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“A fascinating Safari experience”
Review of Gache Gache Lodge

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Gache Gache Lodge
Ranked #6 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Kariba
Reviewed June 16, 2013

At first sight Gache Gache's owner Ray Townsend is Mick Dundee meets Sylvester Stallone. He is every bit the bushman and years of African sun, run-ins with dangerous game and bloodthirsty poachers shows on his face. Beneath this tough outward appearance is a man passionate about his wildlife, it preservation and the conservation of the beautiful Lake Kariba wilderness. His knowledge is incredible and it was a real treat to hear his stories around the fire after dinner. The lodge is a rustic collection of very comfortable twin en suite rooms with a pool, main dining and social area at the center. Lake Kariba was very full while we were there so the hippos ate grass outside our doors all night !. The staff are fantastic, in particular Elliot who always had a smile and for whom nothing appeared to be too much trouble. Between Ray and his assistant guide David, we were treated to rare bird sightings, intimate close ups with large crocs and hippos and a unique few minutes in a nursery herd of elephant who are resident in the lodges immediate vicinity. The bar was well stocked and the three daily meals traditional and generous in proportion. Fish lovers will like Gache's take on fresh lake bream snacks and main courses and the little known but delicious fresh water prawns. The lodge has an area for camping, with convenient adjacent ablutions. Apart from a few boats fishing with the lodges permission, there is no other water traffic in Gache Gache, meaning you have a sense of really having the place to yourself. Game drives by boat and four wheel drive are possible in the mornings and evenings. Getting to Gache Gache by road requires a high clearance four wheel drive. Take an axe and two spare tyres as the elephants like uprooting roadside trees !. Go left at the Charara turn off on the Makuti - Kariba road, follow the power line road left and then drive approx. 32 miles following the white Gache Gache signs. It will take at least two hours at a sensible speed and in the rainy season there will be perilous gullies with narrow concrete bridges to negotiate. Alternatively you can arrange a transfer with Marine Land in Kariba (US$ 60 per person one way) or even fly in. Some people flew out a few days before us in a very large aircraft without any problems at all. Gache Gache have aircraft and can arrange this.

Room Tip: If you are travelling with children or scared of hippos request a room near the main lodge & poo...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Coleman M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 - 35 of 36 reviews

Reviewed June 7, 2012

On the 25th May Turbo Glass embarked on their annual 'Turbo Charge.' What an epic adventure we had!

I wanted to talk to you all more about a lodge we stayed at called Gache Gache.


Run by Ray and Pat Townsend and staffed by some exemplary young men and women, this is a camp you don't want to miss out on. What we found absolutely amazing about this particular lodge is the fact they have been able to turn the area into a conservation, poaching free part of Lake Kariba. the work being done on a day to day basis to bring back Zimbabwe's wild birds, game and fish has definitely put a lump in our throats...


They run WEPU (Wildlife Environment Protection Unit) purely through donations and it has been incredible to see the support they get to do such an arduous task. Do have a read of their conservation page and see for yourself how they are slowly giving the wildlife of Africa a fighting chance...


The accommodation was fantastic, the food very hearty and the service was nothing less than epic!!

Turbo Glass would like to thank you all at Gache Gache for an incredible two days at what can only be one of the best lodges on Lake Kariba!!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Spin_dokta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2012

I stayed here 4 nights on business with several colleagues. It was very rustic and remote, but it was comfortable and the staff did a phenomenal job taking care of us. The rooms are open-air huts (except for one, which is enclosed and air-conditioned) overlooking a tributary of Kariba Lake. We spotted several hippos and crocodiles from our rooms and from the patio at meals. Speaking of meals, the food was delicious and far exceeded my expectations of what we would be eating in such a remote location. I am still amazed at how fresh the food was each night at dinner. The game drives and "booze cruises" were very fun and allowed us to see several animals, such as elephants, warthogs, impalas, buffalo, and several beautiful bird species. I would definitely come back here again if ever given the opportunity.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Caitlin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2012

I stayed at this lodge in 2009 and it was amazing. I still think of it and wish I could go back. The "rooms" are actually little huts that are open to the environment. So, no doors or windows, which is kinda cool and scary at the same time. However, the huts face the tributary of lake Karibe and there is a steep drop right outside out door. So, nothing can crawl in during the night. The guides here were terrific and very knowledgable. I would recommend any of the Landella Lodges to a traveller.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank Joaelk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2012

My partner and I stayed at Gache Gache over New Year. Just pulling up to the lodge showed how gorgeous the location was and our room was right there, with its own little patio and amazing view of the river/lake and two very happy hippo. Stunning lodge and location, great food, fantastic New Year and the staff were all excellent. We had a wonderful dinner one night overlooking the Gache Gache river and plains which was planned to perfection, and a lot of fun. Would definately go back again and can thoroughly recommend it.

Room Tip: Go for the room with the aircon, though they are planning to install more
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank izzyDarEsSalaam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2010

We stayed here as part of a group of about 15 people and had the lodge to ourselves which was lovely!

The lodge is in a lovely location with stunning views across the bay/river. The area around the lodges is nice and shady with new grass having just been planted.
The main lodge is well laid out with various different areas for relaxing, great for enabling guests to not feel on top of each other! The pool was fantastic for lounging in during the heat of the day and was well maintained.
The only negative comment would be the presence of a TV in the bar area showing the news and sport - not ideal when you are trying to get away from it all for a few days and enjoy the sounds of nature!

The lodge staff were exceptionally friendly and polite and helpful.

The food was wonderful and we were definitely not underfed! The fresh baked camp bread and banana bread were especially good!! Drinks were fairly expensive.

The thatched guest lodges were very rustic but completely adequate and kept very clean - all were ensuite with toilet/showers, with fans and mozzie nets. The honeymoon lodge also had AC and a fridge and proper glass windows whereas the other guest lodges just had bars across open spaces in the walls as windows, with curtains.
all the lodges have balconies which overlook the river/bay.

The game was fairly sparse in the area - much less than in the nearby Matusadona area. A lot of hippo, crocs and prolific bird life all around the lodge. Elephant and buffalo were also seen during the game drives but the bush in this area is very thick making game drives hard work! We did have a few hippo coming on to the lawns around the lodge every night, some getting impressively close!
Fishing in the area was good with a couple of nice tiger being caught just off the bank in front of the lodge.

A word of caution: we took malarone as malaria prophylaxis as the UK pharmacists insisted nothing else worked for Zimbabwe. My husband subsequently came down with malaria and we have since learnt from a doctor in Harare that malarone is as good as useless for the Zambezi Valley and the only drug routinely used (and which we used to take when we lived in Zim!) is one called Deltaprim which is only available in Zim. Just something to bear in mind.

All in all though, a fantastic trip and would go again!

  • Stayed: September 2010
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2  Thank kk1981vet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Cri-Ro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gache Gache Lodge

Address: Across Lake Kariba | Easern Basin, Kariba, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Mashonaland West Province > Kariba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Kariba
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gache Gache Lodge is situated across Lake Kariba only 30minutes by speedboat. You can also drive around in a 4x4 vehicle or you can charter a flight in to our own airstrip. We can arrange transfers. We have 10 rustic chalets, one with air-con. All with own verandah overlooking the lake. We offer game drives and our area now has great game-viewing and excellent fishing (Tiger & Bream) as we have our very own Environment Protection Unit on hand to combat any poaching in the Gache Gache Wilderness Area (GGWA. Gache Gache Lodge has a splash pool to keep you cool in those extremely hot months! Our evening game drives by boat/booze cruises allow you to take amazing pictures of stunning sunsets and birdlife too. September through April are the best fishing months! We look forward to hosting YOU soon! ... more   less 

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