My Visitation to Chinhoyi Caves – Zimbabwe

10 years back, I decided to visit the amazing Chinhoyi Caves but it was adventurous to move through the caves. Whenever you enter this these cave, you come out fresh and re-thinking about Zimbabwe’s geomorphological splendor. It is hard to explain the feeling. To that note, the caves are worth visited by tourists.

The Chinhoyi Caves always emit an aura of myth and mystery that would excite and provoke an adrenaline rush in any visitor. Only a few chirping birds give a sign of life to the caves whose dearth of sound is like the innards of a grave! The silence as one descends into the intricate network of caves, is both eerie and profound, yet the grottos and the huge sleeping pool form a spectacular combination in which reality defies existing tourism hyperbole. It is a geomorphologic spectacle whose grandeur Zimbabwe has done little to market for international tourism recognition.

The caves are grossly under-marketed and they have largely remained an untapped tourist attraction, except for a few people who trickle there. When climbing down the steep granite steps it is easy for tourists to imagine approaching an abyss of darkness as light suddenly vanishes. The experience is hair-raising.

Chinhoyi cases are made up of limestone shaft linked by a maze of passages and caves, at the foot of which lies a huge pool whose limpid and translucent gothic water maintains the same level 24 /7. Inexplicably, the water defies common meteorological logic by remaining at the same temperature of 22 degrees Celsius 24/7 every second, every minute, every hour, and indeed every day.

It is this deep blue pool beneath the sparkling cobalt stone that is known as the “Sleeping Pool”. Myth and mystery have it that one cannot successfully throw a stone across the seemingly small pool as the sacred spirits that watch over the pool will catch the stone and bestow a curse upon the stone thrower. Oral tradition has it that at the bottom of Sleeping Pool lies immured the bones of fallen Shona tribe heroes who died after being flung in by Nguni tribe raiders in pre-colonial Zimbabwe.

Location of Chinhoyi Caves
The caves are located in Makonde District, Mashonaland West Province, in central, northern Zimbabwe. They lie approximately 9 kilometers (5.6 mi), by road, northwest of Chinhoyi, the nearest large town, and the location of the district and provincial headquarters. This location lies about 135 kilometers (84 mi), northwest of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, and the largest city in that country. The caves lie on the main road, Highway A-1, between Harare and Chirundu, at the International border with the Republic of Zambia, about 250 kilometers (160 mi), further northwest of the caves.