This was my first time staying at Masuwe Lodge and it won’t be the last. It’s a big step up from staying in town, with wildlife on your doorstep and Chamabonda National Park, a sub-section of the Zambezi National Park, as its closest neighbour.
Masuwe has a real safari lodge feel which is heightened by having elephants visiting the waterhole right below the large terrace by the bar and restaurant area.
Here’s a video to show you more:
Getting there: The drive from Victoria Falls Airport usually takes about 20 minutes, and it generally takes the same time to reach the centre of town.
Location, location, location?
Masuwe Lodge is located about 8 km south of Victoria Falls, which means you can be in the centre of town in about ten minutes. What’s more, the lodge provides free transfers so you can easily visit the falls themselves, throw yourself off the bridge on a bungee rope or enjoy a high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel depending on your interests. You can then return to Masuwe for a relaxing dinner under the stars and a refreshing sleep.
But there’s more – the lodge sits on a 1000 hectare slice of natural bushland which is home to a dibverse range of wildlife. Right next door is Chamabonda National Park, which is part of the huge Zambezi National Park stretching 40 kms up the river from the Victoria Falls. The fences have recently been opened so animals also move freely onto Masuwe’s land – elephants visit the waterhole beneath the terrace on an almost daily basis.
There are 9 Wilderness Tents, and I stayed in one of these during my visit. These combine a main bedroom section of canvas with a thatched roof with a stone bathroom with shower, basin and toilet.
The beds are extremely comfortable with soft linens and an effective mosquito net.
The glass sliding doors hep to protect you from mozzies or the like during the night, and the ceiling fan helps too. Air conditioning will be added this year for an extra level of comfort during the hottest season. You can watch the sunrise colour the bush landscape while lying in bed, which is nice…
Tea and coffee making facilities are provided – a flask of hot water is provided so you can make yourself a brew.
The front deck is a lovely place to relax with a book or just enjoy the stillness of the African bush.
While lying in bed you can watch the sunrise and if you are lucky, spot wildlife beyond the fence.
The shower was excellent and I particularly liked the use of local stone in its construction. Water pressure was very good and hot water plentiful.
Quality toiletries are provided, so you won’t need to bring your own.
A modern flush toilet completes the bathroom facilities.
There is ample storage space in the open wardrobe behind the bed on the way to the bathroom. A safe and emergency flashlight are also provided.
In summary, the Wilderness Tents are very comfortable and well-designed, with a light and modern style that sets them apart from regular safari style tents.
While at Masuwe I also had a look at the two other types of accommodation at the lodge.
The Hide-Away is twice the size of a regular Wilderness Tent and occupies a private spot overlooking a small water hole and beautiful natural bushland. It offers privacy away from the main lodge and is perfect for couples and honeymooners.
The Hide-Away has a minibar stocked with guests’ personal choice of local brand drinks. It also has an indoor double shower with a view.
Even better, it also boasts an outdoor bathtub for two – which is pretty much unbeatable.
The Family Nest
For families or friends travelling together, the Family Nest is ideal. It is surrounded by bush and away from the main area, and is a solid two-storey stone building rather than a tent.
On the ground floor is an indoor living room and kitchenette with mini-bar stocked with local brand drinks as per guests’ wishes.
As you can see there is plenty of space to relax and to eat dinner round the table. There is also a bedroom on this floor with its own bathroom.
The upstairs master bedroom has a king sized bed with lovely views, an en suite bathroom and its own relaxation area with comfy armchairs.
Outside you will find a shaded deck area, an inviting plunge pool and a proper-sized braai (grill) area.
Food and drink
Usual board basis: Bed and breakfast
I only had lunch and breakfast at Masuwe, both of which were absolutely delicious. This gives me good reason to expect that dinner is fantastic here too.
Dining arrangement: Individual tables
Dining locations: Indoor and outdoor dining
The restaurant and bar area is extensive, so meals can be enjoyed inside or out (“inside” here means under the roof but the area is open so receives a cool breeze. There is also a large terrace overlooking a waterhole which is frequented by elephants almost daily.
It would be quite easy to spend the day by – and in – the pool.
Mind you, relaxing in the bar is an appealing option too.
Or what about enjoying a G&T or two on the terrace while the elephants roam below.
Just in case you think I’m exaggerating, check these out 🙂
See what I mean?
The technical stuff
Power supply: Mains electricity 24/7
Communications: WiFi is free for guests in the lobby area. Mobile coverage throughout the lodge grounds.
Health, safety and security
Water supply notes: Bottled water is provided and recommended.
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Unsurprisingly for Zimbabwe, service was excellent and very friendly.
Masuwe Lodge is one of the best places to stay within easy striking distance of Victoria Falls town and all the activities it has to offer. It oozes quality and has a luxury bush lodge atmosphere. If you are looking for a luxurious base for this amazing town, with the added bonuses of wildlife outside the fence and a national park next door. It is also very good value for this standard of accommodation.
The next day I was off to the other Seolo Africa property in Zimbabwe, which again offers something very different…