The Village Place Resort: Zimbabwe’s Best Kept Secret

by Sarah Todd

It could also be considered one of Zimbabwe’s best kept secrets. Situated sixty kilometers from Harare near Juru Growth Point on the Murehwa road, The Village Place Resort is a family business, started by Colin and Sandra Chimutsa seventeen years ago. Sandra has a passion for hospitality and tourism; she and Colin share a hobby of travelling the world and have incorporated the best of their experiences into the resort.

“The Village Place Resort is part of both of us,” Sandra explains. “We wanted to make this dream part of the community, so when we decided to make our vision a reality we spoke to the headmen from the surrounding villages, as well as their spouses. They were all very supportive of our dream. When we started implementing the vision we were able to incorporate the local people’s views. At the time the country’s building industry was going through a challenging time, with many builders out of work. We were able to provide these very skilled people with work, something we continued doing as we expanded.” When it first opened its doors to the public The Village Place Resort catered for day visitors, with a kitchen, a bar and ablutions. As with so many businesses in the hospitality industry the so-called “bush telegraph” was responsible for the resort’s success. Word of mouth saw the resort grow in popularity.

“Before we expanded and opened our chalets in 2006, we catered for over one thousand day visitors over the weekend,” explains Sandra. There are nine luxurious and totally individual chalets, beautifully decorated to reflect the African Spirit and compliment the resort’s setting. Each chalet incorporates the fascinating rock formations of this area, helping to blend the buildings with the resort’s natural features. The bars serve different and spacious entertainment and open air restaurant areas. Each bar is fitted with a television for those wishing to watch sport or listen to music. Mubingwa Bar, which resembles a cave, features colourful lighting and a disco for those looking for a taste of city nightlife in the African bush.

The residents’ pool bar is for the exclusive use of those staying at the resort. The uniquely shaped crystal clear swimming pool features a deep end for adults and experienced swimmers while children can safely play in the shallow end. There’s also a “lovers’ seat” for couples to share while enjoying the water and sipping a delicious cocktail or other beverage.

In addition to the chalets there is the main lodge which is occasionally used by Sandra and Colin’s family. The main lodge comprises three comfortable bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms, with lounge and dining areas and a kitchenette.

Residents enjoy their meals at the exclusive and beautifully designed restaurant, which offers a delicious selection of beef, chicken, pork, fish and venison cooked in a variety of local and international recipes. All vegetables are grown on site, in a well appointed and excellent garden offering a larger range of quality vegetables than one finds in most supermarkets.

The contemporary conference rooms have hosted workshops for several organizations, including participants from countries in Africa and overseas. Corporate away days and team building meetings have been held, with accommodation provided for up to twenty four people sharing. Day conferences for up to a hundred delegates have been comfortably conducted.

A wide selection of activities is on offer for both residents and day visitors. A short game drive through the bush offers some fine photographic opportunities. There is a good selection of indigenous birds as well as a variety of animals, including eland, impala, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and a variety of smaller local animals such as bush rabbits. The more active visitors can take a guided walk through the game park.

Over fifty indigenous tree varieties can be seen, with at least ten varieties bearing wild fruits. A tour gives guests the chance to educate themselves on the medicinal properties of these trees as well as the opportunity to sample the wild fruits when they are in season.

Nature enthusiasts are able to hike to the massive granite mountains, crossing over the biggest river in the area en route. A cave in the granite rocks contains a selection of bushman paintings. For those who prefer a more relaxing journey transport is provided to and/

or from the mountain range. This option will appeal to hikers who find themselves exhausted after making the climb.

A village tour offers the opportunity to experience the true spirit of Zimbabwean village life. Each tour is designed to meet specific interests. Different aspects of traditional life such as herding cattle or sharing a meal in a local hut are available, and have proved very popular, especially with international visitors.

During the weekends and public holidays a troupe of traditional dancers are available to provide entertainment, and are happy to teach interested folk their exciting dance moves. Children are entertained by the jumping castle, swings and water slides in the play centre, where the resort provides trained and responsible adult supervision. There is also a petting zoo, giving children the chance to interact with animals such as goats, rabbits, chickens and sheep. Picnickers and campers can take advantage of the beautiful camping area. Ten unique picnic huts, complete with running water and braai space, offer campers the chance to prepare and cook their own food while enjoying the shady trees and cool breezes. With excellent ablutions those campers who bring their

own tents should have a comfortable and relaxing stay at the resort.

Rates and prices at The Village Place Resort are very reasonable. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Sandra and Colin’s pride in the resort is always evident, as well as the unity with the community. Sandra uses a couple of examples, including the community’s protection of the wildlife, to demonstrate the loyalty the local people have for The Village Place Resort.

“When our two giraffe first arrived, they managed to break down the ‘boma’, and wandered into the surrounding villages. We were distraught, and worried because the giraffe spent three weeks wandering around the villages. You cannot imagine our delight when the villagers helped us by looking after the giraffes and assisting in getting them back into the game park.”

My friend Kate and I spent a wonderful day at The Village Place Resort. We experienced hospitality at international standards and delicious food. We drove back to Harare late in the afternoon, delighted to have discovered such a wonderful secret in our beautiful country. We were happy and relaxed. We look forward to our next visit.


60km from Harare.


All year round.


Prices vary according to accommodation.



Email:, Phone: +263 4 862122, +263 712 422 215, +263 712 422 192

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