Ascent of Inyangani on 2018-01-26

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Adrian Rayner
Pete Ellis
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, January 26, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
    Elevation:8504 ft / 2592 m

Ascent Trip Report

A two day trip tacked onto a Tanzania trip, rental car, easy 4hr drive from Harare, easy 3hr hike, mandatory guide. There's lodge accommodation within the park at around 60USD per night for 4 people, although not realising this we had booked a (shabby overpriced) hotel in Nyanga. Probably best to arrange when you arrive. Zim a nice place to visit, with Pres. Mugabe recently gone, dodgy police road blocks also gone.

We had (foolishly) booked two nights in a Nyanga hotel, but Ethiopian cancelled our Harare flight at short notice, presumably due to lack of passengers, so we arrived 1430 instead of 0100. Visa on Arrival very easy: $55 payment, nice full page visa in our passports and we're in. Rental car (Honda CRV) from ZimEasyDrive: Rosie has arranged a shuttle van to take us to their house. With the delay we've insufficient time to get to our booked hotel (best to avoid driving in dark - animals in road etc), so spent first night in Marondera (Roa's place), 1 hour east of Harare, via AirBNB, easily arranged at short notice, nice place, interesting learning of life in Zim so soon after the end of Mugabe's presidency, fair bit of optimism around. Pair of Grey heron in nearby treetop seem set to keep us awake with their chattering, but settle down OK.

Next morning the remaining 3hr drive to trailhead. Roads generally well maintained. Razor wire protecting the better houses the norm. Railway crossings unprotected, Give way to Trains the general rule! Landscape very green despite drought, quite a contrast to Tanzania's more arid landscape. Frequent granite tors. The former police road blocks have largely gone; we're not stopped once.

Zimbabwe general photos

Around Juliasdale, road quite badly potholed for a short stretch, but generally good. Becomes more mountainous, and misty. Soon turn R on road signed National Park office, at gate we pay $10 each plus $3 for car, told ascents not allowed in misty or rainy conditions like this.... Gate already open at 0830, closes 4pm. Cross bridge and turn R again, stop at park reception office/shop for free map of park (lodge accommodation here too, could be best option). Sign up for guide, then drive remaining 14km of dirt road, 2wd OK with care. There's a loop drive: we go anticlockwise: our return route is slightly better: my posted GPS track goes that way. We catch up with guide (Stewart) just before trailhead and give him a lift, seems he's there every day, guiding people, catching people trying to climb unguided, presumably other duties. Knows animal life very well. Trailhead has toilets and another small building. Quail calling and herd of wildebeest near road. Windy with low cloud as we arrive, but starts lifting, becoming nice sunny day, guide has no qualms about an ascent, he has no coat even.

Good trail all the way, marked with cairns and painted arrows, hard to believe people disappear on the route, seems local belief that apparitions are sometimes seen on route and these account for disappearances; we're told if we see such things not to mention or photograph them! Good route for wildlife: baboon, stonechat, bushbuck, klipspringer, kudu; impressive array of flowers, I think guide mentions 1000 species in the Park. Route levels off, easy ridge walk with boulders, outcrops and slabs. Summit marked by battered old cylindrical trig pillar (S18.30066° E32.84181°, 2593m
by GPS), looks British design, Vanessa/Brander style (unclear if it had an OS style spider fixing for survey instrument, but appears not).

We're up in 1h30, 15mins on top, down in 1hr, without rushing (guide charge is $5/hour payable at office). Close view of a lone waterbuck on drive out, also explore a small traditional village with circular huts, and the swimming pool which is just a natural pool below some falls with a shingle beach.

Having a few hours spare we visit two waterfalls. Mutarazi Falls is claimed as third/4th highest in Africa, 17th in world. Very impressive cliffs, but falls not so dramatic, perhaps due to the current drought. Quite a long drive on sometimes rough dirt roads, barely worth the effort? Nyangombe Falls more impressive although not particularly tall - and quite easy to reach - turn R on main road towards Nyanga, in 2km take wide dirt road L (park staff can advise).

Zimbabwe waterfalls photos

Anglers Rest Hotel in Nyanga overnight, shabby, overpriced but met our needs. Next morning beautifully sunny, troop of baboons seen crossing road near Nyanga, 3.5hr drive back to Harare for our flight back to UK, happy with our 6 ultra prominent summits in two weeks.

Spent a spare hour investigating summits in NW Harare. Possible city HP is a rocky summit above a covered water reservoir above a cemetery. Hand-levelling the other candidates, the only higher one I could find was due N of Charles Prince airport.

Warren Hills Lat -17.83154 Lon 30.97245 1545gps, above covered water resr, above Cemy

Higher is Lat -17.68943 Lon 30.94097, 1590co N of Charles Prince airport

1540co nr 3rd Close Lat -17.79202 Lon 30.93821 a few m lower

1530co Lat -17.84199 Lon 30.96113 a few m lower
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1483 ft / 452 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1483 ft / 452 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Start Trailhead:7021 ft / 2140 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 

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