Luxury Lodges in Zimbabwe

As of 1 October 2020 Zimbabwe is once again open for tourism post COVID. International airports are open for tourism travel however the land borders remain closed until further notice. There are several luxury lodges in Zimbabwe that personify the concept of a slow safari allowing visitors to spend more time immersed in the African wilderness.

Germany has just re-entered a state of lockdown that will only end on 2 December 2020 and the rest of Europe is similarly in a state of quandary. The United States is still reeling from the post election debacle but of one thing we can be absolutely certain about – Africa is one of the safest travel destinations at the moment.

Health Screening and COVID-19 Protocols on arrival

  • Travelers entering the country at an international airport are required to present a negative COVID PCR test obtained from a recognised healthcare facility within 48 hours of departing for the country.
  • On arrival all travelers will be subjected to health screening and temperature testing
  • Social distancing, sanitizing of hands and the wearing of a face mask is compulsory


Quarantine is not required unless a traveler shows signs or symptoms of the virus or is unable to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test on arrival. Travelers will then be required to stay at a designated isolation facility for 7 days followed by a further 7 days of self isolation. Should you be required to be tested at the airport, a $70 fee will be payable.

Lancet Clinical Laboratories are the firm handling the testing at Victoria Falls airport and are able to process tests within 2 hours.

Airlines flying to Zimbabwe

Now that you have decided to take the plunge and leave the craziness of Europe or the United States then consider making your flight reservations with one of the following airlines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways or Air Tanzania.

Zimbabwe’s COVID Statistics

As of 11 November 2020 these are the COVID statistic for the entire country of Zimbabwe out of a population of over 14.8 million people.

8 610 Cases

255 Deaths

8 040 Recoveries

This information clearly shows that almost no matter where you are, Zimbabwe is a very safe country in which to enjoy your safari


Let’s have a look at some of Zimbabwe’s luxury safari lodges…


The Victoria Falls Hotel

One of the world’s classic five-star hotels commands a prime location overlooking Victoria Falls, an acclaimed Natural Wonder of the World. A proud member of  Leading Hotels of the World, the Edwardian-style hotel, built in 1904, has been splendidly redecorated to combine its traditional majesty with modern sophistication. For more than 110 years The Victoria Falls Hotel has been a luxury icon in Africa.

Zimbabwe luxury lodge at Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls Hotel epitomises luxury in Zimbabwe’s border town of Victoria Falls. Located overlooking the Batoka Gorge the bridge is easily seen from the magnificent front veranda. There is a certain grace and elegance to everything about the hotel that harks back to the intrepid early explorers.

The grounds are expansive and there is a short trail from one corner of the hotel down to the entrance to the National Park. It is also a short walk from here to the immigration offices and if you have bought yourself a KAZA visa then a walk over the bridge is definitely recommended.

There is a huge variety of activities to be done in the town as well as in either Zambia or Botswana. A day trip to Chobe National Park is worth the drive as is seeing the Falls from the Zambian side. With the new KAZA visa system in place and working well, crossing borders is now cheaper and easier.


Ruckomechi Camp

Situated in a large private concession in the heart of the Zambezi Valley’s Mana Pools National Park, Ruckomechi Camp looks out from the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. It is a remote, beautiful place with spectacular views of the broad flowing river, the adjacent woodland and the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment. Tents lie beneath the Ana trees, best-beloved of local Elephant for their nutritious seeds.

Luxury safari in Zimbabwe

Possibly the finest location for one of Zimbabwe’s luxury safari lodges, Mana Pools and the Zambezi Valley is an excellent place to sit back, relax and immerse yourself in this incredible destination. Game viewing is nothing short of spectacular and as the lodge is nestled under a grove of Ana trees’, Elephant are regular visitors. Armchair game viewing at it’s best!

With just 10 suites that have been beautifully designed, plus two family suites, the experience is one of sublime tranquility deep in the vastness of the African bush. Game viewing includes vast herds of Buffalo and sometimes Elephant while Leopard, Lion, Wild Dog and Cheetah are somewhat regular occurrences.


Singita Pamushana

Lying in the South East of Zimbabwe on the border of the Gonarezhou National Park Singita Pamushana commands incredible views over the lake. The lodge itself is owned by a non-profit Zimbabwean organisation. The aim of this model was to ensure complete protection for the wildlife, the adjacent communities and to protect this wilderness area.

Home to critically endangered Black Rhino as well as Roan and Sable antelope the park is made up of Mopane forests that are ideal habitat for them. Other game includes Lion, Leopard and Wild Dog.

There are just 6 luxury suites sleeping 10 guests as well as several family suites that enjoy their own plunge pool and are very private from other guests.


Chikwenya Camp

Located in the East of Mana Pools, Chikwenya Camp overlooks a vast floodplain of the mighty Zambezi River and with the Rift Valley Escarpment in the distance, the view is simply incredible. As this region can become very hot during summer the camp has been built under a grove of Albida and Natal Mahogany trees’. The trees’ provide very welcome shade and when they drop their seeds each year the grove is filled with hungry Elephants searching for this delicious treat.

Luxury safari at pool edge with Mana pools sunset in the background

All of the seven tents are located on the edge of the floodplain and boast stunning views, sunsets are especially good and the swimming pool is welcome too. The camp also has two family suites and these both have their own private swimming pool.

Morning and afternoon game drives, night drives, fishing and walking safaris are possible. Having gained some excellent guest feedback this is the perfect location for your honeymoon, family safari or simply to escape from the world for a while.


Somalisa Acacia

Just South of Victoria Falls airport is Hwange National Park, a highly underrated safari destination. Considering its proximity to the airport Hwange is very convenient and once you are through the parks main gate the surprise is nearly instantaneous. This is a very private experience with extremely few vehicles or people around. One one game drive, over 4 hours, we saw not a single other soul, but we did see plenty of wildlife.

Somalisa Acacia has been built amid a scattering of Acacia trees’ and the scene is idyllic. There is a sister camp close by and a near constant stream of Elephants are parading past the camp or are in amongst the tents of the camp. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and even though there were children in camp, we barely noticed them. The rangers and other staff did an incredible job of keeping the children occupied and entertained. This is a great respite for parents.

Luxury safari at Somalisa Acacia camp in Hwange national park

There are just four Meru stayled tents in the camp and two have been designed specifically for families. Each tent also has a small traditional wood stove for the cooler months, a really nice touch. The rooms are spacious and the en-suite bathrooms have a copper clawfoot bath, both inside and outdoor showers and lovely amenities.

The main guest area overlooks the waterhole and its not uncommon to see Lions here in the early evening before they set out to hunt. Sitting by the fire in the early evening is a magical experience as grey shadows move around the waterhole drinking.


Bumi Hills

One of our absolute favorite of all Zimbabwe’s luxury safari lodges has to be Bumi Hills. The lodge has been built on a range of remote hills that command exceptional views over the lake and surrounding wilderness. It’s not just the views and bird life that will amaze you, the lodge is also adjacent to Matusadona National Park. This allows the animals to move freely and virtually guarantees fantastic game viewing in diverse habitats.

Luxury safari sunset from the deck at Bumi Hills

There are ten suites at Bumi Hills, all with views out over the lake and game viewing, with binoculars, is great. We spent a leisurely afternoon on our private deck counting animals. The two bedroomed Baobab Villa is huge, ideal for families and comes with it’s own private butler, guide and vehicle so you can game drive any time you’d like.


Victoria Falls River Lodge

Located within the Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls River Lodge is a stones throw from the Falls and enjoys a unique vantage point of this Natural Wonder of the World. Sunsets are incredible from this location as the sun’s last rays light up the spray. Access to the lodge is via boat and there are daily shuttles to either Victoria Falls town or to Livingstone in Zambia. There is also a wide range of activities that the lodge offers to keep you entertained.

Luxury safari meals on the deck at River Lodge

There are just eight luxury thatched tents set in amongst the bushes and trees and have been well spaced to ensure maximum privacy for guests. With your own private plunge pool and deck this is the perfect location for relaxing during the day overlooking the Zambezi River.

There are five luxury family suites that are connected rooms for up to three children and a separate room for parents. All the suites are very spacious and the en-suite bathrooms have indoor and outside showers as well as a free standing bath so some delicious soaking. Suites are connected to the main guest area via raised wooden walkways where meals are often enjoyed outside.


Mpala Jena

The epitome of Zimbabwe’s luxury safari lodges, Mpala Jena is the only Relais & Chateau lodge in the country. She is also located within the Zambezi National Park however she enjoys her own very private concession. This means that guests enjoy absolute exclusivity over the area and the luxury, while understated, is evident everywhere.

The service at Mpala Jena is nothing short of astounding. Quiet and discreet there is always a staff member close at hand should you need something, and, in the privacy of your suite the luxury is everywhere.

This luxury lodge is just 16 kilometers from the Victoria Falls but far enough away that it provides peace and tranquility in a beautiful location. It is also far enough away from the crowds that wildlife are more comfortable in the surrounding bush and this means your game viewing is good.

There are only four luxury tents at Mpala Jena, all under billowing canvas and each has it’s own private deck over the river. You will also be surprised to find out that the camp is completely solar powered. The suites are very spacious and the design of each is clearly a work of art. Views from each suite are what you dreamed of before you arrived here and the experience is unrivalled.


I have showcased just eight of Zimbabwe’s luxury safari lodges here, there are however quite a few more. At African Safari Experts we look to pair people with places and experiences. This takes time and effort but it also results in creating exceptional safari experiences for our guests and this is our goal – all the time.

If you are interested in visiting Zimbabwe then get in touch with me, we will design a safari for you that is seamless. From start to finish we’ll ensure your time in Africa is absolutely unforgettable.


CEO – African Safari Experts