There are some pristine Wilderness places you will visit and imagine you are in another World, and Chimanimani National Park is one of such places. God must have been very happy when creating this wonderful African Protected Area found along the eastern border of Chimanimani district bordering Mozambique.
Stretching for 171 square kilometers at the southern corner of the Eastern highlands and extending for 50 kilometers along the border with Mozambique, this park is known for its rugged mountain magnificence boosted by numerous phenomenal gorges and high summits standing up to altitude of 2436 meters above sea level and is the starting point for several springs and streams as well as breathtaking waterfalls including the Bridal Veil falls found in the Eland Sanctuary as well as the jaw-dropping views of the Pork pie Mountain range. This wild and unexplored site as well as the panoramic views, cascading streams, verdant forest and numerous waterholes make Chimanimani National Park a real Paradise.
Things in Chimanimani National Park that will take your breath away
The Wildlife numbers here are not many but you will get the opportunity of encountering leopards, elands, Klipspringers, bushbucks, sable antelopes, impalas, Roan antelopes and blue duikers among others. Also, forest lovers will be captivated by the virgin forests and tree species of the area. The lush, dense and moist forest here is exceptional and offers shelter to several species of birds, butterflies and reptiles among others.
Chimanimani National Park is a delight for forest lovers because its dense, moist and lush forest is a haven to numerous species of plants, butterflies, birds and reptiles especially snakes. However, there are no permanent roads within this wilderness area thus only narrow tracks and footpaths are available to lead tourists to the different areas of the Park but this even makes the Park more exciting to explore.
The Eland Sanctuary, an area standing at 2436 meters (7992 feet) and is also a source of numerous natural falls (like the Bridal Veil Falls), rivers, springs and streams as well as offering magnificent views of the Pork Pie Mountain Range.
Other fascinating attractions within this Park include the Haroni and Nyakwaha Botanical Reserves, numerous Barrosus Palm trees, the extraordinary rock formations of Mawenje Mountains, the Mountain hut of Chimanimani Mountains and the picnic site at the base of the Bridal Veil Falls.
Activities within Chimanimani National Park
Guided hikes are strenuous requiring stamina and physical fitness but are one of the most interesting activities to enjoy within Chimanimani National Park and if you are familiar with the south-western Cape mountains, then the Chimanimani looks and feels the same except with the latter, there are fewer visitors hence can have the entire wilderness to themselves.
Best time to visit
The temperatures of this Park sometimes drops to zero Celsius degrees (during winter-May to August) but this time is always avoided by tourists because the rain spoils the hike, hence March to May and August to October are the perfect times to explore the Park.
Where to Stay?
Overnights can be spent at the Mountain Hut and the Mutekeswane Base Camp (15 kilometers from Chimanimani Town) but tourists visiting Chimanimani National Park are also permitted to Camp (free of charge) within the Park except within the Base Camp but doing it is at the person’s own risk.