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Exploring Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani Mountains

Our tour leader Sam decided to take her truck group exploring so they headed out to the Chimanimani Mountains in Zimbabwe…

view from heaven lodge in Zimbabwe during Oasis Overland tour

The view from Heaven!

“We decided to head over to the Eastern Highlands and the Chimanimani Mountains.  I couldn’t get hold of any accommodation places in advance but had heard about a place called Heaven Lodge which was a backpackers dream in its day and got confirmation it was still running.  On arrival, much to our group’s delight, we had to chop our way into the campsite through the overgrown trees to reach the lodge which was in a beautiful setting with a stunning mountain view.  However the place was in desperate need of a facelift, very, very run down.   The main bar area had ghosts of overland trucks past with cracked old dusty stickers of all the companies that previously passed through and several souvenirs in cobwebs up on the walls and bar area – reminders of its heyday!!

Chimanimani Mountains visited by Oasis Overland group

Chimanimani Mountains - taken during our group's hike

We were told we were the first overland truck that had been there for 10 years, the locals could just not have been more pleased to see us and both nights the bar was absolutely packed with all the locals, word had got around and it made for a great atmosphere.  On leaving, one of the guides that had led the group on full day hikes into the mountains said that we would never realise how much hope we had brought to the community bringing tourism back to the area.  Driving up the road leaving the village, new signs had already appeared that had not been there 2 days earlier – For Sale signs for local fruit and veg had popped up everywhere.  We did try to buy some to great enthusiasm but unfortunately most of the produce was still in the ground – they hadn’t even had a chance to pick it yet, so we made a promise to give them more notice next time we were through.

Our Oasis travellers loved every minute of it all, going somewhere so untouched and receiving the kind of welcome we got was amazing.  They looked passed how run down and broken the place seemed to be to see the hope and smiles they had brought to the area.

Just a lovely thing to have been a part of!”

We visit Zimbabwe on our Africa Overland Adventure trips

Posted in Africa, All Blogs.

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