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“Excellent all round”

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Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Kariba
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 2, 2014

The lodge Is well located with excellent views. We saw elephants , buffalo and more from the main bar and dining area . The food was truly excellent for all meals. We had a room with a view over the lake which were very good. The beds , linen etc all excellent as well . The staff were friendly so all in all we had a great time. Yes there were spiders on the game drive but so what you're in Africa and they aren't poisonous ones so why worry. The boat trips to the island were fun and we caught fish . Drinks were very reasonably priced so it is relatively cheap from our experience. Poor Zimbabwe though with Bob Mugabe bringing the economy to its knees . Well done to Bumi Hills team for keeping the standard up in these trying times of Mugabe.

Room Tip: Lake view rooms superior
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank kuwinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BumiHillsSafariLodge, Manager at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Thank you for your review with regards to Bumi Hills Safari Lodge and Spa and your positive feedback with regards the views, the wildlife, the meals, the staff, the rooms and the high standards that Bumi maintains. Having the chance to catch fish always does make it extra special! Especially in such a unique environment where you can often enjoy wildlife-viewing while fishing!

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59 - 65 of 142 reviews

Reviewed January 24, 2014

Yes, Bumi is a beautiful lodge, great food and great beds, nice rooms, good sized....but you have to use a towel to get out of your room in the morning to break the cob webs. They have a guy hired who walks around with a feather duster on a long stick breaking cob webs all day. Going for game drives is horrible, all I could focus on was the zillions of huge spiders, we broke their webs and the spiders would then fly into the open vehicle. If you want to go fishing, it's a good spot, and the village tour was a nice couple hours. I wanted to go for a "lake cruise", we went to the dock, there was a medium sized pleasure boat with "Bumi Hills" on the side, I thought that would be it, but found it funny that no one else was going from the lodge.....but the guide put us on a open air, no wind screen small motor boat, and I decided I'd better decline as I knew my husband cannot sit on a hard seat and I wouldn't want to sit in the sun all day. He didn't mention the pleasure boat, neither did I, but I found out later that they only use that boat to pick up people in Karibe city.
We booked though Wildnerness Safaris, our voucher said all meals and two activities a day included. As soon as we got there the manager, Nick took as aside and told us drinks are not included, and there was a sign on the table that said activites have a in house charge, either a park fee or a tax for each activity. Well, we didn't really mind, but found it deceptive. After we left the lodge we got an email from Wilderness, seems Nick had written them and said that I had refused to sign the bar bills and I had insisted the drinks were included, so to expect a complaint from me. This is so untrue, I did complain to the guide about the spiders (I was in shock - of course I knew he couldn't do anything about it), and I declined the motor boat ride, but I never ever complined about the charges as I felt sorry for them - how could they continue in business with such a location surrounded with spiders?
The lodge is owned by several families, most of them were there, they went out fishing everyday, they are Zimbabweans. There were only 3 paying guests at the lodge while we were there.
I wasn't going to report anything about Bumi, as I like them, but after Nick's letter to Wilderness Safaris I feel that I must.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Travelinggirly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BumiHillsSafariLodge, Manager at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2014

All feedback positive or negative is always welcome and assists lodge management and staff.
The Green Season in Southern Africa a special time of the year - with the rains, comes lush grass and thick vegetation, and plenty of grazing for the wildlife, lots of inland water, and new life in many forms . . . the impala drop their young, there are baby warthogs running around with tails in the air, lots of new wildlife and of course there is an increased insect activity, and this includes the Golden Orb spiders (which are harmless). There are also more geckos (which dart around eating insects) - and a myriad of bright flowers providing contrast to the green bush. This would apply to all lodges in Southern Africa. All the creatures great and small co-exist in a balanced harmony and many of them have symbiotic relationships so are all vital in the chain. Thus we do try to ensure any human impact on nature is kept to a minimum.

We are glad that you enjoyed the Tonga Village trip we take corporate social responsibility seriously, and endeavour to support the village wherever possible.

With regards to boat activities at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge and Spa, we have a 30 foot, 16 seater covered transporter which is used solely to transfer guests between Kariba town and the lodge, and we also have a variety of smaller uncovered boats which are skippered by qualified guides and designed to let you explore the lake edges and wildlife that may be encountered there, or to go fishing on. These boats are comfortable, well maintained and obviously meet required safety standards.

Beverages and other extras have not been included in our packages since 2011 and we have taken great care to ensure that all agents/tour operators and prospective clients are advised of this prior to travel. Wilderness Safaris have accepted responsibility for misinforming you on what was included in your package and have agreed to reimburse you for all extras charged at the lodge during your stay.

It is common practice within the hotel industry for lodge or hotel staff to provide feedback to agents who send business (positive or negative) regarding guests stay during or after their departure so as to eliminate or rectify any issues or potential issues or any breakdown in communication between the agent and client, and this was the case with Bumi Hills and Wilderness Safaris with regards your booking.

I apologise if the contents of the email offended you in any way as all I was trying to do was rectify the issue you brought to my attention while at the lodge regarding the extra charges etc.

Kind Regards
Nicholas Milne
Chief Operating Officer

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Reviewed January 10, 2014 via mobile

bumi hills is a massive improvement on what it was 12 years ago during the dark times in zim.
the guys in sa have done a wonderful thing by investing cash here to get this old icon going again.
the view is the best in kariba and pool is very well maintained.
vehicles are new and well maintained.
nick the manager works hard and has his fingers on pulse.
its nice to see another icon here.. ian smith and get some of his old stories going abt the area hes very knowledgeable on... hes also great round the bar with his "war "stories.

the wifi must be improved in range by 100m and should be open .. not password protected.
everybody wants wifi its essential as oxygen to modern humans

MAKE SURE U GET ROOMS AT FRONT FACING WATER.

not allowing adults to walk down to harbour is weird... animals are harmless and like in a zoo here.

fishing is good .. I caught biggest fish 15kg vundu which we released.

as long as the management keep the rate of 100 us per person per day they will keep beds full and make a bit of profit.
if they go above 100 us more people will end up at tiger bay round corner which is more relaxed and laid back.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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3  Thank andywhyte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2014

Hi Andy, thanks for the feedback. Glad you rated us the best in your selection. :)

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager

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Reviewed November 30, 2013

By far the BEST holiday experience my husband and I have ever had. Nathalie and Willem and their entire team are a class act! The bush dinner blew us away....it was the absolute highlight of our honeymoon experience. Maxwell, our tour guide, made us feel so at home and was an amazing host on both our fishing trip and game drive. "Captain Ed" provided plenty of laughs on the boat ride to and from Kariba. The food was exquisite and the attention to detail all around is what set this experience apart. Bumi Hills is truly one of Zimbabwes hidden gems! Since our return to Canada, we have shared our experience and pictures and have recommended to anyone's who will listen what an amazing place this is, and that it's a must see destination when one visits Zimbabwe. If you have an online gallery, we'd be happy to email our pictures for you to share in your marketing efforts. All in all, one heck of an adventure! THANK YOU Bumi Team!!!

Room Tip: All rooms were top notch! All of them face the lake.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Dee P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2014

Thanks for the amazing feedback! It sounds like a magnificent experience. And so happy to be a part of it.

See you back with us soon!

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager

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Reviewed November 10, 2013

We have stayed at Bumi Hills twice now and have had the most amazing trips, the staff are friendly, food excellent and there is wild life at every turn! On our last trip we were even lucky enough to spot a male lion. Would highly recommend Bumi Hills.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Taryn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2014

Thank YOU Tarryn. We just loved having you.

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager

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Reviewed October 27, 2013

We decided to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary by having a holiday with our three children (ages 27 to 32). Therefore it had to be special. Boy was it special. We chartered a plane and flew into Bumi landing on an airstrip that later had lions sitting in the middle of it. We were met and driven to the lodge where the greeting was friendly as well as efficient. Other reviewers have commented on this and they are so right. We stayed in premium rooms overlooking the lake and the water hole a view which is stunning. In fact it was hard to remember that we were not on a paradise beach holiday the view is so beautiful - but the area is so dangerous! An amazing combination. Maxwell took us out every day - game viewing and fishing and ensured that we didn't miss anything that was available to view or do. Obviously what you see is really a lucky dip. You should always see Impala but if they are not there is it because the lions are? We were "lucky" to see lions eating a dead elephant and the next morning frolicking on the grass next to the lake. We have some fabulous photos. Maxwell knew the lions' habits and advised us where to go when and ensured we passed them even on our way to the lake to fish. We didn't catch anything other than bream but I always think on safari that nothing is a given. The lake is teeming with hippos. Elephants were often in the water, on the beach or at the lodge's watering hole. Buffalo watched us fish. The lodge put on an amazing dining experience for us on our last night which our family won't forget and for which we would like to record here a special thank you to all the staff. We were very lucky (three line whip) to have our family together and our daughter voted it her best holiday ever so thank you Bumi Hills for your contribution to our celebrations.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Eangelina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2014

Wonderful to be a part of your 40th wedding anniversary. It was a special occasion requiring special attention. Thanks for including us!

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager

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Reviewed October 23, 2013

This lodge has to be one of the best places on this earth. As you walk in through the lodge doors and see the pool and the view you are absolutely blown away. There is no other place that gives you this "Wow Factor". It is simply brearth taking and straight away you feel that you have arrived at something special.
The staff are so welcoming and friendly and as you sit at the bar over looking the lake you can feel the pressures of the world lifting and an unreal calm takes over. You can sit for hours at the bar or lying in the pool with that spectactular view and you will always see game such as elephants, impala, crocodiles, many other species of buck and a lot os bird species especially eagles that sour above you in the thermals.
The accomadation is world class, (try book one of the front rooms as they too have a view that is awesome) and the food is just out of this world.
Game drives are amazing and on this trip we saw so much, even a couple of lions from the odd 18 that are in the area. Fishing for bream and tiger fish are a must and you can even take a speed boat and do a gme drive as so many animlas come down to the shore to drink. The place is teaming with game.
This is my 6th time to visit this wonderful place and I can honestly say that it never fails to disappoint me. In fact it always surprises me and I always leave with the most amazing feeling and just cannot wait till my next visit.
This place has to be on everyones bucket list as once you have been and experienced this unique and very special place you will want to come back.
Thanks to all the staff, guides and awsome kitchen staff for once gain making this such an amazing trip.
Till we meet gain. I cannot wait.

Room Tip: Try for the 10 front rooms as the views are spectacular.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Arthur K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaAlbidaTourism, General Manager at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2014

Paradise revisited! Wow - thanks so much for such a wonderful and comprehensive review. Looking forward to your return soon.

Jonathan Hudson
General Manager

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Additional Information about Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa

Address: Bumi Hills | Lake Kariba, Kariba, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Mashonaland West Province > Kariba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Kariba
Price Range: $650 - $1,120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge and Spa boasts one of Africa’s finest wilderness locations with 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 Matusdona National Park and is easily accessible by light aircraft and boat, allowing you to be swiftly transported into paradise without the stress of a long journey. The safari lodge has a total of 10 rooms, all with views over Lake Kariba. All rooms are premium rooms with balconies and uninhibited views over Lake Kariba. There are garden rooms available too, reserved for guides and tour leaders, with slated terraces, set a little way back behind and on a level above the premium rooms. 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 Hills Safari Lodge is a dream wedding destination – an incredible setting for a small, intimate event (maximum of 46 pax) whilst enjoying special time with family and friends surrounded by Lake Kariba and a myriad of wildlife! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bumi Hills Safari Hotel Kariba

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