After extensive renovations, &Beyond Matetsi River Lodge has reopened and no expense has been spared at this expansive property situated along the Zambezi River. There is something about the wide, tranquil Zambezi that is hypnotic and instantly puts your soul at peace. The lodge, the flowing mighty river left us mesmerized and a tad speechless. Callum and I arrived in time for lunch and it was one of those meals where we barely spoke to one another, except to say how this would make an easy weekend away from Joburg and we must return. These are the moments in life that I find enthralling and rare. Being present and in the moment is something I strive for and rarely obtain in life. Yet, within 20 minutes of arriving at Matetsi River Lodge this was exactly the feeling that had overcome me.
Matetsi River Lodge is located 45 minutes outside of Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side. The 18 suites are divided into two camps and despite the large size, it feels intimate and private. There is a wine cellar where you can request to eat a meal or pop in for a drink, a pool, a gift shop, gym, and conference room with an extremely large TV, in the event you are in desperate for news from the outside world or in our case, highlights from the Stormers rugby game. If you are planning on popping up to see Victoria Falls, this is the place to book. Included in a two night stay is a tour to Vic Falls and high tea at the grande dame of colonial era hotels, the Victoria Falls Hotel. Boat cruises and game drives are also complimentary. Additional activities such as helicopter flips, bungee jumping and white water rafting for the adrenaline junkies are offered at an additional cost.
The suites are simply stunning. The second we walked into the room, we knew it would be hard to tear ourselves away from the outdoor lounge and plunge pool to enjoy the activities on offer. With a tub large enough for two and room stocked with every imaginable amenity, including bluetooth speakers and an iPad loaded with information about the flora, fauna, mammals, and birds of the area, it is easy to understand why we were hard pressed to leave our suite. One evening we forwent any planned activity and enjoyed beers and malaria warding gin and tonics from the suite as the sun set over the river.
For any of you who regularly read my blog, you know what happened next. I received devastating news from home and sadly we weren’t able to fully enjoy our remaining night at this gorgeous lodge. The staff were extremely understanding of our desire to not leave our room and delivered dinner and a glass of wine to us. It wasn’t the celebration of six amazing months together that we had hoped for and it certainly put a damper on the end of our holiday. Despite everything, it was absolutely the perfect culmination of our magical vacation. A month after returning we even inquired about booking another stay.