Where to stay around Great Zimbabwe and Masvingo area: Best accommodation picks

Last updated March 2024Where to stay Great Zimbabwe Masvingo accommodation

Where to stay around Great Zimbabwe, Lake Mutirikwi & Masvingo area: Best accommodation picks

Written by Beth

The ancient city ruins of Great Zimbabwe (Dzimba dza mabwe) are located approximately 25 km (15.5 miles) from the present-day town of Masvingo, in the south-east of Zimbabwe. By car, Great Zimbabwe is around 4 hours from Bulawayo and Harare respectively, and around 8 hours from Victoria Falls.

This means that you’ll most likely want to stay overnight to allow yourself enough time to walk around the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. The list below contains some info on where to stay around Great Zimbabwe, Masvingo and Lake Mutirikwi.

Great Zimbabwe Monument & Ruins and the fishing activities at nearby Kyle Recreational Park (which contains Lake Mutirikwi) are the two primary attractions that bring tourists to the area. See the article Great Zimbabwe Monument travel guide for general info on the ruins and monument.

While you’re in the Great Zimbabwe area, why not see other attractions too? In Kyle Recreational Park, you can track wild rhino and other wildlife, see the dam wall, and go boating or fishing. You can also visit the Italian Chapel of St Francis of Assisi, located just outside the Masvingo Army Barracks on the Mutare Road.

Many of the accommodation companies in the list below can book tours and activities in the area for you.

The majority of visitors to the Masvingo area are Zimbabweans, so the self-catering and self-drive accommodation has been well maintained – to a certain extent. Due to low international tourist numbers, the standard of accommodation in Masvingo isn’t the same as other cities or tourism spots in Zimbabwe. You won’t find many boutique or luxury accommodation here, but there are some down-to-earth gems. In the list below, click on the links in the headings to be taken to the official websites.

Where to stay around the Great Zimbabwe area

My top picks:

1. Romelda Lakeside Retreat

Romelda Lakeside Retreat Great Zimbabwe Kyle Accommodation GuideLocated on the Popoteke and Mutirikwi Rivers, this tented lakeside retreat also offers camping, glamping, and self-catering options. Situated on the foothills of the Glenlivet mountain range, roughly 30km away from Masvingo. Enjoy the fresh, open air and the soothing sounds of nature, including the resident fish eagles and occasional hippo grunts.

2. Kyle Recreational Park National Parks Accommodation

© All Rights Reserved by StartupAfrica

Image sourge: Panaromio. © All Rights Reserved by StartupAfrica.

Just north of Great Zimbabwe Monument lies Lake Mutirikwi, which is situated in Kyle Recreational Park. There are over 10 self-catering National Park lodges here, ranging in size from 1 to 3 bedrooms. The lodges are simple but well-kept and the kitchens are equipped with cooking utensils and clean linen. Warthogs and monkeys roam in the grounds.

A campsite and caravan park are also situated in Lake Kyle Recreational Park, which have ablution facilities with hot water and electricity for caravans.

This National Parks-run accommodation is located on the northern shores of Lake Mutirikwi. It is 32 km from Masvingo, and around 60 km or 45 minutes by car from Great Zimbabwe. See a detailed map of Lake Kyle Recreational Park here.

Contact: +263773 500 373. Email: [email protected] / [email protected].

3. Lodge at the Ancient City

Lodge at the Ancient CityImage source: Lodge at the Ancient City.

Built around a granite hill, this hotel has been designed in the architectural style of Great Zimbabwe Monument, complete with chevron-patterned walls and towers. Thatched bungalows including family bungalows. Activities, transfers and tours available on request. Located close to Great Zimbabwe, about a 5-10 minute drive away. The restaurant is available for drop-in visitors too.

4. Great Zimbabwe Hotel

GreatZimbabweHotelImage source: Great Zimbabwe Hotel.

Within walking distance to Great Zimbabwe monument, this hotel has 38 single, double, twin and family rooms. It also has a swimming pool, tennis courts and volleyball nets. This hotel has a restaurant and a bar which may be useful to those staying in self-catering accommodation nearby. Great Zimbabwe Hotel is a 5-minute drive (if that) from Great Zimbabwe.

5. Clevers Lakeview Resort

This was previously Norma Jeane’s Lakeview resort, and I stayed here when it was under the previous ownership. The current ownership seems oriented to local large group events and bookings.

Great Zimbabwe Guide Accommodation-1-2This is a country-style lodge with a scenic view of the lake, built on the homestead of the man who built the dam at Mutirikwi. There are 8 catered hotel rooms, 4 self-catering family lodges and 9 communal rooms with shared facilities. The gardens surrounding the lodge are lush and peaceful: a great place to unwind after a day of travelling or walking. It is located on the southern shore of Lake Mutirikwi, a short 10-minute drive from Great Zimbabwe. Formerly called Inn on Great Zimbabwe.

Norma Jeanes Masvingo Great Zimbabwe AccommodationThe beautiful garden at Norma Jeane’s in 2013 (now Clevers), overlooking Lake Mutirikwi.

Great Zimbabwe Guide Accommodation-1

Part of a self-catering lodge at Norma Jeane’s in 2013 (now Clevers).

Other places to stay around Great Zimbabwe area

Hippo Creek Lodge

Hippo Creek LodgeImage source: Hippo Creek Lodge.

There are 20 detached ensuite lodges, quaintly built in the style of Great Zimbabwe’s architecture. Located on the east of Lake Mutirikwi, approx. 25 km from Masvingo and 50 km from Great Zimbabwe. Camping and caravan facilities are also available. Guided tours of Great Zimbabwe, lakeside activities and transfers available upon request.

Mutirikwi Lakeshore Lodges

Detached thatched rondavels scattered around a shaded garden. Located a 10-minute drive from Great Zimbabwe.

Great Zimbabwe Monument NMMZ Government Accommodation

This self-catering accommodation is on the site of Great Zimbabwe Monument itself, so it is the closest accommodation you can get to Great Zimbabwe, and it might also be the cheapest. It consists of lodges, dormitories and campsites. Unfortunately some of the buildings burnt down after a fire in 2015. If you are happy to camp here with your own equipment and if you aren’t fussed about having hot water, then it is a budget-friendly option.

Lodges: Suite Lodge $50/Couple, Executive Lodge $30 per person, Standard Lodge $25 per person, Group Rate $15 per person. Village Styled Rondavels: $15 per person. Dormitories: Pri. And Sec. Schools $4 per person, Tertiary $5 per person, Local Adults $5 per person, Non Res Adults $7 per person. Campsite: Local Adults $3 per person, Non Res Adults $5 per person (2024).

For more information contact: +263 775 398 917 or +263 773 456 633. Email: [email protected].

Mayfair Lakeside Resort

Mayfair Lodge MasvingoImage source: Mayfair Lakeside Resort.

10 double rooms and 3 family units Located 6 km from Great Zimbabwe, on the shores of Lake Mutirikwi. It also offers a shuttle service from Harare. Note that this company also has a lodge in Bindura which is 400 km away, so when communicating with the lodge, ensure that you are clear on which Mayfair you are enquiring about.

Glenlivet Hotel

Cosy English-style hillside hotel. Located 29 km from Masvingo; 54 km from Great Zimbabwe.

Nyuni Mountain Lodge

Located north of Lake Mutirikwi, about 55 km from Great Zimbabwe.

Bushmead Hills Guest House on AirBnB

Self catering holiday home in a rustic environment 23 km from Masvingo town; 12 km to Great Zimbabwe monument.

Regency Flamboyant Hotel

A large hotel (for the area) with 106 catered rooms and a casino on-site. Located 2 km from Masvingo; 27 km from Great Zimbabwe.

Regency Chevron Hotel

53 rooms on the main road in Masvingo city centre. Located approx. 25 km from Great Zimbabwe.

Masvingo Downtown Lodge

Located in the centre of Masvingo town, 25 km from Great Zimbabwe.

Peter Garlake Great Zimbabwe Book AntiquityPeter Garlake was considered one of the key students of Great Zimbabwe, and he wrote an important book in 1973 which contains many interesting facts and pictures of Great Zimbabwe Monument and Ruins. It is available on Amazon here: Great Zimbabwe: New Aspects of Antiquity (affiliate link).

Here at Great Zimbabwe Guide Travel Blog, we do not run our own tours of Great Zimbabwe Monument: we’re an online guidebook rather than a tour guide 🙂

Read more:

Travel advice about Great Zimbabwe, Kyle, Mutirikwi & Masvingo, Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe Monument Ruins travel guide faqs

Walking around Great Zimbabwe Monument Ruins Guide Map

Where to stay Great Zimbabwe Masvingo accommodation

History Great Zimbabwe Monument Ruins

Check out the Zimbabwe travel quick reference guide for even more info about the country.

Planning a Zimbabwe holiday?

If you’re planning your Zimbabwe holiday (hooray!), I can recommend Go2Africa, Africa’s Leading Safari Company (and one of our affiliates). Go2Africa has been tailor-making safari holidays for thousands of clients from across the globe since 1998. You can research African destinations, accommodation, and more. Even better, you can directly contact their safari specialists who can help you get the African experience that’s perfect for you.

Please do visit the Go2Africa website, or check out their Zimbabwe tours here.


Follow Beth (Travel Editor/Writer):

Beth is the founder of Great Zimbabwe Guide Travel Blog: Zimbabwe’s first and longest-running independent online travel guide, created in 2010.

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