National Geographic and Lonely Planet named Zimbabwe as one of their top ten countries to visit in 2019. This does not come as a surprise to many Zimbabweans as it is home to some of the best tourist destinations in Africa with an amazing safari experience and a natural world wonder- the Victoria Falls. While Zimbabwe is particularly known for the these two, the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe lies an undiscovered gem that is Honde Valley. This part of the Eastern Highlands is usually overlooked, but should not be ignored. Eager to explore this part of the country, we set to unearth this hidden gem during the annual Mountains and River Festival hosted by Far and Wide Zimbabwe at Aberfoyle lodge.
For the next two days, we traversed and explored the town of Honde Valley, which stretches from the Eastern border of Zimbabwe into Mozambique. From Harare (the capital city), it took us five hours to arrive at our destination. The road trip down to Honde Valley was therapeutic, driving through this untouched and picture-square land, and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It had large pine trees, narrow roads and fresh air that came from the forest, making us inhale every moment and absorb the beautiful scenery.
We arrived at Aberfoyle lodge after hitting a couple of potholes; a lesson learnt to use high ground clearance vehicles! Upon arrival, we set up our tent and prepared a quick dinner because we were exhausted from the drive, and also had a full day of adrenaline packed activities the next day. Our stay was at a beautifully shaded campsite next to a water stream that connects to the Nyangombe River and overlooks the tea plantations. And for those who weren’t keen on camping, Aberfoyle also had a beautiful lodge big enough to accommodate larger families to couples. Dinner was a quick meal of burgers and a Mediterranean salad, simple but filling enough to refuel our energy for the following day.