For absolute privacy and seclusion, the exclusive-use Matetsi River House, 40kms downstream from Victoria Falls, commands a mesmerizing Zambezi riverfront setting with uninterrupted views over the lap pool and stylish black-and-white loungers to the shores of Zambia beyond. Set apart from the rest of Matetsi River Lodge in the heart of the Matetsi Private Game Reserve, and with four private suites and a central open-to-the-elements living area, you could slip in here and remain unseen by the outside world for days, doing nothing but immersing yourself in the natural rhythms of the river and the bushveld, or reconnecting together as a family.
This is the ultimate celebrity retreat: private butler, chef and housekeeping staff are dedicated to making Matetsi River House guests feel completely at ease. Your time in the bush is your own and you can head out at any time that suits you in your private game vehicle to go game viewing, fishing, canoeing, birdwatching or on a river cruise. With 15kms of pristine river bank to explore, Matetsi Victoria Falls offers one of the most exclusive game experiences in Zimbabwe – although many guests come simply to escape, restore and recharge the soul.
It’s no surprise then that Matetsi Victoria Falls was included on the Condé Nast Traveller’s Hot List 2017, Travel + Leisure’s It List 2017, Tatler’s Travel Awards Winner in the Wild and Wonderful category in 2017 and About Time’s Top 10 Most Instagrammable Hotels in 2017, to name but a few.
What we love!
- The hand-drawn wall art of seed pods and plants by talented artist Helen Teede, a Zimbabwean-born, Michaelis graduate who derives inspiration from nature’s landscape.
- That nothing jars the senses here and no detail overlooked – even the Jenga and Scrabble has been discreetly repackaged in leather.
- That you can transfer via helicopter, taking in the view of Victoria Falls and the gorge on your way – nothing short of spectacular, no matter what time of year you are here.
- Water bottling plants have been installed and served in glass (all recycled), and solar-powered boreholes and wide-reach radio networks were installed to protect wildlife.
Need to know…
- Flying into the new and sparkly clean Victoria Falls airport is easy, as is the road transfer to Matetsi Victoria Falls that takes around 40 minutes along the road to the Botswana border (which, incidentally, crosses through the concession. This doesn’t seem to bother elephants who happily walk on ahead, but game vehicles go through a tunnel underneath it).
- private dinners are held on request in the wine cellar at the main lodge – perfect for milestone celebrations – but most meals are almost always held outdoors under the trees or stars so pack a warm down jacket and scarf for evenings.
- If you’re looking for traditional safari lodge, this isn’t the place for you: what you’ll find is a sophisticated take on safari interiors and all the comforts of an urban lifestyle in a wild setting. If you’re here for a short time, it’s best to do all the Victoria Falls activities before you head out to the reserve so that you can completely relax while you’re here.
Reviewed by Michelle Snaddon
Sleeps 8 in 4 luxury suites overlooking the Zambezi River