Hwange Safari Lodge Refurbishment On Course

Date:

Hwange Safari Lodge’s first phase of a major refurbishment programme is on track, with 40 Standard rooms, now complete and operational with the new look. A further 18 rooms including 2 Executive Suites will be completed by March 2023, bringing the total number of rooms refurbished to 58 in total by the end of the first quarter of the current year. The Group will immediately embark on refurbishment of the remaining 42 rooms thereafter.

Guests who have experienced the new rooms so far tell us the whole new look is literally a breath of fresh air and impressive! They enjoy the design that is in keeping with a lodge in the bush while giving a sense of modernity and practicality that is sought by the internationally-experienced traveller of the 2020s.

Hwange Safari Lodge is part of the African Sun Limited Group and is one of Zimbabwe’s major safari lodges. Situated just outside the world-famous Hwange National Park (“the Park”), immediately adjacent to the Hwange National Park airport and a short distance from the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway, the lodge hosts visitors from domestic, regional and international source markets whose key focus is the abundant wildlife of the Park and surrounding areas.

A unique design

The lodge has a unique design, with two slightly curved wings stretching out east and west from a central public area, where the reception, restaurant, guest lounge, conference room and bar look out to a garden terrace and swimming pool deck, that in turn overlook a natural water feature that attracts large numbers of wild animals throughout the day.

The designer gave African Sun four design options to choose from, and the luxury safari look was adopted. One of the key features of this design is the placement of quality wood furniture, made to order by a Victoria Falls-based manufacturer.

This includes a work desk, small table, clothes closet and wall mirrors, all made from indigenous teak timber. Bathrooms, living and sleeping areas were restyled to increase a sense of spaciousness. In keeping with global trends, the bathroom focus is on lovely, large showers.

A multipurpose facility

Although its primary purpose is to cater for the leisure tourist visiting Zimbabwe’s largest national park, the lodge is also popular as a venue for small to medium conferences, weddings, business strategic retreats, and has traditionally been regarded as an ideal stopover point for self-drive travellers, especially from South Africa.

A conference facility for up to 100 participants has for some time been established close to the lodge’s east wing and is in use for a range of meetings and other events.

The African Sun Limited Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Mr. Peter Saungweme, said the refurbishment programme was being undertaken at a cost of at leastUS$4 million under broadly two phases. The first phase would focus on renovation of the lodge’s entire 100 rooms, whilst the second phase would focus on renovation of the key public areas namely the restaurant, guest lounge and the bar.

The African Sun Group is concurrently making significant investments in refurbishment projects on its several properties across the country to ensure that the product and service offering across its hotel portfolio aligns with contemporary global trends.

An additional boost for tourism around the Hwange National Park and surrounding areas is the recent announcement by Fastjet Zimbabwe that they plan to introduce scheduled air services to Hwange

National Park airport in March this year, linking the area by air to Victoria Falls and Kariba. This will significantly increase accessibility to the area, especially for international visitors, and enhance the number of arrivals.

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