Experience the magic of Victoria Falls in Matetsi, the ultimate safari experience and idyllic accommodation to visit Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall.

In the past, it was called Beyond Matetsi River Lodge. This former refuge, which had established itself as a luxury destination, pioneered the “falls” experience, winning numerous design awards and tourist distinctions. Now an ultra-luxurious lodge, it reopened just over a year ago.

Located on a 15 km private estate on the shores of the mighty Zambezi River – meaning “The Great River” in the local Tonga language, Matetsi River Lodge is located only 40 km upstream of the rush and the waterfall spray. Matetsi Victoria Falls offers both world-class safari experiences and an idyllic oasis where you can explore, relax and rejuvenate.

You will then experience a five-star service unmatched only by the wonderful natural and spectacular environment that surrounds Matetsi River Lodge and River House. Guests, accompanied by knowledgeable and conservation-oriented guides, are invited to explore the 55,000 hectares of protected and unspoilt wilderness of the Matetsi Private Reserve on foot, by vehicle or by boat.

John Gardiner and his family have combined their family experience in luxury hospitality with their passion for the conservation and beauty of their country, Zimbabwe. The Gardiners, with local architect Kerry Van Leenhoff, the renowned hotelier Franco Rienzo, teams of talented local artists, craftsmen, game wardens and hospitality staff, have created the best safaris and cultural experiences for you, highlighting the rich and varied beauty of Zimbabwe’s people and its beautiful wild landscapes.

You will have a choice of nine river-facing suites each. Dressed in a complex woven pattern that evokes the country’s rich heritage, the spacious and fresh suites offer contemporary interiors adorned with natural finishes and decorated with abstract works of art created by a renowned local artist. Each suite has a beautiful bathroom and a private veranda with an exceptional view of the river. Located in the shade of the trees by the river, each camp has a guest area. Delicious menus are created in an interactive kitchen and served inside or under a tree canopy. Al fresco dinners are held near the running waters of the Zambezi River.

Matetsi River House is a single-use villa with four spacious bedrooms, with glass windows from floor to ceiling. The contemporary and elegant interiors create a contrast with the robust exterior that pays tribute to the region’s basketry traditions. Beautiful natural furniture is complemented by locally created works of art, while spacious bathrooms are equipped with baths and showers. A large private veranda overlooks the mighty Zambezi, while the private infinity pool offers an ultimate refreshment after a long trek.

The Matetsi Private Reserve offers a wide range of activities. 4×4 safaris, walking safaris, bird watching, canoeing, boat trips and fishing. Enjoy the sunsets in the bush and take a helicopter flight over Victoria Falls.

What we love about Matetsi Victoria Falls

– Treat yourself to a relaxing massage in the massage lounge, listening to the natural sounds of the wilderness.
– Immerse yourself in the infinity pool that offers a breathtaking view of the river banks and watch the wild animals quench their thirst.
– Meet the large herds of elephants and buffaloes.


– Above all, the Zimbabwean spirit at the heart of everything that is done on the site makes Matetsi Victoria Falls a unique experience: from the visionary passion of the owners, to the typical local design and architecture, to the art and warmth of the Matetsi team.
– Matetsi weaves an authentic and quality experience to give guests a better insight into the culture and surroundings, precious memories, and an ardent desire for more Matetsi magic.

Source As published in Elle Decoration March 2018