The hill of Ngomakurira

2012.10.29 08:06:48 by andy category : travel Tags :Ken Ngomakurira Travel Zimbabwe

This entry is from Ken’s blog, “Tokyo Life”

The hill of Ngomakurira

Last time I visited Zimbabwe in June, the guide who showed me through Matobo National Park recommended that I visit the hill of Ngomakurira the next time I was in Harare…so I decided to go! The hill is located a little over 30km away from the town.
With just about half a page on it on “Lonely Planet,” this location is not a common tourist destination. According to a passing Zimbabwean, “ngoma” is “drums” and “kurira” is “sound.” On Lonely Planet it mentions that the hill is named after the sound of drums during festivals, and tourists are prohibited from entering the most sacred tunnels.

Climbers use the arrows painted on rocks to find the route. Harare itself is located at an altitude of 1,500m, while the summit of the hill is 1,653m. I was breathing pretty heavily by the time I reached the top.

On the way to the summit, there are occasionally ancient wall paintings left by long ago residents.

It is hard to tell from the pictures, but it is quite a steep decline to reach the entrance to the tunnels. It seems like a fatal drop, so I would warn anyone afraid of heights away from coming. I usually don’t get frightened, but I did get a little nervous climbing down. In another country it might have been prohibited so that the park would not have to be responsible for people getting hurt, but here you can go and be responsible for yourself.

Inside the caves there is a giant yellow elephant painting. The man in this picture is another first timer at the Ngomakurira hills, from Zimbabwe. I traveled down the slope with him. A little while after we started, he had returned to the top to leave his luggage so that he wouldn’t drop them down the slope.

A view from the top. There was some haze today, but it is still a great view. You can’t quite understand the scale from just a photograph.

This hill is still a sacred place, and there were some who had come to pray or pay respects. The one who was yelling “God and Jesus! Open my spiritual mind!” was not a follower of a local religion, I suppose…And of course not too far away is a group of Zimbabweans barbequing.

I will probably be sore tomorrow…


Author: This article is originally in Japanese, from Ken’s blog『Tokyo Life』

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