By Lloyd Makonya
The Eastern Highlands is not only the warm heart of Zimbabwe, but also genuinely friendly, safe and in many ways undiscovered heart of Zimbabwe.
A recent trip to Nyanga reignited my appreciation of the rich tourist attractions this country possesses.
The imposing Mount Nyangani standing at 2,592 metres and boasting of being the highest peak in Zimbabwe forms the bedrock upon which the entire landscape of Nyanga rests and the wattle estates compliment the picturesque views of this wonderful destination.
With its mysteries, Inyangani Mountain always remains a fascinating epitome of the areas beauty.
The mystique of Nyanga lies in the refreshing scenic views in every direction your eyes can focus.
In fact, Nyanga’s unique selling point is the sheer variety of things to see and do in a comparatively confined area in immaculate weather and interesting topographies.
The Nyanga National park is home to a variety of wild animals including the wildebeest and giraffes.
The road within the national park is highly passable but tricky when it rains something the Department of National Parks should give attention to, so as to make the experience memorable.
During the visit we witnessed two school buses stuck in the mud and the little souls soaking in the rain as the older lads made attempts to push the stuck buses out of the mud.
Assistance from the department of parks came several hours later a scenario which can be easily avoided.
A reconstruction of the pit structures in the national park adds a cultural feel to the package.
The setting includes a main hut which is situated over a stone lined tunnel and has in its floor a hole or a shaft through which poles could be lowered to close the entrance at night. An underground stone lined tunnel mostly known as a pit passage was used for entrance into the pits. Surrounding the main hut are the wives huts and grain huts. The local people are a fantastic lot and so hospitable.
Accommodation in Nyanga is world class from low cost to that for the high end markets, offering wide range of activities from boating to the highest zip line in the world across the second highest waterfall in Africa at Mtarazi.
The adrenalin junkies would surely love the skywalk too. The Nyan’ombe falls offered a soothing sun setter as the sun took its setting in the horizon at the sound of the rushing waters falling over the well cut out rock passages.
The move by government to initiate the National Consultative Stakeholder Workshop on Tourism Strategy around the country is a welcome move which will not only offer the platform for fresh developmental ideas and strategies to drive the tourism sector forward but remind us of the importance of the industry as a key pillar in the country’s economic revival efforts.
As the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority embarks on a branding exercise across the Eastern Highlands we envisage a tourism family united in its endeavours and ready to provide cutting edge solutions to the challenges bedevilling the industry.
At the end of the trip I wished if all Zimbabweans could travel to destination Nyanga.
Whether one is arriving as a tourist or travelling on business, Nyanga is a place that visitors always want to return to and a place they don’t ever seem want to leave