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    Sunday, 28 August 2016

    Panyanda Lodge - where giraffes, elands are guests to your wedding


    LODGES have mushroomed all over but none beats Panyanda in terms of products and versatility.
    Many lodges around Masvingo are for rest; resting after visiting the many tourist attractions particularly near Masvingo City including one of the World's seven wonders, the Great Zimbabwe Monuments and Lake Mutirikwi.
    Situated in a bushy, quiet area some 7 km away from the City centre along Masvingo - Beitbridge Highway, Panyanda has become the most sought after venue for weddings. 
    The place is spacious with a capacity of more than 2 000 people and enough ablution facilities. It has ample parking space and of course parking space is the headache for many wedding venues these days what with the fast growing car population.
    The venue is picturesque and that is what is central to every wedding.
    Panyanda has an African theme; all vegetation is indigenous and one gets a wedding in a typical African bush. There is a green open space and there are the lodge units, all in typical African architecture.
    There is a big boma at the place and to put the icing on the caking, the place is home to different animals that roam the place as weddings take place. There is the eland, towering giraffes, dyker, impala, warthog and zebras. Waterholes for these animals are found near the lodge and hence they are always.
    "Animals actually wander around in the surrounding bushes and at various waterholes a few metres away as weddings take place. It's such a scene for good pictures and videos. It is scenic. It's the ultimate picture for any wedding," said Pious Tshuma, the general manager for Panyanda Lodge, Chevron and Flamboyant Hotels.
    Panyanda has many other advantages; it has a serene environment where all you hear is the melodious singing of the African birds. It is also exclusive; the distance from the city centre segregates the gate-crasher.
    "We have many other advantages because you can pay for one product and we give you the rest for free. We can provide you with food prepared at Flamboyant Hotel then you get the venue and other facilities including tents and ablution for free.
    "You can also have your pictures taken in the green environment of Flamboyant Hotel," said Tshuma.
    Panyanda has a shuttle bus between the lodge and Flamboyant Hotel and the city. He added that Panyanda is growing phenomenally as a wedding venue.
    But the lodge is probably the most versatile in terms of services that it provides. It is a lodge for families and has seven family units that have a main bedroom and two spare bedrooms each. 
    "Our accommodation there is not for volumes but for leisure. However, it is still affordable," said Tshuma.
    The place has become popular with church couples who meet there and bring along their families.
    It is also a place for private functions.
    Apart from the church couples, churches themselves have found the place ideal for their big events that attract anything from 100 to 2 000 guests.
    This is because Panyanda has a big camping site where guests can pitch tents and these can either be big or small tents. The lodge also provides tents to its clients.
    Other clients bring caravans which they pitch at the lodge for the duration of their stay.
    Business has also found Panyanda conducive for workshops, conferences and in particular team building workings. There are facilities for games and most exciting is mountain climbing. Panyanda lodge is one kilometre up.
    Executives go there to spend a quiet day doing some work at a serene place where all one can hear are the birds.
    Driving to Panyanda is a true African adventure. Once one turns left out of Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway, one enters a gate and into a fascinating rocky strip road with vegetation found in the drier savanna region.
    On the right of the gate is a weir and a green irrigated garden that perennially carries vegetables. With a bit of luck a towering giraffe could be seen walking majestically across the road or stretching its long neck high above the trees.
    It's all bush and the first small houses are seen half-a-kilometre later as the road makes a sharp turn to the left towards the lodge.
    The approach to the lodge is indelible; there is a huge gate and a huge signpost written Panyanda Lodge. The lodge reveals itself as one enters the gate and friendly staff is there to meet you.
    One can be directed to the rooms, to the bars, to the swimming pool, to the fireplace depending on the weather conditions of the day.
    By the way Panyanda can be very cold and there are theories that this is because it is seated on the windward direction of Lake Mutirikwi. The high mountains, in particular Panyanda which is one of the highest points above sea level in Masvingo doest help matters.
    But there is always plenty of sunshine and oh what an environment for an outing!
    Travel and leisure
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