History of Musangano Lodge
Musangano Lodge is a tourism establishment on a 140 ha property in a hilly area in the eastern part of Zimbabwe. It has been operational since September 1996 and accommodates 28 guests in 14 rooms.
German investors, the Eggert family, developed the concept of Musangano Lodge in the early 90s. They submitted a project proposal to the Zimbabwean Investment Centre in 1993 and bought the property in 1994. At that time Musangano was a small-holding with an old farmhouse and some workshop buildings. After formal requirements had been met, construction work began in February 1995. The lodge officially opened in September 1996 and building continued up to the end of 1999.
We only hired small-scale and local contractors from the region as well as local handymen, who received on the job training to further develop their technical skills and enhance the quality of their work. In this way, the lodge strived to further contribute to capacity building as well as the economic development and livelihoods of the surrounding communities. The building material utilised was predominantly Zimbabwean, such as bricks and thatch, which was supplied by the local community. Moreover, a co-operative in the Chimanimani area manufactured the woodwork, while Zimbabwean companies provided the pottery, linen, curtaining and beds.
When setting up the lodge, the Eggerts were inspired by their vision to create a focal point for interpersonal and intercultural exchange: “We first thought about the concept of Musangano Lodge while teaching at a Zimbabwean mission school between 1988 and 1992. Our visiting friends thoroughly enjoyed meeting local people in their workplace and home, giving each side a chance to reach out to people who come from a different cultural background. These experiences and the appreciation of personal interaction was an important pillar in our concept of Musangano Lodge. We envisaged it as a meeting point for travellers to discover more about the people of the country they visit, and vice versa. This approach is reflected in our various community visit projects. Other clients would come to discuss crucial business issues. Last, but not least, we visualized Musangano as a serene place to unwind, relax and find the inner peace to bond with nature and their loved ones. All these aspects are reflected in the meaning of 'musangano' in the local Shona language: coming together to do something important "
We hope that our guests support Musangano’s vision and relish in the peaceful atmosphere at the lodge while enjoying a highly personalized service, stunning views and delicious food.
Building Musangano Lodge
The photos below illustrate the development of Musangano Lodge over the years.
Msasa was the first accommodation which we built. To find a good thatcher was the challenge, we finally found somebody in Bulawayo, about 600 km away from Musangano.
Msasa has proved to be the most popular chalet for clients who appreciate seclusiveness and has proved to be a favourite with honeymooners.
After its completion in August 1995, the first guests arrived in September 1995. By then we were busy with another two construction sites, Munhondo and Mukwa Lodges.
10 years later the scenery has changed dramatically. The Lodge is surrounded by dense bush and thus offers its guests a lot of privacy.
This is the building site before we started construction. Mupembere Lodge , our largest lodge, is situated at the highest point on a hill overlooking the Odzi River valley.
This photo was taken from a similar position 13 years later. Look at the two trees in both photos, they have grown considerably.
Reception & restaurant area
Before we started building we spread the word in the community that we were looking for thatch. To thatch a roof of a given area one needs to fill this area up to gable level. The photo depict the area where we later constructed our round shaped public area with restaurant, reception and offices.
20 years onwards the public area is surrounded by widespread park like gardens with trees, bushes and a broad variety of water wise plants.
We have taken great care to design appealing gardens where the eye can linger and the soul unwind. We are the custodians of the natural environment, as it provides us with air to breathe and a place to connect.