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andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge opens in Zimbabwe

andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge, exterior
The brand new andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge has opened near Victoria Falls, following an extensive multi-million-pound refurbishment. Situated on a 50,000 hectare (123,500 acre) private wildlife concession on the Zambezi River, the lodge is set to provide the most luxurious accommodation and most unique wildlife experiences in the area.

andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge consists of two camps of nine suites each, including a family suite at each camp. Highlighting the area’s cultural heritage, Matetsi is decorated with traditional abstract carvings of wood and stone and features a strong copper theme in homage to the mineral riches of the region. The lodge boasts a state-of-the-art gym, as well as a massage sala and conference facility. A 20-metre-long (66-foot-long) rim flow swimming pool stretches along the river’s bank.

A sole-use private villa, andBeyond Matetsi River House, adds exclusive accommodation for private groups of up to eight. The four-bedroom villa boasts its own kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a private veranda overlooking the Zambezi, a swimming pool and its own fire pit. It comes with a dedicated guide, private vehicle, chef and butler.

Located on one of the largest wildlife concessions in the area and boasting extensive river frontage, andBeyond Matetsi offers the most rich and exclusive game viewing experience in Victoria Falls. Extensive planning and reserve management has taken place on the concession for almost two years, encouraging wildlife to thrive in this ideal riverside location. A diverse range of habitats is home to an extensive number of species. As part of the ambitious project, 14 new waterholes have been created on the reserve, using strategically placed troughs and solar pumps.

Additional pumps have been placed at existing boreholes to ensure a steady water supply. A new network of roads has opened up the reserve for game drives, while bush clearing programmes have limited the encroachment of fast-growing plant species, increasing the habitat for plains game. The wildlife population has also benefitted from increased security efforts, with both armed National Parks staff and privately sourced employees being utilised for anti-poaching patrols.

The meticulous land management means guests are in for exceptional game viewing on drives led by highly trained andBeyond guides, including consistent sightings of zebra, giraffe and buffalo, as well as the big herds of elephant that Matetsi is justly renowned for. Wild dogs and hyena are spotted on a regular basis and large prides of lion have made the reserve their home. Cheetah, and leopard, as well as the elegant sable and roan antelope are also among the species seen at Matetsi.

“Having originally been involved in the conversion of the Matetsi concession from wildlife hunting to photographic safaris, we are very excited to be relaunching Matetsi to the world,” says Joss Kent, &Beyond CEO. “Not only does this well-loved reserve offer an outstanding guest experience for its stunning location on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, but it also allows them the opportunity to tour the world-famous Victoria Falls in true andBeyond style, using our own vehicles and guides. The lodge itself will without question also set a new standard in Zimbabwe and at Victoria Falls.”

Rates start from US$675 (GBP475) per room per night, based on two guests sharing and including all meals and twice daily game drives.

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