Cyclone Idai hits areas of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi

Atta have been in touch with members on the ground in Southern Africa to get a sense of the true impact that Cyclone Idai has had and how things are developing in the areas worst affected.

The storm crossed the coast of Mozambique close to Beira in Sofala Province, developing into a tropical storm and moving over neighbouring countries; Zimbabwe and Malawi, which have been hit by heavy flooding as a result. Atta members to the north and south of here have not been affected and have reported business as usual.

Great efforts are under way to assist the communities in Zimbabwe that have been affected by Cyclone Idai.

There are over 80 reported dead, most in the high-density areas of Chipinge and Chimanimani. From a tourism perspective, Chimanimani and the surrounding crystal caves, rugged mountains and hidden waterfalls, are some of the most exceptionally beautiful destinations in Africa, a true gem of Zimbabwe. There were only 5 tourists in town at the time the cyclone hit, due to advanced warnings from the Chimanimani Tourist Association, from Cape Town and Zimbabwe. All are in good spirits and health and are now involved in providing aid to those in need.

The Chimanimani Tourist Association, run by Jane High, owner of Frog & Fern, has reported that the Frog & Fern, The Farmhouse, and the Chimanimani Hotel have survived the flash floods and mudslides, with the Chimanimani Hotel hosting those in need. Heaven Hotel has sustained quite a bit of damage. The high-density housing throughout this small town, including staffing accommodation throughout has been absolutely devastated, with over 80 reported deaths and more missing.

There is no road access yet, although over 20 tonnes of donated clothes, water and provisions has been collected in Harare and is making its way to Chimanimani, a 6-hour drive. Helicopters and emergency air service are actively engaged and still involved in rescue operations to the remote areas. This is rugged, mountainous area, many areas inaccessible at the best of times. Heroic efforts are being made by the local community, supported by community efforts throughout the country to gather goods.

At Azura Benguerra Island, on the coast of Mozambique all operations continued as normal when the cyclone hit, including Airlink’s aircraft to and from Vilanculos and helicopter transfers for guests, who were not impacted at all.

This area picked up some wind and rain showers overnight owing to being located on the periphery of a what was a very large weather system. Both Azura hotels were well away from the storm’s main track at all times, and guests continued to enjoy these properties as usual.

Thank you to the members who have provided Atta with information. If you have any further updates on Cyclone Idai and locations that have been affected please email info@atta.travel