Eastern Highlands

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Eastern Highlands
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Eastern Highlands
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Overview

Running alongside the Mozambican border for some 300 kilometres, the Eastern Highlands is a mountainous area of spectacular natural beauty: rolling hills, green forests, rugged peaks, misty valleys, deep gorges, cascading waterfalls, and sparkling rivers and lakes. This is a totally different side to the Zimbabwe that most visitors know: the cool damp climate and lush green landscapes of the Eastern Highlands are a contrast to the dry savanna in other parts of the country. While there is some game in the parks of the highlands, this is not a prime safari destination. Instead, people visit the Eastern Highlands for the outdoors activities of hiking, horse riding, fishing and golf, as well as the superb birdlife and the stunning scenery.

The Eastern Highlands is made up of three areas – the Nyanga Highlands in the north, the Bvumba Mountains in the centre and the Chimanimani Mountains in the south – each of which has its own attractions. In the rolling hills of the north, Nyanga National Park is where you’ll find Zimbabwe’s highest mountain, Mount Nyangani, and its highest waterfall, Mtazari Falls as well as wildlife, lots of birds, wonderful hiking trails and excellent trout fishing. The central highlands are home to the city of Mutare – the biggest settlement in the region – but the real draw is the Bvumba Mountains, where lush forests are home to rare bird species and the samango monkey. In the southern highlands, Chimanimani National Park is excellent for mountain hiking, while you can indulge in some forest threrapy at Chirinda Forest Reserve, Africa’s most southern tropical rainforest, and go horseback riding in the hills.

Zimbabwe’s oldest national park, Nyanga National Park is made up of beautiful landscapes of rolling hills, granite outcrops, expansive valleys and deep gorges. It’s home to the highest mountain in the country – Mount Nyangani – and the 762-metre Mtazari Falls, Zimbabwe’s highest waterfall, as well as kudu, klipspringer, reedbuck, blue duiker and samango monkeys, rich archaeological sites and an incredible wealth of birds – more than 300 species – making it a birding hotspot. Fishing for trout is a popular activity here, as is hiking. The standout hike is the five-night Turaco Trail, one of the country’s most scenic hikes, which traverses magnificent mountain and forest landscapes through Mutarazi Falls and Nyanga National Parks to the summit of Chikorokoto, passing waterfalls, rivers, valleys and grasslands on the way.

Eastern Highlands Travel Seasons

In Nyanga, the wet season is mostly cloudy, the dry season is clear, and it is comfortable year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 42°F to 74°F and is rarely below 38°F or above 82°F.Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Nyanga for warm-weather activities is from early September to early November.

Eastern Highlands General Information

Zimbabwe’s oldest national park, Nyanga National Park is made up of beautiful landscapes of rolling hills, granite outcrops, expansive valleys and deep gorges. It’s home to the highest mountain in the country – Mount Nyangani – and the 762-metre Mtazari Falls, Zimbabwe’s highest waterfall, as well as kudu, klipspringer, reedbuck, blue duiker and samango monkeys, rich archaeological sites and an incredible wealth of birds – more than 300 species – making it a birding hotspot. Fishing for trout is a popular activity here, as is hiking. The standout hike is the five-night Turaco Trail, one of the country’s most scenic hikes, which traverses magnificent mountain and forest landscapes through Mutarazi Falls and Nyanga National Parks to the summit of Chikorokoto, passing waterfalls, rivers, valleys and grasslands on the way.

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