The Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe holds some of the country’s best kept secrets, yet it remains largely out of the tourist’s eye. With cascading waterfalls, towering mountains and winding rivers, it calls to every individual with an adventurous spirit.
The Mutarazi Falls
The Mutarazi Falls is the highest waterfall in Zimbabwe and the second highest in Africa and 6th in the world. It falls roughly 762m, from top to bottom, in various stages. The longest stage consists of a 450m drop into the Honde Valley. The falls can be found in the small Mutarazi National Park which joins the larger Nyanga National Park, which was one of the first National parks to be declared in the country. For years, the full extent of the natural phenomenon has been hidden from view, often leaving visitors slightly disappointed.
The idea behind the Sky Walk and Zipline was the brainchild of Far and Wide Zimbabwe, a company that has dedicated itself to leading thousands of young and old Zimbabweans to a deeper appreciation and understanding for the natural world. Having bordered the Mutarazi National Park for over 30 years, visited and supported it, the company decided something was needed to help people appreciate and value the falls more as well as uplift the area. The result was the Sky Walk and Sky Line.
The company insisted the design must be as environmentally friendly as possible, involve the local community to build, and have a minimalistic appearance. The bridges are made entirely out of steel, cable and wood, with a small concrete anchor on each side. As much material as possible was sourced from local businesses, while the design, engineering and construction was all contracted to local Zimbabwean companies. Each platform was made off site and assembled on site to avoid damage to the environment. No cars or trucks were brought to site, rather opting to hand carry everything down. This allowed for more employment, less environmental damage and, as a result, makes the project very special. The cables were hand-pulled and then physically winched into place, an achievement not thought possible by many. Every detail of the project was meticulously thought out and has taken 4 years from conceptualization to fruition to ensure the project was worthy of the magnificent waterfall it is designed to protect.
The result is truly spectacular and must be seen to be believed.
The feeling of walking on air, 450m above the ground, or flying 500m above the ground at 70km/h, for a distance of 400m, over what must be one of the world most spectacular waterfalls, is truly uplifting and should be on everyone’s bucket list. No picture can capture the moment and no video will ever be able to express the feeling – you must experience it for yourself.
The company hopes that the project will uplift the whole of the eastern highlands and mark it out as a must-see destination for all tourists. The project will give Zimbabweans another reason to be proud of their natural wonders, country and its people. It is truer now than ever that the natural world is more valuable than the sum of its parts.
Let’s go now!
The Sky Walk and Sky Line is open to the public in just in time for the festive season. It should be on everyone’s travel plans and Far and Wide can’t wait to welcome you.