HOW TO GET THERE
Mutare is the gateway to the Eastern Highlands, and a comfortable three-hour drive from Harare. From Mutare it’s about 150 kilometres to Chimanimani along the A9, a good gravel road that twists through the mountains.
WHERE TO STAY
Camping (at your own risk) is allowed anywhere in the park, and caves can be used instead of tents. If you want to overnight at the parks board base camp at Mutekeswane, or at the mountain hut about two hours’ hike away, contact the National Parks Board Central Booking Office, PO Box 8151, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe. Tel (4) 70-6077.
The dialling code for Zimbabwe is 09362.
There is a limited number of somewhat more formal options, and the two mentioned in this article follow (both have camping or caravan facilities too).
Chimanimani Hotel: PO Box 5, Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. Tel (26) 511.
Hot Springs Resort: PO Box 190, Nyanyadzi, Zimbabwe. Tel (26) 367/8, fax (26) 328 (between 18h00 and 22h00).
WHAT TO TAKE
All hiking and backpacking equipment; you need to be completely self-sufficient in the mountains. Take a gas stove, since fires are not permitted in the national park.
And take a pair of binoculars as well as your camera and plenty of film; the mountain scenery is spectacular.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Outward Bound supplies information on the mountains (routes, birds, trees, where to get water and so forth). Contact Fen Goodes, The Warden, Outward Bound Centre, PO Box 57, Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. Tel (26) 5440.
UTC can supply more general information (such as on transport, accommodation and recommended drives) for the entire Eastern Highlands, and offers coach tours too. Contact UTC, PO Box 2914, Harare, Zimbabwe. Tel (4) 79-3701, fax (4) 79-7209.
In Mutare the contact details are UTC, PO Box 69, Mutare, Zimbabwe. Tel (120) 6-4784.
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