By Ropafadzo Dunira
Honde Valley is undoubtedly one of the most stunning, peaceful and lively places to explore in the Eastern
Highlands. It offers stunning scenery of the tea estates, tea factory tours, sunset nature walks, excellent birdwatching and great outdoors. Whether it’s a family vacation, honeymoon or group travel, there is always something on offer for you. I have personally been there on a number of occasions and I loved it. It is home to massive banana plantations and avocadoes, with locals always selling along the road to travellers.
TEA ESTATES AND TEA FACTORY TOUR
Honde Valley is well known for the stunning tea estate plantations that belong to Eastern Highlands Plantations Ltd. (EHPL). The meandering road to the tea estates is very accessible with any type of vehicle. The last stretch is a dust road that is approximately 7km and it leads to the Aberfoyle lodge, nestled in the estates. I recommend a tour of the tea estates in the morning, where you will get a chance to learn how fresh leaves are transformed into a cup of tea within 24 hours, it is quite an interesting tour for tea lovers; tea tasting is available at the Wamba Tea Factory. The tour lasts for approximately 1-2 hours. Always book this experience in advance with the management at the factory. They love hosting and educating people about tea processing.
TREE CANOPY TOUR
This is for the adrenalin lovers. Participants go through a number of platforms on this experience which runs along the Nyamkombe river. You can book and pay for this experience in advance with Aberfoyle lodge team.
This is truly an amazing birding paradise where visitors get an opportunity to see and hear sounds of unique bird species that include the Red-faced Crimson wing, Barred Long Tailed Cuckoo, Barratt’s warbler just to mention a few. This experience is best done early morning and always get a guide to accompany you.
SUNSET NATURE WALKS
Undoubtedly the best way to wind off your day especially when you visit in summer. I love these nature walks; they bring some rejuvenation to my life. Walking through the forests, hearing birds singing, watching the sunset in the beautiful tea estates is an unforgettable experience. Pass through the mermaid pool and a waterfall in the forest, lie down and relax.
Those who love sport are in for a treat as they enjoy white water rafting that starts at Pungwe river, fishing at Wamba dam and a challenging 9-hole golf course that awaits you at Aberfoyle lodge.
• Travel during daylight; you wouldn’t want to miss the stunning tea estate views.
• Experiences are mainly outdoor; whether you love adventure or you are in search of relaxation, the terrain requires you to have light weight, multiuse and comfortable walking shoes.
• Select and book your tours in advance to avoid disappointments.
• Bring your own camera to capture the memories.
• Always pack warm clothing for the evenings and lightweight pants for the tours.
• Bring appropriate wear for rafting, kayaking.
• Bring a backpack for nature walks and picnics.
• Book at least 2 nights and 3 days for a great experience.