Bumi is a historic Kariba venue where the staff do an amazing job under trying circumstances in a country facing many challenges, but possessing amazing natural gifts and attractions.
Rooms are excellent, massively spacious, with views unparalleled on Lake Kariba.
The pool/bar/restaurant area is excellent, and if you run out of evening options, they have a full size snooker/billiards table - old colonial Africa personified.
Game viewing is excellent, see below.
We fished on 3 mornings of our stay from boats, and had amazing success with bream (tilapia) - between 20 and 40 "keepers" (edible sized fish) which we enjoyed with evening meals, sub-size fish released, a wonderful way to introducing children to fishing. We fished off Starvation Island twice, on both occasions elephant entered the water 20 meters from our boat.
Bumi has an excellent little spa serviced by Chipo, a very competent masseuse and beauty practitioner.
For me the highlight was head game ranger Dardley Tafuruka, an enormously experienced and knowledgeable man who constantly surprised me with new and insightful information, and I grew up in the African bush veld. He was ably assisted by Max and Student, but Dardley is a class act - reason alone to visit Bumi.
The one area Bumi can improve is on their food - while perfectly adequate, it falls short of the quality one finds in South African lodges.
In 3 short days we saw (in no order of significance or rarity):
Elephant (approached our vehicle to within 4 meters)
Brown snake eagle
Great white egret
Saddle bill stork
Open billed stork
White browed sparrow weaver
Fork tailed drongo
Lilac breasted roller
African hawk eagle
Black smith lapwing
White winged tern
Grey headed gull
Cape turtle dove
Helmeted guinea fowl
Emerald spotted wood dove
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bumi - just a one-hour dramatic and scenic direct flight away from Victoria Falls - is a famous safari lodge that in recent years has been constantly upgraded to international five-star standards and yet retains its utter beauty and charm that, at its heartbeat, has the most sublime and astonishing 180-degree vista that has no peer in all of southern Africa. Perched on top of a small range of hills Bumi offers guests this panoramic delight, overlooking the massive lake, islands and game-rich shoreline, from the premium rooms, the dining deck, the bar, the fire-pit , the Africology Spa and from the glorious signature pool. Bumi offers 24 rooms - 14 Lake View premium rooms set a little in front of 10 standard rooms, all en-suite and fully equipped with modern amenities. Our local Tongan staff are renowned for their friendliness and delightful service ethic. Gourmet food is created to the highest standard by our dedicated team, headed by our highly interactive executive chef. Our activities are spearheaded by an experienced Zimbabwe professional guide, licensed to walk in the wilds with guests.. Fishing, 4 x 4 game drives, boat safaris, walks and visits to a traditional Tonga village are the most popular activities. Our exclusive wildlife area is home to Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, Zebra, Hippo, Crocodiles, Kudu, Waterbuck and much more! More than 400 species of birds have been recorded. Visit villages where the Tonga people have maintained their age old customs and get a truly unique cultural experience. Discover how Bumi Hills work with the communities in the area and how the lodge protects its wildlife area with a committed anti-poaching unit. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bumi Hills Safari Hotel Kariba