ELEPHANT HILLS RESORT HOTEL
(STAR RATING – 4)
Standard Single US$166 Standard Double US$190
Executive Suite US$438 Deluxe Suite US$526
The Elephant Hills Resort boasts an 18-hole championship golf course designed by the legendary Gary Player. It is as popular with the wildlife as it is with golfers, as it is not uncommon for play to be interrupted while buck, warthogs or elephants exercise their right to walk on the fairways. The Elephant Hills Resort contains 276 luxury rooms including, 11 executive suites, one deluxe suite and one presidential suite which are served by three restaurants and two bars, and the whole complex is expertly run by African Sun’s dedicated staff. Guests have a choice of sustenance from traditional to Western style dishes from the Resort’s Samukele Restaurant, Mapopoma Restaurant or the relaxing and informal Kabisi Terrace Restaurant.
THE KINGDOM HOTEL
The Kingdom Hotel Zimbabwe has 294 rooms reflect its target market of families, groups, couples and singles. There are four suites; 112 rooms have king-size beds; 102 queen-size; 34 have king size and bunk beds; and 40 have twin beds and bunk beds. The Leambe conference room can hold up to 80 people and the Thuli boardroom is designed for smaller business groups of up to 14. Stunning architecture, which echoes the Victoria Falls but draws on the ancient Kingdom of Munhumutapa, with great domes, pillars, and bridges over the many water features, belies the fact that the resort is run on very traditional African Sun lines, with no compromises on the highest levels of products and guest service.
THE VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL
(STAR RATING – 5)
Standard Single US$353 Standard Double US$ 378
Deluxe Suite US$456 Executive Suite US$789
The Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as “the grand old lady of the Falls”, is situated in the Victoria Falls National Park, a world heritage site, and is a member of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World group. The ambience of the hotel is steeped in that history with all suites decorated in the gracious Edwardian style of Zimbabwe’s colonial era. It has 161 rooms comprising 37 standard rooms, 58 traditional rooms, 48 deluxe rooms, 7 junior suites, 4 honeymoon suites, 6 executive suites and the Royal Suite. World-class service, and food and beverage choice and preparation second to none, make the hotel a magnet for international visitors and locals alike. The opulent Livingstone Room for fine dining and dancing, the Jungle Junction with its famous breakfast and dinner buffets and ethnic entertainment in the evenings, offer variety and wide choice. Stanley’s Terrace, with its clear view of the Victoria Falls Bridge, connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia, is renowned for its cocktails and afternoon teas. The Terrace has been a rendezvous for adventurers in Africa for over a century.
A’ZAMBEZI RIVER LODGE
(STAR RATING – 4)
Standard Single US$240 Standard Double US$288
A’Zambezi is the only hotel with a river frontage and jetty site in Victoria Falls. A’Zambezi boasts 87 rooms with enclosed balconies set in five 2-storey buildings. The rooms comprises of: 2 Luxury King Suites | 2 Queen Suites | 44 Standard Doubles | 37 Standard Twins (including two sets of inter leading rooms) | 2Standard Paraplegic Rooms (one twin and one double)
The project was established in 2002 under the leadership of CAMPFIRE which mobilised the Mayambara community and collaborated with the local council. The main role of the community was to conserve all natural resources encompassed on the site.
Accommodation: Five lodges are under construction all at the roof level.
Activities: Nature walks, picnicking, village tours, boating and fishing
Amenities: Reception, restaurant at roof level, borehole sunk with water pump and pipes already connected. A water storage stand made of steel in place to cater for large water tanks. Electric transformer and the cables had also been connected to the 5 site. A durawall and fence surrounds the site.
Challenges: Progress in construction has stalled since the death of the business partner. There is poor security on the site and the water pump, electricity transformer, main gate, door frames and window frames have all been vandalized. Facility is in need of a new investor. Destruction of vegetation in and around the site is rampant – limited resource and organisational capacity of leadership and Trustees to keep degradation under check.
Future prospects: Secure business partner to recapitalise the project and complete construction. There is potential for the development of a jetty at the river to cater for some water related activities such as boating and fishing.
Established in 1998 by the CAMPFIRE programme, the facility is located in Hurungwe District, on the boarders with Gokwe District, on the shores of Sanyati river just after the confluence of the Chiroti and Sanyati Rivers. It is 71 km from Hurungwe along Bumi hills road.
Management of the facility: The project constitutes of four villages of 2400 households and two representatives from each village constitute the ward committee, chaired by the councilor. The resource monitors also seat in the committee which has seven members. For a number of years the facility was managed in partnership with a private operator who conducted both hunting and photographic safaris. From 2010, the operator withdrew and the community is now wholly responsible for managing the camp. The camp staff is made up of six workers, camp attendant and 4 resource monitors. The Hurungwe RDC Natural Resources officer is also responsible for overseeing the management of the site.
Accommodation – Sanyati bridge camp has camping facilities and 4 self catering chalets (round thatched huts).
Access – Accessible by road, 71km from Hurungwe RDC on the Bumi Hills Road. Needs rough terrain road.
Amenities – Mobile telephone network coverage, no electricity on the camp. There is a kiosk at the site, which normally offers cold beers, soft drinks, cigarettes and other smaller things. The kiosk is currently not functional.
Attractions - the camp offers visitors attraction in the form of a variety of wild animals and birds. Sanyati River itself has attractive gorges namely, Mahwindo and Manyenyedzi. The buffer zone offers beautiful scenery from the green vegetation.
Activities – Tourist can also enjoy fishing, camping, canoeing, safari hunting and 4x4 game drives
Awareness – Appears on the CAMPFIRE and STEP Websites and also promoted by the Hurungwe RDC.
Main Challenges: The facility dilapidated after an operator Hurungwe safaris withdrew operations from the facility. The project used to be assisted by CAMPFIRE and Hurungwe RDC for its marketing and promotion of the attraction especially when it was used as a base camp for hunting safaris. From the interview it was noted that the community lacks management skills which is the core for any successful business. Future Prospects: The facility requires a number of renovations noted as follows:
The Last Destination center is situated at the Chiunye Village in Chiunye Ward some 30km from Kotwa Growth Point in the Western direction. Kotwa Growth Point is in Mudzi District some 200km from Harare along Nyamapanda Highway. The project represents one of the best and live culture preservation sites in Zimbabwe that survived the last 10 years of economic decline. Preservation of culture is done through the collection and production of traditional artifacts (wooded, pottery and basketry), maintaining live traditional homestead that show cases day to day lives in a rural homestead, performing traditional dances to visitors and holding traditional ceremonies amidst the charm of well preserved natural environment. The project was designed to benefit 200 individuals in the village. Management of the facility: The facility is managed by a Board drawn from the Chiunye village of 20 households. Day to day management and service provision to visitors is by volunteers from the Chiunye family.
Accommodation – Two roundavels and a camping site can accommodate over 20 visitors within the facility.
Access: The site is accessible by road, 25km off the main Mutoko highway is well maintained gravel road. The highway is well serviced by public transport and visitors will need to organize transport between main road to the site. Amenities – Facility is serviced by mobile telephone network. Other amenities (shops, medical services, curios) are available from Kotwa business center, 30km from the facility.
Attractions: This is a cultural and historical village offering fascinating samples of historical battle fields, homesteads , graveyards, and a hunting area featuring Binga village, traditional foods ,wild fruits, traditional artwork and culturally inclined crafts.
Activities –Cultural dances, music experiences, annual bira (cultural festival) for Chiunye village, demonstrations of traditional rituals that used to be conducted long ago in the event of drought, illness, death and burials.
Awareness – Facility is not actively marketed. Mostly patronized by private schools and culture enthusiasts.
Main Challenges: Limited wider community buy in and ownership, political conflicts, facility needs repairs, a number of restoral projects have not been completed, communities harvest firewood and forest resources in the 10hac facility; poor marketing strategy. Some of the constraints include political tensions in the area, poor marketing and thinning clientele, disintegrating cultural artifacts that need refurbishment. The facility is not registered with Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
Future Prospects: reconstruction of some of the sites that have been destroyed by harsh weather or stray animals, construction of overnight facilities and crafts center. At the moment the project requires funds to renovate the village and training the members in proper business management. Exploring partnership with Mudzi hotel to access more clientele.
Situated between Mutare and Chimanimani towns, the women from this area produce gudza crafts for local market and export. Visitors can stop over by the center to purchase a range of crafts including hats, dolls, carpets, room dividers, pot rings and placemats. The center is underperforming due to low tourism traffic to Chimanimani. The unchecked threats to the Brachystegia sp. that is harvested for weaving is also a factor limiting expansion.
Mahenye Ward is situated in southeastern Zimbabwe along the border with Mozambique. The Save River forms the southern and western boundaries of the ward and separates the communal lands of Mahenye from Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park.
Management of the facility: Joint venture partnership between the Shangaan Community in Mahenye Ward and a Private operator. The private operator has the day to day management of the facility. Locals employed on the facility.
Accommodation – 8 thatched chalets on an island on Save River
Access – Accessed 55 km from the off the Chiredzi Mutare highway mostly gravel road.
Amenities – facility provide basic amenities to meet emergency visitor needs. Facility is also covered by mobile phone network.
Attractions – Scenic views, Falls and Pans, Save River, Wildlife and unique flora
Activities – Game drives and walks, scenic drives, bird watching, canoeing
Awareness – Marketed by private operator. Appears on several websites and exhibited at various national and international tourism marketing expos
Main Challenges: Low tourism activity, capital to diversify, Save River siltation, poaching, slow development of tourism in Gonarezhou National Park, a major pull of visitors to the area.
Future Prospects: Enhancing the culture product
This is a 2010 initiative from locals who are targeting to develop large scale community based tourism in Honde Valley. Bordering the Nyanga National Park the facility operates from Honde Valley Samanga area and the concept is yet to be fully developed. Management of the facility: The project is being implemented by METCOT trust which incorporates local leadership, households and a private sector company already operating accommodation facilities in Mutare.
Accommodation – No accommodation is provided at the moment. There is a site at the base of the falls just outside the National park that has been identified as suitable for camping.
Access – The facility is accessible from the Nyanga Mutare Road, 15km along the Honde Valley Road. The Honde Valley is about 130km from Mutare, or 110km from Nyanga.
Amenities – The Hauna Growth Point provides all amenities including shops, hospital and banking facilities
Attractions – Scenic drive, Mutarazi Falls, Escarpment, Mahwemasimike rock outcrops, traditional and cultural stories/beliefs
Activities – Biking and bird watching Awareness – the event is not well marketed
Main Challenges – Limited opportunities to partner with Parks, seasonal activities.
Future Prospects: construction of lodges and campsite in Samanga Village at the base of Mutarazi Falls mountain range.