4.9 /5
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Based on over 1000 Verified Reviews.


Tongole Wilderness Lodge presents discerning travellers to Malawi with the perfect opportunity to combine the beaches of Lake Malawi with some heavyweight game viewing. Built in the form of an enormous treehouse and with only four suites and a cottage available, Tongole provides intimate, luxurious accommodation set on the banks of the Bua River at the heart of the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.

Lying on the western shores of Lake Malawi, Nkhotakota is a wilderness of forest and rivers, home to elephant, buffalo and hippo as well as a fantastic variety of birds and smaller creatures. Lion and leopard are resident, as are some of Africa’s rarer antelope such as sable and roan. The lodge takes full advantage of its location and offers a great range of activities – game drives, guided nature walks and canoe safaris are among the most popular. Stay for three or more nights and you have the chance to go on a thrilling ‘fly-camping’ adventure – sleeping under a net while out in the wilderness with a camp fire and a ranger for company. This is a thrilling experience and you will never forget experiencing Africa as our ancestors did.

Eco-friendly and known for its service with a smile, Tongole was founded to benefit both the wildlife of Nkhotakota Reserve and the welfare of the people who live on its borders. The lodge has a strong relationship with the local community from which it draws many of its guides and staff members. There are inspiring opportunities to visit the community with your guide and see projects – many of which are education-based - supported by the lodge.


  • A high-end lodge in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, which is off the beaten track
  • Perfect riverside setting from which to watch elephants come down to drink
  • Game drives to see out leopard, lion and buffalo as well as rare sable and roan antelope
  • Lots of activities like guided nature walks, rewarding birding and exciting boating
  • Learn from community interaction and participate in inspiring projects
  • Easy combination with next-door Lake Malawi


  • Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Game drives
  • Guided walks
  • Local village visits
'A lovely lodge situated in one of Malawi's most unspoilt areas. You feel away from it all in peaceful and scenic surroundings, and the game viewing is improving all the time. Stay here for the remote wilderness setting with lots of great activities on offer.'
Rikke Williams

Rikke Williams

Africa Safari Expert

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Family Suite

Tongole has four thatched chalets available, each open-fronted with beautiful river views. Step inside and you find traditional red-polished floors, a choice of double or twin beds and a thoughtfully designed living area with armchairs and tables. There is an open-plan bathroom in each chalet, featuring twin marble basins, a roomy shower with hot water always available, and a large sunken bathtub that serves as a plunge pool on hot days. There is a separate flush toilet.

Riverside Suite

Tongole’s riverside Family Cottage features two en-suite bedrooms separated by a lounge and dining area. Complete with a private deck overlooking the Bua River, the cottage is ideal for a small family or two couples travelling together.


Tongole’s main building is designed in the form of a luxurious treehouse, its various levels given over to viewing decks and comfortable lounges linked by staircases and all under an arched thatched roof. There is a bar in the main building plus a dining area and a small safari shop. Although there is no mobile phone coverage at the lodge, you do have the benefit of Wi-Fi Internet access in the main building.

Tongole welcomes families with children over the age of 12 in the main camp; they gladly accept families with children aged eight and over for the family cottage or if the whole lodge is booked for the group. Note that there are no dedicated activities for children and the camp is unfenced.


Tongole serves its meals indoors or outdoors depending on the weather, offering a mix of group and individual dining. The day begins early with breakfast – a choice of cooked or continental – before your morning activity. There is a simple but wholesome lunch on your return, perhaps a quiche or risotto with salad and freshly baked bread.

A traditional high tea signals the beginning of your afternoon: tea and coffee with sweet and savoury snacks before your afternoon activity, after which you return to fireside drinks and the prospect of a 3-course dinner by candlelight. You may begin with items like cheese-and-onion spring rolls with a paprika dipping sauce before moving on to fillet of prime beef, and ending with black cherry pie and home-made ice cream.

Vegetarian dishes are always available at Tongole and various dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notice.

General facilities

  • Swimming Pool
  • Bar

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