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RELAY WALKERS & RUNNERS ROUTE - 2021
It is a long drive to the lowest point in Zimbabwe at the confluence of the Save and Runde Rivers. Walkers and runners will start their 2018 Blue Cross by backtracking on the route to their first overnight camp on the banks of the Save at the Jamanda Community Camp, opposite the phenomenal and wild Gonarezhou National Park. For those who would like some luxury, accommodation is available at Chilo Gorge Lodge.
Day Zero (D0) -2 Aug 21 The 2021 Walking/Running Relay starts with a 34.3k backtrack from Muhlambi BC (346m ASL) to Mwachumeni Start Point (164m ASL) (See .gpx and .kml files on Downloads page) Navigate from main road at Rupangwana BC near Jack Quentin Bridge to 'RW21 D0 & D1 Start'. Walkers/Runners then head south towards Save-Runde confluence along reasonable all-weather gravel road. Wildlife encounters (Elephant and buffalo) possible when passing through the Jamanda Concession. Continue southwards for a further 11k after the boom at Jamanda Community Camp to reach Blue Cross funded overnight accommodation at Mwachumeni Safari Camp which offers camping, hot showers, flush toilets and electric light. Photoshoot in riverbed pm on Day Zero and own meal arrangements.
D1 - 3 Aug 21 Runners/Walkers start by driving the 34.3k back to 'RW21 Do and Di Start' at Muhlambi BC (346m ASL). Debus at Muhlambi and then Walk/Run 82.8k to Overnight Stop at Musikavanhu BushCamp (MBC) (448m ASL). From Muhlambi onwards, the road is a mix of black cotton soil and rough to very rough and stony gravel. There are numerous washaways requiring the Back Up vehicles to follow two detours of 5.4k and 4.7k at 17 and 51.9ks respectively from Muhlambi. The Blue Cross funded Bushcamp offers hot showers, hygienic pit latrines and an extensive camping area. For Covid compliance, all camping, cooking and interaction is to be confined to Team Bubbles. Please bring any unwanted sports equipment or children's books to donate to the Musikavanhu Primary School.
D2 - 4 Aug 21 From MBC (448m ASL), participants run/walk 59.8k to Fiddlers-on-the-Green (FOTG) (970m ASL) on Makandi Estate. Roads are very rough and stony throughout with some low range work required of back up vehicles. Sign in to Makandi Estate and strictly observe Covid protocols. Carefully follow the blue trail through the orchards to avoid being blocked by farm gates. Camping is permitted anywhere around the clubhouse but remain in your Team Bubbles throughout meals and ablutions. See Overnight Stops page and contact Fiddlers management direct to book camping and meals (supper and breakfast) offered by the Chipinge ladies. 2020 cost US$20 pp.
D3 - 5 Aug 21 From FOTG (970m ASL) participants run/walk 76.8k to Uplift point at Charter Sawmill (Chimanimani) (1172m ASL) for transfer to overnight stop in Chimanimani. From FOTG the first 5.3k through the farmland is unsupported while the Back Up vehicles follow the 12.5k cyan track through Chipinge Village. For the first 33k, the roads are a mix of very rough and broken tar and stony dirt. After reaching the Rusitu road, conditions improve and the road through Roscommon Estate is generally reasonable. 68.2k from the start participants reach the tarred section of the Nyahode road which persists to the Uplift point. Overnight stops in Chimanimani by own arrangements.
D4 - 6 Aug 21 From Chimanimani (1515m ASL) participants walk/run 86.6k to Whitewaters Bushcamp (WWBC) (955m ASL). Whilst this is an iconic day over Tank Nek and along the Cashel Scenic Road, the road conditions are a mix of rough gravel, reasonable dirt and tar with some unpleasantly powdery gravel sections through Martin's Forest areas on the approach to Cashel. Exercise caution at the blind corners along the relatively busy traffic zone between Chimanimani and the Chikukwa turn off. The Blue Cross funded WWBC offers the same facilities as at Musikavanhu Bushcamp and the same Covid compliance is required.
D5 - 7 Aug 21 From WWBC (955m ASL), participants walk/run 68.7k to the uplift point 'RW21 D5 Uplift 409k' (1083m ASL). Road conditions are generally reasonable with a mix of good, sandy dirt, tar and gravel. There is a rough, steep and stony section (Laurie's Ladder), approximately 5k before the day's end. A 26.4k transfer takes participants to an overnight stop in Mutare. Own arrangements, but, subject to Covid, Hillside Golf Club (HGC) offers camping and a meal. See Overnight Stops page.
D6 - 8 Aug 21 From HGC, there is a 23.7k transfer to the day's start point at the Koodoosberg/Jagersberg road junction 'RW21 D6 Spt 409k'. From there, participants walk/run 59.5k to an uplift point on the Bonda access road. This is another iconic day with spectacular views of the Osbourne Dam and surrounding granite dombos. The road conditions are generally reasonable although some steep gradients and rough stony surfaces will be encountered in the last 14k before Uplift at 'RW D6 Uplift 468.5k' (1672m ASL). A 22.3k vehicle transfer takes participants to their overnight accommodation in Rhodes/ Juliasdale - own arrangements.
D7 - 9 Aug 21 From their overnight accommodation, participants drive to the start of the Placefell Road 'RW21 D7 Spt 468.5' (1898m ASL). From there, participants walk/run 28.6k comprising 2 splits each of 1.55k and the final leg of 10k from the Circular Drive junction to the Finish Line at Nyangani Car Park (2145m ASL). Total for each participant for D7 is 13.1k. Road conditions are generally rough gravel and dirt. The Blue Cross team will be waiting at the Finish to give participants an enthusiastic welcome, a cup of tea or coffee and a freshly cooked egg and bacon or boerwors roll. Bring your camp chairs and cooler boxes and soak up the festive atmosphere, observing Covid protocols of course! Overnight stop as before by own arrangements.
D8 - 10 Aug 21 Summit Day and the Spirit of the Blue Cross Celebratory Lunch are dependent on the Covid-19 situation prevailing and a separate brief will be issued closer the time.