Naison Lungu's Fishy Tale....from Cleaner to Chef!


From hotel cleaner to the inspired Head Chef at the iconic Bumi Hills Safari Lodgeand Spa at Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. That’s the heart-warming story of Naison Lungu who for the past three years has been delighting Bumi’s discerning guests with gourmet menus. And he can thank the sardine-like kapenta fish of the lake for his status today.

Son of a coal miner Naison (31) left school in 1999 and his happy demeanour secured him a job as a public-area cleaner at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.  “That’s when I got interested in cooking and became determined to become a chef,” he recalls.

He was promoted to bedroom hand and floor supervisor, “but I really wanted to cook and when the lodge advertised for apprentice chefs I was eager and went for an interview.”

Asked for a favourite recipe he readily presented one he used to cook for his family at home. “It was a very simple one with kapenta got me through and in 2004  I got a job as trainee chef at The Boma,  a traditional restaurant  at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.”

After graduating from hotel school in Bulawayo Naison moved to The Rainbow Hotel in Victoria Falls for two years and then to Ilala Lodge in the town as Chef de patie.

Since 2010 Naison has been Head Chef at the iconic 24-room Bumi Hills Safari Lodge ( “I choose the menu every day and  look on the internet for so many out-of-this-world presentations.”