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Bua River Lodge

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99 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 85: English reviews
winchester
Reviewed 29 October 2016

We had a very enjoyable stay at Bua River Lodge; with excellent walks round. Food was very good; a bit more than we really needed with breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. Rooms good; but showering limited (by request, not enforced) because of water shortage. We were unlucky not to see elephants; they were very much around (we saw lots of...

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Thank reluctanttraveller47
buariverlodge, Owner at Bua River Lodge, responded to this review

Many thanks for your review. I am happy you felt we provided too much food. I would much rather guests do not go to bed hungry! You are absolutely correct though that one of the best times to visit is during the two or three months after the rains have finished. The river is still runnning strongly, but has cleared...

Duluth, Minnesota
Reviewed 25 October 2016

Bua River Lodge is located within Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. It is on the rustic side, so don’t expect luxury accommodations. But it was very comfortable and very relaxing. The tents were nice. The beds comfortable. Showering outdoors was liberating. Truly enjoyed our visit. In the tents, electricity is not available for charging batteries. But you can charge at the main...

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Thank Borkman0443
buariverlodge, Owner at Bua River Lodge, responded to this review

Thank you very much indeed for your wonderful and very honest review! Indeed, when the river is flowing, the place is transformed. Green, fresh and the sound of the water combine to deliver a most relaxing experience. And as you say, once wildlife numbers are up, then it will be an even better destination. We will have solar powered electricy...

Reviewed 22 September 2016

Rooms lovely - great just having candlelight at night in our budget rooms. Fantastic guides who were friendly, relaxed and informative on our short and long hikes and found us great wildlife. We only spent 26 hours here but it was such a great escape it felt like longer. Food could be quite small portions as it's mainly imported -...

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Thank Alex B
buariverlodge, Owner at Bua River Lodge, responded to this review

Many thanks for your very kind review. I'm surprised you only had a candle in the room. We have solar ighting for all rooms now, so perhaps there was a misunderstanding somewhere. I'm also concerned you felt our food portions were too small. Most of our guests tell us we prepare too much! But then everyone has different appetites :)...

Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Reviewed 22 September 2016

I have a video of my friend shouting "It's like paradise!" when we first got to Bua Lodge. We had just had our first week of living with little running water and working out in hot dusty villages all day so this may have been why Bua seemed so amazing but, to us, it was paradise for a weekend. It...

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Thank BIoss0m
buariverlodge, Owner at Bua River Lodge, responded to this review

We are delighted that we were able to give you such a peaceful and restful break from your volunteer work. Indeed, there are many more elephants around the lodge now, with almost daily sightings. My apologies about the ill-shutting door. We will recify!

Norwich, United Kingdom
Reviewed 6 September 2016

3 nights in the lake tent furthest away from the lodge. Doing nothing....... Perfect after a hectic 5 weeks in Malawi. Bua River Lodge is a delightful higgledy-piggledy wooden building over looking the river. Different levels, comfy sofas and corners, tables with a view for eating. Lunch - cold salads, meat, cheeses. Every day different and every day wonderful. Dinner...

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Thank Andrew B
buariverlodge, Owner at Bua River Lodge, responded to this review

Wow! What can I say? Except thank you very much for this wonderful review. We are all delighted you enjoyed your stay with us so much. The kitchen staff particulalry appreciate your praise. They try very hard to please and are so happy when empty plates come back to the kitchen. The elephants haven't been back to visit yet but...

Lilongwe, Malawi
Reviewed 12 August 2016

Bua River Lodge has fantastic food, amazing service, and very comfortable safari tents. A great and memorable evening with a most enjoyable game walk the next morning. Really sad to leave after only one day!

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Thank matt L
buariverlodge, Owner at Bua River Lodge, responded to this review

Thanks so much for your excellent review. We are delighted we were able to fulfil your expectations. Next time book for longer ;)

UK
Reviewed 16 June 2016

once you arrive in the carpark you have still have a small trail until you arrive in this wonderful secluded place... great service, with the owner checking and attending to any requirements/question you have. Lovely food and I particularly enjoyed the sunset walk with G&T next to the croccodile! My tent was very clean, with any basic amenities I could...

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Thank DamianaIT
buariverlodge, Owner at Bua River Lodge, responded to this review

Many thanks for your lovely review. We are delighted you enjoyed yourself so much. I hope you can stay longer on your next visit, perhaps in one of the Island rooms??

Lilongwe, Malawi
Reviewed 16 May 2016

An amazing oasis that opens out after a reasonably steep walk down to the river. The very comfortable open air living area over looking the flowing river gives a real feeling of being in heart of African bush, Lovely tented camp with exquisite open air shower looking out at the stars and indigenous trees. Excellent imaginative cuisine. The 3 hour...

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Thank sdfnomad
buariverlodge, Owner at Bua River Lodge, responded to this review

Many, many thanks for your wonderful review. We are truly delighted that we were able to help you enjoy your stay with us so much. We hope to see you again when there is more wildlife around!

Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Reviewed 6 May 2016 via mobile

Compliments to John who was the founder of Bua River Lodge, just located along the Bua River with excellent tent accomodation in pure nature. With 3 nights stay we felt great to have excellent host and service from John and his staff. Very friendly people and an excellent kitchen. Do you like nature and good service in one of the...

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Thank Arco V
buariverlodge, Owner at Bua River Lodge, responded to this review

Very sorry for the delay in replying to your review. Thanks you so much for the recommendation. Please do visit again.

Reviewed 13 April 2016 via mobile

Bua River lodge is a beautiful place to stay in the heart of a game reserve that is about to receive an influx of wildlife as African Parks have taken over. The scenery is stunning, the rooms are lovely and the fee of the place is very relaxed. We did the "Honeymoon Special" which was good value.

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Thank SamPorter
buariverlodge, Owner at Bua River Lodge, responded to this review

Many thanks for your wonderful review. I'm sorry I wasn't at Bua while you were there but I'm delighted you enjoyed your stay so much. As you say, when the wildlife is back it will become a very special place!

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Near Bua River Lodge

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Amenities

Highlights
  • Restaurant
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Free Parking
  • Free Breakfast
Things to do
  • Restaurant
  • Bar/Lounge
Services
  • Free Parking
  • Free Breakfast
Official Description (provided by the hotel)
Bua River Lodge is a small and unique, owner-managed lodge, where you are sure to feel at home and guaranteed to relax. We are receiving very favourable reviews, commenting on the beauty of the location, excellence of service, friendliness of the staff, comfort of the rooms and quality of the food.The lodge is located just two kilometres inside the eastern boundary of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi, 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.The reserve is very much a wilderness area. Apart from the main M18 road, which runs through the reserve, only one motorable track exists. North of the river, there are no tracks at all.There is a considerable diversity of wildlife, including a healthy elephant population, buffalo, lion and leopard, as well as roan, sable, zebra and many smaller mammals, although it must be said that the wildlife is difficult to observe. Over 200 species of birds are listed, including Finfoot, Palm Nut Vulture and Black Stork. It is likely that Pel’s Fishing Owl also occurs.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, 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 on your deck and a personalized “butler” service.The accommodation comprises two luxury Island tents, measuring 6.5 x 4.5 metres, one twin-bedded, one with a queen size bed; two Riverside tents, 4.5 x 3.5 metres, one double, one twin; and two Hillside tents, 3.5 x 3.2 metres, also double and twin. All tents are well appointed with cane armchairs and occasional tables on the extensive decks, bedside tables and shelves. 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 waterless toilet, wash basins and hot showers.The main camp site is serviced with hot showers and flushing toilets, a shaded deck with eating area, a barbecue, dishwashing facilities and a laundry area. Recently opened, a “wild” camp site less than a kilometre upstream from the main lodge offers a wilderness camping experience, with basic facilities. Overlooking a quiet, forest-fringed pool in the river, it is situated on the edge of a major elephant track.Two rooms near the camp site offer comfortable, clean, budget accommodation for backpackers.The main lodge, 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 fire in the boma on cool, winter nights.Three delicious meals per day 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. A small selection of bottled South African wines is available.Lighting throughout relies primarily on paraffin lanterns although small solar powered LED lamps are used to provide illumination in the bathrooms and front decks of the tents and the Island and Riverside tents now have bright solar powered lamps inside. Taking the path back to your room after dinner, lit by the flickering flames of the lanterns is a magical experience. But bring a torch!Given the nature of the terrain and the density of the vegetation, vehicle-based wildlife viewing is generally unrewarding. 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, a combined vehicle safari and ascent of Chipata Mountain in the west of the reserve and, eventually, overnight safaris with fly camps. Sundowners at strategic points along the river are a particular highlight for many of our guests. ... more   less 

Additional Information about Bua River Lodge

Address: 10 km Off the Main M5 Salima To Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Central Region > Nkhotakota
Price Range: €51 - €88 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
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Mossel Bay, South Africa

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Typical questions asked:
  • Can tickets for local attractions be purchased at the front desk?
  • Do you have to pay extra for a mini-fridge?
  • At what time does the pool open each day?

See which rooms travellers prefer

“Budget rooms had just a candle, bed, mosquito coil and mosquito net. I loved it, not for everyone!”
 of 5 bubbles D9679ICalexb, 22 Sep 2016 | Read review
“The tents offer great privacy, and the feeling that you are truly in nature.”
 of 5 bubbles 315shawna, 26 Mar 2016 | Read review
“The Island tents are the largest and in the best location”
 of 5 bubbles jaapv, 5 Nov 2015 | Read review
“Island rooms are amazing but all rooms offer something special.”
 of 5 bubbles fattie31, 13 Sep 2015 | Read review
“Three types of rooms: Hillside, Riverside, Island. All seem nice. We stayed in Hillside A - located above the main lodge, up a short slope - which was like being in the trees, with a slight view of the river. This is the cheapest type of room and very nice.”
 of 5 bubbles davidfleminger, 20 Jan 2015 | Read review
5 of 5