Vumba over looks the town of Manica in Manica Province, Mozambique. It is not a tough climb, really just a steep hike. Views from the top are good, especially if its during a time when the air is clear. Manica is about 15 km from the border with Zimbabwe.
To get there, get on the EN 6 also known as the Beira Coridor and head west if your coming from Beira or Chimoio, east if your coming from Zimbabwe. Just west of the main villa of Manica you will see a sign for the Vumba Water Bottling Plant. Turn south on this road and follow it back past the plant till it ends. From here you will be hiking on old roads made back in the portuguese area. When this road dead ends you will need to take a bush trail that departs from the left side of the turn around.
You may run into problems with the guards for the Vumba plant. THe plant is very protective of the springs. You can ask permission at the plant and they will send a guard with you. I, however would not ask permission, the people who work at the plant don´t understand why you would want to climb the mountain. As a result things get confusing and complicated. If you just start hiking chances are nobody will stop you and nobody will care. Just tell them, "Eu Passaer na montanha so."
There are a number of places to stay in Manica, The Flamingo, Manica Lodge, Motel Guida. All offer basic acomidations with Manica lodge being the best. All three also have resturants. For those inclined to pitch a tent, you could do it just about anywhere outside the city.
I went up Vumba twice while I worked in Manica this August. The permission can be obtained on a weekday from the plant and they will send a guard with you. However you can just head up the hill and bribe the guards (or not) with cigarettes, bread, or cash. The steep trail referred to starts after the guard shack to the left. Continue up the road a few hundred meters, then veer left on a large rutted side road which is a few hundred meters then right on the next road for a 1/2K or so and the road goes left and the trail goes right. The trail is obvious. Follow this trail for about a K or less and just when it dips down into the canyon to the springs you will see a trail to the right. This is the trail to the top. Steep but easy. If you want a Class 2 with some 4 point hand holds continue on down the trail into the canyon to the water spring filter structure, then up again to a trail, turn right for about 10 meters where you find another use trail that takes you to a saddle. Then left again up the second hill, down into the next saddle, which requires a tiny bit of bushwhacking, then up again to the exposed flank of Vumba. Work your way up the flank on the slabs. About an hour or less to the top. Great mountain, but really only worth the trail hike.
Posted Aug 26, 2009 4:08 pm
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