Visitors to the Matobo Hills in southern Zimbabwe invariably end up tongue-twisted in awe of the gentle magic of this ancient landscape. Amalinda Lodge adds to the effect.
Woven into the giant granite boulders that make this 44,000-hectare game reserve unique, Amalinda Lodge combines luxury with a genuine connection to the surrounding landscape. Rooms are cavernous palaces - built into, around, above and below the rocks - that are decorated and furnished with a rustic charm belying their comforts: large showers, enormous beds; outdoor showers; private decks and achingly beautiful views.
The main lodge winds through the rocks with a delightful bar cave, a dining deck that juts out into the trees, an open-air fireside lounge, a reading lounge and, the central focus, a large natural rock pool and gazebo.
Service is homegrown friendliness combined with regimented polish; the food is gourmet bush fare, complete with twirly reductions, piled up roulades and homemade breads. And with just a handful of rooms the atmosphere is as quiet as the rocks and the full-time wellness therapist is on hand to enhance that feeling.
Priscilla takes great care of all your needs in an efficient unimposing manner and Billy is an accomplished and highly entertaining guide with a love for his country that is most refreshing. He will take you on a gentle interpretive bush walk up the nearest kopjie (say \"copy\" and he'll be impressed) and guided game drives and scenic tours of the Matopos National Park.
Full board accommodation; nine en-suite chalets including two honeymoon suites; eco camp with fire-heated water; outdoor showers; comfortable beds and private decks; dining deck; bar and lounge area; reading area; fireside sitting area; large rock pool and poolside bar; health spa; road transfers from Bulawayo
The Matobo Hills are a World Heritage Site for their staggering concentration of San rock art; the scenery is beautiful and many people wish they'd booked an extra night or even two here.
Walk the grounds in safety with amazing views, plants, birds and small animals to be seen; game drives into Matopos Naitonal Park with excellent black and white rhino tracking; general antelope, though not abundant as in the major game reserves, is diverse and adds to the experience rather than takes centre stage; birdlife is prolific with a great variety of raptors; plantlife is extraordinarily diverse making for fascinating interprerive bush walks; swimming; health spa; library; community projects