Nestled within the hills of the Mpata Gorge, on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, an oasis awaits, hidden within the shade of grand tamarind trees. The iconic baobab that drew the owner to the site 22 years ago now stands as a sentry against the worries of the modern world, guiding the visitor to this idyllic place.
Redcliff Zambezi Lodge has been operating in the Mpata Gorge Game Management Area since it opened in 1996. This family run business has been a popular fishing destination for overseas and local travellers alike in their pursuit of the infamous African tigerfish. These powerful predators are renowned the world over for their fighting ability and are sure to get the blood pumping and your reel screaming. As well as tigerfish, Cornish jack and vundu catfish are frequently landed, and the experienced guides know where best to find them. Fly fishers have had great success on the river in the last season, and the guides will be invaluable to visiting anglers keen to land a tiger on the fly. Even when the fish are being elusive, there is no more beautiful venue on the Zambezi, with breathtaking landscapes and a staggering mountain view.
The remoteness of the area ensures that this is one of the most untouched wildernesses. Access to the Redcliff Zambezi Lodge is by river and the short boat trip from the village of Kavalamanja truly enhances the sense of solitude. It is here that the mighty river opens its arms to welcome the visitor, offering endless natural artistry and drama to all who come. Game viewing can be done by foot on one of the excellent hikes on offer by trained guides and staff. For those nature lovers who prefer a more leisurely approach, boat safaris are available. Day trips into Lower Zambezi National Park are popular, either for fishing or game viewing, and almost all animals can be spotted from the boats. Crocodiles and hippos are ever-present, while elephants, antelope even leopards are frequent visitors to the life-giving river’s edge. African fish eagles patrol the river and their wistful calls echo along the gorge. Lunchtime picnics on the river bank surrounded by plentiful bird life makes this the perfect destination, with something for everyone to enjoy. This is a wildlife photographer’s paradise, with everything from agile bee-eaters to majestic martial eagles on hand to fill the frame.
The lodge was recently revamped from top to bottom and its family and double rooms are a comfortable retreat after a long day of fishing or exploring. Cool off in the pool while hippos grunt and snort in the river, or else enjoy an ice-cold beer at the bar and take in the stunning view. The spectacular sunsets on display most evenings are simply nature’s way of toasting the end of another glorious day. Relaxing by the roaring fire pit or star gazing off the sunset deck at night is the perfect way to end a day, however you chose to fill it. Watching the brilliant constellations wheel across a clear sky to vanish behind the black of the mountainous horizon is a truly awe-inspiring sight.
2019 will see the inception of Redcliff Eco’s new family villas. Separated from the main lodge, with a sleeping capacity of 10 to 12 people or two large families, this unique concept will allow investors to book a set week each year for their well-deserved holiday on the Zambezi. The villas will boast a private pool, boat and your own staff complement including a chef and guides. These units will be a home away from home on the Zambezi, with all the comforts and none of the hassle.
Whether it is fishing or game viewing, photography or simply relaxing in one of the world’s most striking locations, Redcliff Zambezi Lodge is ready to welcome you.
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