The Batoka Hospitality Group has opened the doors of its Zambezi Sands River Lodge, offering visitors five-star luxury at the western end of Zambezi National Park, just one hour from Victoria Falls.
Batoka Hospitality is a luxury eco-tourism and community development group focused on preserving and empowering local communities where the company’s lodges are situated. By doing this, they aim to foster the preservation of local wildlife and the environment surrounding their lodges. The company owns and operates Batoka Zambezi Sands River Lodge and Batoka Gorges Lodge, both situated at Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe.
The newly renovated Zambezi Sands River Lodge is the first native female-owned Safari Lodge in Africa. “We are empowering the African dream of success through eco-tourism and hospitality,” says Vimbai Masiyiwa, Executive Director of Batoka Hospitality. “At Batoka, people come first: whether it is our staff, our guests or the community surrounding us.
“As much as we enrich the lives of our guests through a truly authentic African experience, we want to create self-sustaining villages and economic growth for the communities around us.”
The opening of the property will coincide with the launch of Tesse Fund, which will be financed by 10% of the revenue made from each guest stay. The purpose of the fund is for staff members within the Batoka Hospitality family to come up with projects that benefit their local community.
The destination’s 10 tented suites, six of which have a private plunge pool. These tents have been designed by South African interior designer Yvonne O’Brien, best known for creations which are understated, personal and quietly refined. Particularly for GCC travellers, the resort offers a two-bedroom suite complete with a private swimming pool, lounge, dining room and deck, offering more privacy and an opulent home away from home experience.
The natural materials and tones O’Brien and her team have brought to the Batoka Zambezi Sands River Lodge blend seamlessly into the Victoria Falls landscape, where breathtaking vistas greet guests from every suite.
Bedrooms are designed as large African-style tents offering exceptional views from the huge veranda to the soundtrack of the area’s wildlife. The boardwalks that interlink each tent with the main dining area and bar offer protection from wandering hippos who often spend at least part of the night feeding in and around the camp.
The lodge’s elegant bar, lounge and dining area sit above the river on astilted structure is surrounded by the area’s lush wild landscapes. Decorated with stylish teak furniture, wooden flooring, pewter ornaments and leather chairs and sofas, it is quintessential African meets luxury. Outside, an expansive deck has dining tables and a sunken fire pit where pre-dinner beverages are the order of the day.
In addition to being a base camp for safaris, the resort offers guests an array of activities without even leaving the estate. In addition to the resort’s spa and fitness centre, guests can enjoy a wide range of activities which include game drives along the river and inland, game walks with an experienced professional guide and day or sunset river boat cruises.
Sustainability and local employment are at the heart of the resort’s stated mission, enabling guests to experience authentic African culture and hospitality with as little harm to the environment as possible.