- Panoramic views of Shamwari GR
- Great game drives with Big Five
- Modern luxury accommodation
- Private swimming and plunge pools
Boasting some of the best panoramic views in the area, Villa Lobengula is tucked away deep in the Shamwari bush veld and is designed to resemble a traditional African kraal. For exclusive-use only, which makes it ideal for couples or larger groups of adults, the Villa is surrounded by mountains and valleys, with wildlife literally at its doorstep.
Villa Lobengula is just one of many sister lodges in the Shamwari Game Reserve. Like its sister lodges, it offers incredible opportunities to get close to and explore the surrounding wildlife. The Shamwari area is malaria-free, and has many green initiatives and animals that roam free around it, offering guests a great opportunity to experience the wildlife organically. Game Drives are one of the best ways to explore the surrounding plains. On these, guests can expect to spot elephants, giraffe, hippo, buffalo, zebra, lion, wildebeest, antelope, and hyena, with chance to also see White and Black Rhino, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog. There are also many opportunities for guests to learn more about the area and local conservation efforts at the Rhino Awareness Centre, Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, and the Born Free Big Cat Rescue Centre, some of an array of resident efforts to prevent poaching and conserve dwindling game populations.
Six suites, each featuring a private patio, indoor and outdoor facilities, and en-suite facilities, constitute Villa Lobengula’s guest accommodation. The main lodge has a rustic atmosphere to it. This, along with its modern amenities, makes it a great spot to experience South African culture in comfort. Featured is an indoor lounge with WiFi, a deck lounge with a fireplace, private swimming and plunge pools, a Relaxation Retreat, and a fitness room. The Villa can be booked exclusively by those travelling with a large group.
This lodge is ideally suited for couples or large groups of adults. Families with children should visit Villa Lobengula’s sister camps, Riverdene Lodge and Sirili Lodge.
Thanks for organising an excellent holiday for us. It's my first time using Tourdust and I've been really impressed and will certainly be recommending you to friends and family. You provided an excellent level of service all the way through, and the bespoke nature of the trip was fantastic whilst being really good value for money.
- Le Kasbah de Toubkal blew us away - one not to miss!
- The trek was amazing and my kids loved it. The camping was really fun, the food was excellent, and I'd particularly call out our guide Rashid who was fantastic show especially with my kids.
- Riad Adore was outstanding - far exceeding my expectations - it was beautiful and we were very well looked after
- Le Doux Tour was luxurious and a nice relaxing way to end the holiday.
- Logistics were great and our main driver Mustapha was brilliant
If there was one build / thing I would change, it's a very small one but some candles / lanterns to use in the evening whilst camping would have made it easier to stay outside for a bit longer.
Mark Dilley reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 07 June 2016
Truly another world. The sky was enormous and the summits snow covered. Blue irises, wild herbs and fruit trees flowered on the slopes. Even as I toiled up the dry river bed I gazed in admiration.
Without exception, everyone was courteous and welcoming. Food was good ( and far too plentiful); accommodation clean. Above all-everything worked! A pick-up was promised for 9.00am. At 8.55 the doorbell rang. Impeccable.
No praise is too high for the organisation and staff. I am definitely going back.
Terence Humphreys reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 16 May 2016
Our trip was excellent. Thank you! We were particularly impressed with the way it all worked seamlessly: someone was at each arrival point to meet us (or Alex was on the end of the phone to tell us what to do) or there was a phone message at Reception for when to expect someone.
The Jerusalem Hotel in Lalibela is not the same standard as Tukul Villages but it was OK for one night & we had plenty of warning. Lalibela at Christmas is pretty manic: full to bursting!
I must say that Alex looked after us well. He came to see us in Gondar to make sure everything was in place for the Simiens Trek & that we knew what to expect. When we got back after it, there he was again! Small but highly-valued pieces of customer care, evident again when he spoke to drivers while we were travelling.
All the staff who worked with us were of high quality, especially drivers and guides. Two who stood out were Younus, our driver both times we were in Addis Ababa, who we felt went beyond the call of duty & made our time there enjoyable - our last evening when waiting for a 2 a.m. flight could have been a drag, was in fact absolutely fine because of his suggestions (the Via Via cafe for dinner & then Mama's Kitchen for some music) and company.
The Simiens Trek was outstanding. Spectacular scenery, challenging at times, full of interest. Key to making it so was Dereje Gedamu who is a wonderful guide: we felt privileged to have him. he was ably assisted by the other staff & when our first, excellent chef had to leave at short notice to visit his mother in hospital, a replacement was found immediately (at Chenek!) who fed us to the same high standard. It was all a great experience that we will be talking about for a long time.
We were all pleased to have selected the 8 day option (& were not at all jealous of the peak-baggers heading for Ras Dashen). The second half of the trek was a good contrast to the high altitude section in the National Park's heartland as we descended through more intensively cultivated and populated areas, down steeply to the river and then back up past wonderful rock formations towards Mulit and out to the road at Adi Arkaye. It was full of interest and we were pleased to be pretty much on our own, rather than with the crowds at Geech & Chenek.
By comparison, the TESFA trek was rather tame, although an interesting comparison to see a more pastoral landscape and less remote villages. We had another good guide & enjoyed the lunch & evening stops, and the "loos with a view".
Pleased as we were that we had opted to drive from Bahir Dar to Lalibela, we had mixed feelings about driving the rough Gashena-Lalibela road three times - the starting and finishing points for the TESFA trek were just beyond Gashena. In 3 years when the road is complete this point may become academic, but meanwhile - if anyone else wants to do the same thing - it would be better for them to drive from Bahir Dar to Gashena, meet the TESFA crew there, do the trek & then continue to Lalibela. I am sure that TESFA could look after any extra baggage that people did not want on the trek.
One other point about the TESFA trek: we were not aware that there are several grades offered. I think we did the easiest and might well have preferred something more challenging so perhaps you could clarify the options available.
Only one other critical comment: we were underwhelmed by the Mayleko Lodge near Gondar airport. It was indeed welcome to have somewhere peaceful to return to after the trek, the rooms are nice & a couple of us enjoyed a "refreshing" swim, but on the other hand the restaurant was pretty mediocre and slow: we might have preferred to be out in the town.
Apart from that it was all good! A glimpse of Addis and another of Gondar; trekking with some R&R in Bahir Dar with its different scenery and history, ending with the religious fervour at Lalibela. A great holiday.
Gordon Parker reviewing Simien Mountains Trek & Northern Highlights on 09 February 2016