andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge
What We Love
- Sipping cocktails while cruising the Zambezi River, where elephant and buffalo can be seen approaching the water’s edge
- Cooling off in a private plunge pool with stunning wilderness all around
- Exploring Matetsi Game Preserve with highly trained local guides
What To Know
- The lodge is about 25 miles upstream from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe
- The lodge is not fenced off; guests should be vigilant at all times
- English is spoken throughout the country
- The resort is family-friendly
There’s an almost eerie beauty surrounding this andBeyond property on the Zambezi River in northwestern Zimbabwe. Vast open savannahs punctuated by acacia trees are set against lush riverside vegetation where wild animals come to quench their thirst. The 18-suite lodge was built to make the most of these views, with tall sliding windows overlooking the water and natural materials like stone and wood. Most importantly, it was designed to respect the natural habitat of the many species that wander through Matetsi Private Game Reserve, including elephant, buffalo, sable, zebra, giraffe, kudu, and waterbuck—populations that are thriving thanks to andBeyond’s conservation efforts. After daily game drives, guests relax in spacious suites covered in reed sidings that pay tribute to the region’s basket-weaving traditions. The stylish, soothing interiors include beautifully sculpted wood furnishings, abstract artworks created by a renowned African artist, and woven accents. Communal areas include a massage sala, fitness center, lap pool, wine cellar, and dining room offering organic meals served indoors or beneath a canopy of mangosteen and waterberry trees.
In the Area
Matetsi is a privileged game reserve: Zimbabwe businessman John Gardiner secured a long-term lease on the 123,500-acre land and invested millions of dollars in supporting and encouraging wildlife. (Anti-poaching security officers patrols the reserve using a high-tech radio system). His efforts have resulted in a rich game-viewing experience that includes large herds of elephant and buffalo, prides of lion, kudu, sable and roan antelope, hippo, leopard, African wild dog, spotted hyena, and more than 300 bird species. Once you’ve explored the reserve, head to nearby Victoria Falls, the world’s greatest sheet of falling water. After a guided tour of the spectacular gorge, which includes a bridge conceived by magnate Cecil Rhodes, sit down for high tea at the historic Victoria Falls Hotel. One of its dining venues, Stanley’s Terrace, serves scones, cakes, and finger sandwiches on a shaded veranda with views of the falls.
How to Get There
Matetsi was our first "safari" experience ever. And how lucky we were!! Peace picked us up at the Victoria Falls Airport and drove us to Matetsi. Our first glance of eles was on the road to Matetsi! Turns out, we were the only guests for two days. Alistair and gang greeted us with waves and hot towels and drinks. Our room was spectacular, overlooking the Zambezi River. Jonathan and Ofie took us out on a private afternoon drive and we were in heaven. We were hooked. Chef Atwell (formerly of Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town), and his staff prepared meals that you would expect in four star restaurants in NYC. We had a lovely evening and a lot of laughs with the owner, Jonathan, and his guests. Peace, our driver, took very good care of us during our stay, and made sure we were safe and happy and even got us through customs at the Botswana/Zimbabwe border. Not sure where we would be today if it wasn't for his shepherding! We visited a local village and it was a wonderful experience. Bob bonded with Chief Msisi and for a while I thought we may be moving to the Village! Peace took us to Victoria Falls and that was a highlight. Amazing. On our last night staff regaled me with a birthday song and birthday cake in the gorgeous wine cellar. We really hated to leave Matetsi, especially after having spent so many hours in the wilderness with Jonathan and Ofie. They are an outstanding team and made sure we saw every living creature in the area. Thank you everyone at Matetsi, from housekeeping to drivers, everyone was wonderful!
Loved this property location, facility and experience. I highly recommend this hotel. It is on a private reserve and offers daily game drives including night drives. It is located on the river and canoeing and boat rides are offered as well.
I loved the room with its private pool. There is great game viewing from the room as well.
This property is only a 45 minute drive to Victoria Falls....so beautiful!
Located on a private game reserve by the Zambezi river, only a few km away from the Victoria Falls, the Matetsi has clearly been the highlight of our stay in Zimbabwe! The experience was beyond expectations - from the professionalism and kindness of the staff to the diversity of the activities (game drive, canoeing, boat tour, and of course the visit of the Falls), without mentioning the incredible food and the modern design and beauty of each villa. Everything was perfect! We really enjoyed having our private pool as the weather was quite hot in late October - as well as the incredible wine cellar which is definitely impressive! Finally the attention to detail of the place and the staff clearly made our experience flawless and memorable! A true luxury paradise in the middle of the bush! Special thanks to Sara, Olliver, Eddy and Mengez for making our stay unique!
I had the privilege of being invited to stay out at Matetsi a few days ago and I was absolutely wowed from the time I arrived. The staff were most welcoming and ever attentive. The food was sublime, from flavour to presentation, absolutely delicious. I look forward to returning soon and would recommend it in a heartbeat.
Considering its location close to Victoria Falls airport and range of fantastic activities (game drive, visit to the Falls, canoeing, sunset cruise etc) offered to experience what the area has to offer, Matetsi really is the perfect "gateway".
The game drives where of high quality and we saw all of the wild animals except leopard (which is rare to spot).
On top of this, the villas are very tastefully designed and all have a small pool with a view of the Zambezi river. I was lazying around the pool one afternoon when a bush buck stood there for 10 minutes looking at me.
The food was one of the best I have had in a long time with delicious meal with plenty of options to cater for all tastes.
But what really made the place for me, and what will make this place a winner in the long run, was the people working there. Everyone from management to waiters to safari guides genuinely wanted you to have a special stay and there was a good atmosphere among all employees, which rubbed off on to the overall atmosphere of the lodge.
Highly recommended if you are looking for a high-end experience.