Hello, fellow travel enthusiasts! Welcome to this week’s edition of Acacian Wanderlust, our special spot where we discuss all things travel within the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. As mentioned in the last edition, the goal of this section is to help cultivate and grow the travel culture within Africa University by exploring the different destinations that surround us in this particular region of the country. In this edition, we shall be navigating our way through a small place that is known for so many things. Some know it for being the closest evergreen forest close to Mutare; some know it for its spectacular waterfalls; some for its gorgeous scenery; and some, know it as a place that Queen Elizabeth called home during her visit in the 1950s. All these points simply lead to the sensational little spot called Vumba!
The journey to Vumba gets exciting the moment you decide to get out of Mutare. The first stop for most tourists is usually the Prince of Wales Viewpoint. This is one of those epic places to stop by and get a glimpse of our eastern neighbour, Mozambique. The viewpoint is free to enter, and most visitors stop by to have a look at the Forbes Border Post, which would be visible, and also portions of Manica town in Mozambique. The place is renowned for its refreshing breeze, which just cools you as you cast your eyes upon Mozambique. There are also some cool stone artworks done by local craftsmen, which you can even buy to support their amazing works.
The Prince of Wales Viewpoint acts like a grand entrance to Vumba. As you continue heading forward, you will begin to notice the surprising change in vegetation, from a more dry kind of scenery to thick, lush green forests. Now here is where the real Vumba experience begins. Along some parts of the road, you will be completely covered by a canopy of evergreen trees, with the sun faintly illuminating the road as you also navigate the bends of the road. The drive alone is as soothing as it gets. If you are lucky, you can even spot some beautiful eagles. One thing I can guarantee you is that you will cast your eyes upon some flora that is endemic to the region. Quite a few tourists visit the region in search of such unique vegetation. You can see all these types of plants that are proudly endemic to Vumba at the Vumba Botanical Garden. The particular kind of climate within Vumba is just right for that kind of flora, and the garden boasts some plants that are not found anywhere else in the world except in the garden! How spectacular is that?
Vumba is also home to quite a few waterfalls. This involves the likes of Chinamata Falls, Nyachowa Falls, Fungundu Falls, and Marindi Falls. You could just do an expedition to explore the waterfalls that are found in Vumba. The good thing about these waterfalls is that getting to each of them is an exciting experience as you appreciate the beauty that the forests have. One author referred to Vumba as the modern-day version of the Garden of Eden because of the wide variety of flora and water bodies that keep the forests as green as ever all year. These forests also cover amazing mountains, from which Vumba derives its fame. If you’re someone who loves a good hike, look no further than Vumba. The highest point in the Vumba Mountains is called Castle Beacon, and reaching there is more than enough exercise to get your blood running.
Vumba is one of Eastern Highland’s prime tourist destinations, and because of that, there are quite a few tourism players within the area. Household names like Leopard Rock, Eden Lodges, and the like pop up, and they all offer a variety of recreational activities aside from the accommodation services they already offer. In this next edition, we will take a look at the recreational activities one can do in Vumba. That’s it for this week.
If you would also like to share your reviews about some of the tourist destinations I have mentioned, please always feel free to share them with me on my email: email@example.com, and let’s create a travel community. Let’s explore the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe together, one destination at a time. This travel series is supported by a digital tourism information centre on a WhatsApp tourism chatbot called Trafiki Africa. Whenever you would like to discover more about tourist destinations in Zimbabwe, you can simply send a hi to the chatbot at +263788935424 or follow the link https://wa.me/263788935424?text=Hi and interact with the bot.