A Tourist Disappeared from Mount Nyangani in Zimbabwe

The western routes, which almost everyone uses, are through pleasant grassland and light mountain scrub. Yet straying from the path can be dangerous. The tourist path up the western side of the mountain follows the Nyamuziwa River, and is a very attractive walk, with the little river and its waterfalls to the north of the path. But as anyone who has strayed to refill a water bottle or just to have a look can tell you, there are a lot of very deep narrow cuts in the ground near this river.

Even in daylight, it can be dangerous if the rock is wet from the spray from the falls. And at night, or when that fog suddenly descends as a cloud collides with the mountain, it is easy to understand how people can disappear, swallowed up by the ground. National Parks do a lot. People are warned, and warned repeatedly, not to stray from the path and not to try and rush down if they cannot see. There are notices telling you not to ascend after certain times because you cannot get down in daylight.

There is a proposal to fence off the path so that walkers are kept away from all danger but the worry is, the fencing would destroy the joy of the climb to the plateau.

Generally, it should be noted that tourists can only climb Nyangani safely only if they sensibly follow the rules and escorted by the experts. Most do, sticking to the well-marked path and, if they want to move off for a rest and a sit-down, simply having company and keeping a good look-out where they are going.

Mountain climbing is a wonderful activity and a high level of fitness is needed and it should be led by experts as it is challenging. Therefore, however, is hoping to climb mountains that need adequate preparation and should be ready to follow the instructions.