Amazing, amazing eastern highlands of Zimbabwe

Trip Start Sep 25, 2006
Trip End Apr 01, 2007

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Flag of Zimbabwe  ,
Friday, November 17, 2006

Came in from Mozambique, over the border to the third largest city called Mutare. Money changers were all over the place when we got closer to the border. I changed a bit, got only a medium good rate. Takes some time before you get the hang of it. I also had some problems at the Forbes Road border post. Almost not granted visa into the country. My advice would not argue too much with the officers. They may be having a bad day!

Very colonial type of city, not the organically grown African cities (read chaotic) you find other places. Looks beautiful, and you cant really tell that the country is totally screwed up. Of course you get an idea when you talk to the taxi drivers just over the border, but on the surface it looks like the country is functioning normally. The supermarkets seem to be fully stocked, except from flour and cooking oil. BUT 95 % of the population can't afford to shop there. When they make 4-6 dollars a MONTH, then only the basic basic is what they can afford! Imagine, 4-6 dollars a MONTH...

Katrin (my fellow traveller from UK/Germany/France) and I stayed at Anne Bruce. She (not Katrin) was quite a character, and the stay there was pleasant. Delicious breakfast :-)

The I travelled to Vumba, up in the Eastern Highlands. Hitchhiked the 30 km, 4 different cars were friendly enough to stop. Vumba is around 2000 meter high. Called the misty mountains due to the mist in the morning. Fantastic, lush, dense vegetation and world class bird life apparently. Had 3 wonderful days there, playing golf, riding and just reading and relaxing. Highly recommended! Check out Leopard Rock Hotel and golf course. Wow. One of the clear highlights of my trip.

Also got to know one of the ladies working at Hivu Nursery, as well as her daughter. Learnt a lot about the hardship they are facing, and also about the history of Zimbabwe the last 20 years. I gave a donation to her and her family, hoping that it might help getting the daughters educated.

Note 24 February 2007: I have met several travellers the last 3 months that find it strange that I went to Zimbabwe and in that way support the regime of Mugabe. I get REALLY upset when these view come across. Why should the people suffer even more by us staying away with our needed money? How should people see the real state of Zimbabwe if they are not travelling there? People suffer enough and if they can get some money to get buy, maybe they will survive to see a better leader appear.
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