Climbing Inyangani Mountain

HARARE - Mountain climbing, also known as mountaineering, is one of the most fascinating sports or hobbies in the imposing and scenic Nyanga area.

Climbing the mighty Inyangani Mountain, which is the highest mountain in the country, is a breath-taking experience though challenging.

Inyangani Mountain offers a challenging climb as it boasts of an imposing height of 2 593 metres.
Climbing it requires experience, dedication, zeal, athletic ability and technical knowledge to maintain safety.

Tour guides said the striking mountain cannot be climbed in less than two hours.

“To reach the highest point of Inyangani Mountain where there is a beacon, the journey usually takes about three hours to and from. It is not advisable to climb the mountain after 1200 hours as we fear people might get lost in the mist,” said the tour guide.

Recently the Daily News on Sunday in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority officials joined hands to embark on the not-so-easy task of climbing the gigantic mountain.

We began the journey early in the morning as advised by the responsible authority — National Parks.

Overzealously, the crew began the journey with the same vision of reaching the peak (beacon) as quickly as possible.

The goal was to reset the record of finishing the dreadful journey of three hours in less than an hour.

As usual, the path meanders up the mountain, making it easier for us to climb.

When we covered about a kilometre or so, the zeal parted ways with some of us, thereby we began to rest time and again up the way.

We continued the expedition despite the fact that the gradient was getting steeper, shattering all the hopes of resetting the record as we had agreed before.

As the going got tougher, we soldiered on as the popular cliché which says when the going gets tough the tough get going strengthened us.

As we covered half of the journey, we realised that we had left something crucial — bottled water.

We were so thirsty and fortunately we came across a clear stream that was cascading down the terrain.

The stream came to our rescue and without debating its cleanliness and safety (of the water), we knelt for it and begrudgingly, we continued with our task — everyone was silent by then.

Interestingly, we all managed to reach the beacon though we took longer than the expected time.

While on the top one cannot view clearly the places underneath because of the mist.

Extreme cold temperatures can be felt while on the beacon.

After successfully climbing up and down the mountain we took a rest while enjoying our lunch on the foot of the Inyangani Mountain while discussing our experiences with the adventure.

Nyangani Mountain is associated with a lot of myths, some says it is sacred.

Before we climbed the mountain, we were advised not to show others what you see as you go up and down.
As the discussion went on some people who were part of our entourage revealed that they had seen rocks with human faces as we went up.

“Some of the faces were serious while some were smiling,” they claim.

Nyangani Mountain, which is found in the rich Nyanga National Park, is not the only place of attraction in the area but Nyangombe, Mutarazi, Nyamuziwa, Pungwe gorge and falls, Trout Hatchery, Rhodes Museum and Nyangwe and Chawomera Forts are some of the must–see places.

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