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All reviews dirt road local community local guide worth the journey great hosts dry season flora and fauna two nights hot water other guests well marked trails hiking trails allow plenty of time great weekend high clearance irene lodge
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Reviewed 29 June 2017

This is a wonderful lodge in a very beautiful setting. I was there for a special music weekend. It was just great. The hosts were very welcoming and the other guests were as well. The food is very good. The homemade bread and spreads are special. The bar was fun. The bed was very comfortable and the staff was excellent. The only down side was I couldn't stay longer!

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank khart679
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NtchisiForestLodge, Manager at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2017

Dear Ken,

Thank you so much for your kind words! The guests of Rhythms of the Rainforest festival had very different backgrounds, ages and interests, all did go along very well. But off course music unites. We noticed that you had a really good time and enjoyed every minute of it. So did we! We hope to see you again.

Warm regards,
Rob & Irene

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2017

I spent a brief weekend-stay at Ntchisi Forest Lodge during my time in Malawi in May 2017. Goal of my weekend plan was to do some interesting and exciting hiking in Ntchisi Forest. My stay at Ntchisi Forest Lodge did not dissappoint me the least. The lodge is very nice, the staff very welcoming, friendly and assists you with any problems. The evening dinner took place in a very nice laid-back and communal atmoshpere with all other guests, and the food (both of the evening dinner as well as during the day) was very good. On my last day I ordered a lunch snack, but sandwiches were gone out, so the chef fixed me a really nice, fresh, fantastic salad.

Rooms and their adjacent en-suite bathrooms are nicely furnished, the reception was very warm and welcoming (e.g.with individually addressed welcoming cards). My room came with a good proper mosquito net that covered one half of the room. I cannot say anything about the tents though (stayed in a double room). There is electricity to charge your phones, phone connection is sporadic though. When the solar panels receive enough sunlight, there is hot water. You should bring a jacket or sweatshirt, as it can get chilly in the evenings and mornings.

If you like hiking, Ntchisi Forest should be on your list. The different flora and fauna that you can find there on a relatively small area is super interesting. Hiking through transitional woodland and then eventually entering the humid density of the rainforest is really exciting. When I was hiking, I encountered several large birds ( a type of vulture(?) but I am not too sure about this) as well as a band of baboons that was chasing through the tree tops right above me. The hiking routes range from long but easy-to-do to pretty challenging (some trails traverse steep and rocky slopes and there are occasional obstacles on the trails, such as big tree trunks). But - the staff of the lodge provides all necessarry information that you need concerning the hiking paths, including providing you with a map. When I assessed with the lodge manager which hiking trails I should try out (the red, the blue, the yellow and so forth), it took place in a honest atmosphere in which there was no problem in admitting to prefer the easy hiking trails.

The place is a bit difficult to reach (a selling point, I think). You need a 4x4, or a motorbike to traverse the rough road leading through some villages to the lodge. The lodge can assist you in fixing transportation (through them themselves). In my individual case, the lodge car was already picking up other people, but the lodge assisted me in finding another driver in Lilongwe who eventually brought me there.

I definitely recommend a stay at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, especially because for a good day or half a day of hiking, not staying over night certainly eats to much away from how long you can hike along the trails. I am planning to come back with my girlfriend next time.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank nuo_dani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NtchisiForestLodge, Eigenaar at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 June 2017

Thansk for your great review!

We are glad you enjoyed the hiking. An easy hike can well be done in one day, but to get a glimpse of both the miombo and the rainforest it is better to stay at least one night over. It is very well possible that you have seen a vulture. It could have been an eagle as well.

In the lodge we recently decorated our rooms with mosquito nets. At 1400 meter altitude you won't find many mozzies near the lodge but for the occasional one it is always nice to choose your 'covering' option for the night ;)

For getting at the lodge we always recommend to have a car with high clearance. In the rainy season (december till april) a 4WD is mostly needed.

We hope to see you next time with your girlfriend.

All the best for now.

Regards,

The NFL team

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Reviewed 16 April 2017 via mobile

Great staff, wonderful food. Nice views, good hiking trails. The dining is shared family style with other guests. There isn't wifi or much cell service, so it's a nice break from our digital hectic life.

The road to the lodge is not paved, but passable with scenic views.

Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Kirsten W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NtchisiForestLodge, Owner at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2017

Dear Kim & Jeremy and Amaya,

It was a pleasure having you here to celebrate Easter with us at the lodge and share stories around the campfire.

Nice that you enjoyed our food; we believe that the way to the heart goes via the stomach :)

And yes indeed there is not much wifi or cell service and we are happy that we can provide this service. A nice break from the hustling and bustling from town or a busy family life. That is what we call 'life undisturbed'.

Thanks for your review.

Warm regards from the Ntchisi Forest Lodge team

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Reviewed 5 April 2017 via mobile

We arrived at the lodge very late because we had read in Lonely Planet that the last section of road is dirt road but it was dirt road from the turn for Dowa. That means there was 22km more dirt road than we anticipated and we ended up travelling it in the dark. This lodge is worth the journey - set off on a day when you know you can get there by the afternoon though! We tried to contact the lodge to let them know we were running late. Communication is tricky when you are that remote though. So again, allow plenty of time and get there when it's still light. Eduardo greeted us and said that they had been disappointed because they assumed we were a no-show. He made us some dinner and settled us in our room. The bed was really comfortable and the sheets were great quality. The room was stylish and white washed. We enjoyed our time here but certainly wish we had at least arrived in time for sunset. We did the red route walk which was lovely. The lunches are expensive by Malawian standards ($19 for two sandwiches and two small beers) but the bread was homemade, they have to drive long distances to buy supplies and they put money aside for medical bills for their staff, put money into the local community etc. We didn't mind paying more given these factors.

Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Ruth22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NtchisiForestLodge, Owner at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2017

Dear Ruth,

thanks for your kind words. We are sorry for the longer time on the road spent. We will pass on the information to Lonely Planet that they include that the 27 km dirt road takes approximately 45 minutes.
We are happy you enjoyed the bedroom and the bed. We invested in high quality mattrasses and linen in order to give our guests the best sleeping experience.
Did you know that our sandwiches are not only homemade, they are also served with fresh herbs from one of our vegetable gardens.
Hope to see you again.

Warm regards,

The Ntchisi Forest Lodge team

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Reviewed 19 March 2017

I'd like to begin by saying the forest lodge itself was lovely, beautiful scenery, well marked trails, good food, friendly staff (though difficult to find and when they were around, often had the door closed) but probably the rudest and most unreasonable management I have ever come across. Unfortunately, my friend and I arrived at 10pm, 3 hours later than planned due to unexpected transport problems. Throughout the day, I sent 2 emails and made 5 phone calls to discuss transport and explain our situation, but no response. So we carried on and the lovely night guard woke up Eduard to allow us in - Eduard greeted us with open annoyance that we were late, waking him up from "deep sleep" without informing him of our status. When we explained we had transport complications and further explained our several attempts to make contact he nastily responded "well, we are on a mountain with no cell service so what do you expect?" Clearly, this shocks me silent because not only is he unnecessarily rude, none of what he is saying is rational. The following evening I approached him and a female manager regarding the previous nights encounter with Eduard (in a direct and firm, but non confrontational way) and was further badgered with responses like "this isn't a hotel with 24/7 reception" and "I'm not your slave at your beckon call". And round and round we go. The entire weekend was full of ncounters like this leaving us with feeling like we had to walk on eggshells, couldn't ask for the simplest and most reasonable of things....we were made to feel as though we were a difficult annoyance. Though the place was lovely, I would not recommend this place based on the discomfort and disrespect I was confronted with from the management.

Room Tip: I stayed in the safari tent and this was fine.
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank erica C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NtchisiForestLodge, Owner at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2017

Dear Erica,

Thanks for your feedback. We are happy that you enjoyed the lodge, the beautiful scenery and the friendly staff. We regret the inconvenience you have experienced with our managers during your stay and want to apologise for that. Since we are a small lodge, hospitality is key for us. Fortunately the vast majority of guests respect us for that as you can also see on other reviews. Therefore we were very much surprised to read your comments.

Of course we have also spoken to our managers since we belief you always need to hear both sides of the story. First of all after hearing your story they want to apologise for the inconvenience you have experienced. They mentioned that while indeed they had received an email in the morning that you would be a bit later, they did not receive any further communication and by 9 PM figured that you were not coming and send the staff home. When you arrived they were already in bed and in deep sleep. And yes, when they woke up and you told them you had contacted them in many ways without any respons, they were a bit tempered . The encounter when you spoke to them firmly, they have perceived as a little offensive and therefore he responded the way he did. They assured us however that the staff have taken good care of you for the rest of the weekend.

It seems that due to a lot of things happening that particular day and the day after with both your take and that of our manager the experience was not as you had expected it to be. We are sorry for that.

We sincerely hope you can set this interaction aside and will mostly remember all the good things Ntchisi Forest Lodge had to offer you.

Joost, Marleen and Ans
Owners Ntchisi Forest Lodge

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