Spurwing Island's accommodation upgrades are great!

Wild Zambezi • 27 March 2023

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Spurwing Island is one of the longest established tourism facilities on Lake Kariba, following the building of the Kariba Gorge hydro-electric dam which inundated the middle section of the Zambezi Valley in the 1960s.  This delightful and relaxed 40-bed camp has long been a popular, family-friendly destination for fishing, boating and game viewing on Lake Kariba. It’s the closest safari camp (35 minutes by speedboat) from one of Kariba Town’s harbours, and is a popular venue for local fishing competitions, weddings and special occasions.

Over the past few years, Spurwing has been upgrading its original stone and thatch accommodation facilities and replacing them with modern units which are much more airy and light, suitable for Kariba’s warm climate.  They are also gradually introducing solar energy which allows more flexibility for guests’ use of lighting, fans and air-conditioning.

The work started in 2021, with a complete rebuild and modernisation of the resort’s CHALETS. 

Here (below) is what the CHALETS looked like before the upgrade.

And here (below) is what the newly upgraded CHALETS look like now!

The new, spacious, double or twin units are designed for families, with additional extendable chair-beds to accommodate children.  All have fans and air-conditioning, with front decks and sliding windows and doors to maximise light and views. The en-suite bathrooms have been completely modernised, with gas-powered geysers providing piping hot showers or deep baths at any time of the day or night.

At the end of 2022, the resort’s previously thatched TENTED UNITS, which are smaller than the chalets, and overlook the harbour, were completely rebuilt and modernised to a similar design, but with canvas sided rooms.  

The images below show the TENTS before and after the upgrades. 

Access is now from the pathway at the back (above) allowing a much greater degree of front-view privacy for guests than previously.

The before and after images below show just how radical the re-build and interior décor for the tents has been, with overhead fans, big sliding doors and gauzed window spaces providing an extremely light and airy feel.

The bathrooms (shower only, no bath) have been completely modernised with solid walls, and each tent has its own front verandah.

The 2023 phase of the Spurwing upgrades is focusing on the CABINS.  These accommodation units are similar to the tents in design, but with solid walls more easily suited for the installation of air-conditioning. The images below show the first of the newly upgraded cabins. 


Here's what we think
WildZambezi is fortunate enough to have been able to sample both the newly-upgraded CHALETS and TENTS at Spurwing, and to inspect the first of the CABINS that has been upgraded.  In all cases, we were highly impressed with the changes made and the serious investment shown in converting to the use of renewable energy sources.  

The larger chalets are well spaced, allowing plenty of room if they are occupied by families with young children.  The tents, however, are quite closely spaced, which means that, with canvas walls, noise tends to travel easily between them. They also overlook the busy harbour, so it’s advisable for guests to keep curtains closed if they need privacy.  They are also closest to the main living areas, making them more easily accessible than the chalets or the cabins which are a short walk away.  The tents are beautifully shaded from the hot afternoon sun, beneath Spurwing’s carefully-preserved and magnificent indigenous trees, whereas the west-facing chalets can be quite warm in the afternoon with the sun shining straight in through the front porch.  All the accommodation units have lovely views, but the tents have the best - looking out across the expansive blue waters of the lake, with the majestic Matusadona mountain range in the background.  

For bookings and more information, contact Spurwing Island.


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