Business Development Tourism Travel Wildlife

Matetsi Private Game Reserve: Zimbabwe’s best-kept secret in tourism and hospitality

Tourists view a lion during a safari drive at Matetsi Victoria Falls

In these trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, a good time out to relax is the pre-requisite for an escape from the troubles of life and one such rendezvous is the world’s best-kept secret, the Matetsi Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve.

The Matetsi Victoria Falls is the realisation of John Gardiner’s family’s dream to marry its passion for conservation and luxury hospitality, in order to sustainably protect one of the most beautiful landscapes in Zimbabwe, the 136,000-acre wilderness area that is Matetsi Private Game Reserve.

“Our own passion for conservation is shared by our dedicated conservation-minded team on the ground that focuses on the preservation of this incredible area. While our lodge team looks after our guests with such authentic Zimbabwean hospitality that you’ll leave feeling like part of our extended Matetsi Victoria Falls family.

“We are rebuilding the wildlife population that was being decimated by poaching. We had an initial investment of US$12 million towards this noble initiative. Since water is a challenge in the game reserve, we installed 16 solar-powered boreholes that are working as artificial watering holes for the wildlife. Coupled with special anti-poaching teams trained to protect the reserve as well as our excellent conservation programmes, the wildlife population is increasing. We now have the endangered wild dogs and the pop[ulation of four of the big five animals except the black rhino is increasing,” Sara Gardiner, the co-founder of the Matetsi Victoria Falls toured Spiked Online Media during the game reserve’s fifth-anniversary celebration today.

Canoeing along the Zambezi River

Matetsi is in the heart of the KAZA Transfrontier Park, making it a pristine wildlife conservation area. It holds a lease of 25 years from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority with a first option to renew after 25 years. It has hosted well-to-do guests including royal families, doctors, and lawyers as well as international film directors, among others.

Key Highlights of Matetsi Victoria Falls

Matetsi Victoria Falls is an idyllic five-star retreat that provides the ideal base from which to visit the world’s largest waterfall. A sense of freedom, space to breathe, and a truly restorative experience are hallmarks of a stay at the family-owned lodge, which offers the ultimate combination of safari, river, relaxation, and the Falls all-in-one. While the superb location, beautifully designed lodge and understated luxury are generally the initial drawcards, it’s the feel of Matetsi, its indelible magic, that guests love most. The Matetsi Victoria Falls extraordinary team, including talented chefs, butlers, and guides, truly elevate the experience here.

Accommodation

Guests at Matetsi Victoria Falls wake up on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river in rooms that seamlessly flow between interior and exterior living spaces. The contemporary African touches blend into the natural surroundings and feature polished earth finishes, hand-beaten copper detailing, and custom works by local artisans. Accommodation options include stand-alone suites, 2-bedroom family suites, and a 4-bedroom private villa. By special arrangement, the lodge can also be booked on a full or part exclusive-use basis, depending on your requirements. In these cases, as with the private villa, you will have a private guest area and will be looked after by a dedicated team, including managers, chefs, butlers, and personal guides and trackers to ensure a tailor-made experience.

Lounge area in one of the rooms

Matetsi Victoria Falls officially opened its doors at the end of 2016. Situated on the 55,000-hectare Matetsi Private Game Reserve, a pristine wildlife conservation area with 15 km of Zambezi river frontage, the family-owned and independently-run property employs 176 individuals. With its unique location and highly skilled team, Matetsi offers exceptional experiences in a remarkable destination – a truly the ideal combination of exclusive safari, tranquil river, the Falls, luxury accommodation, and relaxation all wrapped up in incredible Zimbabwean hospitality.

Why Matetsi Victoria Falls?

Extensive (15 km / 9 miles) Zambezi River frontage – beautiful river views Vast 55 000-hectare (136 000-acre) private wildlife concession Exclusive land and water-based safaris such as game drives (including night drives) Easy access to Victoria Falls – Signature Tour of the Falls experience Knowledgeable Zimbabwean safari guides, assisted by keen trackers Legendary local hospitality – warm and authentic Varied dining experiences and high standards of gastronomy Excellent design concepts give guests a real sense of place. There is a Wine cellar and a library/boardroom Lap pool, fitness centre, massage sala walking safaris, birdwatching, canoeing, fishing and boat excursions

Experience the Magic

Located on a private 9-mile stretch of the Zambezi river, in 136 000 acres of the pristine African wilderness, Matetsi Victoria Falls is an idyllic five-star retreat that provides the ideal base from which to visit the world’s largest waterfall. A sense of freedom, space to breathe, and a truly restorative experience are hallmarks of a stay at our family-owned property, which offers the ideal combination of safari, river, relaxation, and the falls all-in-one. Guests, accompanied by experienced, conservation-minded guides, can explore the wildlife-rich area by foot, luxury safari vehicle, or boat, taking in the sight of great herds of elephants and buffaloes, prides of lions, and a range of other predators and plains game.

Guests welcomed at the airstrip

“While the superb location, beautifully designed lodge and understated luxury are generally the initial drawcards, it’s the feel of Matetsi, its indelible magic, that our guests love most. Our extraordinary team, including talented chefs, butlers, and guides, truly elevate the experience here.”

What makes Matetsi Magic?

9 miles (15 km) of private Zambezi River frontage

• 136 000 acres (55 000 hectares) of private wildlife concession – home to four of the Big Five

• Easy access to Victoria Falls

• Private airstrip and helipad on the property

• Exclusive land-based safaris such as game drives (including night drives), walking safaris and birdwatching

• Variety of water-based activities such as canoeing, fishing and boat excursions (including sunrise and sunset cruises)

• Passionate safari guides, assisted by sharp-eyed trackers

• Superb local hospitality with personal butler service

• Excellent showcase of the cultural heritage of Zimbabwe

• Safari boutique, fitness centre, massage sala, wine cellar, lap pool and a library

• World-class and varied dining experiences

Amenities

1-bedroom suites

2-bedroom family suites

4-bedroom private villa

Indoor and outdoor dining spaces

Boma (BBQ) dining area for traditional meals

Air-conditioned suites

Private plunge pools throughout

Fitness studio

Massage sala

Al fresco lounge areas

20m lap pool overlooking the river

Safari boutique

Luxury safari vehicles

Library and boardroom

Private wine cellar

Complimentary laundry service

Complimentary in-room and lodge WiFi

iPads for guests use

In-room Bluetooth speakers

 

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende