Mount Nyakatsapa

Mount Nyakatsapa has been beckoning me ever since I began coming to Africa University. It looms beyond the AU farm, though it is actually a few miles away. Still, it’s always present in the background. For me, it’s a magnetic presence. I love climbing the mountains around the campus, but I had never climbed this one, the highest mountain in the area.

I didn’t have any classes or appointments scheduled yesterday, and since I will be grading exams all day Saturday, I took my day off yesterday. The day dawned cool and windy. Leaving campus at 8:30 AM, I met Chris Matinha, my stone-carving friend in Tschvingwe at 9:30. He’d agreed to guide me for the day’s trek. Following a poorly marked trail, we reached the top of Mt. Tschvingwe by 10:30, but Mr. Nyakatsapa was still an hour’s hike away, over three “camel humps” along the ridge connecting this chain of mountains. The cold wind blew very strongly at the top of the mountain, and i was glad I’d worn my sweatsuit jacket.

The top of Mt. Nyakatsapa is a rocky dome, with a sheer side facing the west. We circled the base of the dome at the mountaintop until we found a rock slope on the north side that we could crawl up on all four, like crabs. Then we were near the top, where it was level enough for us to stand again. What an exhilarating view! I should say “views” because we had magnificent views in every direction. St. Augustin’s school and settlement nestled in the mountains below us to the east, while the Africa University buildings and campus lay in the broad valley way below us, several miles to the west. It was a wonderful reward for the arduous climb!



  1. Congratulations on another successful adventure, Ed. I am told by Kennedy that Nyakatsapa is also the name of one of the United Methodist Missions in the area. This must be one of your last experiences for this trip. Art

  2. I remember going to Shona language school in Nyakatsapa with Mom and Dad, and the cool breeze that always seemed to blow through the huge eucalyptus trees. However, we didn’t hike there from AU – it must have been an exhilarating adventure! Thanks, Ed, for the reminding me.

  3. Oscar Mugocha of Nyakatsapa Mission Farm

    I always admire this beautiful Mountain and really feel it could bring business to Nyakatsapa United Methodist Mission Farm.The mountain provides scenic viewing of Penhalonga,Tsvingwe,0ld Mutare,Africa University,Nyakatsapa Mission itsef,Tsonzo,Pafiwa and Vumbunu areas. You feel the fresh air and windy breeze as you observe the further towering communication boosters which were erected on steel trusses on top of the mountain.It gives the idea that human technology now rules the world.Its hard to understand how such a dangerous job can be done on this majestic high mountain which in my view may in the future be one of the wonders of the Mutasa area in Manicaland.

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