January 7, 2020
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge a place of outstanding Natural Beauty in Zimbabwe
After flying on a ten-seater private plane from Victoria Falls to Lake Kariba and whisked off in an open-air jeep from where we landed, we found paradise at stunning Safari Lodge Bumi Hills in an elevated position on a range of remote hills overlooking the vastness of Lake Kariba. Bumi is situated near the North-Eastern border of the Matusadona National Park.
When I had decided to visit Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe I knew I had to contact African Safari specialists Sikeleli Travel and Expeditions. They came highly recommended by friends in Zimbabwe and were superb from start to finish. They were extremely efficient at organising the entire trip which included a two-night stay at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, flights and transfers via Wild Horizons Victoria Falls (who were also excellent). Everything ran like clockwork and they fulfilled all of our requests and hopes for the trip and surpassed our expectations. Sikeleli were so wonderful, friendly and knowledgable I will definitely be using them again for my next trip and would highly recommend them to anyone planning a trip to Africa or anywhere else.
We arrived to a wonderful welcome of several of the staff greeting us by way of traditional singing and dancing as we pulled up to Bumi Hills in one of the open-air jeeps, the wind blowing as hot as a hairdryer.
An ice-cold towel and refreshing drink were given to revive us before a tour of the amazing lodge and grounds. The first thing to catch my eye was the stylish mix of western and African, décor straight from the pages of an interior design magazine and then the exquisite infinity pool surrounded by lush palm trees with panoramic views of Lake Kariba and even game in the far distance. Upon arriving at our Lake View Suite I was again very taken with the safari design, prints and details – I loved the bathroom complete with two ceramic sinks with copper details, heavenly scented bath and body products, a large freestanding bath and a huge walk-in shower (we also had a spacious outdoor shower with views of the lake). The bedroom was spacious and the comfortable king-sized bed was dressed in gorgeous bed linen, that I wanted to take home, and the large balcony had magnificent views of the lake. I was in my element capturing images of all aspects of the bathroom and bedroom, as the style was just my taste. After our tour of the hotel and our suite we hot-footed it to lounge by the infinity pool and take in the peace and tranquillity and scenic views from one of the large, stylish all-white cabanas.
We ordered a lunch of Greek Salads which were delicious and relaxed (and took a copious amount of photos ) by the very instagrammable pool until we departed at 4 pm for our game drive, which I was most excited about as Bumi Hills is situated on an extensive wildlife conservation area. It is home to lion, leopard, big herds of elephant and buffalo, as well as a multitude of different plains game.
Our guide took us and just two other guests in one of the lodge’s robust, fancy open-air jeeps to the edge of the lake to see what game we could spot. We were blessed enough to see elephants bulls and mothers and their calves, buffalo and zebra as we sipped cocktails and nibbled snacks brought along by our guide and watched the magnificent sunset over Lake Kariba which was extremely memorable and special.
It was recharging to enjoy a long, hot shower under the powerful walk-in shower before dinner. We sat on the outdoor terrace next to the infinity pool where we enjoyed a mouthwatering dinner of goats cheese salad to start, freshly caught fish on a bed of vegetables as a main and banana type fritters with vanilla ice cream to finish.
After sleeping like babies in the comfortable bed, breakfast was a healthy fresh fruit salad followed by perfectly cooked poached eggs and mushrooms.
A day of lounging by the pool ensued where we did very little, too lazy to even eat at the restaurant, instead we enjoyed lunch on one of the spacious, all-white cabanas, followed by a dip in the stunning infinity pool, then just soaking up the heat whilst the attentive staff brought various refreshments to us.
That evening we enjoyed a traditional Braai which is the term for an African barbecue and the hotel’s amazing chef barbecued chicken, sausages and lamb in front of us on the outdoor terrace. Accompanied by baked potatoes and various vegetables what a feast it was!
Sadly the next day we were to depart, (with a thoughtful gift given to us by the delightful staff) alas the visit was short but sweet and Bumi Hills left a special place in our heart.
I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to stay in a luxury safari lodge in Lake Kariba where they can unwind in stunning surroundings and eat delicious food and be tended to by staff who are charming, sweet-natured and ever attentive.
More about the accommodation
The safari lodge has a total of 10 rooms, all with views over Lake Kariba. All rooms have balconies and uninhibited views over Lake Kariba. Lake View suites are sublime with awe-inspiring sunrise and sunset vistas over the lake, historic Starvation Island and game-rich shoreline. There are garden rooms available too, reserved for guides and tour leaders, with slated terraces, set a little way back. Taking centre stage is the beautiful infinity pool that seems to blend endlessly into the lake horizon. The pool is surrounded by intimate wine and dining terraces on different levels. The lodge interiors have been beautifully finished in a fusion of contemporary western and African styles.
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge is situated on an extensive wildlife conservation area. Bumi Hills is home to lion, leopard, big herds of elephant and buffalo, as well as a multitude of different plains game. Guests can indulge in superb fishing in the lake waters surrounding the safari lodge with bream and the fighting tiger fish in abundance. Birding and cultural experiences (with the rich local Tonga culture) also abound.
Bumi is unique among luxury safari lodges because of the exquisite added dimension of the water – Kariba is among the worlds largest man-made lakes and a genuine African wilderness with far more animals than people. This allows for glorious game viewing by boat as well as the traditional open 4 x 4 vehicles and walking in the wilds with an armed professional guide.
Travel Consultant for Bumi Hills Safari Lodge
W: Sikeleli Safaris
T: (+1) 604 281 3274
E: Daniella Porter director and senior travel consultant
Written by Jo Freeman for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International