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Entries about waterfall

A World of Perfect Vistas

Another corner of the African continent that no-one knew offered world-class hiking, fantastic views and a new exiting landscape at every bend of the road.

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Rough Road

Rough Road

By far the worst part of driving a motorbike through a national park is all the glorious sights, vistas and animals that you miss out on. Navigating the damn thing across the gravel roads, around potholes and sharp rocks, take away most of your concentration. There’s almost none left to enjoy the views. This is a particularly annoying problem in Zimbabwe’s eastern highlands, where everything looks fantastic no matter where I look. It’s also very dusty, muscles get sore, and under the African sun, I get absolutely cooked in the leather jacket. But all this I knew setting off, and your sympathies should be limited to missing out on the views, which is the real tragedy.

Hiking Bvumba

Hiking Bvumba

Three national parks, Nyanga, Bvumba and Chimanimani, compete for travellers’ attention in Eastern Zim. I ended up exploring the two former, mostly due to lack of time. In both, I quickly forgot I was in Southern Africa. Instead, the landscape reminded me of Scottish Lowlands with its rock formations and rolling hills; or Central Germany with its massive pine forests. The temperatures weren’t far off either, and especially the evenings and early mornings were cold. As a Dane, I might not be the one to make those comparisons, but fellow travellers from both places confirmed my suspicion.

Stories by the Fire

Stories by the Fire

The cold wasn’t a massive problem in Bvumba, where I headed up to an old lodge with two Scottish travellers I’d met the day before. The evenings were spent in front of the burning fireplace, sharing beers and travel stories. Plenty of both, you’d imagine. In Nyanga, however, I camped. Most people who know me will probably be surprised by that fact. I’m not exactly the camping prototype. And as expected, I didn’t particularly enjoy the cold mornings, the ants or the fact that I had to cook over the open fire. Somehow, though, I managed just fine. Somewhere back home, a lot of people will be shocked that I cooked over the open fire for three days straight – let alone managing to get the fire burning in the first place.

Exciting Walk

Exciting Walk

Camping, however, was out in Nyanga was definitely worth it. The park is home, not only to some lovely winding roads that make driving the bike a joy (though it’s still very slow going uphill), but also to Zimbabwe’s tallest mountain, Mount Nyangani, and tallest waterfall, Mtarazi Falls. The falls are allegedly 762 metres tall over a couple of drops. The wibbly-wobbly suspension bridge hanging 380 metres above where the falls’ largest drop crashes onto the rocks was just the adrenaline kick I needed. The 90 metres’ bridge felt well too short, but I could imagine many other people would rather stay as far from the edge as possible.

On the top of Zimbabwe

On the top of Zimbabwe

In general, the highland is full of fantastic views and vistas, that can’t be justified through mere photos. Hence my frustration at the beginning of the blog entry. Few of the views were better than from the top of Mount Nyangani. 360 degrees of the valleys and hilltops. At 2,592m it’s not the tallest mountain in the world, but it still took a good 1,5 hours to scramble to the top (and a couple of hours on terrible dirt roads getting there and back). Usually, it would be dead quite. However, I happened to climb the mountain on a Saturday. So I had to share the quite summit with weekend-visitors from Harare and 100+ churchgoers who were very busy shouting ‘hallelujah’ and ‘aaaaamen’ from the top of their lungs (pun intended). You can imagine my joy of sharing this otherwise moment of zen with these guys…
Regardless. Should you find yourself in the vicinity of Eastern Zim, I can’t recommend these places enough. But maybe go on a weekday ;)

Posted by askgudmundsen 08:56 Archived in Zimbabwe Tagged hiking travel mountain overland waterfall hike motorbike southern_africa zimbabe nyanga bvumba Comments (0)

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