Gohori Resort: A modern oasis in the rural landscape

Trust Freddy Lifestyle Reporter 

The story begins about a kilometre from the sprawling town of Mutoko in Mashonaland East Province, where the only signs of life are the distant sounds of cranking cattle bells and the chirping of birds.

Otherwise it is quiet and in the stillness, one can almost hear the beating of one’s own heart, the quiet moments, becoming an opportunity for reflection.

Whoever thought five star lodges were meant for big cities should go to Mutoko rural district before passing judgment.

There, inside the bushy area, a modern resort known as Gohori seems out of place, like a rose that has grown from the concrete of its surroundings.

Nestled on the foothills of Gohori Mountain, under Chief Chapfika, lies an idyllic oasis that provides a welcome respite from the daily challenges of village life, offering visitors a place to relax and recharge.

Located about 150 kilometers from Harare, a five-minute drive from Mutoko Centre, Gohori resort speaks volumes about the pace of rural industrialisation.

The scale of the project is hard to miss, and it has become a familiar point of reference for the community.

Sitting on four hectares, the lodge boasts of 15 spacious family rooms with high-tech facilities, which are commensurate with hyped travel excitement.

The resort also has an 80-seat conference room and the construction of 35 additional family rooms and a 300-seat facility is also well underway

All rooms are en-suite with classical teak furnishings, coffee making facilities, free Wi-Fi, Dstv, as well as secure free parking space for all types of vehicles.

The parking lot is just something else, with neatly paved roads leading to rows of parking spaces, each designated by the gentle curve of munondo trees. 

The lush greenery of these indigenous trees gives a more serene and nature-filled ambiance. 

Also, a network of footpaths that enable visitors to explore the interior of the resort has been opened.

To complement the annuals, a herb garden, some roses, proteas, fuchsias, cycads, tea bushes, aloes, camellia, and palm sections have been set up.

A spitting distance from the lodge, monkeys with their long, swinging tails can be seen frolicking among the branches of the surrounding trees. 

Momentarily, one can almost forget the rest of the world, lost in the simple pleasures of watching the monkeys play.

To add flavour to the ambiance of the excursion, tour guides of the historic Mutoko Monuments, the fascinating Ruchera Caves, and the sacred Mutemwa Mountain are also available to all guests upon request. 

Rising over 1 200 metres from the broad-based stoney boulders on the outskirts of Mutemwa Leprosy Centre, Mutemwa Mountain stands tall just a 10-minute drive from Gohori Resort. 

This sacred site of worship for Christians in Zimbabwe is steeped in history and mystery, and is said to be home of supernatural experiences.

“Gohori Resort is a luxury getaway that offers a truly unique customer experience, one that is poised to become well-known and highly sought-after across the globe,” Gohori Resort general manager, Tendai Zimbowora, said.

For Zimbowora, the resort is more than just a place to stay. It’s a unique way of promoting the beautiful and culturally rich Mutoko region to the world. 

“When you visit this place , it gives you an opportunity to explore a variety of local attractions, such as the historic Mutoko Ruins, the fascinating Ruchera Caves, and the sacred Mutemwa Mountain,” she said.

She further revealed that over 80 percent of the resort’s employees are from the local community, including general workers, builders, and hotel staff. 

For residents of Mutoko, Gohori Resort has been like a gift from heaven, providing farmers in the community with a ready market for their produce and much-needed employment opportunities.

“Gohori Resort is like a gift to the community,” Pastor Thomas Tarwireyi of Covenant Ministries, a neighbour, said. “One of the things we appreciate about it is that they have a dedicated water tap for the community.

“We are so grateful for the positive impact they are having on our community and we hope they continue to support us in future.”

But beneath the surface, the story of Gohori Resort is one of hope, determination, and the power of dreams.

“My dream is to transform Mutoko into a place that rivals Dubai in terms of tourism and economic development. Gohori Resort is just the beginning; it’s a preview of what’s to come,” commented Bernard Kasekete, the founder of the resort.

“I’m passionate about giving back to my community, and making it a place that people are proud of. I have deep roots in Mutoko, and our homestead is just 10 kilometres from the resort.”

Kasekete’s vision was inspired by President Mnangagwa’s ‘Nyika inovakwa nevenevayo’ mantra.

“My original plan was to build a home on this land, but I was inspired to do something bigger and better after hearing President Mnangagwa’s words ,” Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo,” he reflected.

“The question then became, ‘Why not create something incredible in Mutoko?’ That’s how the vision for Gohori Resort was born.”

The resort has not only tinged the face of Mutoko, but it even brought smiles to residents.

“Not only do I receive a salary from the resort, but the founder also pays the school fees for all of my children, regardless of what level of education they are at,” Mapfumo Katyamakwara, a general hand at Gohori Resort, said.

“He even covers the education costs of every worker at the resort. Some of the children are either in primary or secondary school, while others are at tertiary level.”

Edmond Jacob, a farmer from Tabudirira, located just 20 kilometres from the resort, could not find the exact words to express his gratitude; instead, he simply called on other businesses to follow suit.

“We supply them with fresh farm produce. We would like all business people to take a leaf from them, because we cannot be struggling to find markets when have one readily available here,” he said.

The construction of a million-dollar lodge and establishment of a thriving business enterprise in Mutoko serves as a shining example of how locals can drive rural industrialisation.

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