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Stay Longer, Stay Remoter: Amalinda Lodge & Singita Pamushana

February 13, 2023 Stay Longer, Stay Remoter

One of the hallmarks of the safari experience is “remoteness.” In many of Africa’s wildernesses, it can seem like safari-goers have it all to themselves. The areas that offer this kind of exclusivity not only enhance the thrills and wonders of the safari experience, but can also allay concerns from those about their health. A low density of people combined with longer stays can help minimize any health risks. By staying at fewer lodges and camps for longer a duration, safari-goers can minimize in-transit health risks. AAC would like to highlight two Zimbabwean lodges in particular: Amalinda Lodge in Matobo Hills and Singita Pamushana in the Malilangwe Reserve.

Amalinda Lodge

Granite Kopjes are ubiquitous in Matobo Hills

Amalinda Lodge is located within Matobo Hills National Park. The park’s landscape is dominated by the thousands of precariously balanced granite rocks. It makes for one of Africa’s most unique and stunning landscapes!

Part of the park is an IPZ (Intensive Protection Zone) and contains one of the highest concentrations of black and white rhino in Africa. For the more adventurous you may choose to walk in the park to look for white and black rhino.

Matobo Hills has one of the largest concentrations of black and white rhinos in Africa

This is an ancient place where hundreds of Bushmen paintings have been found throughout the park. The large boulders provide abundant natural shelters and have been associated with human occupation from the early Stone Age right through to early historical times, and intermittently since. They also feature an outstanding collection of rock paintings. The Matobo Hills continue to provide a strong focus for the local community, which still uses shrines and sacred places closely linked to traditional, social and economic activities. 

We highly recommend seeing some of the rock art during your stay

Amalinda Lodge is a visually stunning lodge built among the rocky outcrops of an ancient Bushman’s shelter.  The granite kopjes provide the ultimate architectural backdrop for the 9 rock and thatch rooms and suites. Each is unique in design and configuration and feature hand-crafted furniture, romantically draped beds, outdoor deck and en suite bathroom.

The common areas at Amalinda are really cool!

The dining and lounge area is built into the stone and is open on one side with views across the countryside. Enjoy drinks followed by a 3-course dinner served at the communal captain’s table.  Relax by the large infinity pool or spoil yourself in the spa with a variety of treatments. 

The lodge offers a variety of activities personalized to your taste, such as rhino tracking by vehicle or on foot or join a bicycle tour through the villages and rural homes.

Afternoons are a great time to relax poolside

You may include walks to Nswatugi Cave rock paintings, which is one of the finest in the region, with images of giraffe and antelope. A tour of the park will include the “View of the World” which has sensational panoramas of the rocky, barren countryside and granite kopjes (especially at sunrise).

One of Amalinda’s rooms, designed to the contours of the granite

There is a cultural opportunity to see the local community at work by visiting one of the nearby tribal villages, a secondary school and health clinic. This area has been carefully selected as a true reflection of everyday life.

Singita Pamushana

View from Pamushana’s pool area

One of Africa’s best-kept secrets, Singita Pamushana Lodge is found within the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in south-eastern Zimbabwe. Nestling beneath the trees high on a ridge, the lodge incorporates the natural environment and the forest-like architecture enhances views of the pool, the lush gardens and the lake below.

Interior of one of Pamushana’s 8 rooms

Malilangwe is teeming with birds and wildlife, including rare and endangered species – such as the Roan and sable antelope, and the black rhino. Famous for its cathedral Mopane forests and majestic ‘upside-down’ Baobab trees, this reserve is also an area where you will also find over 100 rock painting sites that date back more than 2000 years.

Cast away on the lodge’s pontoon boat!

Singita Pamushana comprises eight luxury suites (one, two and 3 bedroom) and one villa, each offering incredible views of the Malilangwe dam. All master bedrooms feature en suite bathroom and shower, as well as an outdoor shower, private plunge pool, double-sided fireplace, mini-bar and fridge, room safe, air conditioning, overhead fans, private lounge, direct dial telephones and game viewing deck with Swarovski spotting scope.

There are multiple dining options

The main lodge area offers an indoor dining room, open dining room, teak-deck dining areas, bar, library, open-air lounge, wine cellar, two heated swimming pools and a jacuzzi, all overlooking the Malilangwe dam and sandstone hills. 

Pamushana’s photographic hide

Activities include day and night game drives in open vehicles, bird watching & black rhino tracking, visiting San Bushman Rock Art, cruises and fishing on the dam. Other activities include tennis and golf. Great Zimbabwe (World Heritage Site) and Gonarezhou’s Chilojo Cliffs can be visited on a day trip at additional charge.

Guided walks are one of Pamushana’s many highlights

Sable Valley

The journey has come full circle – Sable Valley Lodge is open and welcomes you to join in protecting a pristine and vibrant valley, one with unique and fragile bio-systems, and one that will enthral the wildlife photographer and delight the nature purist.

Back in the 80’s when safaris were becoming fashionable, Sable Valley was built on a fragile ecosystem called The Dete Vlei.

This very camp was made famous in 1991 when her majesty, Queen Elizabeth || and His Royal Highness Prince Philip chose this lodge for their Safari adventure.

Fast forward 32 years, Sable Valley now falls under The Amalinda Safari Collection umbrella. The vision for the new Sable Valley is to celebrate the era of the old 90’s with 11 rooms set in stone rondavles and elegantly styled in a “Moroccan” theme. Large ensuite bathrooms with hot water showers and flush toilets complete the room.

The main lounge area overlooks the vlei with a boma, firepit with large seating area, open-air bar and dining room.

The experience is concentrated around walking safaris and incredible game drive activities on the 15,000 acre concession as well as using their private entrance to access The Hwange National Park. The Dete Vlei is home to the mega herds of buffalo, sometimes 1000s strong and the great breeding herd of The Presidential Elephants.