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An African jewel unearthed in 1996 and blown away with a political wind in 1999. This is an unfortunate truth about so many lodges and game reserves in Zimbabwe. Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge is a story of success, hold on to your seats for an unforgettable ride.

Cruise news: R24,954 for 2 adults on the MSC Opera Christmas cruise from Durban to Anakoa & Portuguese Island (21 to 27 Dec 2012)

Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge

There seem to be few success stories coming out of Zimbabwe at the moment but the hidden truth is that this is  a country that not only is full of unparalleled potential, but, the tourism melting pot is beginning to steam once again.

The lodge opens on 1 August 2012.  Email cheapflights@southafrica.to to make a booking - opening price is USD375 per person per night

Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe

Looking South over the Save River, nestled on a ridge providing incredible panoramic views of the 5 000 square kilometres which is Gonarezhou, Zimbabwe's second largest National Park, proclaimed in 1975.  Greatly varied habitat provides for a broad variety of wildlife, from the alluvial forests at the convergence of the Save and Runde Rivers to the eroded sandstone escarpment that forms the majestic and famous Chilojo Cliffs.  Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge is a CAMPFIRE project; this is an innovative approach to conservation at village level which seeks to empower local people to manage their natural resources in a sustainable way, and to use revenue derived from this to the benefit of the community.

Chilo Gorge

Catering for guest that want to be taken care of there are ten twin bedrooms all with elevated views of the Save River. Conscious of an incredible overlanding community and the Greater Limpopo Trans-frontier National Park opportunities Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge also provides for the self-catering orientated traveller, to this regard there is accommodation enough for sixteen person broken into four twin bedrooms and a family cottage, all with incredible views down the Save river looking out over Mozambique.

So what does Chilo Safari Lodge have that other lodges don’t? Good questions with equally good answers.


Birding in this region is considered a speciality with over 66% of Zimbabwe’s bird species recorded here, or looked at from another angle, 48% of Southern Africa’s birds can be found here. Just inside the park there is an Important Birding Area (IBA) classified under International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUC). 

Access to Gonerezhou is done by driving across the Save River, when the water levels are just too high guests are boated across to vehicles on stand-by in the park. Gonerezhou is one of the world’s truly pristine wilderness areas, there is a long list of exciting mammals to see within the park. 

There is a huge emphasis on cultural activities to and within the Mahenye village, why you say, well here is an introduction. Most of the local community belong to the Hlengwe clan of the Shangaan tribe, which settled in the area in the Nineteenth Century. The Shangaan are a breakaway tribe from the Zulu nation, originating in Mpumalanga (Eastern Transvaal, South Africa).

The Shangaan brought with them a culture aware of the need for conservation of natural resources. Largely dependent on hunting, the elders knew they had to leave sufficient animals to ensure supplies for the future. Aided by a local conservationist rancher Clive Stockil, the Department of National Parks initiated discussions in 1982, hoping to achieve reconciliation with the Mahenye community.  A ground breaking agreement was reached to use the potential benefits of wildlife for the development of the community, and thus give the community the incentive to tolerate animals on their land and in the National Park.

Historical value - In 1964, below the rapids of Chivilila Falls, a metal ring attached to the rock face a few metres above the water was found. Closer examination saw it to be a metal ring attached to a bolt that had been set deep and secure into the rock face..... The ring was about one inch thickness, about 9 inch diameter, and very encrusted with age and exposure.”  
This was the first and last time the existence of this ring was to be recorded.  And so, for one brief moment, a window opened on the Save River’s unwritten history, before closing once again and forever. What items would have been offloaded at Chilo - muskets, cloth, knives, beads and trinkets?  What payload would have been taken on board - gold, ivory and human cargo?

sunrise at Chilo Gorge in Zimbabwe


R600 per room per night for 2 people at the Milkwood Lodge in Hermanus (54% discount)

Book online & stay before 31 May 2012 (limited availability):

R435/night at the Road Lodge in East London.

R650/night at the Town Lodge in Port Elizabeth.

R750/night at the City Lodge in Bloemfontein.

R980/night at the Courtyard in Sandton (Johannesburg)

Golf travellers on KLM should note that KLM has announced a change to its baggage allowance for golf travellers.

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Kulula only offers to repair it. Obviously the bag will not be the same; even the name was ripped off". Patrice

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The Bottom Line:

Afrimat is involved in the boring aggregate mining & concrete mix industry. Today it released its trading results, which showed a steady increase on last year - nothing exciting about this share, but it does its job and I think it's good value. I bought some at R4.80/share in January and it's trading at R5.80/share at the moment (I see its value currently being some R6.50/share - I could be wrong!).