An Icon Reborn: Bumi Hills, Lake Kariba
Recognised as one of the most iconic safari lodges in Zimbabwe for many, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge re-opened under the African Bush Camps banner in 2017. Widely revered as having the best panoramic view of Lake Kariba, it has been completely refurbished and upgraded to flaunt the breath-taking and enchanting vistas of the blue waters of the lake.
I received the warmest welcome at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge with song and dance, and was quickly shown down to the bar area upon arrival for a briefing on the lodge and the changes that have recently been made to this iconic property, before sitting back to take in the view and enjoying possibly the best G&T I have ever had!
Waking up in morning to be able to slide open the glass door and then hop back into bed to enjoy that view and the sounds of the wild, was one of my most awesome moments. Sipping your first morning coffee with that view of the vast water mass of Lake Kariba in front of you, with the accompaniment of the fish eagles calls from a little way off, this definitely is a perfect spot for a slow safari.
I had never fished before (don’t judge!) so although I headed off on the first fishing boat of the morning, it wasn’t my plan to even bait-up, but rather to just enjoy the scenery, and catch a bit of rays on the skin. However after the first bite, I had to admit I was “hooked”. What a treat to be out there on the water of Lake Kariba, watching fish eagles fly above, hippos alongside, elephants on the banks, and just have time to be quiet, think, mediate on life, and enjoy the company of those around me on the boat.
After a freshen up from our fishing expedition, guests were boated off to surprise lunch. Arriving onto Starvation Island, with the most comfortable setup, is honestly quite breathtaking. This will be a highlight for many guests travelling to Bumi, I am certain! I returned to the lodge to enjoy the swimming pool for the remainder of the afternoon.
Dinner was set up on the “beach” down near the water. A massive bonfire, and singing and dancing staff were the perfect mix of warm hospitality, especially as these are aspects now very few lodges still offer in the movement to be more modern – yet this is exactly what makes dining in the African bush, under the stars so unique and special – The personal and “back to basics” experiences, kicking some logs around the fire and clapping your hands to the beats of authentic and harmonic tunes. These are special moments that make you forget about (not so) “real” life.
I can’t wait to go back!