|Diana’s Pool and Embizeni Chalets|
Diana’s Pool is a protected area in the heart of Matobo Communal Land in Zimbabwe. It features numerous granite rock formations with bushman rock art and an exciting variety of plant life. Diana’s Pool is a great place to either spend a day exploring, relaxing and picnicking; or to stay for a couple of nights to absorb the charms of this beautiful part of rural Zimbabwe.
The shallow pools with their sandy banks and the nearby rapids provide exciting swimming and climbing opportunities, although care needs to be exercised on slippery rocks.
The surrounding granite hills contain numerous caves with old grain bins and rock art and interesting plant life; local guides can be hired to visit them.
The orbicular granite formation, 1 kilometre downstream, is a rare and fascinating geological mystery and destination for a brief exploratory walk.
With only two chalets, this destination is off the beaten track and being set within the communal lands provides a good opportunity to walk and interact with the local community.
Situated within the Matobo Communal lands, the word ‘Embizeni’ (Place of the Pots) is derived from the potholes the rain water has carved into the granite rocks over a lengthy geological period and Diana’s Pools was named after the wife of the first Native Commissioner in the area, JP Richardson.
Piet te Velde built the chalets as a family using their personal funds. They had permission to construct 6 chalets, but due to farm invasions in 2000 and the resulting deteriorating economy, there was very little business and so finally only two chalets were constructed. As treasurer of the Umzingwane Publicity Association and as an independent rural development consultant Piet had a dream of developing eco-tourism in this beautiful district, but sadly with the continuing uncertain political and economic situation these plans, like many others, are on hold.
There are two chalets each with two spacious bedrooms, each having two single beds and a shower and toilet; a fitted and fully equipped kitchen and a large veranda with adjacent braai. The loft in each chalet can sleep an extra two people with mattresses and bedding is provided on request. Each chalet is fitted with solar-powered lights and hot water, a gas stove and a small gas fridge. The accommodation is suitable for a maximum of twelve people.
The chalets are well-constructed and comfortable and much better-equipped than the ZimParks equivalents.
Family friendly and definitely worth a visit with plenty of activities within the near vicinity, such as the Rhodes Indaba site and Nyunteya Cave, and a good point for exploration of the magnificent Matobo and surrounding area. Local people are extremely friendly and welcoming and the community benefits greatly from projects such as these. Zimbabwe Scenic Sites