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Protected Area Chimanimani National Park

ID: w149343 View large map

Located in Zimbabwe :: Manicaland
Category: Protected Areas :: Protected Area

Description [ correction ]

The Chimanimani National Park borders Mozambique. It is a magical park of craggy massifs, deep valleys, streams and waterfalls, forest and grassland. It encompasses many biomes including fynbos, montane grassland, deciduous woodland and montane evergreen forest. It is home to a stunning diversity of flora, including wild orchids and field flowers.

The park is known more for its scenic beauty than for its wildlife but even so, it has animals like eland, sable, bushbuck, baboon, the shy blue duiker and klipspringers. It is a hiker's paradise. There are no roads in the park and the fact that it can only be explored on foot adds to the unspoilt character of the area.

If you drive north you can enter the top western side of the park which hosts Bridal Veil Falls and the Pork Pie Mountain. From the top of the mountain, which is 1 987m high, you have a stunning vista over the surroundings and on a clear day you can see as far as Mozambique.

Bridal Veil Falls is exquisite, not only for the falls itself but also the ambiance of the setting. The falls is set within a narrow kloof and plunge 50 metres down into a pool about 10 meters wide. It offers a picnic site and campsite under majestic trees of which the umbrella thorn trees (Acacia species) are maybe the most spectacular.

Heading from Chimanimani into the eastern section of the Chimanimani NP, the first section of tar road is potholed and the remaining gravel road is fair, giving you access to the Mutekeswane base camp.

The base camp is at 1250m above sea level and from there various hiking trails go into the Chimanimani Mountains. An overnight hut is situated on the west bank of the Bundi River about 1 630m above sea level. It is a two to three hour hike up to the mountain hut via Bailey's Trail which is well marked with yellow arrows.

There are various other trails but these are not well marked and they tend to shift, get overgrown or eroded. They evolve, develop and sometimes even disappear. You have to use a lot of common sense to find your way with the help of the very basic photocopied map which they provide.

From the hut you can hike up Mount Binga which is 2 440m at its pinnacle. There are also various caves and pools to explore like Red Wall Cave, North Cave, Digby's Cave, Peter House Cave, Digby's Waterfall and Ragon Falls as well as Southern Lake Pools. The beautiful Tessa's Pool is situated on the verge of the National Park but on the premises of the Outward Bound Adventure facility. Even though it is on private property you will be allowed to enter with your park entry permit.

Contact [ correction ]
Address :  14km or 21min ENE of Chimanimani, Zimbabwe
Postal :  P. Bag 2063, Chimanimani, Zimbabwe.
Contact :  Chimanimani National Park Offices
Contact 2 :  Tinaye Chikande (Reservationist)
Tel :  +263(0)27 205 2555
Tel2 :  +263(0)26 555
Cell :  +263(0)776 625 845
Cell2 :  +263(0)773 740 333
Email :  Click Here
Website :  Click Here

Opening Times :  [ correction ]

Monday to Sunday 9am to 5pm

Directions [ correction ]

From Mutare take the A9 Chimanimani Road heading south, 66.5 KM turn left onto the A10, 79.5 KM turn right and continue on the A10, 129.60 KM turn left for Chimanimani village, 148.30 KM reach Chimanimani village, 165.5 KM reach ZPWMA base camp

GPS reference: 19⁰47′18.91″S 32⁰59′38.52″E

Time Information [ correction ]
Best Time to Visit :  March - April and August - September

Rates and Payment [ correction ]
Fee/s :  Park entry fees for SADC visitors: Locals USD3pp/pd; SADC citizens USD8pp/pd; Internationals USD10pp/pd. (Aug-2022).

Destination Information [ correction ]
Towing Service :  Yes   Towing Service Telephone :  +263(0)78 057 9261 / +263(0)71 808 4297 / +263(0)73 652 3424 (DRIVE Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance)
Facilities :  Camping

Facilities [ correction ]
Camping, Safe Parking Available
Nearby Facilities :  School/s.

Activities [ correction ]
Game Viewing, Game Drives, Tours and Excursions, Picnics, Hiking Trails, Guided Walks, Mountain Biking, Horse Trails, Swimming, Bird Watching, Photography
Game to View :  Baboon. Duiker. Klipspringer . Leopard
More Activities :  Cave Viewing. Swimming in natural pools.
Notes on Activities :  (Some activities may be offered nearby).

Travelling Information [ correction ]
Closest Town :  Chimanimani

Self Drive Access :  Yes
Vehicle Type :  ALL

The park access is not seasonal - one can really only get to basecamp, or to bridal veil camp, and then you walk/hike from there. Access should be fine, unless if there was exceptional rain than you may not be able to get to bridal veil for 2 or 3 days. But the park won't close officially for a few months.

Guides and porters can be organised in Chimanimani if you require them. Ask Jane High (0783 835 818) at the Frog and Fern, Chester (+263(0)773231572) at Outward Bound, Tempe (+263(0)772 101 283) at the Farmhouse, Collen, one of the most popular local guides (+263(0)783254868) or Tim Mujuyi (+263(0)779132068), the best bird guide. Remember to take food for your porters and to give them some money for transport back to the village (USD2) if they are leaving you in the mountain, as well as their pay, usually about USD10/day for porters. Guides will charge more. These are not highly trained or qualified guides so please do not rely on them too much but rather use your own common sense.

Major facilities like fuel, banks, hotels and shops are found in Chimanimani town 11km away from the park.

 Travel Tip!

Entry permits for the park has to be paid at the National Parks Office in Chimanimani village. The park is accessed by car from Chimanimani village. Cash only, bring exact change if possible. No banks /atm in Chimanimani.

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