It receives more than the national rainfall average and its lofty heights are much cooler. The vegetation is lush and the terrain is more severe, with three mountain ranges to explore. This all means that the fauna and flora are very different, offering nature enthusiasts numerous opportunities for hiking, horse riding, fishing, and golf. The area is renowned in Africa for the diversity of birds, with many travelling to the area hoping to add rare species to their checklists.
The Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe offer such a diversity of activities, that it is well worth planning your route beforehand. Or, ask a member of Africa’s Eden who will happily suggest an itinerary. The Nyanga Highlands in the north is known for the granite outcrops, wide valleys and clear rivers. Try your hand at fly-fishing, visit archaeological sites, or hire a bird guide to find that elusive LBJ. The central Vumba Mountains are also a birder’s paradise, while golfers are in for a treat at the Leopard Rock championship golf course. For avid hikers, the Chimanimani Mountains in the south offer a challenging yet magnificent selection of trails. Horse riding is also a popular pursuit. Don’t miss out on the southernmost tropical rainforest at Chirinda Forest Reserve, home of ancient hardwood trees.
The town of Mutare, roughly 260km southeast of the capital, Harare, is considered the springboard to the various destinations and adventures on offer in the Eastern Highlands. Mutare is not a tourist destination itself but there is an abundance of accommodation options in the region, ranging from the Nyanga highlands in the north to the Chimanimani Mountains further south. The road from Harare to Mutare is paved, but travel is by necessity slower than one would expect, allowing you to savour the passing scenery. From November to April, visitors will definitely benefit by having a 4×4 vehicle, as some roads deteriorate with rainfall. The area is not serviced by scheduled flights, but Africa’s Eden Travel can assist you with arranging private charters.