You may have seen some of the amazing new aerial shots of Matusadona on our website or circulating on social media. Well, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how we managed to capture these remarkable pics. 

Photographer Roger de la Harpe was the wizard behind this project. He and his wife Pat joined us for a three-day cruise up Lake Kariba, tasked with the job of photographing Matusadona in all her glory. The weather was perfect and we managed to get some fantastic shots from on the boat as well as some of the interiors. Then Roger brought out his drone – a small helicopter with four independently rotating blades that allow the machine to fly up 100 meters into the sky and hover in place.


Attached to the drone was a GoPro camera on automatic capture, so Roger could launch the helicopter into the air, position it at the correct angle beside the boat and the GoPro would gather a collection of unique perspective images from above.

Before we got down to the professional shoot, Roger tested the drone on a small island not far from Matusadona. Using a remote control, he sent the chopper up and over us in the boat, performing a number of aerial manoeuvres on the way. The chopper made a loud buzzing sound, which sounded a bit like a big insect, so he decided then and there to name the drone simply: Bee.

Next it was time to get some pics of the boat. We set off, steaming up Kariba and Roger decided he wanted to get some images of the boat moving through the water. So we stood on the bow of the ship and launched the Bee, full steam ahead. Roger kept the camera moving beside the boat, trying all sorts of angles before bringing her down above the deck.

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Landing the Bee while the boat was moving was a major challenge, and someone had to stand on the front deck and literally snatch the drone out of the sky in mid flight.

Roger’s next task was to get photos of Matusadona coming into an island. We dropped him off on the island and brought the boat in towards the shore. The Bee went high up into the air, capturing some absolutely stunning pics of the boat, the island and Kariba in the distance.

Kariba. Zimbabwe

The Bee made several appearances throughout the trip, providing unique aerial angles on many occasions, but perhaps the most interesting was when the team decided to do some diving off the Matusadona deck. Scott, Paul and Piers the pilot plunged into Kariba time after time, while the Bee documented it all.


All in all, the trip was a huge success and Roger and Pat managed to get unbelievable shots of Matusadona. We hope some of the aerials capture the majesty of the surroundings and convince you to join us for an upcoming trip.

For more information and to enquire about chartering Matusadona, click here.