The Chinhoyi Caves consist of a system of tunnels, dark caverns & sunlit pools. Explore The Wonder Hole, a large collapsed cavern whose walls drop vertically down into the depths of the unbelievably blue and crystal clear Sleeping Pool.
It was believed that prior to that the Caves were being used as a stronghold by an outlaw called Nyamakwere who murdered many victims by throwing them into the “Silent Pool”.
The notorious Nyamakwere was eventually defeated and killed by a Headman called Chinhoyi who became a Mashona Chief, hence the name Chinhoyi given to the nearby town.
Chief Chinhoyi and his followers used the Caves as a refuge from raiding tribes such as the Matebele. Until a few years ago the remains of Chief Chinhoyi’s grain bins could be seen in some of the underground passages.
The area close to the caves was first declared a National Monument and in 1957 it was declared a National Park with its existing boundaries. It was then redesignated as a Recreational Park in 1975.
The Caves consist of a system of tunnels and caverns. This system is a dying one (in geological time spans), in that they are slowly collapsing.
These collapses can be noticed by the sink holes and depressions within the surrounding area. The Wonder Hole, which is the main feature of the Caves, is in fact a “swallow hole” or a large cavern with a collapsed roof.
The walls or sides of the Wonder Hole drop vertically down for 150 feet to the Sleeping Pool. The pool is unbelievably blue and crystal clear which reflects great depth and non-flowing water.
Exploration by the Zimbabwe Sub-Aqua Speleological Research Group has revealed that the depth of the water in the Sleeping Pool varies between 80 metres and 91 metres.
This fluctuation in depths is attributable to the amount of rainfall received in a particular season. Several under water passages have been found leading from the Sleeping Pool, but all those so far explored lead back into the Pool.
Near the end of the Dark Cave is a small cavern accessible only to diver known as the Blind Cave. A second one connects with the Sleeping Pool 58 metres below the surface and the third one is yet to be fully explored.
The Park’s flora is made up largely of indigenous species and a few exotics. In the indigenous group, there are: Mukwa (pterocarpus angolencis), Cape Fig (ficus capensis), Combretum species, Terminalia species, Msasa (brachystegia), Violet tree (securidaca longipediculata), Yellow wood (monotas glaber) and Pink Jacaranda (stereospermum).
Although birds are not numerous, there is a wide variety of species, especially during the dry months of winter. The Park’s bird diversity includes the Arnot’s Chat, Angola Rock Thrush, Mocking Chat, Large Striped Pipit, Woodpecker species, Black Tit, Redwing Starling, Batis, Flycatcher, Penduline Tit, Glossy Starling, Bat Hawk, Tree Creeper, Familiar Chat, Paradise Flycatcher and other species.
There are virtually no large animals in the Park. However, monkeys, baboons, bush pigs and rock hares can occasionally be sighted.
- Photographing – scenic photographs can be taken from the Viewpoint of the Wonder Hole
- Exploring the caves
- Leisurely strolls in the Park
Where to stay
Meikles Hotel is situated in the heart of Harare and overlooks the historic landmark and colourful flower gardens of Africa Unity Square.
The gracious charm, vibrant culture and silver service showcased at this legendary establishment have earned its reputation as Zimbabwe’s premier hotel.
Its famous five star hotel has been renowned for providing a very special brand of service. The smartly-turned out, professional and welcoming staff, meticulous attention to detail, the grand piano being quietly played to guests relaxing over coffee and cakes, indulgent spa treatments and world-class facilities are all hallmarks of the hotel.
Security is a priority, with the hotel and its guests protected around the clock by electronic surveillance systems and by uniformed security personnel.
With two luxurious multi-storey wings, offset to give the north-facing rooms of both wings breath-taking panoramic views of Africa Unity Square, Meikles is a favorite amongst business and leisure travelers to Harare.
Interconnecting rooms are available in the South Wing with inter-leading doors to create family suites. There are twelve floors of non-smoking rooms as well as rooms for guests with special physical needs. From the 306 rooms, there is something to appeal to every kind of guest.
Holiday Inn Harare
Situated in the centre of Zimbabwe’s capital city, with parks, shopping centres, cinemas and various other attractions within close proximity, this hotel’s comfortable accommodation and superb hospitality will ensure you have a pleasant stay.
This well laid out 201-roomed hotel is ideally located on the perimeter of the city’s central business district making it an oasis of comfort and tranquillity in the busy capital.
Ample, secure guest parking gives the option of driving or taking the short walk to the city centre with its many attractions.
The Vumba Restaurant, adjoining the swimming pool area, offers buffet-style meals which guests can make as quick or as relaxing as they wish.
Breakfast, from full-English to Continental, is a speciality and is designed to nurture and sustain guests who are leaving for another destination or just exploring Harare and its environs. Holiday Inn Harare takes the traditional view of breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Crowne Plaza Monomotapa
Situated in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city, Crowne Plaza Monotapa combines the magical splendor of the ancient Munhumutapa Royal Empire with modern day palatial comfort.
The hotel is centrally located with all rooms overlooking Harare’s Central Park. Located 0.1km from the country’s main financial and corporate district and boasting an array of fully equipped conference rooms, Crowne Plaza Monomotapa is the ideal choice for business & conference
The ranch-house style Silver Spur Restaurant offers traditional table service with a range of dishes spanning Tex-Mex to Italian pizza as well as the traditional succulent steaks, and is a big favourite with families.
Expert staff will always find a table in a quiet nook in the expansive restaurant for those wishing a quieter atmosphere or a break from the children.
Standing proudly against the Harare skyline, its unique concave shape reflects all the splendour of the ancient Royal Munhumutapa Kingdom, and draws on that legendary African civilization for its name, Monomotapa. Crowne Plaza epitomises the hotel’s global links and standards as part of the Intercontinental Hotels stable.
As befits a major landmark in Zimbabwe’s capital city, the combination of the trademark and African Sun welcome with world-class standards of products and service creates a haven for the business traveler or pleasure seeker right in the heart of the commercial and entertainment district.
Overlooking the city, its mix of twin rooms, king leisure rooms and luxurious suites enjoy panoramic views of Harare, right on the doorstep of the city’s Central Park and Gardens. Zimbabwe’s National Gallery is a five-minute walk away and the renowned Botanical Gardens a short 10-minute drive.
The newly-refurbished foyer with its rich African décor welcomes guests with the Gazebo Coffee Lounge adjacent to the reception area, and guest services staff ready to deal with all enquiries and requests.
Appetites large and small are well catered for with the Park-view Brasserie’s light and airy ambience complementing its buffet-style breakfasts, lunches and dinners. A wide choice of traditional and Western dishes is guaranteed to satisfy guests whatever their tastes may be.
Harare Safari Lodge
On the banks of Zimbabwe’s well known man-made Lake Chivero 40 km form Harare the Capitol city of Zimbabwe lies Harare Safari Lodge, one of the country`s famous grand lodges. With commanding views of the lake.
lodge offers a truly unique and remarkable safari experience boasting of its spectacular lake views. It has been tastefully equipped in an ethnic style to compliment the natural ambience of Africa.