Arriving late into the small village of Chimanimani, I was not sure where I was going to stay the night. I knew there were a couple of places that had accomodation and after talking to one of the locals on the ride up, he directed me to the Chimanimani Hotel. Getting dropped off at 8:30pm I walked into the hotel and asked for a room. They said it was going to cost $60! This was ridiculous and there was no way I was going to pay that much especially when the place was pretty much deserted. I told the lady I would rather just camp because I saw a sign allowing camping. After much discussion, the manager walked over and told me that he would let me stay in a room for the price I was willing to pay to camp, Rand 100 ($10). This felt fair to me and I had a room for the night.
Waking up in the morning, I decided to go walk around the town a bit and ended up finding the backpackers I originally wanted to stay at. After talking to the owners there, they offered me a one bedroom cabin for Rand 100 a night. I quickly took this offer because I was not impressed with the hotel much at all and it’s old 50’s style outdated rooms. Gathering my belongings at the hotel I swung by the local store and picked up some groceries and made my way to Heaven Lodge.
The cabin I stayed in was nice and had a small kitchen as well. At Heaven Lodge, there was an overland group that was there spending a couple days. This also helped to make my decision to stay here because there were other people around to hang out with. These guys were super friendly and were on a tour coming from Uganda heading through the southern part of Africa to Cape Town.
I was looking forward to spending some time in the mountains while here, one of the things I miss. The weather was rainy which screwed up some hiking plans but this was okay. Even with the poor weather, I was able to enjoy the scenery and the remoteness of the village. Spending 4 nights and three days in the town was great. The day before I left, it was sunny and called for some hiking. Grabbing my backpack, I headed out to one of the nearby falls. Bridal Veil Falls were cool and the water felt great! Climbing to the top of the falls, I found some trails and decided to follow them.
As I hiked, I ran into a bushbuck that was sauntering along. Accidentally snapping a twig, he got scared and ran off. Continuing the hike up and over some mountains, I was the only one out here. It was green with rolling mountains all around me! From doing some research, I had to be careful because people were saying it was easy to get lost. These paths that I had found, most likely were used for guerrilla warfare during Zimbabwe’s independence.
After hiking for a few hours, I decided it was time to pull out the hammock, eat some food, and relax. Finding a great spot on the side of one the mountain edges, it was great to hang out in the hammock. I was out in the middle of nowhere and it was really relaxing, peaceful, and quiet. Overlooking the green rolling mountains of Chimanimani was stunning and beautiful. It was a spot I didn’t want to leave. Unfortunately, with the sun starting to set it was time to start the hike home.
Spending time in the Chimanimani Village and surrounding mountain range was wonderful. I wish I would’ve had more time to spend hiking the mountains, but the piece that I was able to visit was great. It is a gem located inside Zimbabwe that is peaceful and not touristy. The locals are friendly towards tourists in their village and are happy to have them. My favorite part was hanging out in the hammock for two hours enjoying the scenery and being completely submersed in nature.