andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge

Sample Itinerary—Victoria Falls Safari

Curated exclusively for National Geographic

Enjoy private access to the mighty Zambezi, close proximity to Victoria Falls, and a private game reserve teeming with wildlife. Float down the river, explore the bush in open-air safari vehicles and on foot, and head upstream to experience one of the world’s largest waterfalls.

Your experience at the lodge will be tailored to your interests. The sample itinerary below was designed for National Geographic travelers and can be customized as you wish. Some experiences featured in this itinerary incur an additional cost.


  • Join the lodge’s reserve manager for breakfast and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Matetsi Private Game Reserve. (National Geographic Exclusive).
  • Embark on a guided tour of Victoria Falls, one of the world’s largest curtains of falling waters, and cap off your excursion with high tea at the historic Victoria Falls Hotel.
  • Venture into the bush on game drives and walking safaris accompanied by a ranger and expert wildlife guide.
  • Spot vast elephant herds congregating at the water’s edge, as well as hippos, birds, and crocodiles during a cruise or canoe trip down the Zambezi River.

Day 1—Arrive Matetsi Private Game Reserve, Zimbabwe

Land at Victoria Falls International Airport and transfer by private car to the lodge. Settle into your suite, tucked along a private stretch of the Zambezi riverbank, and soak off the toil of travel in your own plunge pool. Later this afternoon, join a ranger and expert wildlife guide on your first game drive through the 123,550-acre private reserve. Watch for massive herds of elephants and buffalo, sable antelopes, lions, spotted hyenas, African wild dogs, leopards, and more. Wind down over fireside cocktails, followed by dinner under the star-studded African sky.

Day 2—The Smoke That Thunders

Rise for espresso and breakfast set to the sounds of the African bush, including the distinctive calls of fish eagles. Transfer to Victoria Falls, known locally as the “smoke that thunders,” and take a private guided tour of one of the world’s most magnificent waterfalls. Walk through the surrounding rain forest, spot endemic flora and fauna, visit the bronze statue of David Livingstone, and learn the history of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy lunch on the elegant terrace of the Victoria Falls Hotel, overlooking the Victoria Falls Bridge and Batoka Gorge. Later, cap off the experience with high tea at this historic landmark.

While you’re at the falls, consider upping the ante with a thrilling adventure such as bungee jumping over the mighty Zambezi River, zip-lining from Zambia to Zimbabwe, or soaring over the falls on an unforgettable helicopter ride, complete with an aerial flip.

Day 3—River and Bush Safaris

Spend the day immersed in the wilds of the lodge’s surroundings. Join a reserve manager for breakfast and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Matetsi Private Game Reserve. Float down the Zambezi River on a riverboat or paddle a stretch in a canoe, and be on the lookout for “laughing” hippos, singing birds, and snapping crocodiles. For lunch, enjoy one of the chef’s delicious home-style specialties, such as buttermilk rusks based on his mother’s recipe. In the late afternoon, venture into the bush again in an open-air safari vehicle, or join a professional ranger on an interpretive walk for eye-level encounters with the wild inhabitants of the reserve. Tonight, linger over a lantern-lit dinner under the trees along the water’s edge.

Day 4—Depart

After breakfast, transfer to Victoria Falls International Airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.

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