Now that Zimbabwe has finally broken free from the clutches of Robert Mugabe, the country is set for a tourism boom. Ready and waiting, and superbly situated both for wildlife safaris in the Zambezi National Park and epic sightseeing at Victoria Falls, is the stunning Matetsi River Lodge, one of the finest contemporary properties in Zimbabwe.
Matetsi River Lodge’s 18 suites — each one an expansive, self contained villa — all overlook the Zambezi River. Buffalo and elephant do wander into the camp, and there’s always something happening on the water, so you can wildlife watch straight from your deck or whilst taking a dip in the outdoor plunge pool.
The lodge’s design is exceptionally fresh, with imaginative touches from the copper clad bar in the lounge to the deep, round baths, the chandelier made of vintage Dinky Toys in the vaulted wine cellar to the cow skin rugs in the suites. Natural materials — wood and stone in particular — feature prominently, a reminder that the natural wilderness of the Matetsi Private Game Reserve surrounds you.
The same creativity extends to the menu, which changes daily: I sat at a lantern lit table by the river feasting on unexpectedly delicious crocodile ceviche, accompanied by a glass of crisp South African white wine.