Eastern Highlands: Zimbabwe’s Most Scenic Region

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The Eastern Highlands is the most beautiful and scenic region of Zimbabwe that can easily be mistaken for a Scottish or English highland due to its lush greenery, rolling hills and rocky fast-flowing streams. This natural holiday destination is a nature lovers’ paradise perfect for fishing, hiking trails, horse-riding and camping.

The Eastern Highlands are home to many cascading waterfalls, streams, mountains and hills.

The Eastern Highlands in Manicaland Province is one of the most beautiful scenic regions in Zimbabwe.  It comprises of three distinct areas of interest that never fail to impress, even to the most discerning of travellers.  This mountainous region is a paradise with great landscapes, waterfalls, rich vegetation and wildlife, magnificent views and rocky fast-flowing streams.  It is a favourite for outdoors and nature lovers and is home to many historical sites.  One can almost mistake the scenic landscape for the Scottish or English highland due to its beautiful rolling hills, lush greenery and climate.

Lodges and scenery that can be mistaken for English or Scottish landscape,

Troutbeck Inn, stunning scenery that can easily be mistaken for a Scottish or English landscape.

The Highlands comprise of three distinct areas all of which are paradises in their own way. To the north is Nyanga a major tourist magnet. Bvumba is the central part of the highlands while Chimanimani is in the south. Although each is distinct, they are paradises with rich vegetation, wildlife, cascading waterfalls and several streams. The highlands are home to Mount Nyangani, the highest mountain in Zimbabwe at 2592 m, Bvumba Mountain and Chimanimani Mountain. Simply put, this entire region is a mountain climbers dream and a trekkers’ paradise!

The highlands are popular for their breathtaking views and other attractions such as the densely wooded Pungwe Gorge, Christmas Pass, Troutbeck and most importantly, the beautiful culture and friendly locals.

Nyanga

Nyanga, the northern part of the Eastern Highlands is the most visited in the region because of its many attractions both historical and natural.  It is home to Nyanga National Park, one of the first parks to be declared a National Park in Zimbabwe.  Nyanga is also famous for its many spectacular “views” such as Worlds View, Eagle’s View, Pungwe View, Mtarazi View and Honde View.  It is a popular destination which offers an unforgettable holiday experience including trout fishing, hiking and other forms of mountaineering trails.

Pungwe Gorge, Nyanga National Park

Pungwe Gorge, Nyanga National Park offers spectacular view of Pungwe Falls & Pungwe River

Nyanga National Park

Nyanga National Park is home to many fantastic waterfalls, trout-filled streams, varied birdlife and numerous trails. The park is also home to Mount Nyangani, Zimbabwe’s highest mountain with a peak of 2600m above sea level.  It is home to Mtarazi Falls (762m), the second highest waterfall in Africa and sixth in the world.  Nyanga National Parks is home to many waterfalls including the picturesque Nyangombe Falls, a popular family attraction whose flow tumbles over the rocks into a natural pool.  Pungwe Falls, Chipungu Falls, Nyamuziwa Falls and Thomberutedza Falls are also residents of this park.  The park is also home to the Rhodes-Nyanga Hotel and the Rhodes Museum, both former private estates of Cecil John Rhodes.

Nyangombe Falls at the Nyanga National Park

Nyangombe Falls at the Nyanga National Park

Attractions: Mount Nyangani, Troutbeck and Connemara Lakes, Rhodes-Nyanga Hotel and Rhodes Museum, prestigious  golf courses, Nyangwe Dam, Nyangombe Falls and Pool, Pungwe Gorge, trout hatchery, Nyangwe Fort and other local historical sites and ancient ruins

Activities: golfing, trout fishing, horse-riding, camping, hiking, walking trails, mountain biking, white-water rafting at the Pungwe River and more.

Accommodations: Rhodes-Nyanga Hotel, Inn on Rupurara, Mutarazi Cottages, Guesthouses including other self-catering cottages and camps

Chimanimani

South of Mutare is Chimanimani district, home to the rugged Chimanimani Mountain whose peak is often veiled by the mist.  Unlike Bvumba and Nyanga, Chimanimani’s pristine, unadulterated raw nature keeps one captivated with its 186 bird species, evergreen forest, crystal clear rivers, mountain springs and wildlife.  Several streams that are rich in trout are popular with visitors to Chimanimani, one of Africa’s accessible mountain wilderness preserve.

Chimanimani's beautiful landscape perfect for bike tours, hiking and more.

Chimanimani’s beautiful landscape perfect for bike tours, hiking and more.

Chimanimani’s landscape abounds with rare ferns and orchids and is home to several waterfalls including the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls with a 50m plunge into a natural pool.  Mount Selinda and the tropical Chirundu Forest are popular for their exotic plant species including the historic 600 year old mahogany trees.  Chimanimani is famous for its beautiful skies, trails, savannah plains, misty peaks, Skeleton Pass and its independent people.  Although not much remains at Haroni Reserve, exotic plants and riverine vegetation remain undisturbed at Haroni & Rusitu Rivers and forest, making this area a must visit for botanists and birding enthusiasts.

The beautiful Bridal Veil Falls, Chimanimani, Eastern Highlands

The beautiful Bridal Veil Falls, Chimanimani, Eastern Highlands

Attractions:  Chimanimani National Park, Hotsprings, Chipinge, visiting to local coffee and tea estates/plantations, Haroni Botanical Gardens, Rusitu Forests, Bundi Valley (Plain), Digby’s Falls and Digby’s Cave, Skeleton Pass, Tessa’s Pool at the foot of Chimanimani Mountains, including other popular caves such as Red Wall, Peterhouse and Terry’s Cave.

Activities:  bird-watching, camping, rock climbing, golf, trout fishing, hiking, horse-riding, swimming, biking and walking trails, photography, sightseeing and other forms of mountaineering.

Accommodations: Hotsprings Healing Resort, Frog and Fern Bed & Breakfast, Chimanimani Hotel, Country Club, Kiledo Lodge, Heaven Lodge, guesthouse, Nzou Camp, camps & campsites including self-catering cottages for backpackers.

Bvumba Mountains

Bvumba (also known as Vumba), is one of the breathtakingly beautiful places in Zimbabwe dotted with picturesque cottages and guesthouses.   The steep green misty mountains offer breath-taking views of the landscape and the tropical lowlands of neighbouring Mozambique, coffee plantations, Burma Valley and Chimanimani Mountains. The lush Botanical Gardens and Bunga Forest teaming with life offer majestic views of natural streams, exotic plants and birdlife which have made Bvumba a popular paradise with nature and birding enthusiasts.   Both Castle Beacon and Chiyakwaremba climbs offer spectacular views of the highlands. Bvumba is a perfect holiday resort for botanists, avid birdwatchers, photographers and hiking enthusiasts.

Accommodation set in beautiful country side and could easily be mistaken for an English country cottage.

Attractions: Bvumba Botanical Gardens & Reserve, Bunga Forest, prestigious golf courses, visit to coffee and tea estates/plantations

Activities: camping, photography, golf, horse-riding, hiking and walking trails

Accommodations: Leopard Rock Hotel, Inn on the Vumba,  White Horse Inn, Ndundu Lodge, The Castle Guesthouse, Ardroy Guesthouse, self-catering cottages, camping & caravan sites at the Botanical Garden.

Mutare

Mutare, a small attractive town with stunning views is the fourth biggest city in Zimbabwe that is close to the Mozambican border and is the provincial capital of Manicaland.  Unless one is a business traveller, most tourists rarely stay the night but use the city as a transit stop en-route to the Eastern Highlands.   While in Mutare, one can visit the Cecil Kopje Nature Reserve, local green markets along Birchenough Bridge as well as Mutare and Utopisa House Museums.

Accommodation: Amber Hotel, Holiday Inn, Mountaview Hotel, Eastgate Hotel, Christmas Pass Hotel, Wise Owl Motel, camping and other low-budget accommodation

Whether one is a nature-lover, enjoy trout fishing, birding or trekking enthusiast, or whether one is simply an adventure seeker who enjoys the outdoors, Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands will offer you an experience of a lifetime and more.

 

Unleash the wanderlust in you!  Explore. Experience. Discover Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands!

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