Article by Ashleigh Whaley
Nyanga, Zimbabwe our highlands getaway for relaxation and adventure.  Our outdoor loving kids just thrive in the highlands of Nyanga, and it most certainly brings out their adventurous spirit. With its undulating landscape, Nyanga is an adventure child’s paradise. It gives them the freedom to explore outdoors, whilst enjoying all nature has to offer. As parents we encourage our children to be independent, and to enjoy outdoor activities. They need to learn to be responsible, through constant discipline and an understanding of the boundaries they cannot cross This year the car was loaded up with bicycles, wet suits, snorkels, goggles and all sorts of sports equipment. It is a six-hour drive from the farm to the mountains, with one essential stop along the way, to buy awesome pies from the Surrey Shop.

The first morning, Paula Joy and Murray John were up at 5 am, equipped with their rain jackets, as they headed out on their bicycles to explore the Troutbeck resort. A few hours later we spotted them canoeing across the dam!

Once they had returned for breakfast it was time to head off to play 18 holes of golf. Golf at Troutbeck always turns into a competitive outing and gives us the chance to enjoy the natural beauty around the course.  Baboons are often spotted on the course, usually loitering around the greens, which is always cause for some amusement.

The following day, again the children were up early, all kitted out in their wetsuits, goggles and flippers as they headed off to explore the small dam in front of the lodge looking for lost golf balls in the freezing dam water. This golf ball hunt turned out to be a three hour long early morning activity! We eventually joined them to discover that not even one ball had been found in the depths of the lake! However, the joy our children have in packing up and heading off on these explorations, to return later, full of stories, just makes us smile.

Nyanga also gives us quality time together, as parents. We are able to head off on long walks together, around one of the resort dams. It is not often that we get time alone to just relax and chat. The next day, after another late breakfast, a new adventure began, with bicycle explorations around the dams and over all the bridges. Usually there is the odd tumble off the bikes, but that is all part of life as the children learn from experience. One particular day’s tumble resulted in some grass burns and bruises, but nothing too serious.

After lunch one day, a fun tennis match was held on one of the old courts at the hotel. Children in Zimbabwe learn that they rarely get to play tennis on perfect courts but it does not seem to deter them from the love of the game.
After lunch one day, a fun tennis match was held on one of the old courts at the hotel. Children in Zimbabwe learn that they rarely get to play tennis on perfect courts but it does not seem to deter them from the love of the game.

One afternoon the rain arrived, much to the children’s delight, as they were able to put their new rain suits to use. This wet afternoon turned out to be another rowing boat adventure around the dam in the pouring rain! This activity we parents observed from the comfort of our lodge.

Everyone’s golf improved throughout the week, which was one of the ideas behind the trip. Each day golf was played, as the children tried their best to beat their father. The walk around the course is not easy, as half of it is uphill. Added to this already tiring activity is the golf cart pulling, which gives one a great workout! Golf Driving across the Dam. One golfing skill the children work on at Troutbeck, is using the driver club to hit balls across the dam and onto the green. This is a big golf test for the children. They are most determined to achieve this goal and quite often they do. However, the odd ball is now sitting at the bottom of the dam, for them to try and recover on our next trip!Horse Riding. After looking at the Troutbeck resort horses for a few days, the children begged us for a ride.  You would think that, with all the riding they do at home, they would not want to ride on holiday! In the end we decided that a fun horse ride, through the pine tree forests, would be a new experience.  The children and I headed off for an outride through the forests and up to the lookout point. Resort horses are so different from our own horses, however we soon taught them how to jump over stumps and we proceeded to have a race up the golf fairway.  That was just so much fun and we filled the air with shrieks of laughter! Evening Fires. Nyanga calls for fires in the evening, even in March, when the rest of Zimbabwe is still very warm. Fire making is a novelty for the children and one they so enjoy. They have now both perfected the art of fire lighting, after many failed attempts. Sadly, it was soon time to head home, with our lovely experiences and many adventure stories.   We shall certainly return next year, to create new memories and to further enjoy this lovely, peaceful place!

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