Chimanimani National Park
Chimanimani - the mountain and the town
The mountain massif looms over the small town of Chimanimani and shows a different mood at various times of day and as the light changes. Sometimes the mountains look menacing when dark clouds shift over them, sometimes, in the sunshine, they look cheerful. In heavy cloud cover, the mountains are sometimes not visible at all. Guided hikes in the mountains are highly recommended but also strenuous and necessitate a certain degree of physical fitness and stamina. One should, by all means, plan a full day for ascent and descent with some time to take photographs and look around.
Staying overnight on Mount Chimanimani
A very simple hut is available at roughly 1600 metres for those who want to explore more than is possible on a single day. Every step opens up a new and impressive vista. It is advisable to stop every now and then to let the mountain work its magic upon you. Take in both in the details of the rugged and bizarrely eroded granite rocks, as well as the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. Camping is allowed in the park at no extra cost, but you must bring your own tents and equipment.
The enchanting waterfall Tessa's Pool is an easily accessible destination in Chimanimani. Tessa's Pool is situated in a valley in a very wild and romantic environment. In the right season, a swim in the pool below offers a very welcome refreshment. The waterfall itself is very photogenic and it is located outside the national park in the area of the "Outward Bound" training centre. You can visit for free.
Bridal Veil Falls
The Bridal Veil Falls are located in the National Park, so an admission fee is payable to visit the falls. It is certainly worthwhile. The crystal clear water plunges over various levels on the rock face into a small lake at the foot of the cliff. The surroundings seem almost tropical, with huge trees, lianas and ferns near the water. A hiking trail next to the waterfall leads steeply up the mountain to an intermediate step and another pool, both of which are not visible from below. Below the waterfall at the end of the road is a picnic area with shelters.
The "Pork Pie" is a hill near the village of Chimanimani. It is easily accessible by car and offers a fantastic all-round view of the amazing mountain landscape. Short hikes to the top of the hill and through the Msasa forests are a pleasant afternoon's activity.