By Norma Tsopo
CHIMANIMANI – Tourist magnet Bridal Veil Falls survived Tropical Cyclone Idai triggered landslides that ravaged the mountainous region of Chimanimani after the Category Three storm dumped record rains that scared its scenic topography.
There had been concerns that the tourist resort may have lost its jewel as the slides were commonplace in the wake of the violent winds and over 600 mm of rain lashed it in 48 hours.
The bridal veil shaped 50-metre water drop still stands in majesty, albeit in a slightly altered landscape after a section of the cliff over which it plunges was disturbed.
Its mermaid pool – reputedly home to a water nymph, appears slightly enlarged from the huge volume of water they went down with the river escape from it now rocky after being stripped bare of soil and vegetation cover.
“The falls are still stunning though the vegetation is cleared off the rocks. Downstream river is transformed…nature will take care of this,” Chimanimani Tourist Association (CTA) secretary and Frog and Fern proprietor Jane High confirmed.
The 5 km road to the falls is now however completely inaccessible except by foot which High feels ‘should be’.
“It means at last it is back to to the walking destination it should be! Chimanimani is about walking…so now if you want to see this spectacular falls, you walk!” she noted.
Bridal Veil Falls is one of the most beautiful falls in the country – if not the most gorgeous, after Victoria Falls which beats it for size and Mtarazi Falls, the fifth tallest in the world, which peeps it for height.
Birdlife around the falls is glorious. Plants too!
The fresh water stream that forms the falls supplies Chimanimani town of its drinking water just before it cascades down the vertical rock face in a breath-taking cataract.