Monday, October 7, 2013

Tiger Time highlights the allure of fishing near Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

Fisherman's-eye view of Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa

The world's biggest fresh water fishing tournament has just ended at Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. The 52nd edition of the Kariba International Tiger Fishing Tournament (KITFT) again attracted hundreds of competitors from several countries, including the UK and USA.

And the winner is.....Rodney Mackay of Team Nissan was the individual winner with 23 weighable fish totalling 52,6 kgs. Charter Africom retained the overall team trophy with 58 fish weighing in at 130.6 kgs. Once again many of the teams headed - successfully - straight for the most productive fishing grounds around Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, including Starvation Island and the Ume River.

The biggest fish ever caught in the 52-year history of the event was 16 kgs in 1962, while a Goliath tiger caught in the Congo has weighed in at 20 kgs. Every year more than 1,000 people, comprising fishermen, support staff and journalists, converge on Lake Kariba for KITFT.

Book your team in for next year...and maybe book your family in to Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa so you all keep in close touch!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Beautiful Bumi is Best of the Best!

The Best Safari Lodge 2013 (non-tented) in Zimbabwe! That is the most recent accolade for Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa and it comes from the prestigious and knowledgeable Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents (AZTA) at their annual awards dinner.

It's the inaugural award for this more discerning category as previously AZTA lumped many larger hotels and all small tented safari camps together as long as they featured the word "safari" in their title.

"Anyone who has ever set foot on Bumi soil immediately feels that it is an extraordinary place in an incredibly unique setting," said Bumi director Steve McCormick. "AZTA is made up of all the country's premier travel agents and it is a great honour that they have recognised Bumi for this inaugural award.

"However, they ain't seen nothin' yet! This year we have continued to upgrade Bumi in many ways, including three brand new Land Rover safari vehicles, new streamlined transfer boats and various upgrades to the lodge. We have even more significant plans afoot that will add to the pure delight our clients already feel and will reveal these soon."

He said that the revitalised Air Zimbabwe had shown they mean business by attaining new aircraft and setting out new schedules "that they are managing magnificently to restore customer confidence and Zimbabwe pride." There are strong rumours and indications that Air Zimbabwe will restore the Harare-Kariba-Victoria Falls schedule before the end of the year which, Mr McCormick predicts, "would be the shot in the arm that Bumi and every other lodge and property on Lake Kariba desperately needs and is anxiously waiting for."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Racing runway Lions & elephant road blocks at Bumi!

Take a look at Bumi's page on Trip Advisor and feel the sheer exuberance and excitement that flows from our guest reviews from every corner of the globe.

It would be hard to surpass the vivid description by a recent guest from Mexico who reported "a pride of lions racing alongside our Cessna as we as we landed on the dirt runway." Then, before even reaching the lodge in their Land Rover 4 x 4 vehicle, she reported "a delay waiting for elephants to cross the road, followed by a pack of baboons."

Then, like 100% of our guests, upon arrtival she raved about that "fantastic view"that must be unmatched by any safari lodge in southern Africa. Such are the delightful gems that are contained in many Trip Advisor reviews that do Bumi a power of good in attracting international clients looking for an authentic, exclusive wilderness and wildlife experience on safari in Africa.

Another recent guest captures the ambiance perfectly. he refers to it as "The Bumi Balm" - "it works its magic and leaves you feeling serene."

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Brand new start for Heather!

Bumi was honoured to be chosen recently by Zimbabwe Olympic swimmer Heather Brand for her most memorable event – her own wedding!

She’s now Mrs Heather Trumbull, having married Matt on the shoreline at Bumi – the happy scenes were captured by Edinburgh-based Olivia Halvorsen of OH! Weddings. More of her delightful work may be seen on her Facebook page OH! Weddings.

Heather Brand (30) qualified for the women’s 100m butterfly at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by breaking the Zimbabwe record and clearing the entry time required of 1:00.61 from the All-Africa Games. In the 2007 All-Africa games in Algiers Heather won five medals , including three for butterfly (50, 100, 200) and she set five national records in the FINA World Championships in 2005 (Montreal), 2007 (Melbourne) and 2008 (Manchester).

Fittingly, Heather is a graduate in wildlife management from Louisiana State University USA, so she was thrilled to get married in the wilds at Zimbabwe’s iconic safari lodge, Bumi Hills. And we were thrilled she chose us!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Naison Lungu's Fishy Tale....from Cleaner to Chef!

From hotel cleaner to the inspired Head Chef at the iconic Bumi Hills Safari Lodge at Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. That’s the heart-warming story of Naison Lungu who for the past three years has been delighting Bumi’s discerning guests with daily gourmet menus. And he can thank the sardine-like kapenta fish of the lake for his lofty status today.

Son of a Hwange Colliery coal miner Naison (31) left school in 1999 and his happy demeanour secured him a job, ahead of a long application list, as a public-area cleaner at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.  “That’s when I got interested in cooking and became determined to become a chef,” he recalls.

Through hard and committed work he was promoted to bedroom hand and then floor supervisor, all the while keeping his eye on a chance to get into the kitchen. “I wanted a professional career as a chef and when the lodge advertised for apprentice chefs I was eager to step forward. I made the final list of six and was called for an interview by the lodge chefs.”

He was excited, yet nervous. They fired some random questions at him and then asked if he had a personal favourite recipe he could recommend to them. “I had one I used to prepare at home for my brother,” says Naison, “a very simple one on got me through and I overheard this panel saying that I would fit well at The Boma, which is a traditional restaurant on-property at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. I got that job in 2004 and had achieved my dream!”

He also trained at the lodge’s signature a la carte Makuwa-Kuwa Restaurant and made his mark sooner than he anticipated. “Suddenly many chefs seemed to be running away to South Africa and Botswana. That helped me a lot and I became a senior chef in 2005.”

After graduating from hotel school in Bulawayo Naison moved to The rainbow Hotel in Victoria Falls for two years and then to Ilala Lodge in the town as Chef de patie. “Camilla Bowes and Roddy Meiring taught me a lot then ...many new dishes, new sauces and different ingredients I had never known.”

Since 2010 Naison Lungu has been head Chef at the famous 24-room Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, probably the most inspiring location of any safari lodge in southern Africa. His menus and presentation also continue to be inspired: “I choose the menu every day myself and I have the internet to look at so many out-of-this-world presentations. I read food magazines and buy cook books whenever I go to Victoria Falls.” He has a team of six in the large and modern Bumi kitchen, including sous chef Charles Zulu who worked at Imba  Matombo in Harare.

And has he kept faith with the common kapenta fish? “Kapenta are plentiful in the lake right on our doorstep and the way we prepare them kapenta bar snacks are always very popular.”


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bumi wins Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence!

In recognition of its consistently high reviews on Trip Advisor Bumi Hills Safari Lodge has been awarded the prestigious Certificate of Excellence.  Luke Brown, Head of Bumi Marketing, had this to say in reaction to the award.  "We are extremely proud of this achievement and it is testimony to the hard work and commitment to excellence of everyone in the Bumi Team.  It is especially encouraging as it comes at a time when we have also just won the AZTA award for first runner up in the 'Best Lodge in Zimbabwe' category.  Our mission is to be the best luxury property in Zimbabwe and southern Africa.  We realise that we are still young, in terms of accommodation norms, having only re-opened in August 2009 and that it takes time to get a name.  The results are starting to show, but we are under no illusion that we must continue to work hard to achieve our vision, which is to consistently provide amazing 5 star experiences for our guests.  The competition is increasingly high and so are the expectations of discerning travelers."

The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.
"TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional businesses for consistent excellence, as reviewed by travelers on the site," said Christine Petersen, President, TripAdvisor for Business. "The Certificate of Excellence Award gives highly rated establishments around the world the recognition they deserve. From exceptional accommodations in Beijing to remarkable restaurants in Boston, we want to applaud these businesses for offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience."
To read more about Trip Advisor's Certificate of Excellence visit the following link: 

Monday, August 27, 2012


Words by Luke Brown & Pictures by Nicholas Milne

This sequence of amazing pictures, captures an incredible battle for survival.  A buffalo, separated from its herd, is singled out by the resident Bumi pride of lionesses.  The large bovine creature exercises amazing athleticism by scrambling and leaping through the dense Mopane thicket, whilst maintaining its foothold on the loose basalt rocks, in a desperate attempt to reach the grassy flood plain beyond and the relative shelter that beckons from the rest of the herd. It's safety in numbers that counts!

The lionesses, hungry and ready to take on a prey far too big to be tackled by one of these feline predators alone, must rely on their vast experience and employ skilled team work to bring the buffalo down.  The energy they need to expend is enormous and efforts such as these are only undertaken when the potential rewards are greatest.  Their first success in this hunt comes in the form of getting the buffalo alone and disoriented within the tree line.  The pride must act fast however, with no margin for error, for if the buffalo manages to find its way out into the open, the battle will sway heavily in favour of the hunted.

The lionesses single out their prey
In an act, seemingly defiant of gravity, the buffalo lifts its heavy body over obstacles in its path
The lionesses manoeuvre quickly into position, whilst the buffalo smells the only chance for escape  presenting itself in the open flood plains beyond.
 Having done the bulk of the hard work by stealthily stalking their prey, singling it out and then closing to within metres, the lionesses now need to find one last burst of strength that will allow them to jump, latch on in unison and bring their potential meal to the ground.

Two lionesses jump and latch on to the buffalo whilst a third circles round with a view to  gripping onto the  buffalo's nose  in a deliberate attempt to suffocate the animal once it has been brought to ground.
Just metres from the open flood plain and the protection of the herd ahead it has been caught.  There seems to be no escape from this point on, but buoyed by the sight in front of it the buffalo makes one last herculean effort to get away. Using its hind legs as a lethal weapon it kicks out ferociously at its attackers.  The trick works!
The buffalo kicks out at the danger behind it
The lionesses leap aside to avoid what would be a deadly blow from a buffalo's "fly-kick" hoof
 Having thrown the lionesses off their final attempts to bring it down the buffalo creates some distance between itself and the hunters.  The open ground ahead brings the sweet smell of survival.  Quickly it catches the rest of the herd, who welcome back their member.
The buffalo makes good its escape
As a unit the buffalos now turn to face the lionesses, drawing a line and presenting a formidable force on the newly created battle ground.  It appears the tables have turned on the feline unit.
The buffalo turn in an act of defiance to face their enemy
Exhausted... the pride returns to the cool shade and cover of the mopane thicket
 So all survive to fight another day, the battle is won by the buffalo, but the war will never end.  This is nature at its finest!  At Bumi Hills we pride ourselves in being able to maintain an environment that allows nature to thrive undisturbed by human interference.  To find out more email us on