The Chimanimani National Park is probably Africa’s least-known nature reserve. An hour’s jeep-ride from the village, it includes the magnificent Chimanimani Mountains, a massive barrier of ancient and jagged crystalline rock forming the border with Mozambique.
The breathtaking beauty and pristine environment of these mountains have always drawn adventurous travellers. At present the park provides only basic facilities, catering for the self-sufficient explorer. Hiking, rock climbing, birding, camping in caves among the sparkling waterfalls and natural swimming pools … it’s a park for those who want nothing more than to revel in the heart-soothing loveliness of nature.
Local tour guides with excellent knowledge of the area’s specialised wild plants and animals offer hiking tours into the national park.
Things to do
In the village itself one can book a visit to a traditional Shona village, chat with the locals at the village cafe, arrange a horseback ride in the forest, explore the local marketplace (msika), or book a round of golf at the 9-hole country club.
A pleasant walk takes visitors to the lovely Bridal Veil Falls – a favourite picnic spot – and in the hills above Chimanimani village there’s an Eland Sanctuary.
The Outward Bound organisation has a facility at the foot of the mountain, and the challenging terrain is occasionally used by other organisations for team-building, super-fitness training and orienteering.
But what Chimanimani offers most is serenity, where the pace slows down and the stress and crowds of the city fade away.