By Norma Tsopo
Rumours of that Chimanimani’s iconic Bridal Veil Falls had been destroyed in Category Three Tropical Cyclone Idai’s violent storm had brought shock to the region’s tourism operators.
“It would have been like losing the Victoria Falls,” Jane High, who operates Frog and Fern Cottages said.
But her worry was soon replaced by joy after her team of trainee mountain guides sent back images of the falls albeit in a more rugged setting.
She feels they are now even more impressive and is concerned that Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife which manages them will not try too hard to return them to its old looks.
To add to the good news were images of Tessa’s Pool at the foot of Chimanimani Mountains which is another key riverine landscape in the resort region.
Images sent through by Barbara Winterbottom show a hardly changed majestic fall into the pool.
Although vegetation was stripped in both laying bare rocky outcrops these natural wonders have not lost their grandeur.
Both attractions are however not accessible by vehicles for now but Bridal Veil Falls is and has ever been a joy to access by foot to most tourists.
It will need the bridges that were swept away from Chimanimani to Outward Bound Training Camp where Tessa’s Pool is to be repaired for it to be fully accessible.
Chimanimani Tourist Association (CTA) have now launched a campaign to present the new look natural landscape to visitors across the globe in the aftermath of the violent storm that did more damage to the people and infrastructure.
Official figures still place the death toll at under 300 with over 300 still being classified as missing more than two weeks after the cyclone barreled through the mountainous region triggering dozens of landslides and flooding rivers.
Business centres that were sitting on river confluences like Peacock business centre and Kopa growth point were completely razed washing away over 200 people.
But its natural features remain and offer those who remain an opportunity to start rebuilding their lives in a landscape that retained its beauty but bears the pain and sorrow of those that survived.