The nine beautifully appointed chalets at Amalinda lodge, together with the professional and friendly service make this one of the best places to stay when visiting Matobo Hills National Park.
Amalinda Lodge is quite unique, built in keeping with the rocky surroundings, in fact, making use of the rocks as part of the chalets and main buildings. It almost has a Flintstones feel about it. Each chalet is different from the next but all are beautifully finished with modern wooden furniture with a colonial African feel to it. The spacious rooms have comfy beds, a lounge area and a writing desk where you can compose those postcards home. The en-suite bathrooms have hot and cold running water, the showers and basins are worked into the surrounding granite rockface.
A short meander on a weaving pathway through the rocks will take you to the huge main area. A cavernous lounge has cosy seating areas, plump couches with colourful cushions, some interesting reading material and a well-stocked bar carved into the granite. Even the wine cellar makes use of a cool rocky area, and guests are welcome to browse the wine collection. On a slightly lower level is the dining area. Delicious 3 course meals take place at a large teak table, there is also tea and coffee available throughout the day. If you are looking to unwind, the sizeable pool makes use of a depression in the rocks and there is space to lounge and soak up the sun. Of an evening a fire is lit and it's a wonderful place to watch 'bush tv', by that we mean watch the fire, listen to it crackle and maybe swap stories with fellow travellers.
Activities here centre around game viewing and this can be done on game drives or on foot. Matobo has an 'intensely protected area' with high densities of rhino, both black and white. Matobo is also the site of Cecil Rhodes' grave and that of Leander Starr Jameson. This area has great cultural significance to the local people and is rich in history, your guide will be able to share this with you as you explore the area. Hot off the press as of summer 2016 Camp Amalinda is also offering mountain bike excursions. You will be accompanied by a qualified and enthusiastic guide as you explore the route, travelling down donkey cart tracks and cattle paths - with a welcome lunch stop in a rural village. It's a great opportunity to explore the Matabeleland countryside.
Open: Amalinda Lodge is open all year.
Location: Matobo Hills National Park, 64km south of Bulawayo.
Rooms: 9 thatched chalets built into the side of huge granite boulders. Each is unique in shape and decor. The en-suite bathrooms have shower, flush toilet and basin with hot running water. Furniture is tasteful and has a colonial African feel. Two of the chalets are classed as suites and also have a bathtub.
Facilities: There is a swimming pool, spacious comfy lounge, bar and main dining area.
Activities: Walking and vehicle safaris are offered here. You can also track black and white rhinos by vehicle and on foot. In addition the camp offers cultural activities and visits to historical sites in Matopos. You can visit the grave of Cecil John Rhodes Matobo Hills National Park. A new activity has been added, a guided mountain bike trail with lunch at a rural village.
Dining: Meals are served communally in the main dining area.
Children: The camp has no age restrictions, however, children will be assessed on an individual basis for rhino tracking.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is limited mobile phone reception here, it can be a bit patchy.
The perfect introduction to Zimbabwe combining wildlife, culture and scenery to show you what makes this country so special
Amalinda Safari Collection founded the Mother Africa Trust in 2006. They work with and back a selection of handpicked grassroots projects across Zimbabwe which are beneficial to the local community and natural environment.