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Eastern Highlands

Eastern Highlands

The Eastern Highlands is a land of rugged mountains and scenic beauty running down the eastern border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Best reached on a self drive or with a safari tour operator, this area is an outstanding destination for those who enjoy the great outdoors.  The cooler climate is just perfect for scenic drives, hiking or golfing after the heat of the low veld.

The three main regions are: Nyanga National Park, The Vumba and the Chimanimani mountain ranges. Typified by atmospheric misty mornings, cool mountain air and evenings beside a roaring log fire.

Highlights include:  Mount Nyangani, Zimbabwe’s highest mountain, the Mutarazi Falls, Nyanga nature reserve, mysterious ancient ruins in Nyanga, lush botanical gardens, verdant tea and coffee plantations and spectacular views. Activities abound – The peaks and rolling hills are superb hiking country, its many rivers are great for canoeing and trout fishing with superb golfing at the country lodges.  Bird watchers and botanists will be in heaven too in the lush valleys and botanical gardens of the Vumba.

Our selected hotels in this region include Cecil John Rhodes former holiday home and golfing hotels with stunning mountain views.  Contact us and we will tailor make your perfect trip to the Eastern Highlands.

at a glance

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Introduction

Adjacent to the Eastern Highlands, this scenic and secluded area was once the private estate of Cecil John Rhodes and has long been renowned for its great natural beauty.  Hidden within the rolling landscapes are fantastic places to visit, go on beautiful scenic drives, participate on excellent walking opportunities and view awe-inspiring sights. In this isolated and sparsely populated region with stunning mountains, numerous waterfalls, varied activities and unique flora and fauna, it is one of Zimbabwe’s more spectacular destinations. Lying at altitudes of 1800-2600 meters, the climate is cool, with temperatures seldom exceeding 26°C in summer. The majority of the terrain consists of rolling countryside studded with huge granite outcrops towering over steep gorges and vast valleys intersected by rivers that transverse the park. Montane forest grasslands and shrubs dominate, along with green tree ferns in the eastern rainforest and woodlands of dwarf msasa to the west. Tea plantations are dotted throughout the park, as are blackened hillsides and smouldering tree stumps from extensive commercial forestry. There is a good variety of game in Nyanga. The area is famous for its rare blue duiker and samango monkeys which are only found in the Eastern Highlands. Kudu, reedbuck and klipspringer are common with lion, leopard, hyena and buffalo less frequently seen. African clawless otter is a recurring feature in the upper Kairezi River in the North-East of the park as is the endangered Inyangani River Frog which is found in the streams of the montane grasslands. Rainbow trout are abundant in many waterways. Over 400 species of bird reside in the region including Pallid Harrier, Wattled Crane and the Bronze Sunbird, making Nyanga an exotic birding paradise. There is a range of things to see and do in the Nyanga National Park. Mount Nyangani, Zimbabwe’s highest peak is an ideal feature for budding hikers who are up for a 2-3 hour climb to the 2,593 meter summit. Spectacular views of the surrounding countryside are a reward once at the top! The beautiful Mtarazi Falls plunging 760 meters into the Honde Valley is worth viewing in the morning, along with Nyahgombe Falls; a series of stunning cascading waterfalls on the western edge of the Park. Clamber over the ancient ruins of the Ziwa people’s 1 meter thick walls of Nyangwe and Chawomera forts dating back 400 years or for an alternative historical experience, visit the Rhodes Museum. Fishermen can enjoy trout hatchery near Purdon Dam, trout fishing or fly fishing in many of the Park’s numerous rivers and lakes. Alternatively, take a walk through deep gorges, past tumbling waterfalls or up mountains. Boating, rowing, canoeing, swimming and game viewing are further draw cards to the area.

When To Visit

November to March: during summer average temperatures are 26°C which is generally cooler than the rest of Zimbabwe due to a higher altitude. The Mutarazi falls are most impressive in the late summer period of February to April. This is the best birding time. The summer season (April to October) is the rainy period, making the Mutarazi Falls more impressive. Temperatures fall to between 12 and 24°C during the day with night time temperatures often below freezing.

Temperature & Rainfall

Climate Chart – Eastern Highlands – Chimanimani

Eastern Highlands Highlights

Hiking

Hiking

Hiking

The peaks and rolling hills of Nyanga NP are superb hiking country with the opportunity to scale ...

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Hiking

Hiking

The peaks and rolling hills of Nyanga NP are superb hiking country with the opportunity to scale Inyanganai, Zimbabwe’s highest mountain.

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Scenic Drives

Scenic Drives

Scenic Drives

The Eastern Highlands is a land of rugged mountains and scenic beauty running down the eastern ...

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Scenic Drives

Scenic Drives

The Eastern Highlands is a land of rugged mountains and scenic beauty running down the eastern border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique – perfect for scenic drives.

Photo Credit: Leopard Rock Hotel

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Golfing

Golfing

Golfing

The Championship golf course at Leopard Rock Hotel in the Bvumba Mountain range has hosted world ...

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Golfing

Golfing

The Championship golf course at Leopard Rock Hotel in the Bvumba Mountain range has hosted world statesmen and royalty and a perfectly stunning location for a round or two.

Photo Credit: Leopard Rock Hotel

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camps & lodges

Leopard Rock Golf Resort and Casino

Leopard Rock Golf Resort and Casino

Leopard Rock Hotel is set in its own magnificently manicured golf estate in the Bvumba Mountains in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. ... Read More

Troutbeck Resort

Troutbeck Resort

Troutbeck Resort is located in the Eastern Highlands and situated at the foot of ancient pine-treed hills overlooking a trout filled lake in a ... Read More