Nyanga’s unending blaze

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This fire at Troutbeck Resort burns non-stop and has been blazing since it was lit in 1951

Enacy Mapakame
Nyanga is one of the most scenic areas of Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands, typified by rolling green hills and perennial rivers. The area is particularly famous for its very chilly weather all-year round. But despite the depressed temperatures, visitors still love the area.

Nested in the area of Nyanga is Troutbeck Resort, which is popular with tourists — both domestic and foreign, honeymooners, golfers, conference goers and canoe lovers.

Apart from its beauty, which is captivating, visitors always seem to be mesmerised by one permanent feature that greets them on arrival at the hotel lobby, the fire.

It may look like an ordinary fire to someone who does not know its history or is new to the place. But after days of staying at the place, one can easily notice that of all the fire-places at the resort, this particular fire is always burning.

The fire burns non-stop, and has been blazing since it was lit in 1951. For visitors at the resort, this fireplace is irresistible. It is difficult to just walk past the fireplace when going to dining rooms from conference rooms without taking a minute to enjoy the warmth it provides.

Sometimes visitors enjoy a glass of wine by the fireplace, or just sit gazing at the flames, enjoying the sound of peace or reading a magazine.

Imagine a fire burning for the past 67 years. That is one of the amazing stories about Troutbeck Resort. The fire was lit in March 1951 by Troutbeck founder Major Herbert Macllwaine and has never stopped blazing providing warmth to visitors at the resort.

“Indeed, the fire has never gone out since 1951,” said Troutbeck Resort general manager Charlton Chimbira.

No special fuel is used to keep the fire burning apart from wood from wattle trees. Staff at the resort maintain it as it symbolises the warmth of the resort.

“The reception fire place glows in pride with the mounted portrait of Major Macllwaine, this fire has been alight since March 1951, till today its warmth is felt from far and wide drawing statesmen from all walks of life. The founder Major Macllwaine and his dog were a prominent feature of Troutbeck Inn until his death in 1983 aged 94 years old. Major Macllwaine was said to be apologetic to new golf partners for moving around the golf course very slow,” said Chimbira.

This is one of the major tourist attractions in the country loved by many visitors from across the globe.

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