Marula....we hope you can come back to continue with the swimming lessons and see some more fantastic wildlife!
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Sacramento, California
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 October 2013

this is a wonderful lodge. comfortable, good at working with some of our weird dietary requests, and attentive and friendly. We felt very welcome and cared for. Excellent game drives and safari walks ( my personal favorite). This lodge also contributes a lot of time and resources on the community.

  • Stayed July 2013
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Helpful?
Thank Patricia C C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marulajen, Owner at Marula Lodge, responded to this review, 20 December 2013
Thank you so much for visiting Marula Lodge and spending your valuable time helping in our community school. We would love you to come back!
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UK
Level 6 Contributor
36 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Marula Lodge is a rarity, providing comfortable acccommodation, a wonderful environment, and high quality game drives, at a price that opens up the safari experience to those of us who thought it out of our reach.

Yes, the lodges are functional rather than pretty, but the beds are really comfortable, and there's no reason to be inside if you're not sleeping! The grounds are attractive, and sitting on the river bank watching the many hippos in the river, and the elephants coming down to the river (and then crossing it and wandering through Marula's grounds!) is just a wonderful experience.
Hippos also visited the grounds of the lodge after dark, so when walking between between one's lodge and the dining and bar area at night, one is accompanied by a member of staff who knows and understands the movements and routes of the wildlife.

Jenny and Mike are excellent and very friendly hosts, who do their utmost to ensure that their guests get the most from their stay. The guides on their game drives are extremely skilled and informative, and seemed to have the knack of finding exactly the right place to get the best view of the wildlife.

It's a great place for backpackers too. The tents are right on the river bank, so probably have the best position of all. And if you cant afford many game drives, there's lots of wildlife right on your doorstep.

It's a warm, comfortable and sociable place, and a great place to relax. Perfect.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank sclare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marulajen, Owner at Marula Lodge, responded to this review, 6 September 2013
It was lovely to have you visit and thank you for the great review.
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Barcelona, Spain
Level 5 Contributor
35 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2013

We stayed for 4 nights beginning of August this year. I can only say that we enjoyed every single second at this camp and only dream of going back in near future. Located about 1,5 km by road from the National Park's gate at Mfuwe Bridge, it is one of the closest, allowing you to be at the gate just when they open if you want. You see a lot of animals also before you arrive to the gate. Jenny and Mike were at all times extremely friendly and ready to help. The food, excellent, + free coffee, tea and cakes during the day. Although the chalets are a bit worn out (say, style Kruger Nat. Park in South Africa), bed clothes are excellent and we felt very comfortable.

The location, right across the river in front of the N.P., with no further fences, allows you to see many wild animals on the other side of the river, or simply around or even in camp. Marula is famous for the frequent elephant visits (almost every day) and hippo crossing at night (every day). The banks at the shore are an excellent place where to spend hours watching the happenings in the river, between the morning and the evening game drivings. The small swimming-pool is also very nice. They allow self-drivers, and also offer full packages including game drivings with their open vehicles and very good drivers.

Finally, the owners practice a fair price policy (sadly rare in Africa and specifically in Zambia, where they scare tourism everywhere with completely unrealistic prices) and a very clear policy on how to treat guests. Just for comparison, during our game drivings we visited some of the more upmarket, exclusive bush camps or luxury camps inside the National Park. Most of them were completely empty (and it was the highest season!), no customers at all, and the ones who had a few, did not have the atmosphere of Marula, where all customers interact among them.

Jenny and Mike, just to be perfectionist, the two only points where I saw potential for improvement during my stay are:

1) Please install free wifi in the bar area. This is the trend nowadays, and since you already have a modem and a line there, there is no cost for you! Customers would appreciate it very, very much. The current system of charging for using the (sole) local PC is not practical any more…
2) Think about double beds with a double mosquito net too. The current single beds are more or less OK to join them together, but with 2 single mosquito nets it becomes more uncomfortable.

Otherwise, do not change! Keep Marula as it is, and write me if you ever want to retire, I take over!

Room Tip: The chalets do not have direct river view, for this you must choose one of their tents.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank HenryM-Stanley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marulajen, Owner at Marula Lodge, responded to this review, 2 September 2013
Thanks you for your review. We are so glad you enjoyed Marula as much as we do! We appreciate your advice on the internet and will work on it and we are expecting lots of changes, so will provide double nets when it is all done!
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Gland, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

Going there from Chipata can be quite expensive, but if you book a travel package with Dean from Dean's Hillview Lodge in Chipata, you can get a good deal.

Marula lodge provide rooms and safari tents, depending on your needs and budget. The tents are furnished with two beds and rechargeable lamps. They are located on the river bank, which gives you an amazing view when you wake up.

The owners and managers of the lodge are great and nice people and help out whenever needed. They were improving and building new showers when I was there.

The lodge is located a bit further out of town, but is very close to the park entrance. You can actually see the bridge to the park from there.

At night it is very likely that hippos and sometimes other wildlife come onto the grounds. I've seen hippos one night, and heard wildebeests (or some other big antelopes) run through one night. The hippos come eat almost every night.

Room Tip: Get the tent furthest from the pool, it's under trees and they provide shade later there.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marcel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marulajen, Owner at Marula Lodge, responded to this review, 26 August 2013
Thanks for the great review and especially the pictures! We hope that you get back to test the new bathrooms!
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Additional Information about Marula Lodge

Property: Marula Lodge
Address: Mfuwe Main Road, South Luangwa National Park n/a, Zambia
Phone Number:
Region: Zambia > South Luangwa National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 44 Speciality Lodging in South Luangwa National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a family-run, family-friendly lodge that prides itself in offering excellent service, food and adventure at budget friendly prices. Our rooms are guaranteed to be comfortable and clean; we have few airs and graces and can promise a wonderful time to all who visit. Our wildlife is amazing and we often have a family of elephants or a giraffe wandering through the camp. We look forward to welcoming you to Marula Lodge! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Marula Lodge Zambia/South Luangwa National Park

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