Matetsi River House: Our full report
Matetsi River House re-opened in August 2016 following extensive refurbishment.Situated on the private Matetsi Game Reserve overlooking the Zambezi River, it offers guests a luxurious and exclusive stay including game-viewing opportunities and relatively easy access to the Victoria Falls.
Set up as a private house for the exclusive use of one group, Matetsi River House lies in a between the east and west camps of its sister property, Matetsi River Lodge.
The house was designed and built in the same style as the River Lodge, with the same sandy tones, lots of wood and plenty of stylish copper highlights.
It incorporates four bedrooms with a maximum occupancy of eight guests, making it ideal for families or small groups. All are en-suite and two share an interleading door, clearly hinting at the family-friendly design of the property.
Inside, the bedrooms have twin or double beds, ceiling fans, air conditioning, a mini fridge, tea and coffee station, wardrobe and electronic safe. The en-suite bathrooms differ in design but each has his and hers basins, an indoor shower, a deep round bath and separate toilet.
The bedrooms are set up with two on each side of an indoor dining area and lounge. These are comfortable places to relax, with picturesque views of the river – though on our most recent visit, in December 2016, we thought that weather permitting, guests will spend most of their time outside, either by the private infinity pool, around the firepit, or enjoying a meal in the outdoor dining area.
In addition to exclusive use of all the facilities at Matetsi River House, guests here have their own private chef, vehicle, guide and hosting team, which definitely adds to the luxurious feel of the property.
To add to the mix, guests may make use of a number of facilities that the house shares with the River Lodge. Just a short walk away, these include a 25m infinity pool, a fitness centre, curio shop and spa. Here you’ll also find a very well-stocked and impressive wine cellar – complete with a somewhat unexpected extensive collection of diecast toys.
As at the River Lodge, activities from the River House focus largely on the 500km² Matetsi Reserve and on the river. Accompanied by a member of the resident guiding team, guests may search out game in the reserve, either on foot or from a vehicle. Although game is not as prolific here as it is in some of Zimbabwe’s national parks, the reserve is home to many species, including elephant, buffalo, sable, lion, hyena and leopard.
Options on the river range from relaxed river cruises to canoeing (over 16s only) and fishing. And for something a little different, there’s the option of a guided tour of the Victoria Falls, about 45km away, followed by high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel.
Of course, the area around Victoria Falls offers plenty of other activities too. For an additional cost, Matetsi can arrange some of these, from whitewater rafting and bungee jumps to helicopter flights over the Falls.
Matetsi River House has superb access to the private Matetsi Reserve. While the game here isn’t as prolific as in the national parks, the house is a superb option for a family or small group looking to combine luxury and exclusivity with a safari and the Falls.
Country manager: Zimbabwe
- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Ideal length of stay
- Matetsi River House has a remote location, so it takes longer to get to than most of the other options in the Victoria Falls area. Because of this, we would recommend a stay of three nights here - as this will give guests a full day to visit the Falls, as well as plenty of time to relax at the lodge, and take advantage of the included activities.
- Guests usually arrive at the house by road transfer from Victoria Falls Airport, taking approximately 1hr 40 minutes. The first quarter of the journey is on tarmac roads, followed by dirt roads through the wildlife reserve to the house. Alternatively, it is possible to arrange a helicopter transfer from the town for an additional charge.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- Although we have not yet had the pleasure of staying at Matetsi River House, we did enjoy lunch at the River Lodge on our most recent visit, in December 2016. We would expect meals and service at the house to be of the same quality as we experienced for lunch, and at other &Beyond properties.
We selected our lunch at the lodge from the à la carte lunch menu, opting for some hearty gastropub classics: a burger and fish and chips. Although the food took a while to arrive, both were excellent choices and the chef personally came to see that everything was to our liking.
- Dining style
- Mixture of group dining and individual tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome at Matetsi River House.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There is no age restriction here although some of the activities are not suitable for children, and canoeing is limited to those over 16.
- Special activities & services
- Matetsi offers children the opportunity to participate in special-child friendly activities as a part of their WILDChild programme. Childcare services are available on request.
- Cots and highchairs can be provided on request.
- Generally recommended for children
- Matetsi River House has a luxurious and adult feel, but as it is booked on a private basis we think this would be a good option for families or groups with children.
- There are no fences around the house or pools, and open fires are lit at night, so children should be supervised at all times.
- Power supply notes
- There is a back-up generator in case of a power failure.
- Free Wi-Fi is available thought out the house.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- All the rooms have hot and cold running water, plumbed showers and flush toilets.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The guides and managers at Matetsi are first-aid trained. The nearest doctor is in Victoria Falls (approx 45km away).
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- There are guards on site 24/7.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers can be found throughout the property.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- A complimentary laundry service is included.
- There are small digital safes in each bedroom.
- Accepted payment on location
- Cash payments are accepted in US dollars; card payments may be made using Visa, Diners, Amex and Mastercard.
Other lodges in Victoria Falls
Alternative places to stay in this same area.