Chimanimani attracts the passionate, the purists, the decent and the beautiful!! (And even a few Flower Children!!)
This quaint, extraordinary area, boasting incredible scenery, magnificent mountains, fantastic flora and charming obsolescence, is a haven for special people.
Over the past years, Nyahodi has been the home for people with a yearning, people with warmth and enthusiasm for existence, people who eat, drink and think nature .
The Bird People, The Aloe People, The Tree People, The Frog People, The Butterfly People and The Mountain People all gather in Chimanimani to indulge their dreams and their hobbies.
We were there this weekend with some intrepid 'Butterfly People' - people whose passion is to collect only the best of this incredible creature.
They are extremely correct in their collecting, 'catch and release' is a firm part of their regimen. Of the countless butterflies they will catch on an expedition into the forests, most are carefully and gently released, and only one or two prize and perfect specimens are collected for posterity.
Each faultless specimen is preserved gently in the freezer in a tiny container, jealously guarded and treasured, until it's time to mount them, tenderly, fiercely protectively, in a specially constructed glassed showcase. Once carefully pinioned, only then can one marvel at their magnificence, their brilliant colours, their exquisite form and their diminutive glory.
Conversations centre around these beautiful creatures. We found out many observations and facts about butterflies that we never ever realised for example - how they love and will only respond to the sun, one seldom sees a butterfly on an overcast day. Their personas only respond to sun rather like solar energy. Gotta love those Butterfly People. They pay more attention to their butterfly bait of overripe bananas and sugar, than they do to their own morning muesli!!
Nyahodi is glorious right now. No need to leap around the forest wielding a cumbersome butterfly net - one can sit on the deck and watch a profusion of exotic butterflies seeking pollen right there on the garden hedge!! Without moving from one's chair one can observe a multitude of birds, even uncommon visitors like the Variable Sunbird and Gurney's Sugarbird! A nature lovers paradise!!
Chimanimani boasts a unique climatic microcosm that houses so many unique and special species, birds, wildflowers, rocks, amphibians, butterflies, plants and even people!!
Folk travel great distances to enjoy and covet these extraordinary delights , Chimanimani is indeed Zimbabwe's best kept secret!!
The African Child
I was born, grew and flourished in a tawny golden bowl
Of Africa, among ramparts of tumbled granite rocks,
Where antelope passed in painted frieze
Under a pale bleached sky, eagles floating;
A sky that turned torrid and flaming at day's end,
Then filled with pinpricks of glacial light -
The Southern Cross spread constant across the sky
As the world turned childhood slow in the indigo night.
I tumbled breathless, tear-streaked and dusty,
From rough-coat, bony bongolo/donkeys,
Feet pricked by paper thorns, devil thorns,
Arms scratched and bare - never thought to wear shoes.
Africa tripped me over, thumped me, loved me,
Washed me in warm brown flowing rivers,
Sandbars rising, sinking, slow windmill
Turning, clanking, tangling my heart,
Caught for all time in the wait-a-bit thorns.
I will never be free, though the grey loerie
Calls 'Go 'way, go 'way' and I did.
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
- Jane Goodall -