Matetsi Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
Matetsi Victoria Falls is an intimate luxury lodge setting new standards in Zimbabwe and is a firm Ampersand favourite. Only an hour from Victoria Falls but secluded within the 55,000-hectare Matetsi Private Concession, Matetsi sits on the banks of the Zambezi. Totally unfenced, animals wander through at free will and morning coffee is often enjoyed on your private terrace with the resident (albeit wild) warthogs and deer searching for grubs in the early sun. This is a wonderful place to either begin or end your trip.
Matetsi’s 18 palatial suites and private villa are glamourous but understated, designed with a modern twist by innovative local architect Kerry van Leenhoff. Breaking away from the usual safari-chic styling, the design of the lodge features Scandinavian-style furniture, abstract artworks and natural materials like stone, copper and wood which give centre stage to the natural habitat. Think slate coloured walls, huge round bathtubs and glass doors that run on 3 sides of the suites giving you uninterrupted views of the tranquil banks of the river. Each room houses a painting by artist duo Hill & Teade, which when put together make up the entire topography of Matetsi Private Concession. The private plunge pools also make for a welcome break from the afternoon sun.
It is owned by Zimbabwean John Gardiner, who spent more than £7 million turning it into one of the best properties in Africa and boasting some of its best guides. He spearheaded a conservation story which has seen the lodge undertake an extensive restoration of the private concession, with the installation of sixteen 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 throughout the Reserve. Game viewing is great and whilst visiting the lodge the Ampersand team were approached by a very inquisitive baby elephant!
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. For the less wildlife focused there is a multitude of thrilling adrenaline activities centred around Victoria Falls, Africa’s top adventure playground. Here, you can go white water rafting, bungee jumping, take helicopter and microlight flights over the Falls or zip line across the gorge. Alternatively, Matetsi’s sunset river cruises are a must and are much more focussed on enjoying a sundowner whilst drifting along one of Africa’s most famous rivers, both a relaxing and romantic way to end your day.
Features in the following itineraries
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Anonymous, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka