Arts and culture Business Community Development SME's Tourism Travel

House of Zulu and Nguni Lodge offer tourists in Victoria Falls a memorable experience

Quad biking at House of Zulu

With Zimbabwe’s major tourism hub, Victoria Falls becoming an awakening giant as the resort city reached herd immunity in as far as COVID-19 is concerned, two small-to-medium enterprises (SME) sector players – House of Zulu and Nguni Lodge offer a memorable experience to tourists.

To a tourist who wants a serene place to relax after a drive or flight to Victoria Falls, the Nguni Lodge is a place to be. At Nguni Lodge, they have a total of 14 rooms: 6 Deluxe pool view rooms, 7 Standard garden view rooms, and 1 Family room with a garden view.

“Our rates are inclusive of a continental buffet and a cooked breakfast. All our rooms can convert from twin to double on request and all have a bathroom en-suite, and a veranda, Nguni is set in the tranquility of the suburbs and offers our guests a garden and swimming pool area,” said a Carla, a Nguni Lodge representative.

Nguni L:odge Restaurant and dining area

The following is what to expect at Nguni Lodge:

Free WiFi

All the rooms have Air conditioning

Room amenities include body wash, shampoo, soap, body lotion, and insect repellant.

Daily Housekeeping services

Laundry is provided upon request

Reception hours are from 7 am – 10 pm daily

Nguni Lodge Dining – The Kraal

This is Nguni’s on-site guest-only restaurant and bar that serves guests breakfast, lunch, and dinner and provides guests heartwarming, home-cooked meals. Guests can choose from the set dinner menu when they pre-order their meals. The guest-only bar offers a variety of cordials, beers, wines, cocktails, and mocktails. Breakfast is served from 06h15am to 10 am. Lunch and Dinner thereafter can be booked at Reception.

Nguni Lodge reception is there to help guests with information about the town, places to visit, restaurants to try and to assist in booking any activities. Nguni Lodge provides transfers to and from the airport on request.

The awe-inspiring House of Zulu

Located 15km outside Victoria Falls on the highway from the resort city to Hwange is the House of Zulu, a place to be for the discerning tourist.

The place is owned by Brian and Mona Zulu, who at one time both left Zimbabwe to broaden their horizons, travel the world, and experience different types of food. The couple returned in December 2018 to begin building their dream – a relaxing vibrant setting focused on soulful honest food in a location that would assist in expanding tourism to the rural communities to aid in the rural tourism economic development.

A media team on a mission to explore what tourism SMEs in Victoria Falls are doing to revive tourism went to Mpala Village on House of Zulu quad bikes and met Village Head, Mr. Mpala who took them on the journey of living in a wildlife-rich area.

Special tribute goes to Intondolo Safaris and Tours, as led by Nkue Mthunzi – a great tour guide known for his intimate knowledge of Victoria Falls, who arranged the village tour for the media practitioners to get a feel of village life.

Life in Mpala Village

“As the Mpala Village dwellers, we are glad for the support that we get from House of Zulu. We are in a dry area that is prone to intermittent droughts. Thanks to a partnership with House of Zulu, we are earning a living from tourism. House of Zulu brings tourists who want to experience quad bikes and have a feel of village life to my homestead.

“Most of the tourists who come here end up buying our art and craft items that include wood carvings of wild animals, reed mats, and hats and at times small grains like millet, maize and rapoko, just to mention a few. We have serious water shortages, and the House of Zulu helps bring water bousers to the village. We often have problems with elephants that destroy our crops but the House of Zulu quickly phones the management of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife to help us control the animals,” Village head, Mr. Mpala said.

House of Zulu was established in December 2019 in the heart of Monde Village. The “Quad Biking Village Discovery” tour allows adventure seekers and families the opportunity to explore local villages and the scenic landscapes on the outskirts of the tourism hub of Victoria Falls, an area which is largely unexposed to visitors and authentic in terms of a rural Zimbabwean setting.

Shortly after, in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Brian and Mona to close shop as a measure to contain the spread of the disease. During the lockdown, they delivered soulful food to the community and visitors. The couple offered ‘Caribbean Delight’ – a Jamaican food delivery service that was exceptionally well supported by the local Victoria Falls community throughout the first lockdown.

Thanks to Victoria Falls having reached herd immunity “House of Zulu” has reopened.

“I am delighted to be fully back at work and doing what I love best,” says Mona, “In addition, our values are deeply rooted in giving back to the communities we work with and so we look forward to following through on this part of our purpose now that we reopened.”

At House of Zulu, the open-plan gazebo set-up surrounded by gardens is a perfect offering for open-air and socially distanced sit-in meals. They also offer special arrangement picnics in their gardens, and will in the near future be offering deliveries of their wholesome, fresh, and soulful food. Their menu is a balanced blend of local ingredients and dishes combined with flavours of many of the dishes they have experienced around the world, and their extensive menu caters to a large variety of dietary requirements.

The reopening of “House of Zulu” adds to the growing diversity of restaurant options and settings in and around Victoria Falls, and the restaurant combined with their village Quad Biking tours is certainly a boost to supporting the growth and development of the rural tourism economy.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende