When thinking about travelling, most of us look to UNESCO for the World Heritage sites so that we can tick the bucket list. Similarly, when travelling to Zimbabwe, there is no doubt that you are swayed by the appeal of the mighty Victoria Falls – and honestly, who can blame you! The Victoria Falls make Zimbabwe an attractive destination – a world of wonders. For anyone who takes time to learn a bit more about Zimbabwe, they quickly appreciate that the country has more to offer than just the Victoria Falls, as great as it is. Nature enthusiasts will marvel at the scenic views from the “mountain top”.
We picked a few of the trails around the country that are just waiting to be explored! Thank us later.
TURACO TRAIL – beautiful and challenging –
A five (5) day journey through valleys, mountains, wilderness, rivers, gorges, waterfalls – totalling a distance of 62 kilometres, and 985 metres in altitudinal change. It is no wonder this iconic trail is the best there is in Zimbabwe. It’s unique characteristics takes hikers through diverse ecosystems (fauna, flora, avifauna) and makes for good competition to some of the best trails in the world! It surely is a bucket-list item! There are a few shorter trails along the way that last from 1 day to 3 days if you don’t have time to complete the entire 5 days. Don’t stress if you don’t everything you need for this iconic trail, you will be able to rent equipment and gear (tents, sleeping bags, trekking poles, GPS units) at relatively low cost, after all – we can’t make FUN expensive!
Ngomakurira – The Beating Drum –
One of the most popular day walks near Harare. A protected heritage site under UNESCO and manned by the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe. A perfect place for sundowners, after exploring the cave and rock art. One well kept secret are the subsidiary hikes within the same Domboshava (Shona for ‘red rock’) area, some of which take you through valleys, rivers and waterfalls, including caves and rock art. We make it our business to know these trails.
Mount Nyangani – the sacred mountain –
The sacred mountain and highest peak in the country. A 3-4 hour drive from Harare, and well worth it to become the tallest person in Zimbabwe for a bit, while taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding areas. Have a look at a blog compiled after an overnight visit to Inyanga here.
Silozwane – Matopo Hills –
In order to reach this cave, you have to go through communal villages, and the lack of signage means you almost always need a guide with extensive local knowledge. The walk is medium to high impact, and the spectacular views, particularly of Tuli-Makwe Dam are bound to take your breathe away. Camping in the villages is a definite possibility during the summer months, you will just need mosquito repellent.
Chimanimani – raw nature –
The views are unique, and very different to any other in the entire country – Chimanimani mountains presents raw nature. If you have not experienced things peaking to the heavens/sky, well this is your chance. Mt Binga is the second highest mountain in Zimbabwe, and borders Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Although it is possible to hike up to the summit in one day, 7+ hours, it is always better to spend the night at the overnight hut. Inside the park, you can of course nestle inside the caves overnight, I am sure you are agree it makes for a better story!
Mberengwa – virgin territory –
Mberengwa, hidden in the Midlands Province boasts of rich cultural history. It’s an area where few tourists have ventured, making it virgin territory to the explorers. You will be able to trek and camp for days with no hussle or competition for places to set up camp. You will encounter the Lemba Tribe, who are believed to be “The Lost Tribe of Israel” – the black Jews. Mt Buchwa: the isolated mountain is worth separating from the rest – with its dry acacia and miombo woodlands, and the Eastern highlands influenced evergreen forests.
Vumba Mountains – walker’s paradise
A walker’s paradise that ticks all the boxes of a great hike! There are plenty of trails on these misty mountains, walkers are surely spoilt for choice. Although ‘Friends of Vumba’ and the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife have started initiatives to make these trails more accessible by placing signage, it is still far from desirable, so a local guide is a must have if you want to avoid getting lost. Birding enthusiasts will also find the Vumba to a worthy paradise!
The Aloe Route is found in the Odzi area, and accessed from Musangano Lodge. The marked trails distinguish this walking site in Zimbabwe as it is conducive for good leisurely walks for novice hikers, but also presents more demanding routes to the seasoned hikers. The abundant bird life and indigenous trees is perfect for those interested in bird watching!
Masvingo – Ancient City –
An afternoon walk like no other – going through villages, caves and hills. A low impact walk, with only the last part presenting a steep ascendancy. This is better done with a guide, explaining the history and culture as you go!
Mount Banirembizi – complex geological mix –
Nestled within the seldom visited but the only true wilderness in Zimbabwe – Mavuradonha (loosely translated “Land of Falling Water”). Mt Banirembizi has only one of the many trails just waiting to be explored! At the peak of the mountain is where the Zambezi escarpment and the mass of the mineral-rich Great Dyke Range meet. You can expect a wild and rugged terrain!