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Beautiful views over lake Kariba
Bumi Hills was our last stop for 2 nights in a 2 week stay in Zimbabwe. The location at the top of a hill offers spectacular views of Lake Kariba and you can also see the elephant and a plethora of game wandering around the waters edge from your room’s deck. We enjoyed a massage in the spa along with a few game drives. Animal sightings were fewer than in the national parks we stayed in earlier in our trip however in one day we did see buffalo, 2 male lion and elephant along with a number of other smaller animals and birds. The rooms were very nice with both an indoor and outdoor shower. Food was excellent and we enjoyed completing our holiday in the luxury of this location.
Outstanding, with a Killer View
Stayed here in July 2022 with family. First off, you may have seen the photos on the internet but nothing can prepare oneself for the mind-blowing view when one arrives on the multi-tiered deck of the Bumi Hills Lodge. These continue into the rooms…which are all amazingly appointed and better than most hotels worldwide. The amazing part is that ABC manages to do this consistently at all their properties, in some of the wildest terrain around…so kudos to the team for that. Back to the experience, our visit was faultless from arrival to departure from the Bumi Hills airstrip. Our guide Power provided us with background on the area and the wildlife, along with any cultural questions we had. Bumi is right on Lake Kariba, which offers the opportunity to indulge in water-based activities and we enjoyed those experiences thoroughly. Chigenda took us fishing to a hopping spot, where the fish were all but jumping into the boat. Power took us on a walk through the bush, which was thoroughly enjoyable and I recommend that highly. At the lodge, Sasha was our host and the consummate professional…she was always waiting for us to show up and engaging to discuss what we wanted to do. Thanks to her and the team for setting up an unforgettable sundowners session in the middle of the lake. Lemon and team took care of the food service for us, and this guy can make a mean drink. Leave it up to him…you will not be disappointed. Chef Slim Shady kept us well-fed and I loved his personal pizza lunch on the lower deck. Ben kept our room absolutely sparkling, and I apologize for not drinking the beers he stocked in our room fridge…but we were literally never in the room with all the action. The rooms are lovely and very high spec, with amazing views. The lodge is also really nice and there are so many great common areas to chill in. Game viewing is on the lighter side, but we managed to see many many hippos, elephants, buffalo, gazelle by the thousands, and many other antelope. The 6 lions in the neighboring area gave us a memorable send-off on the last day, as we waited for our plane ride. The only regret is not having the time to take a dip in that amazing pool. Best regards and many thanks to the entire team. Cheers!!!
Bumi is magic and magical!
I can't speak for my wife, but I have done nothing in life that made me worthy of the luxury of Bumi Hills. I just haven't been good enough to have experienced Bumi, but sometimes Life gives you things you didn't deserve. Bumi is magic! We arrived at the lodge with the sound of the lively, rhythmic, welcoming sounds of the Bumi staff singing, chanting, dancing, and drumming in unison. Bumi is nested in a hill with stunning views of Lake Kariba and the surrounding mountains and hills. The views of the area are incredible from everywhere on the property, including the decks of the rooms. The pool is dreamy. The grounds are ornate and immaculate. The lounge, library, game room with its large pool table, the bar, and the many eating areas are all uniquely situated in the space and top-notch. The lovely, attentive world-class staff is the only thing better than the property. Sasha, our thoughtful and urbane host; Lawrence, our attentive, dedicated server; and Mathias, who prepared and kept our room tidy and comfortable, replete with special treats daily. This is not to discount Chef Slim Shaddy, the spa attendants (great massage, manicure, and pedicure), grounds keepers, and just everyone. Everything we ate was tasty, every chair we sat in was comfortable, and every turn we took offered some form of aesthetic beauty. Bumi is magic! Not to be outdone by any of this was our most excellent guide, Little Max! Little Max was an excellent guide and an enjoyable person to spend time with. It's as if your favorite cousin was a wildlife expert, botanist, marine biologist, and anthropologist who decided to take you to work with him for three days. We began our time at Bumi with a lovely cruise of Lake Kariba, where we saw pods of hippopotamus, elephant, water-buck, eagles, vultures, crocodiles, and a hearty male lion feasting on a buffalo and summarily quenching his thirst on the shoreline. Max also gave us an intimate view of the Lake's formation and its historical impact on the region. It can't get any better, right? This happened randomly while we were going to visit Max's home village, Mola. Except that, on a subsequent drive, we had the opportunity to witness six lions, three males, and three females. They had formed two unique groups of mating pairs (they weren't shy about performing the ritual either) while the bachelor and bachelorette of the group snacked on a freshly killed warthog. Somehow the seemingly affirmed pairs began to entangle, and the male lions decided it was a bridge too far. A vicious, brutal three-minute fight ensued between two full-grown male lions ended with one establishing himself as the lion king and the other quite injured. Little Max took us on an intimate and touching visit to Mola village. We had the opportunity to enter a family's home and understand the family structure, nuances of the forms, and their cultural significance. We saw the comings and goings of people going about their day through the village. We shopped and had a tasty local beer. We saw a clinic that provided a perspective on its importance and the challenges of health care in the village. We also visited Mola Primary school and interacted with curious seventh graders and their teachers; We were greeted by an enthusiastic, intelligent group of first graders who proudly shared with us what they were learning. Mola Village was both humbling and inspiring. Although we had been in Zimbabwe on safari for about ten days, we had not seen cape buffalo, our Big 5 aspirations were in jeopardy. We ended our last drive, having a Zambezi beer while admiring a sizable herd feeding and drinking just off the shore at Lake Kariba. Little Max for the win! Mission accomplished. Bumi is magic and magical! In between all of this, the Bumi staff was consistently working Bumi magic. Notably, a river boat lunch and crocodile cove on our last day.
Heaven on Earth!
Couldnt be more grateful and happy to be there. We took the kids to experience that part of our lovely country, the culture, the outdoors and such. The staff was just magical, excellent mannerisms - willing to please guests at every turn. The traditional welcoming as we disembarked the toyota was a unique touch and just 'bueno' as my Hispanic friends would say. We reserved a 2 bedroom villa, twin rooms with a lounge area between them- in the same space if that makes sense- and a bar- and an outdoor shower (best part). Beautiful huge patio- the villa is ideal for a family- highly recommend. We celebrated our 21st anniversary and they surprised us with a special anniversary dinner and decorations - just wonderful. Took the kids to the see the local Tonga tribe, great experience and history. The food @ Bumi was amazing through and through- zero complaints and i liked the fact that you could special order anything really. This place folks is a piece of heaven on earth. Unfortunately my only gripe as I understand is the staff working either 28 days straight continuously and 7 days off or 56 days then 14 days off. Sorry but that's borderline inhumane, I'm sure your guests from the US, Europe and Aussie know that working continuously for such extended periods of time without a day or two break in between (fatigue management) may in fact be a violation of some human rights standard, I know here in the US it will be an issue. As those controls do not exist in the current regulatory environment in Zimbabwe I would recommend reviewing your workers' schedules and adhere to best practice. Enough said, fundamentally the experience was superior, we went to Somalisa Acacia in Hwange back in 2017 and felt the same - we are an avid 'client' of African Bush Camps. Oh and by the way i recommend a boat transfer from Kariba to Bumi, if anything to appreciate the extents of the lake , and to enjoy a breezy cruise - Also interesting to see the Kapenta fishermen on the way
African Oasis in Paradise
My wife and I were finally travelling for our dream honeymoon to Africa for safari all across Southern Africa (Zimbabwe -2 locations, Zambia, and Botswana) and we can't say enough about African Bush Camps (ABC) and the entire staff there. Here we are just reviewing Bumi Hills, but all of the ABC camps were incredible in their own way (which is what really made the trip for us). At Bumi (our first stop on the long trip) it started with our private fly in on a small Cesna where we landed on a complete dirt airstrip seeing elephants, zebra, and impalla as we landed. So it really started for us even before the plane landed. Big shout out to Nick (our guide during our time at Bumi, and as we would find out from the other camps one of the most experienced at ABC). He was not only extremely knowledgeable about the African wildlife and environment, but is a truly authentic and real person. We felt like we got to know him as a person and not just as our guide. There is nothing compared to sitting on your balcony watching a herd of elephant with their young interact in true nature. Or having breakfast on the lakeside while the hippo play in front of you. It sounds a bit unreal.... but it is real. Then in your downtime, you get to relax in the infinity pool overlooking the elephant or play on one of the largest pool tables I have ever seen. Thanks again to all the staff at Bumi for being our introduction to the safari.
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