ON the foot of a hill and on the mouth of the sacred caves lies Chinhoyi Caves Motel, whose superstructures blend with a coterie of indigenous and exotic trees. The lush green lawn forms the base on which the trees and the superstructures stand boisterously in nature’s ambience. On the trees, monkeys swing from one branch to another, nonchalantly, giving guests memorable closeness to the primates that always seem unperturbed by human presence.
Of course, at some stage, the monkeys become a nuisance should guests live their hotel room doors or windows open, for, more often than not, they sneak in and snatch whatever they can.
Clean, tastefully decorated and served by ever-smiling staff, the motel is now being run by National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, who have quickly transformed it from being any other hotel to the gem of Chinhoyi.
Parks had, until late last year, been leasing out the motel but Parks management decided to take over and have so far done an excellent job.
The Chinhoyi-Chirundu Highway, that passes by, makes the motel more accessible while the Chinhoyi Caves give the hotel a status of a one-stop shop for the discerning tourist. In fact, it is difficult to separate the motel from the caves.
The Chinhoyi Caves always emit an aura of myth and mystery that would excite and provoke an adrenaline rush in any visitor. Chinhoyi Caves’s Sleeping PoolOnly a few chirping birds give a sign of life to the caves whose dearth of sound is like the innards of a grave!
The silence as one descends into the intricate network of caves, is both eerie and profound, yet the grottos and the huge sleeping pool form a spectacular combination in which reality defies existing tourism hyperbole.
It is a geomorphological spectacle whose grandeur Zimbabwe has done little to market for international tourism recognition.
When climbing down the steep granite steps it is easy for tourists to imagine approaching an abyss of darkness as light suddenly varnishes. The experience is hair-raising.
The caves are a limestone shaft linked by a maze of passages and caves, at the foot of which lies a huge pool whose limpid and translucent gothic water maintains the same level 24 /7.
Inexplicably, the water defies common meteorological logic by remaining at the same temperature of 22 degrees Celsius 24/7 — every second, every minute, every hour and indeed every day. It is this deep blue pool beneath the sparkling cobalt stone that is known as the “Sleeping Pool’’, Chirorodziva.
After a tour of the caves, the motel becomes a handy resting place.
Many Zimbabweans might not know that Chinhoyi Caves are close to and easily accessible and change your lifestyle as soon as one visits. Far from the madding crowd, far from the hullabaloo of urban life, the Chinhoyi Caves maintain their gothic state. They take you back into history.