IF RWANDA had Hotel Rwanda to offer refuge to citizens who were being persecuted during one of the ugliest episodes of its history then Zimbabwe should equally value its hospitality industry for having been there for the people when Cyclone Idai ravaged the Eastern Highlands.
Local hoteliers’ unsolicited help in the face of the worst natural disaster in the southern hemisphere was a demonstration of their true, loving and caring nature.
The violent storm that damped record rains which triggered massive landslides and floods that razed entire settlements killing over 400, destroying millions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure and over 15 000 livestock—washing away the livelihoods of those who survived, revealed what value these investors have in a com-munity.
It demonstrated that they are not only hospitable for profit. Their generosity is inherent – an indelible part of who they are.
It was a demonstration of the love and care that this great country has been celebrated for.
Chimanimani hotel owner and proprietor Mandla Mataure opened the door to the traumatized and rain-soaked locals who had lost everything in deadly mudslides that killed tens of their neighbours and left hundreds injured.
Doug Van De Ruit and Tempe, who own Chimanimani Farm House, housed two South African tourists who had been caught up in the area and helped bring in the first helicopter that gave insight into the extent of the damage and was central to the overall emergency search, rescue and relief efforts.
The upmarket but rustic Frog and Fern Cottages suspended all business and continue to only house volunteers working on relief efforts. Others too gave everything to the effort.
As Chimanimani Tourist Association, they are on the frontline of relief efforts as they rebuild homes, careers and lives particularly in the worst affected parts of the region.
In this light, we are running a special edition to help them back on their feet by showing the world what great treasure this region is. By coming to explore the region and enjoy their hospitality, you will be giving a hand. Its unique wildlife, pristine forests, iconic landscape and wonderous riverine attractions survived the storm.