The Sunday Mail
At 762 metres high, Mutarazi Falls is one of the world’s most beautiful and marvellous natural places to visit.
Cutting through the Mutarazi Gorge in the scenic Honde Valley, the tiered horsetail water fall is the highest in the country and only second to the Tugela Falls of South Africa on the continent.t 762 metres high, Mutarazi Falls is one of the world’s most beautiful and marvellous natural places to visit.
However, despite its astounding expression, Mutarazi Falls’ major drawback until now has been that tourists often get disappointed when they fail to get a closer and clearer view of the water due to lack of safe viewing points.
This is set to become a thing of the past following the construction of two skywalk bridges across the gorge by a local tourism operator, Far and Wide Zimbabwe.
Stretching lengths of 70 and 90 metres respectively, the air-borne craft of plank and rope provides an adrenaline pumping view of the falls and the gorge. Standing in the middle of the bridge, visitors can now have a clearer and closer view.
To add to the adrenaline, a 400-metre long zip line flies from one edge of the gorge to the other. The zip line is touted as the longest in Africa and is also among the world’s longest zip lines.
For a price of $40, both adults and children will have the opportunity to walk across the bridge for approximately 15 minutes while adults will part with $60 for the zip line.
This adds variety to other activities such as river rafting, bugging, kayaking expeditions and mountain biking, among others.
Travel experts believe that thousands of visitors are set to visit the Eastern Highlands to have a feel of the skywalk bridge.
Following his maiden skywalk recently, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer, Dr Karikoga Kaseke endorsed Mutarazi Falls as the go-to local tourism destination for those who want to scale dizzy heights.
“It’s a rare spectacular experience and what is more exciting is that I managed to conquer the fear of heights,” he said.
“The views are magnificent, what a great and unique way to view Mutarazi. I have no doubts that our tourists will definitely fall in love with this new adventure product.”
Observers say the fun, the thrill and the adventure that comes with these new products will change the face of tourism in the Eastern Highlands.
Environmentally conscious tourists are on the increase and the introduction of such products in the country is a positive development set to increase awareness not only of the Eastern Highlands but Zimbabwe as a tourism destination.
The fact that this facility is located at the core of the Nyanga National Park means visitors will have access to first-class accommodation and spend weekends with their families.
Far and Wide Zimbabwe is famously known for its team-building programmes and also provides facilities for corporate outings.
Accommodation ranges from $30 to $100 per individual per night for those who want to spend time in the Honde Valley mountain range.
The other shortcoming which still needs to be addressed, however, is the poor road network which connects Mutarazi to the rest of the country.
A dilapidated gravel road which meanders through the mountains is believed to be impacting negatively on the efforts by the ZTA and other operators to promote the tourism in the area.
Nyanga South legislator Honourable Supa Mandiwanzira has made assurances that efforts will be made to put in place proper road network and infrastructure to help boost activity at Mutarazi.
He said the fact that the road is in deplorable state is an investment opportunity which should be embraced by Zimbabwean entrepreneurs.
“The Eastern Highlands are full of opportunities, especially in the tourism sector as we are endowed with so many beautiful natural places,” he said.
“The construction of the skybridge here is a demonstration of how important value addition is to our natural resources. The aim now is to develop the roads and the infrastructure and I can assure you that the matter will be brought to the attention of Government. But the message that we want to send out there, especially to the people of Zimbabwe, is that they should visit their local resorts and get to know their country.”
Local tourists who were visiting the site said they could not wait to get on the sky bridge. Previously, locals had to travel out of the country to enjoy that experience.
“I didn’t know that we have such beautiful places in our country,” said one visitor.
“We are used to seeing these things on television and I thought it’s something that only exists in foreign countries. I am now convinced that you don’t have to go out of the country to see beautiful places because we already have them here.”