Escape to Eastern Highlands

By Marko Ayling,

Situated on the Eastern side of Zimbabwe bordering Mozambique is the Eastern Highlands which consists of three mountain ranges namely Nyanga, Chimanimani and Bvumba. Each one is unique and boasts different activities for both locals and tourists to enjoy, these places are remotely located making it a perfect getaway if you are looking for peace and tranquillity.

Nyanga National Park has beautiful mountains, waterfalls, streams, and lakes. There are plenty of waterfalls to visit whether you are a keen trout fisherman or simply want to take a picnic and relax by one of the spectacular waterfalls such as Nyangombe Falls, Mutarazi Falls or Pungwe Gorge and Falls.

Activities in Nyanga National Park are numerous and fun for the whole family try your hand at fly fishing, follow one of the hiking trails and discover waterfalls and prolific birdlife, go boating on one of the dams, or climb Mount Nyangani which is the highest mountain in Zimbabwe. Within the park choose to stay at the cottages or camp site at Nyanga National Park , or at the famous Rhodes Nyanga Hotel which is named after Cecil John Rhodes and browse in their Rhodes Museum which has lots of interesting history.

Outside the National Park there are a wide variety of private cottages available for rent, as well as hotels such as Troutbeck Resort which has a stunning golf course and lake. World View’s is only a short drive away and is a popular attraction for visitors as there are fantastic views of the country. Other places to stay include Pine Tree Inn which is old fashioned and quaint giving you the real country feel, and Inn on the Rupurara which is more modern and overlooks their private game reserve where you can go for game drives, game walks or enjoy horse riding.

Travelling South of Nyanga National Park is the beautiful Bvumba mountains which have spectacular views over into Mozambique and are located just outside the town of Mutare. The Bvumba is well known for its abundance of bird life attracting travellers from all over the world who come to find rare species of birds. The Bvumba botanical gardens are filled with beautiful flowers and a great place to take a leisurely walk . Leopard Rock Hotel is a popular choice for keen golfers as has the most wonderful golf course with breathtaking views, also on the estate is a game park where the kids can enjoy horse riding. Inn on the Vumba and Seldom Seen Cottages are other choices for accommodation which are smaller and more personal.

Chimanimani mountains are beautiful and are situated further south from the Bvumba where walkers and hikers love exploring, discovering streams and pools and setting up camp in the middle of nowhere. There are a number of different hiking trails for you to choose from depending whether you are an experienced or novice hiker. To hike to the Mountain Hut is a popular choice which is a rest camp and is approximately about a three hour hike from which you can enjoy stunning views of the high peaks as well as a magnificient view into Mozambique. There is a well known guide by the name of Colin who can assist you in reaching the summit, basically there are two options The Bailly’s Folly which is ideal for more experienced hikers and then The Banana Grove is perfect for first timers.

There are numerous waterfalls and pools in Chimanimani which are ideal to cool off in after a long hike or to escape the heat in the hot summer months. Bridal Veil Falls is a stunning place located in the Eland Sanctuary to either have a picnic, camp overnight or stay at the nearby Frog and Fern Cottages.

Chimanimani mountains is a unique place to visit as it has such unspoilt beauty as well as many caves to explore where you can admire all the different rock paintings.

 Copyright © 2014 by My Destination. This article was written by Marko Ayling and originally published at My Destination Zimbabwe