Brondesbury Hotel hosts first event since re-opening

NYANGA-BASED Brondesbury Park Hotel last week hosted the annual 4x4 Jamboree, its first major event since reopening last November. The event attracted 300 people.

NYANGA-BASED Brondesbury Park Hotel last week hosted the annual 4x4 Jamboree, its first major event since reopening last November. The event attracted 300 people.

Brondesbury reopened its doors after over two decades of inactivity following local hospitality group, Red Apple Hotels acquiring the lease to run the place from its Dutch-based owner, Cacti Youngplants B.V.

Since then, management has been looking to get the hotel to compete with more established hospitality venues in Nyanga, leading to the hotel securing the 4x4 Jamboree, an annual event showcasing 4x4 vehicles through driving on rough terrains.

The jamboree is hosted by 4X4 Club Zimbabwe, a 4x4 and sport utility vehicle (SUV) enthusiast club, whose secretary, Carol Weare told the paper in an interview that the event was meant to celebrate the club’s history.

“Brondesbury Park Jamboree Revisited 1994-2025. This event was to celebrate the history of the 4x4 Club Zimbabwe and go back to where our first competition was held which was at Brondesbury Park Hotel in February 1995,” she said.  

“The club began as the ‘Land Rover and Off-Road Enthusiasts Club’ in 1993 and was later changed to become the 4x4 Club Zimbabwe, to include all four-wheel drive vehicles. 

“In 1995, Barbreanne and Tim Linell put the idea of holding a 4x4 Jamboree at the hotel to the club committee and the first 4x4 Jamboree took place around the Hotel Dam in 1995.”

The event drew participants and spectators from all over Zimbabwe and had 15 members, who were at the First Brondesbury Jamboree, who entered the event with their sons.

Basically, the participants were supposed to drive their 4x4 vehicles and SUV through a set course of difficult terrain to showcase the car’s durability.

The one who could successfully win these obstacle courses would be declared the winner. Victoria Falls resident Dale Kiggen won the competition.

“The rules for this event were relaxed and it was not so much about winning as encouraging new members to compete and improve their 4x4 skills while having a lot of fun,” Weare said.

“We ran a course for the Ladies, encouraging the wives and sisters to test their driving skills and promote the love of 4x4 driving so it becomes a sport for the whole family to enjoy.

“The modified and extreme courses kept the crowds entertained but we hope they realise that the standard SUV can also be put to the test and has the capability to conquer extreme terrain.

“In total 21 entries.  The vibe was very good - Saturday was busy – in total about 250 – 300 people attended the event.”

Kiggen has been a member of the club for a while and is still competing in the same Land Rover, but now with his son as navigator.

Costa Dropolous, from Mutare, won the Short Wheelbase Class in his Jeep and Tasimba Mhiza and John Mostert tied for first place in the Lond wheel Base Class. 

Roger Barry from Mutare took the prize for the Husqvarna Mud Run with the fastest time through the course.  

Hamish Perry was voted the best driver of the weekend, despite having damaged his vehicle early on during the jamboree.

“After 30 years, Brondesbury Park Hotel welcomes back its off-road and all-terrain enthusiasts, the 4x4 Club Zimbabwe. The 4x4 Club’s Jamboree began in 1994 and is celebrating 30 years of all-terrain adventure,” RAH chief executive officer Francis Ngwenya said.

“The club was formerly the Land Rover and Off-Road Enthusiasts Club of Zimbabwe and later rebranded to the 4x4 Club Zimbabwe.

“Some present members of the 4X4 Club attended the first and second Jamborees held at Brondesbury Park Hotel, Nyanga in 1994 and 1995 and have been attending ever since.”

Brondesbury has since lined up several more events to be held at the hotel as it seeks to increase its offering in the tourist town of Nyanga.

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