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
While touring Africa, we stayed at Matetsi River Lodge for two night to see the falls and do a couple of game drives. The Lodge is very nice. All the rooms are located right at the rivers edge and very private. The rooms are very spacious and well appointed. The food and service were excellent. This lodge is not fenced in and elephants walked through the property twice while we were there. The lodge will take you out on a private game drive in their private reserve and a cruise in the river on their boats. The only disadvantage to this lodge is that it is located about a 30 min drive from the falls, however the lodge provides a driver and van to take you to the falls and personally walks you to all the viewing areas. Highly recommend Matetsi if you are visiting the falls.
My wife and I visited Matetsi on our honeymoon last month. I can hands down say that our stay was the most special travel experience we have ever had and we could not have asked for anything more. The villas, overlooking the banks of the Zambezi, and complete with their own pools, are beautiful and the perfect relaxing haven after a long safari drive. The food is Michelin star quality and I don't think I ever felt hungry or thirsty the entire week we were there! But what really sets Matetsi apart is the quality of its staff who will go the extra mile to make sure your stay is a special one. Whether it was being met by a glass of bubbles and a warm smile at the end of a game drive, or being surprised by various honeymoon special treats (which I will not disclose here lest I spoil the surprises!), the staff really did go the extra mile to make our stay an unforgettable one. The park itself has some absolutely stunning scenery and we were spoiled by the wildlife we saw, including lions, elephants, giraffe, zebra, wild dog, hyena etc. I cannot recommend Matetsi enough and will be back before long! Thank you for everything you did for us.
The superlatives just keep coming when talking about Matetsi. You become part of the Matetsi Family.The staff are friendly ,thoughtful and anticipate your every need. You only need to express a preference once.You know everyone and they know you.
The accommodation is a bungalow with a bath the size of a small pool, then there is your own plunge pool outside.Sun lounge and chairs so you can have tea and watch the animals walk by.
The food is some of the best you will ever eat thanks to Shane the Head Chef. Michelin where are you?? The dinner under the trees with chandeliers was unbelievable as is breakfast near the river and away from the lodge.
Conservation is extremely important with lots of work in that area. The Guides and Trackers give you a lot of information about the way animals behave and how they behave. They are great at sundowners as well.
It is the most fantastic experience you will ever have, left this morning and miss it already!
Everything about our trip to Matetsi was special. Without exception the staff were superb. Nothing was too much trouble. We stayed in the River House which is a beautiful property on the banks of the Zambezi. Our game drives were amazing, many thanks to Reuben and Gift. We would return in a heartbeat.
This experience was truly unique and superior. We were in the River House and the staff -- John, Oliver, Patricia and Eddy amongst others -- took such great care of us. Amazing accommodations right on the Zambezi, the house and FOOD were spectacular. The safari and activities were great and safe! Hope to be blessed to return some day!