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Matetsi Victoria Falls

Matetsi Victoria Falls is located on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River in the exclusive Matetsi Private Game Reserve.

Matetsi Victoria Falls is a five star safari lodge situated upstream from Victoria Falls in a private game reserve beyond the western border of the Zambezi National Park. While the wildlife here is not as prolific as other National Parks in Zimbabwe, Matetsi offers a very high level of accommodation and hospitality in a safari-style setting and so is perfect for those who want a luxurious, away-from-it-all base while visiting the Victoria Falls.


Accommodation is provided in 18 luxury River Lodge Suites which are spread across two wings – East and West, which operate independently of one another. The spacious air-conditioned suites are superbly appointed with a modern décor using, wherever possible, local and repurposed materials. The suites have either twin or double beds and a sitting area from where guests can enjoy views of the river. The en suite bathrooms have his and hers basins, a toilet, a large circular bath and indoor and outdoor rain showers. Floor to ceiling sliding glass doors lead onto a split level furnished wooden verandah and a plunge pool. Two of the suites are suitable for families with a second en suite bedroom accessed via an internal passageway. There is also a private four bedroom villa, Matetsi River House, which is at the centre of the property and comprises two master suites, two further en suite bedrooms and a central lounge and dining room, all under one roof. The villa has a private swimming pool, deck with outdoor living and dining areas and comes with its own butler, chef and private guide and vehicle.

Central Areas

The central areas, located at the end of each wing, include extensive lounge and dining areas overlooking the river. In the centre of the property and shared by both wings is the boutique, spa, fitness studio and impressive lap pool. There is also a library (with the only television at the lodge) and a wine cellar.


Wi-Fi – Yes
Power for Charging – Yes
Swimming Pool – Yes

Habitat & Wildlife

Victoria Falls, known by the local Kololo tribe as ‘Mosi au Tunya’ (the smoke that thunders), is one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World” heritage sites and one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls on earth.

Victoria Falls National Park is a small park that encompasses the falls themselves and the immediate surrounding countryside, including the town of Victoria Falls.

Spanning a width of some 1,700 metres, the waters of the mighty Zambezi actually plunge down five distinct waterfalls, separated by islands which account for just over 300 metres of the total span. Four of these falls are in Zimbabwe: The Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls and Horseshoe Falls, and one, The Eastern Cataract, is in the bordering country of Zambia. The average height is just less than 100 metres.

During the peak flood season (April and May), the flow increases to some 625 million litres per minute. At this time, the spray makes viewing of the falls from the ground almost impossible and it is advisable to take an aerial view on what is commonly referred to as a ‘flight of angels’. By September, the waters of the Zambezi have dropped significantly to allow views of the individual falls. This remains until March when the river starts to rise again.

David Livingstone was the first European to ‘discover’ the falls when he visited them in November 1855. He later wrote, “no one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” He named them after his Queen, for the first and only time deviating from his practise of naming places and features after their local native names, in this instance “Mo ku sa tunya mosi” (nowadays shortened to mosi-au-tunya). The David Livingstone statue can be found near the spectacular Devil’s Cataract viewpoint.

The rainforest area is filled with many species of fig, mahogany and date palm groves, as well as an impressive list of birds and smaller mammals such as vervet monkeys, baboons and bushbuck.

From the centre of Victoria Falls town, the Falls are a leisurely 10 minute walk away.

The 136,000 acre Matetsi Private Game Reserve has been gradually rehabilitated by the owners, with a successful conservation plan and is now home to elephant, buffalo and plains game and predators are gradually returning.


Safari activities on the private reserve include game drives (day and night), boat safaris, canoeing and fishing. The lodge offers a scheduled tour of the falls and some of the many optional additional activities which can be booked and undertaken during your visit to the Victoria Falls include:

‘Flights of Angels’ helicopter tours over the Falls (or combine with a transfer to/from the lodge). The shorter flights concentrate on the Falls themselves, while the longer flights include flying over the Batoka Gorge below Victoria Falls.

Trips to Livingstone Island on the Zambia side of the Falls – you can plan for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea on the island and can also take your swimming costume and include a swim in Devil’s Pool – a natural rock pool on the edge of the falls!

White water rafting – experience some of the finest white water the world has to offer (dependant on water levels).

Bird watching, sunset cruises or dinner cruises by boat on the Zambezi River.

For those that like to be active, other excursions include a full day canoeing on the upper Zambezi, horse-riding and an array of adrenaline-fuelled activities such as a bungee jump, gorge swing and zip line.

Most excursions can easily be booked direct at the property, but some do require advance booking to secure availability.


Matetsi Victoria Falls is open all year round, though it is the rainy season from November to March.

Children of all ages are welcome at Matetsi (note age restrictions apply for activities) and the two bedroom family suites are particularly suitable. For larger families, the four bedroom private villa provides an exclusive space. There is a children’s program which includes a welcome pack on arrival and activities such as adventures in nature, cooking and craft lessons are offered and the library has a range of kids’ books and offers a good space for activities.

The 136,000 acre Matetsi Private Game Reserve has been gradually rehabilitated by the owners, with a successful conservation plan including operating an anti-poaching team, re-establishing roads for conservation patrols and the establishment of solar-powered bore holes to provide water for wildlife. A contribution per guest, included in the accommodation rate, goes towards conservation carried out on the Matetsi Game Reserve.

In the development of the lodge, the team worked with a female Zimbabwean architectural designer, as well as Zimbabwean artists and artisans and locally based craftsmen in order to support local talent and create a space that gives guests a real sense of place. The lodge uses solar-power geysers, vegetables are sourced from the property’s own garden where possible, and recycled glass bottles are used for drinking water and bathroom amenities.

The team at Matetsi is 100% Zimbabwean, with 60% of the staff coming from the surrounding communities. As part of wider community upliftment support, Matetsi Victoria Falls has partnered with Greenline Africa Trust, an organisation that focuses on supporting marginalised and vulnerable communities, including the ‘Gogo Project’ which offers help to grandmothers in villages that look after orphaned and vulnerable children. Matetsi is also part of the Pack for a Purpose initiative where guests with space in their luggage can take supplies for projects in need.