The drowned forest


Fothergill is situated within Zimbabwe’s Matusadona National Park. The park gets its name from the rolling Matusadona Mountains and is flanked by Lake Kariba in the north, and two perennial rivers, the Ume and the Sanyati on either side.

In 1975, Matusadona became a National Park, covering 1,470 km2 of untouched, rugged wilderness, and protecting an exceptionally diverse range of flora and fauna. The eco-diversity within the park serves a crucial role as a habitat for a variety of lake, river, savannah, and woodland species.

The vast grasslands, formed by the annual fluctuations of Lake Kariba’s water levels, have led to an incredible increase in the populations of large mammals, such as African elephant and cape buffalo, as well as additional plains game species. The growth of the herbivore populations has encouraged the presence of predators, which are now frequently seen patrolling the shoreline against the backdrop of the iconic drowned forest.


The name Matusadona is derived from the local Tonga word ‘Matusviadonha’ of which the direct translation is ‘Where the dung falls’ and so-called for the amazing amount of elephant dung that was found scattered in the area!

The drowned forest

A story of conservation

This remote and rugged park has become the first in Zimbabwe to fall under the African Parks mandate. We are excited to be involved in this phenomenal conservation opportunity alongside both the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife management authority, and African Parks.

Elephant on the shore of Lake Kariba


Lake Kariba is the 4th largest man-made lake in the world by surface area, the 2nd largest in Africa, and the largest man-made reservoir of water in the world by volume. Sought after for its world-renowned tiger fishing and luxurious houseboat cruises, Lake Kariba offers water-borne safaris and natural scenes unique to this part of the world. Our guests are often astonished by the sights of elephants playing in the water and hippos grazing openly on the banks.


5,580 km2 of surface area

Maximum length of 270 km (apprx.)

Maximum depth of 97 metres

2,000 km of shoreline

A widest point of 40 km

Elephant on the shore of Lake Kariba