These are the Zimbabwe highlands of misty mornings, log fires and wrapping up well.The Eastern Highlands are a range of mountains running down the eastern border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique that are a sparsely populated and lush with pockets of huge towering forests – home to numerous endemic species of birds and animals.
The climate is generally cool and wet, making it ideal for growing plantation type crops, plus giving rise to numerous streams and waterfalls dropping hundreds of feet down the steep mountain sides. Hidden within the rolling landscape are great little places to stay, beautiful scenic drives, fantastic walking trails and magnificent sights. Distances here are small, but differences in landscapes are great. They are made up of three sections:
- Nyanga – well know for “the highest mountain in Zimbabwe”, great trout fishing, numerous ruins dating back to ancient times, plus the backbone of the Zimbabwe paper/plantation industry. This is a great area for hiking, with routes such as the Turaco Trail
- The Bvumba Mountain range are a little south and surround the city of Mutare. Here is home to the Bvumba Botanical Gardens – which has trees and shrubs collected from throughout the world plus stunning mountain views of neighbouring Mozambique.
- Even further south we have the sharp jagged peaks of the Chimanimani Mountain range and the nearby tea and coffee plantations.
A short drive further south on the way to Great Zimbabwe – is the Birchenough Bridge crossing the Save River. This is a 300 m steel arch suspension bridge was once the largest single span suspension bridge in the world.
Of the many activities in this area, we recommend: hiking, swimming, golf, fishing and horse riding as well as shopping for local artefacts, sculptures and knitwear. The Shona and Ndebele cultures are open to explore, and the people are gracious and accommodating to all who visit.
As there are no flights to the area the best way of seeing the Eastern highlands is either on your own doing a self drive trip (the distances are not long) or by joining a pre-booked tour/safari with one of the operators who visit here. Travel Wild can help you with both these options and choose the best hotel or lodge to suite your needs.