We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Nearby Hotels
Reviews (84)
Filter reviews
84 results
Traveller rating
70
10
0
2
2
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
70
10
0
2
2
Show reviews that mention
All reviews robin pope safaris luangwa river game drives safari experience national park his knowledge south africa stayed for nights yvonne buffalo lodge zambia team accommodation lions wildlife guide
Filter
Updating list...
56 - 61 of 84 reviews
Reviewed 16 December 2010

If you want to see real Africa, experience real safari and enjoy really warm hospitality, then you will love Luangwa River Lodge.

My husband and I had decided that we wanted to chose a safari spot for our nuptials but were put off by the 'processed' safari offerings in South Africa and Kenya. Having both been well travelled, we wanted to pick a location that wouldn't be jammed packed with tourists, but where we wouldn't have to compromise on luxury given that this was such a special trip for us.

Luckily we were not disappointed. Tom and Alison, the new managers of the hotel made our day (and entire holiday), absolutely wonderful. They thought about every little detail for us, specifically flying in flowers for me, organising a choir group to perform during our ceremony, creating a special menu for us and organising a spa surprise- Tom even conducted the service!! Granted, many other holiday makers reading this may not be considering a wedding so may think this detail irrelevant, but I think it summarises the high level of guest service and satisfaction that is the clear focus at Luangwa- nothing is ever too much for these guys.

The food we thought was extremely good. We enjoyed lunch with the other guests but often had dinner alone just the two of us, as we wished it- but the setting was always altered, a candle lit table being set in different parts of the lodge each evening. The menu was impressed (and we are used to London dining) and portions just perfect, I personally do not enjoy being fed 14 times a day but I do enjoy a hearty lunch and dinner, Luangwa suited our tastes perfectly. All of the staff were pleasant, polite, chatty and knowledgable. Drinks were free flowing.

However, all of the above aside, the most amazing part of the trip, was the safari. The resident guide Victor is something of a precious gem. One has to be in his company to understand what is so brilliant about him. Perhaps it was his genuine excitement, amazement and interest when we saw things out of drives, something we hadnt before experienced. We were used to South African drives where guides radio each other when they come across a lion and suddenly 4 buses arrive packed with guests snapping their cameras. There is no comparison with South Luangwa. Having spent 2 decades tracking poachers and patrolling the national park, Victor can spot an animal, bird, insect, from a vague footprint or through thick vegetation or from the corner of an eye. No walki talkies, no cheating- just a pair of binoculars and a lot of experience. His interest in nature becomes infectious, he drew us in with his stories, his knowledge and his love of the park and all things in it. He truly is a legend and i can't imagine that the experience would have been the same without him.

One of the other reasons that we loved Luangwa is that we were pleased to see that from Tom and Alison downwards, Luangwa employs 100% Zambian staff. Tom and Alison themselves have been residents in the area for many years and are heavily involved in community projects. This lodge that is not just about profit maximisation and certainly doesnt exploit any of its staff. Once you see how beautiful the area is, and how friendly and warm the people are, you will be pleased to see that the Lodge fits kindly into its environment and contributes something to the community.

This is a little piece of luxury that everyone should experience.

I shouldn't say this really but, whoever wrote that negative review must have been on another planet, glad that I didnt it influence my decision and miss out on this little part of heaven. Go!!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Georgie167
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2010

My wife and I have just returned from a five night stay at Luangwa River Lodge and it was with heavy hearts that we boarded the Land Rover with Victor at the wheel to take us back to Mfuwe and then on home to Jo'burg. This was my second trip and my wife's first.

The Lodge is a leisurely 45 minute drive from the airport and if you're lucky you'll see a herd of elephant on the way. In our case we saw a flock of a few hundred Carmine Bee Eaters - the colours were amazing.

Two game walks brought us the reward of a fleeting glimpse of a leopard and a great view of a pride of seven lions. The small things are what really catch your attention though, birds, insects, small mammals and of course the things the animals leave behind.

The lodge itself is nestled on the edge of the Luangwa River. We were there at the end of the dry season so it was a short walk and boat ride across the river to the game viewers and the park itself. The rooms are beautiful as is the central dining area with its splash pool and of course bar - the Mosis are always ice cold.

Alison, Tom and Victor, the management team, are wonderful, nothing is too much trouble and Victor seems to know every animal, bird and plant in the park. The food is great and plentiful -save some space for the fantastic sundowner snacks provided as you sip your G&T's whilst the sun dips behind the horizon and you watch the hippos make their way out of the water for their evening meals.

All in all a brilliant place and brilliant people. Next time we go we'll make sure Victor finds us the ever elusive Pels Fishing Owl. We'll be back - and that's a promise!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Pimbernie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2010

What an amazing lodge in a beautiful location, right on the river's edge. The safari's started early with a 5:30 am wake up call and another safari at 4 pm but it was well worth it to see all the animals and you could opt out of one or two if you were shattered. We got to see Lion's, Leopards, Elephants, Impala, Buffalo and the list goes on and on. We also managed, with the help of Victor (our guide), to recognise all these animal droppings by the end of our visit, which I suppose might prove useful in Essex one day. The villa's are open with a fine mesh covering the windows and doors which meant you really felt that you were in the open Arican bush. We had elephants at our window 4:30 am munching on the trees in our garden. Victor is a real treasure to this lodge and his knowledge of all the animals was superb, he had a great sense of humour too. I really enjoyed the early morning walks in the bush with Victor and the 'man with the gun', which he didn't need to use, thank goodness.

We enjoyed sharing our lunch / dinner with Alison, Tom and Victor, the food was superb, staff extremely friendly and helpful.

Say 'Hi' to Henry the giraffe if you should go.............Victor will explain.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank barb5374
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2010

A lovely lodge in a beautiful position and a very comfortable cabin with good mosquito net, emergency torch/light provided (nowhere else we stayed did), lovely bathroom with huge sunken bath, private boardwalk to a private sitting area by the river bank. Simple but tasty food enjoyed while watching elephants lumbering past the lodge! The lodge is on the opposite side of the river to the National Park, and the vehicle is left over there, with a little boat to take you over to the lodge. The southern part of South Luangwa has a number of jeeps from other camps/lodges driving around the same circuit, so you are unlikely to have an interesting wildlife sighting to yourself. But the animals are more relaxed than in the northern part of the park where they are a little bit more skittish, and there is an incredible variety and number of animals and birds.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MyrtleWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2010

Just go! Don't question it, if you go any where else you will be missing out on so so much. The Allison, Tom, Victor, and rest of the team have create the best safari experience - not just at the lodge - but in the drives and walks too. Victor really is the best guide in the park.

Food is outstanding. The boat and river crossing that start each day (a feature which means you are directly into the best parts of the park unlike the other lodges) is a treat in itself. The lodge and chalets are stunning and are true luxury. The game, predators, big game, bird, reptiles, and all the other small but fascinating animals - as well as the habitats - are in such abundance that simply sitting quietly for 5 minutes will lead to a Leopard walking past or a giraffe posing, or elephant and lion getting on with daily life right in front of you, etc. The tracking skills of the guide team where amazing.

Definitely will be going back - in fact we now see no reason to go to any other lodge or park - this has everything.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank dbellerby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews