Matetsi River Lodge
Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
This intimate luxury lodge is a firm Ampersand’s favourite and is setting new standards in Zimbabwe. Secluded in a fairy-tale Zambezi riverside setting, the Matetsi’s 18 rooms and private villa are ultra-sexy yet understated, designed with modern polish by innovative local architect Kerry van Leenhoff.
It is owned by Zimbabwean, John Gardiner, who spent more than £7 million turning it into one of the best lodges in Africa and boasting some of its best guides. He spearheaded a conservation story which has seen the lodge undertaking an extensive restoration of Matetsi Private Game Reserve with the installation of 14 new water holes, troughs and solar pumps to revitalise the resident wildlife. The lodge also works with local park authorities and police who undertake anti-poaching patrols through the Reserve.
Other exceptional features at Matetsi River Lodge are its 66-foot lap pool, its 4-bedroom private villa (with its own pool, kitchen, chef, guide, private vehicle and butler) and its world class chef, formerly with Singita. All rooms have 4-poster beds, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, air-conditioning, freestanding tubs, indoor-and-outdoor showers and a private plunge-pool. Breaking away from the usual safari-chic styling, Matetsi River Lodge’s muted grey suites features Scandinavian-style furniture, abstract artworks and natural materials like stone, copper and wood which give centre stage to the natural habitat.
The lodge’s facilities include a spa, small gym, wine cellar stocked with fine South African wines, a shop, and its gorgeous pool to gaze out at the hippo-filled waters. Organic meals are served up indoors or beneath a canopy of mangosteen and waterberry trees. Wildlife thrives at this prime riverside spot and game drives and walking safaris provide regular sightings of zebra, giraffe, buffalo, huge herds of elephants and a plethora of birdlife, as well as the chance to see lion, leopard, African wild dog, spotted hyena and sable antelope.
Other than safari game drives, activities are centred around Victoria Falls, Africa’s top adventure playground and one of the Wonders of the World. Here, you can go white water rafting, bungee jumping, take helicopter and microlight flights or zip line across the gorge. For a slower pace, there is fishing, kayaking and sunset boat cruises to be savoured.
Features in the following itineraries
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka