Today marks six years since the Gardiner family opened the doors to Matetsi Victoria Falls and welcomed the first guests to experience a once-in-a-lifetime wilderness escape on the banks of the mighty Zambezi. Since 1 August 2016 travellers from around the world have crossed the threshold beneath the gently-swaying mokoros and become extended members of our Matetsi family; a group of people devoted to Zimbabwe and to sharing everything exceptional about our home country.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s greatest natural landmark, can be found just downstream from the lodge, where the full width of the Zambezi River crashes through a giant crack in the basalt plateau into the gorge below. The astonishing magnitude of the world’s largest waterfall can be observed from above by helicopter or on foot through the rainforest. With an average of 500 million litres of water hurtling over the precipice every minute during the high season, it is an incredibly dramatic scene to witness.
A classic African safari is as much a part of the Matetsi Victoria Falls experience as the falls itself. Set in the vast Matetsi Private Game Reserve, the lodge – comprising 18 luxurious suites and a four-bedroom villa – is surrounded by 136,000 acres of open grasslands, teak forests and mopane woodlands. Game drives, guided bush walks and sunset river cruises immerse guests into the wilderness, bringing them up close to the continent’s most iconic wildlife. Elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, hippos, antelope and more fill the sightings reports while bird lovers are spoiled for choice with hundreds of different species to look out for.
The conservation of this landscape and the animals that thrive in this carefully protected habitat is the driving force behind our existence. Preserving Zimbabwe’s natural heritage and supporting our local community is at the heart of everything we do, which is why our journey began before the establishment of the lodge with the rewilding of what was once an area decimated by poaching and illegal hunting. The result is a remarkable transformation from dry, dusty plains devoid of animal life to lush, abundant grasslands teeming with large, healthy herds and some of the best game-viewing in Southern Africa.
The tireless dedication of our team to the achievement of our shared vision resulted in Matetsi Victoria Falls being named the No. 1 Resort Hotel in Africa in 2021. Importantly, this accolade from one of the world’s most prestigious travel magazines was awarded by the readers – guests of Matetsi Victoria Falls who have been touched by “Matetsi Magic”. From the honeymooners and multi-generational families celebrating special moments and the passionate repeat visitors to the Zimbabweans experiencing a five-star safari for the first time, the support of every single guest – especially over the past two years – has fanned the fire of our love for this very special place. It has been a joy and a privilege to get to share it with you.
To each and every member of our Matetsi family, on the 6th anniversary of the opening of our doors, we say THANK YOU for bringing Matetsi Magic to life. It is our honour to be able to continue to create unforgettable memories for our beloved guests and renew our commitment to preserving the pristine wilderness that we are fortunate enough to call home.