There is something about the life of a traveller, it is punctuated best by the challenges one takes and the adrenaline rush that you experience as you live on the wild side.
Perhaps the best secret is how in fact it is not that expensive to travel within Zimbabwe and also experience this sort of rush. And the very first stop and best place to go would be the Eastern Highlands.But then how can one afford to hang glide or para-glide or bungee jump with such high costs of holidaying one could ponder.
Imagine going on a jaunt after which you may never be seen alive (or dead!) ever again? That is probably the height of getting adrenaline pumping.
Seriously though, there is a minuscule chance of disappearing, yet the Nyanga Mountains and the challenge, mystery and mysticism associated with climbing it are enough to get one excited at the prospect of conquering the highest point in Zimbabwe!
Sean Murphy and friends recently made the arduous trip to the helm of the mystical yet scenic and treacherously beautiful mountain. Certainly it should be illegal to any point to have such breath-taking g sights, (literally) as does mount Nyanga but it is what it is. Some have climbed the mountain never to be seen again.
“It is taboo to say certain things on this sacred mountain as some have not returned from the trip,” warns the guide.
Sean twitches. After all he did not fly hallway across the globe from the United States on his ‘‘All things go’’ visit to Zimbabwe only to have his body and soul trapped in the mountain for eternity and beyond!
In fact, word is even on the trip to the top of the mountain, some 2 592 metres elevation from its highest point, should one see something that is mysterious or queer, they ought to keep it to themselves and not point it out or be overzealous and try and pursue it. The gods may lure you into non-existence!
“I have had to look after one of the children on the school trip since their parents refused them the right to climb to the peak fearing the child may disappear,” says a school teacher leading youngsters on a school trip to the mountain.
Such is the level of fear amongst some. Yet in all fairness the numbers that have conquered the mountain are multitudes compared to the known few cases where people have climbed the mountain never to return.
The reasons to climb far outweigh the reasons not to.
The cool natural water that springs from the belly of the mountain cooling those who drink it. The beautiful lichen adding colour to the rocks formed over thousands upon thousands of years. The fauna that lines the walkway springing with colourful bright yellow flowers as well as daisies (Rock hyraxes) making up the fauna that litters the mountain, hiding behind rocks and in the nooks and crevices of the rocks.
And who can ignore the obvious health benefits of mountain climbing as one negotiates a rather cruel terrain that leaves one’s legs shaking like reeds in water from the exhaustion.
Few make it to the peak. Yet Murphy with his team of the guide, friends Tawanda Chawatama, Innocent Kausiyo and driver Talent are determined, like many visitors, to conquer the peak and conquer they do!
Down the mountain National Parks and Wildlife Authority who man the beauty are also sprucing up their affordable cottages making the journey to the mountain both affordable and comfortable for the visitors.
“We are making sure the experience to visit Zimbabwe for both locals and people from abroad is made richer by providing comfortable lodgings and a warm service,” says the authority’s Tinashe Farawo, the public relations boss.
“The Mare lodges for example are in an advanced stage of being spruced up and that is in line with the world class Zimbabwean conservation and hospitality hallmark to ensure our guests have the greatest experience possible,” he adds.
Meanwhile at the top of the peak one can snap photos of their having conquered the mountain and post them to their friends while they are at it. Is there a better description of the term ‘‘postcards from heaven’’ than that? Surely not.
Maybe it is time locals visited their Zimbabwe and enjoyed a slice of their beautiful bounteous land.
“National parks are here to serve the people. Our biggest wish is for locals to sample the beauty of their land as well as international visitors. Come and enjoy the stay,” says Farawo.
An invitation awaits!