Situated in northern Zimbabwe, 76 miles (122 kms) North West of Harare
Chinoyi Caves (formerly known as Sinoia Caves) have long been a popular stop off point for travellers on their way to Kariba, campers and day visitors from Harare enjoying a picnic.
The limestone caves were first discovered by Frederick Courtney Selous in 1887 which he later described in his writings in 1888. The history of the caves goes back long before this period and excavations in and near the caves have revealed the presence of people going back to very early times.
Carbon dated pottery and human remains excavated from the area are estimated to date back to AD 650. These caves are the most extensive cave system in Zimbabwe that the public can access.
The caves were designated a National Park in 1955 and re-designated as a Recreational Park in 1975 and as such are managed by ZIMPARKS (Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority).
The caves are located in Makonde District, Mashonaland West, in central, northern Zimbabwe. They lie approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi), by road, northwest of Chinhoyi, the nearest large town, and the location of the district and provincial headquarters.
There is a campsite run by the National Parks Authority and Caves Motel, a quiet, private establishment is located on site. The picnic and campsites are serviced by three ablution blocks with hot and cold water, baths, toilets and showers.
“Very serene place with very cool weather.The blue water is a natural wonder,untainted and amazing. A good place to visit with family,friends…”
“wow! what a sight to behold! interesting, amazing! Just be sure to wear the right footwear for a long descent into the caves. The stones may be a little slippery Takes about 45 minutes to an hour to visit the caves.”
“…is a great place to indulge in some nature and explore the amazing caves. Plenty of climbing in the light cave so good shoes are necessary. A good bit of history to be learned here as well. We enjoyed our afternoon exploring. Experienced divers can dive into the sleeping pool…”
“Recommend a stop on the way to or from Kariba. Its to the north of Chinhoyi and not well sign posted so you may pass the hotel before you realise you have gone too far. Excellent picnic facilities, clean neat and you can buy lunch from stall. The caves are beautiful, specially the water features. Well worth 1-2 hour stop…”