Julia has applied her interior design expertise throughout Amanzi Lodge. Each lodge is imaginatively themed in the décor of a different African country. Her extensive African art collection features throughout.
Redesigning the gardens and giving them the Amanzi touch, was a priority for both Andrew and Julia, who, having successfully created something similar in Nigeria, again wanted their clientèle to enjoy the gardens as much as the food. Andrew teamed together with Alan Barbour, one of the leading landscape architects in Zimbabwe, noted for his highly original water features. The project took a year to design and has employed many of the principles of Feng Shui to give a feeling of tranquility and harmony. A spectacular waterfall now greets visitors on arrival. Andrew has been collecting rocks for a year and rock formations have been extensively integrated throughout the gardens, bringing strength and energy to the landscape. A rare collection of cycads gives the grounds a truly tropical feel and mature trees and abundant water have resulted in a vibrant increase in bird life.
At the lodge's restaurant, Julia and Andrew again felt the need to introduce new and exotic tastes to the Zimbabwean palate, rather than limiting the menu to conventional cuisine. Andrew's passion for Thai and African foods, together with Julia's more European palette, have combined to offer an inspired selection of fusion food, which now includes Fusion Tapas.
The couple's latest project has been the renovation and refurbishment of two new houses, Pevensey and Orange Grove House. These two houses work on a more informal basis than Amanzi Lodge and provide a home-away-from-home for those wanting accommodation that allows them to self-cater. Once again, these properties have been given new life in true Amanzi style.
Amanzi Lodge Map
1 Masasa Lane, Kambanji, Harare
Tel: +263 24 2 499 257
Fax: +263 24 2 499 466
Mobile/Cell: +263 (0) 77 236 7495
Amanzi Restaurant map
158 Enterprise Road, Highlands, Harare
Land Line: +263 24 2 497768 (from 9am)
Mobile: +263 (0) 772 336 224
Julia and Andrew Mama
Both Amanzi Restaurant, Amanzi Lodge, Pevensey, Lewisam, Orange Grove and Hiller Houses are owned and run by the husband and wife team of Andrew and Julia Mama.
Andrew was educated in the UK and then trained in Hotel Management & Catering. He later managed Palookaville's, a popular Jazz Wine Bar & Restaurant in London's West End. On returning to Nigeria in 1984, Andrew set up his own restaurant, The Jacaranda. Starting with only a dramatic location on his father's fruit farm, the restaurant was built from the ground up, developing significantly over the years and gaining a first class reputation. The Jacaranda boasted magnificent views over the surrounding countryside and, like Amanzi, was set in a beautiful garden with a stunning water feature.
Andrew met Julia in 1978, and they married a few years later. Julia helped to design and build The Jacaranda and in 1994, opened The Hut Shop in the restaurant grounds, selling African Art and Crafts. Exhibitions were held every year, offering unusual pieces that Julia had collected on her African travels.
The couple arrived in Zimbabwe from West Africa, in January 1998. They immediately began planning Amanzi Restaurant, which opened to great fanfare, on 19th April 2000. The restaurant is truly a labour of love, evidenced by the unusual decor, the stunning gardens with their dramatic water feature, and of course - the splendid food.
Amanzi Lodge was previously owned and run by Duncan & Evette Barker as the highly acclaimed Barkers Lodge. Andrew and Julia purchased the lodge in November 2003 and have again worked their magic on the place. Major renovations and refurbishments have transformed both the lodges and the garden (see below).
Pevensey House and Orange Grove House are two houses that have been aquired by Julia and Andrew and extensively refurbished and renovated and the gardens totally transformed. These beautiful properties are perfectly suited to those looking for serviced, self catering accommodation for short to medium term stays in Zimbabwe.