Bua River Lodge
Bua River Lodge
Bua River Lodge is a small, boutique eco-lodge, where you are sure to feel at home and relaxation is guaranteed. Our staff will give you a warm welcome and help you relax into our little bit of paradise hidden within the majestic Nkhotakota Reserve.
The Lodge offers high quality, secluded, thatch-covered safari tents on a full board basis. Each is located to provide maximum privacy, within the woodland, along the river or on a small island that is reached by a bridge in the wet season.
On your own private deck you neither overlook, nor are you overlooked. All you can see and hear is the wilderness and the river – a great place to chill and appreciate nature.
The main Lodge is located right on the banks of the river. It contains the restaurant, bar, reading and reception areas, and is built entirely of timber and thatch. It has three main levels for dining and relaxation, as well as an upper viewing deck that provides superb views of Namdinga Pool – a favourite watering hole. Being completely open sided, the Lodge provides shade and a cool breeze during the heat of the day, and you can dine under the stars in the evening on the open lower deck, or sit around the camp fire on cool nights.
All meals are made onsite from local produce, and our chefs are happy to accommodate various dietary requirements. There is a set lunch menu for day guests. Tea and coffee are available throughout the day and there is a well-stocked bar offering beers and minerals, spirits and wines.
The Lodge offers memorable walking safaris, with their guides and a trained game ranger. Walks are tailored to your wishes; varying from short strolls along the river to a nearby waterfall, to longer hikes deeper into the Reserve – it all depends on what you prefer. Sundowners at strategic points along the river, where crocodiles are always seen basking and elephants sometimes gather, are a particular highlight you’ll enjoy.
Given the nature of the terrain and the density of the vegetation, sometimes the wildlife can be a little shy and remain hidden, however, the guides will share local knowledge and stories, as well as point out all aspects of the local flora and fauna.
Being within the Reserve
Having the privileged position of being located within such a place of natural beauty and wildlife, Bua River Lodge tries hard to minimise their impact on the environment and those they share the space with. The Lodge is completely powered by solar and the water is fresh from their own borehole.
The Lodge supports the local communities outside of the reserve, with most of the staff coming from surrounding villages. Food and materials (such as thatch, furniture, artwork) are purchased locally and the Lodge is happy to organise knowledge sharing events and trips.
Bua River Lodge is partnered with a local charity, the Nkhotakota cultural centre, which offers free training for local youth and children through the arts. Some of the room income goes directly to this fabulous charity. This is an area the management team hope to develop, building more connections with the local communities, and in time investing profits from the Lodge into local developments.
About the Reserve
The Reserve, covering 180,000 hectares, is the third largest protected area in Malawi and one of the least known. Based on the steep western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, the largely miombo woodland is full of hills, valleys and rivers, falling 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.
Since September 2015, the Reserve’s management has been in the hands of African Parks (APL), a not-for-profit conservation organisation. Back in 2016 they carried out a huge translocation of 500 elephants and 2,000 game animals. As a result, spectacular elephant sightings from the Lodge are quite frequent, with one male popping by regularly to keep an eye on the Lodge. APL continue to secure the Reserve and are developing a road network and several viewing platforms too, permitting access to more remote parts of the reserve and improving vehicle-based game viewing. There is already a considerable diversity of wildlife, both large and small, within the reserve. Over 200 species of birds are listed, for those with a keen eye (or ear!) and besides elephants the Lodge often sees vervet monkeys, crocodiles, waterbuck, buffalos, porcupines to name a few, as well as numerous butterflies and other insects. With the tender care bestowed by African Parks numbers will increase and as they introduce more animals, enrich that diversity.
APL also have a fantastic educational centre within the Reserve that provides a lot more information about the area.
How to find us
Bua River Lodge is located just two kilometres inside the eastern boundary of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi. From the main north south road, that runs the length of Lake Malawi, the turn off to the Reserve and Bua River Lodge is clearly indicated. There is a ten kilometre track from the tarmac road that is passable by saloon car, even during the rains, though a 4 wheel drive is highly recommended.
The team look forward to welcoming you and making your stay a truly memorable one.
Other Accommodation in or near Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
Kachenga Bush Camp consists of 3 chalets and is centrally located in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, in a tranquil setting, with views out to Kasukusuku mountain.
Rafiki Safari Camp is the perfect family comfortable safari getaway with double/twin or family Luxury Safari Units, located right by Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
Tongole Wilderness Retreat is a luxury eco-lodge set deep within the rugged and breathtakingly beautiful miombo woodland of the 1,800 sqkm Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
At Ngala you will be welcomed by friendly personalised service. Our beautiful lodge has stunning views of both the lake and mountains. You can see the sunrise and the sunset over the water at Ngala Lodge.
Livezi Bush Camp is an exquisite family, group, individual retreat spot tucked in the quiet and cool banks of the Bua River tributary in the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.