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“A very enjoyable 3 days”
Review of Spurwing Island

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Spurwing Island
Ranked #1 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Kariba
Reviewed June 3, 2013

We came to Spurwing Island for a wedding after spending a couple of days at the Wild Geese Lodge in Harare. We hired a car and completed 360 km drive in 4.5 hours, which was an experience, particularly overtaking the double articulated lorries on the main Harare to Zambia 2 lane road. The boat trip from Kariba to Spurwing Island took 2.5 hours, but was ok, as we made use of the bar and sun beds on the chartered houseboat. Spurwing Island resort, itself, is a mixture of tents and cabins under thatched roofs all with en suite bathrooms, catering for about 40 guests. Our cabin had a multi speed ceiling fan which was great for the warm nights. No keys are issued and this takes a little getting used to, if you're used to locking doors and putting valuables in a safe. There is no wi-fi and a very limited phone signal, which is not a problem for a few days, but could be for an extended stay. The food was excellent with a choice of starters and main courses all prepared and cooked to perfection. The staff were very friendly and helpful and contributed to a great experience. We took advantage of the offer of a game drive in the Matusadona Game Reserve and are so please we did.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Andrew D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 - 56 of 62 reviews

Reviewed March 7, 2013

After an awful boat ride from Kariba, it was nice to get into the tents. Not the most luxurious of places, but perfectly comfortable. I liked the flasks of ice water in the tent. Food was generally very good. The fish we caught was fried up for us before dinner. We did a few excursions – tiger fish fishing, normal fishing, a trip up the gorge, and a land safari. Mostly pretty good. The pool is small but nice. We had Christopher as our guide for a few of the trips – he was excellent.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank A380fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

Had a fabulous stay at this resort on its own island in the middle of Lake Kariba. Nothing to do except relax! The staff are absoloutely fantastic, the food very good and the drinks very cheap! The rooms are comfortable and clean (there are insects around the rooms but remember where you are, in the middle of the bush, so expect it!). Absoloutely enjoyed the time there and wish I could have stayed longer!

The only downside is that they do not ask you for the national Parks receipt on arrival (and which you pay on departure at the boat transfer) and only ask for i on departure. I could not find it and was slugged twice for the NP fee. Of course when I got back I found the receipt!

Room Tip: We stayed in the cabins, they were excellent but the tents looked like a great option as well
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Oztravels7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

We had made reservation early to have a tent cabin, we were given a cabin with a view of an electric fence only feet away and a blaring green light shining through the cabin, close the curtain it just got hotter. We asked to be moved and were told no they were full. I noticed that the insect net had a large hole in the bottom and several holes, I was able to count 4 that I could see the nets were dirty and stained.I went to management and viewed my concern, I was told they knew they were in bad shape and needed repair.The room was poor, the drapes were stained the screens on both windows had gaping holes, and the furniture and doors were all chipped. After the first meal many of us got ill.This can happen anywhere, but when managements answer was well we eat the food and drink the water and we are fine. No, how are you is there anything we can do. Dirty soiled towels that I placed on the ground to change were placed back on the hooks, not replaced all week. The grounds beautiful, food good- ran out of some of the dishes. Management staff not friendly, waiters average service, bar staff excellent, tour staff excellent.

Room Tip: do not choose the cabins at the end near the green light or do not choose a room near the generators...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank darice d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

As an ex Zim , now living in the UK, it was truley amazing to be back in Kariba and especially that we were able to stay on Spurwing. We went as a party of 10 to celebrate my Dad's 70th.... I manage a large Travel Agency in the South of England, so yes my expectations are high. Spurwing is the tonic we all need during the year....no mobile signal unless you stand in reception . But the aim here is to switch off your phones, switch off your laptops and CHILL ! We stayed in tent 8 and it is in a great spot. Tents 6-10 are great ! They are tents under thatch and have full shower toilet and basin at the rear, excellent mosquito nets , fans and electricity (from the generator)...a small patio is where your tea/coffee tray is delivered every morning at whatever time you request. ALL FREE ! Oh and turn-down in the evening whilst you are having dinner....
The lodge has different room types and I did get to see a few. They are all quite basic, but you are not coming to Spurwing for luxury... Its all about being on the lake, enjoying the fishing and game viewing from your boat, and of course the famous Kariba sunsets !
Food was really good. Two of our evening meals were slightly disappointing, but they excelled themselves on the Saturday lunch by having a braai (barbecue) out in front of the bar area, overlooking the lake. There was a great selection of meat, salads, and even marshmallows for the kids to braai afterwards. Then back to our tent for an afternoon nap before a few hours of fishing before sunset.....HONESTLY what more can you ask for ? My favourite meal was breakfast. Eggs cooked to perfection and the bacon was excellent too. Lots of toast and it was all delivered to the table. Coffee .... i am a coffee freak, and would have loved filter coffee. Perhaps in plungers delivered to the table?
Service...the bar staff are excellent and Cosmos did a great job keeping our glasses topped up. The Bloody Mary's after lunch were top class :) The waiters in the dining room could do with a little training but overall the food and service was excellent ! Perhaps on arrival, a briefing from the Manager about timings, and general day to day routine, would help. A few guests did not know that tea and cake was served at 3pm when the drums went off ?
The boat guys....they were always there waiting to meet us. They kept our cooler boxes stocked, our fish all gutted and arranged for them as bar snacks if requested ! Great concept. The guy who took us out on the first day took us to an excellent spot and we caught loads of bream ! Great to be able to let my 10yr old Pommy son experience what Kariba is all about.
HONESTLY....If I could I would definitely make a trip to Spurwing a regular occurence .... You come away feeling refreshed and as though you have really escaped from the stresses of life. If you want 5 star luxury...its not for you. If you want true Zim hospitality and a fantastic spot on Lake Kariba, then SPURWING is for you !

Room Tip: Definitely loved the tents....numbers 6-10
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank dupey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

After two nights in Vic falls and seven nights safari, our four nights here was the perfect relaxation spot with our two girls Helen and Kathryn (11 & 9). We stayed in one of the family chalets near the back of the complex and the rooms were very clean and comfortable. The food was excellent and plentiful with fantastic service from all the waiters and bar staff. A good selection of activities were on offer if required. Although drinks were not included in our package they were very reasonably priced with a wide selection to suit all tastes and budgets.. We booked two boat trips with William, one of the guides, who took us to some great spots for birdwatching. Then sun-downers on the boat with glorious sunsets to look at.The children loved the pool but the playground needed some attention. A few more facilities for entertaining them would of been great IE Games room, table tennis table for example. This small improvement would make the place fantastic for children, thus ensuring there was no need to leave Zimbabwe to get that crucial R&R (ie beach) after a hard few days on safari. The spa was a nice touch and my wife really enjoyed her pedicure !!
The perfect place to finish off our holiday, very peaceful and relaxing.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank jgilly_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2012

This was our third visit to Spurwing. We were last there four years ago. It was good before but now even better. A great improvement. The bar and restaurant have both been rebuilt. Furniture around the pool and the bar has been renewed very tastefully. Leonard the barman fortunately still remains!
The food was definately better than the last time we stayed and the bar prices, $2.50 for a beer, very reasonable. The wine list could do with improving however.
They now have a small spa which my wife found good.
One problem/bit of excitement we did have, was walking through the camp at night. The electric fence was down, a new one was being erected two weeks after we left. This lead to some exciting encounters with elephant and hippo.
The fishing was good, once Julius showed us the where to go.
New management, new staff and an obvious cash input to improve the facilities, made this a great place to stay on Lake Kariba.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank simon o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Spurwing Island

Address: Kariba, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Mashonaland West Province > Kariba
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Kariba
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Spurwing Island Hotel Kariba

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