Katete lodge left to rot


Katete Lodge

Nhau Mangirazi

BUMI HILLS — One of Zimbabwe’s prime resorts, Katete Lodge, along Lake Kariba, is now such a sorry sight due to neglect.
An outdated online brochure introduces the lodge thus: “Kariba has and will always have a magical feel about it. The lake and vast waters of the Zambezi make this area one has to experience. An oasis for a large variety of bird and wildlife species, the magical sunsets across the lake and the variety of activities are difficult to beat.”
And indeed such magical moments would be everlasting if one experienced them at a beautiful and strategically positioned chalet like Katete, “an exclusive thatched safari lodge that has commanding panoramic views of one of the world’s greatest man-made lakes, Kariba”.
At this place, say former promoters, “the luxury of the Victorian era and the ruggedness of Africa come together in an unparalleled experience of Africa”.
But, the guest lodge, linked to a Cabinet minister, has been left to rot in the wilderness.
It used to be one of few prime resort lodges of international standards along Lake Kariba luring international visitors when the country’s tourism sector was booming.
For a lodge that used to accommodate 34 guests in 16 exquisite twin-bedded chalets and one suite, its present outlook says a lot about the depth the country’s tourism industry has sunk.
Deserted and falling apart are the chairs, the kitchenware and the electrical gadgets, which have been vandalised after the new owner failed to maintain the place.
A nearby swimming pool is dry and the lawn is brittle dry because it has evidently not been watered in a long time.
Villagers under Chief Mola, about 15 kilometres away, said the caretakers were no longer looking after the lodge because they had not been paid for more than a year.
“We were told that a senior government minister had taken over the lodge and when he came for a visit, he promised to renovate and open it for clients but nothing has been done,” said one of the villagers, who identified himself as Dennis.