Five Years of Matetsi Magic

We’re celebrating five years since we first opened the doors at Matetsi Victoria Falls, and we’d love to have you join in on the festivities.

Celebrate with us

01 August 2021 marked five years since we officially opened our doors here at Matetsi Victoria Falls. We had a soft opening, with East Camp opening in August 2016 and West Camp and River House opening in December that year. So, we’ve decided to celebrate our 5-year anniversary over five months, from August to December 2021!

Over the next five months, we will be sharing our celebrations on this page as well as through our newsletters and social media platforms. Sign up and like our pages to follow along.

Matetsi Magic Moments

During each month of our celebrations, we are compiling our very favourite Matetsi Magic moments from our guests and our team and sharing them on our blog.

Our Journey

April 2014

First visit to Matetsi

We’d had a dream… To create a property that showcased everything exceptional about our home country Zimbabwe. Finally, we had found the ideal location.

April 2014

January 2015

A New Lease

We secured a long-term lease on the 136,000-acre Matetsi Private Game Reserve, and our conservation journey began. We also started to bring together brilliant Zimbabwean minds for the rebuild of the lodge.

January 2015

August 2016

Soft Opening

With the rebuild (almost) complete, and management and marketing partners in-hand, we partially opened. We started to welcome guests from across the world to experience what we now fondly call “Matetsi Magic”.

August 2016

December 2016

Doors Wide Open

Later that year, in time for the festive season, we opened the rest of the property including the River House private villa.

December 2016

April 2018

Rebranding to Matetsi Victoria Falls

Within two-years of opening, we made the leap to go independent – a decision that fully aligned with our vision for Matetsi Victoria Falls to be a truly Zimbabwean offering.

April 2018

October 2020

Opening of Private Airstrip

Always looking to the future and thinking “big picture”, we knew that Matetsi Private Game Reserve required its own airstrip. In a year that was very challenging, we achieved this feat.

October 2020

July 2021

Establishment of In-house Anti-poaching Unit

We recently took the next big step in our conservation journey. Our in-house anti-poaching unit now support our conservation team and will ensure that we can take conservation efforts on property to the next level.

July 2021

Late 2021 and beyond…

What lies ahead…

From a conservation perspective, we plan to reintroduce waterbuck into the area in October 2021, and hopefully rhino within the next five years. From a lodge development perspective, we plan to redevelop a disused site on the spectacular Westwood vlei, with an opening date pencilled in for April 2025. There will be many other exciting projects between now and then, and we can’t wait to share them with you!

Late 2021 and beyond…

Celebrating Our Matetsi Family

Christian (Chris) Muzhira

Simon Makate

We're offering 5% off to celebrate!

We’d love you to celebrate with us by sharing your favourite Matetsi Magic memories. Anyone who does share will be sent a code for a 5% discount off their next new booking with us (valid until end of 2023) this can be used for any booking made through your favourite travel agent.

Featured recipes

To celebrate our five-year milestone, we are also sharing a number of our very favourite recipes with you over the next five months. This month, we are featuring our in-room cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies

The ideal treat for when you’re peckish between breakfast and lunch…

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The perfect treat with a cup of Tanganda tea in the afternoon…  

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A journey of passion

Christian (Chris) Muzhira

Always smiling and attentive, Chris’ personable manner make him ideally suited to his role as assistant camp manager. Having joined the team pre-opening in mid-2016, Chris has spent most of his formal hospitality career at Matetsi Victoria Falls. Chris started off in the maintenance department, but he was quickly snapped up as a Butler when his amiable nature was noticed by management, and within a couple of years Chris was promoted to his current role. We are very proud that in recognition of his development, Chris has been shortlisted for the We Are Africa Rise Africa 2020 award.

Previous to Matetsi Victoria Falls, Chris worked in camps in the Okavango Delta, and one of his career highlights was meeting David Attenborough. Alongside his management role, Chris has furthered his studies with a number of courses through ICM, Alison & AHLEI, as well as the Discover South Africa Wine Course through WOSA. He is also a keen photographer and social media enthusiast.

A journey of love

Simon Makate​

Simon joined our team pre-opening over five years ago. He’d secured a position in the maintenance department – primarily taking care of the pools, and learning additional skills along the way. However, he always knew that he wanted to join the kitchen team. That is where his true love lay.

He approached Executive Chef Shane Ellis asking to train in his free time and off days. Chef Shane agreed and Simon spent his evenings learning everything he could – from ingredients to cooking techniques. His commitment was evident, and when an entry level position became available in the kitchen, it was offered to Simon and he readily snapped it up.

Under the guidance of Chef Shane and Exec Head Chef Artwell Muchenje, Simon has gone from strength to strength. Having started out as a commi chef, he is now Chef de Partie.

Simon’s motto is “do everything with love” – and it’s evident that he truly loves cooking and working in the kitchen. He always has the biggest smile and takes great pride in his work.

Simon was always keen for his wife, Petty, to join the team too, and last year she joined the Matetsi family in her role as a kitchen porter. She’s now already training in the pastry section, and we are excited to watch both her and Simon’s journeys unfold.

A tribute to a great man

Stephen Ndlovu

This year, we lost a key member of the Matetsi family. Stephen Ndlovu was an exemplary guide from our Signature Africa tour guiding team, and an upbeat member of our team. With his passing we have lost a great man.

Stephen always had time for everyone, and he was a much-loved part of the Matetsi family. His passing comes as a great shock to all of us and he is greatly missed.

Stephen leaves behind a wife, a son and a daughter. His son is a passionate guide like his father and has now joined our Matetsi guiding team as a tracker. Stephen’s daughter has just started high school. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Thank you, Stephen, for all that you taught us, for all the experiences we shared together and for lighting up the world with that smile of yours.

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