Frequently Asked Questions
Turaco Trail (FAR and WIDE to ABERFOYLE) usually five nights out on the trail wild camping with an additional first and last night at the luxury Mutarazi Cottages, FAR and WIDE Cabins or Falls camp site and Aberfoyle Lodge or Hornbill House. This is a 62km hike in total. There are a number of different route options however: Pungwe Gorge Loop: three nights on the trail. Pungwe Gorge to Mt Nyangani: four to six nights. Pungwe Gorge Loop plus Eastern Ridge: four nights on the trail. We will be happy to customise your hike to fit in with your ability and the time you have available.
The trail is challenging and in parts difficult and generally requires above average fitness. We recommend that some form of training is done before taking on the trail to maximise enjoyment. Age limit is 12 years although younger children and their families can base themselves at the Mutarazi Cottages or Falls camp site and do day trips on the trail to for example the summit of Chikorokoto. So far the trail has been used by hikers training for Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp, school pupils and corporate groups on FAR and WIDE team and leadership training programmes as well as family groups. The trail is open all year round but is limited to 12 participants at a time for self guided groups. Only one group at a time is permitted in any designated wild camp and hikers are allowed to walk the trail in one direction so that you will never see anyone else on the trail except your group. Access to the trail is strictly controlled.
The trail is set in a rugged and inaccessible mountain environment. Hikers are given a detailed pre trail briefing and are required to fill in indemnity forms and trail information such as route details and expected time of return at the trail head at FAR and WIDE before departure. The trail is well mapped with overnight wild camps, perennial water sources all indicated and only requires basic map reading abilities. You will be given a lesson on map reading in your briefing. In addition you may choose to hire a gps with the trail map loaded on. Trail emergency exit points will be shown to you. FAR and WIDE has also installed a radio communications network along the trail with a repeater station to ensure most areas of the trail are covered by radio signal in case of emergencies. FAR and WIDE also offers a professional mountain search and rescue service to guests using the trail. There are few signs on the trail itself as it is a true wilderness trail but it is a very clear path and hikers are required to stay on the trail at all times.
There is a self guided or guided option. Self guided Self guided Trail Fee Residents $20.00 non-residents $28.00 per person per day. (This fee includes National Parks entry fees, wild camping fees and trail fees) Hikers wanting to do the Turaco Trail on their own need only make a booking and arrive at FAR and WIDE the day before departure for a trail briefing and to collect the trail map and permits. Pre and post trail accommodation is provided in the luxury Mutarazi Cottages, FAR and WIDE cabins or camping at the nearby Mutarazi Falls camp site. Vehicles are left safely at FAR and WIDE. If you decide on the self guided option you will need to bring all your own hiking equipment including tents, rucsacs, food, mountain stoves and sleeping bags. We have a recommended list of things you will need to make your experience safe and comfortable which we send out when a reservation is made. Guided Guided Trail Fee residents $20.00 non-residents $28.00 per person per day plus equipment hire, porter fees, guide/chef etc. on a user pay basis (See below for costs of hiring equipment). Keen birders and hikers preferring to carry less of a load have the option of getting FAR and WIDE to provide everything (porters, all mountain equipment, cook/guide) allowing you to enjoy the wondrous sites of the trail, swim in the cool mountain streams along the way or take time out to tick some of the trail rarities without having to carry heavy back packs. Simply arrive at your wild camp each night and relax next to the camp fire before being called when dinner is ready. Then fall asleep to the sounds of the Pungwe River or absolute silence of our wild camp at the top of Zimbabwe! This option also allows less experienced hikers or overseas visitors and tourists to hire equipment (tents, rucsacs, mountain stoves, gps) as well as a guide if needed or desired.
A detailed weather forecast will be discussed with you during your trail briefing. It is a mountain environment and weather can change rapidly. Safety is all important and at times the trail may be closed or you may have to exit the trail if safety is compromised.
The night before we encourage you to stay at Far and Wide. We have 4 options from very basic to luxurious: 1) Camping 2) Basic log cabins 3) Beautiful self catering cottages (Mutarazi cottages, Pamushana, Crimsonwing cottage or the Pungwe Drift cottages) 4) The Luxurious SkyDeck Mountain Retreat (All inclusive) The night after we recommend a night at the beautiful Aberfoyle Lodge (www.aberfoylelodge.com) Email us to make bookings at both ends.
Yes you can. FAR and WIDE has a huge range of suitable equipment for hire including: tents, stoves, fuel bottles, rucsacs, sleeping bags, chairs and camping mats, trekking poles, gps units, radios, maps and compasses. See the Turaco Trail Fees Guide for details. We have professional guides trained and qualified under the British Mountaineering Council. We also have local guides as well as porters to carry your kit if you would like and even chefs to prepare your meals. https://www.turacotrail.co.zw/Turaco-Trail-FEES.pdf