Your cottage is fully equipped for Self Catering. The kitchen has both gas and electric cookers and an outside stone braai in the garden. Firewood is supplied for your braai and for the fireplace inside the cottage. However if you are used to lighting charcoal and prefer it, you will need to bring your own. Charcoal is not available in Chimanimani. Fridge, freezer, kettle, toaster and microwave are standard.
Communications: Mobile phone reception is good. Econet, and NetOne are the dominant providers. Wi Fi – Jane has a hotspot on her iphone. You are welcome to connect through this to download your emails. Long sessions on the internet are not offered here.
Mosquitoes: Bring insect repellent for evening times. Chimanimani is considered malaria free but from December to March you may want to avoid lower areas such as Haroni Rusitu and Chipinge if you are concerned. We provide Mosquito nets over your bed to deter bugs attracted by lights.
Power Supply: Bring a torch. Head torches are invaluable tools in Zimbabwe! 220 v. Square pin. Adaptors are available on request. Presently the power supply in Zimbabwe is highly unreliable throughout the country. A good idea to bring some sort of light be it a camping lamp or head torch or both and spare batteries. You are advised to stock up on ice and coldies for your cooler box wherever you can. Recently (Feb 2015) we have had a good run of power – but the rains are likely to change that in December…
Linen and Bath times: Sheets and towels are provided and your cottage is serviced daily if you wish. You do need to bring your own soaps and shampoo. Due to power outages, we utilize a wood boiler. Only alien wattle and gum is burned but even so we try not to waste firewood by having a boiler cooking away all day and night. We want you to enjoy a hot shower or bath whenever you like so please let Jane, Dee or Gettie know if you need hot water during the day – the boiler is generally on by 4pm and the water hot by 6pm for evening showers. If you prefer to bath/shower in the mornings please alert Jane and we will switch to lighting the boiler at 5.00am instead.
Water: Chimanimani water is better than drinkable, it is delicious. However, as with most of Zimbabwe the municipal supply remains erratic. The team at Frog & Fern work on a daily basis keeping full tanks at the cottages but we recommend you carry a 5 litre container for your vehicle and/or walks because you may not always find water elsewhere in the village.
Roads: A good tarred road leads to Chimanimani from Masvingo, Chipinge and Mutare. However once you reach the village be prepared for poor to very poor dirt roads. If you can possibly bring a 4×4 you will be thankful. Frog & Fern is only 2.2km from the tar and locals using robust sedans with reasonable clearance are forced to make this trip daily. Be warned though – there is about 300 metres of road leading up a nasty little hill to Frog & Fern that will require very careful driving – you will find that arriving before dark is a very good plan. ON THIS 300 metre STRETCH EXPECT NO STREET LIGHTS, a rocky surface covered in THICK DUST IN WINTER AND MUD IN SUMMER. Drive slowly up it and you will find the road levels out and the surface improves leading to Frog & Fern another 200 metres later. If you have doubts about your vehicle contact Jane to see what current road conditions are.
There are unlimited lovely walks right from your cottage door – so you need not use your vehicle again until departure. Be forewarned though, if you prefer to drive to any of the sights such as nearby Bridal Veil falls, or Eland Sanctuary, a low slung motor like the Camry, BMW or an SLR will not make for happy driving. So if walking is not your thing, bring a 4×4 – you will be thankful.
Food: Bring your favourite foods… beers and wine. In the village you can buy the absolute basics only. Bring your own braai meat. While beers and soft drinks can be found you are advised to bring your own wine and spirits with you. Eating out can be a dismal experience unless you are particularly fond of sadza and mariwo. Stopping for take away PIZZA in Mutare is not a bad idea if you think you may arrive in Chimanimani too late to get cooking.
If you would like a Breakfast Pack supplied in your cottage just let us know when you book. The Breakfast pack is continental style and self service.
IF ARRIVING AFTER 6pm you need to let Jane know……0775 920440, so that the gate can be unlocked for you.