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Bua River Lodge
Region: Central
Low Price: US$80
High Price: US$140
Price Basis: pppn, FB, seasonal, 3 levels
No of Rooms: 6
Tel: +265 (0)995 476887
Website: visit now
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Accommodation details
Bua River Lodge , Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

Bua River Lodge is a small and unique, owner-managed lodge, where you are sure to feel at home and relaxation is guaranteed. We are receiving very favourable reviews, commenting on the excellence of service, friendliness of the staff, comfort of the rooms and quality of the food. (Please see our TripAdvisor page)

The lodge is located just two kilometres inside the eastern boundary of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi. The ten kilometre track from the tarmac has recently been upgraded making access by saloon car, even during the rains, quite straightforward.

The reserve, covering 1,800,000 Hectares, is the third largest protected area in Malawi and one of the least known. Largely miombo woodland, the reserve falls from around 1,000 m. above sea level to just 600 metres in the east. The beautiful Bua River, the second longest in the country, on whose banks Bua River Lodge is located, bisects the Reserve.

In a very exciting development, since September 2015, the Reserve’s management has been in the hands of African Parks. Within a short time a major improvement in management can be expected, with a consequent increase in the wildlife populations making wildlife viewing a much more rewarding activity than in the past. There is already a considerable diversity of wildlife, both large and small, within the reserve. Over 200 species of birds are listed, including Finfoot, White-backed Night Heron, Boehm’s Bee-eater, Palm Nut Vulture, Bathawk, Black and Wooly-necked Stork and Pel’s Fishing Owl. The coming of African Parks will significantly help maintain and enrich that diversity.

Bua River Lodge offers high quality tented accommodation at moderate prices, with three categories, Island, Riverside and Hillside, priced to suit most budgets. Currently, six units are available, two in each catagory, one double one twin-bedded, consisting of purpose-made canvas safari tents, pitched on extensive wooden decks, shaded by thatched roofs. Each tent is pitched well away from the others, providing a degree of seclusion found in few other lodges in Malawi. On your own private deck you neither overlook your neighbours, nor are you overlooked. All you can see is the wilderness and the river! The Island tents, offering even more seclusion, are reached by a bridge and you have the option of breakfast and afternoon tea on your deck.

All tents are well appointed with can armchairs and occasional tables on the extensive decks, and bedside tablets. Dressing tables and indoor sitting areas are found in the larger rooms. Bed linen is of high quality cotton and quilts will keep you warm on cool winter nights. All tents have open-air, but very private, en-suite facilities, with toilet, wash basins and hot showers.

There is also a camp site serviced with hot showers and flushing toilets, a barbecue, dishwashing facilities and a laundry area.

Budget accommodation for backpackers is available. Sheets, blankets, mosquito nets and towels are provided.

The main building, housing the restaurant, bar, reading and reception areas, is unique in Malawi. Built entirely of timber and thatch, right on the banks of the river, it has three main levels for dining and relaxation, as well as an upper viewing deck. Completely open sided, it provides shade and a cool breeze during the heat of the day, but you can dine under the stars in the evening on the open lower deck, or sit around the camp fire on cool nights.

Three meals delicious meals per day, as well as afternoon tea, are provided within the price: a full breakfast, with fruit salad and cereal; a salad-based lunch; and a three-course dinner, with a vegetarian alternative. There is a well stocked bar offering beers and minerals, spirits and wines.

Given the nature of the terrain and the density of the vegetation, vehicle-based wildlife viewing is currently unrewarding, although this should change once African Parks’ programme of wildlife reintroduction is complete. Walking safaris are offered, with a trained and armed game ranger. Walks are tailored to the wishes of the guests, varying from short strolls along the river to a nearby waterfall, to all-day hikes, an ascent of Chipata Mountain (1,700 metres) in the west of the reserve and overnight safaris with fly camps. Sundowners at strategic points along the river, where crocodiles are always seen and elephants sometimes, are a particular highlight for many of our guests.

Bua River Lodge considers community outreach as a key component of our operation. However, as far as is possible, assistance to local communities on a business-to-business basis. Bua River Lodge does not believe that hand-outs and guests’ charity provide long-term benefits for local people. Apart from providing employment and training – all current personnel are from surrounding villages - the lodge purchase food items locally and will provide assistance in producing the quality we require.


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