Overall, Chilo Lodge is a great option for Gonarezhou. Highly recommended by Yellow Zebra! The lodge welcomes children, though parents are urged to be aware of wildlife dangers and, of course, the steep cliffs on which the lodge reclines.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge is located on top of a cliff, overlooking the Save River and Gonarezhou National Park.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The main areas at Chilo Gorge are set out within a very large two-storey structure made of wood, thatch and stone. Here guests can relax in an assortment of lounge areas, dining areas, bar, library and curios shop stocking local arts and crafts. All interiors boast an elegant neutral palette and natural materials, which gives the lodge a really serene feel. Just outside the communal building, there is a spacious pool. There is also a deck, with amazing views down to the river, where wildlife comes frequently to drink. It is not uncommon for guests to spot elephants, buffalos, hippos, crocodiles – and all without leaving the lodge!
Chilo Gorge’s guest accommodation is spread over two sites – the main site and Nhambo Camp, a self-contained enclave of Chilo Gorge. At the main site, there are ten twin or king-size chalets. All are very comfortable, with the same style as the communal lodge. They feature tea- and coffee-making facilities, a mini bar, an electronic safe, mosquito nets, a private balcony and seating area, and en-suite flush toilet, washbasin and shower. Complimentary toiletries are provided. Two of the rooms have a longer interconnecting balcony, a good option for family accommodation. Families are also catered for at Nhambo Camp, which has a family chalet in addition to four double chalets. The camp has its own kitchen, barbecue area and plunge pool, though guests are welcome for meals and pool use at the main lodge too.
Chilo Lodge offers an exciting assortment of activities. Morning and afternoon game drives take place in Gonarezhou National Park, with a great guiding team. The same team also conducts walking safaris. There is loads of wildlife to see in the park – all Big Five animals, plus birdlife including eagles, hornbills, kingfishers and raptors. Guests also enjoy walking the 3km nature trail to Chivilia Falls, a spectacular waterfall. Trips are available to Mahenye Island, once home of Mahenye Lodge, and guests who are feeling even more adventurous will relish a night at Chilo’s own tented camp in Gonarezhou. To take in a little local culture, guests may request to spend some time in Mahenye Village – and if you come in September, you can enjoy the Mahenye Festival of traditional dancing, food and drink, and the famous fish drive in the Save River!