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Friday, May 10, 2013

Hiking in the Chimanimani mountains

Hiking in the Chimanimani mountains
We are sorry that Mike Wilson and his party had their packs stolen on our special mountain.
Last year 4 packs were stolen from a Peterhouse group, and the previous year an Outward Bound instructor lost his pack.
These incidents are taken very seriously by all of us on the ground.
Our battle with gold panners and trespassers in the National Park is on going.
Following this latest incident, 4 panners were picked up and subsequently a further 10 arrests have been made.
The penalty for panning has changed from a $20 deposit fine to a mandatory 2 years imprisonment. The police are acting promptly and the first 4 have been sentenced. 
No stolen property was found on those arrested. Savvy gold panners know that it is not worth their while to mess with tourists because every incident results in a clean up operation.
Outward Bound uses the mountain extensively. No longer are packs cached unattended and care is taken not to leave tents/caves unattended at campfire times.
No theft has occurred since these precautions were instituted.
National Parks has at least 3 armed Rangers stationed up on the Bundi at all times. It is advisable for hikers to obtain their cell numbers from the base when checking in, informing them of routes and intended campsites.
Packs may be left with them or at the hut which has lockable storage--take your own padlock.
Chimanimani National Park is a precious and magnificent national assetWe want to keep it safe and welcoming to all who wish to experience this unique environment.

For interest : National Parks have rebuilt the road to Pork Pie and intend to grade the Bridal Veil and Base Camp roads shortly.
The rondavels at Bridal Veil are being rethatched.
The Hut will be painted and refurbished this winter.
The 50 year old ram pump is a challenge, but local residents help to maintain it.
Outward Bound is trained and equipped for mountain rescue and has emergency procedures in place.

Kwanele Manungo --  National Parks Area Mananger
Jane High-- Chimanimani Tourist Association
Dave Meikle-- Outward Bound Mountain School.

Readers Comment - Just got back last nite. all things situation normal! Obviously a once off incident.
The Hut was it's normal self and NO mess around the place. yes, pump broken but then water can be collected from the river where the pump is.
Beautiful  Days & Nights!!

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