Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands offer a cooler and more rain-rich climate than the rest of the country. Thus dense, primaeval forests thrive, of which you can admire small pockets that still exist in the Chirinda Forest Reserve and in the Bunga Forest. Some rare animal and bird species occur only in this circumscribed area, such as the Samango monkeys or the Blue duiker antelope. A few bird species are endemic to only a tiny piece of the Bunga Forest, such as the Swynnertons robin or the Buff spotted flufftail.
The people of this region make use of the ideal climate in order to grow tea, coffee and some varieties of fruit, such as bananas.
The Eastern Highlands used to be a very popular holiday destination for Zimbabwean people who were able to recover from the heat of the southern summer here. Today, the region is more of an insider tip amongst international visitors who would like to experience something other than the classic safari. Here, you can hike to your heart's content, admire and climb mountains, gaze in awe at ancient rock paintings, bathe in waterfalls, play golf, or, for specialists, go on a search for rare bird species.
What to see
Chirinda Forest Botanical Reserve
Chirinda Forest Reserve on Zimbabwe’s eastern border protects about 900 hectares of the southernmost tropical rainforest in Africa.
Chimanimani National Park
This mountainous landscape in the extreme East of Zimbabwe is a very rewarding destination. The rugged massif of Chimanimani Mountain is a constant presence that towers over the small town.
This area in the centre of the Eastern Highlands about 30 km from Mutare is often also spelled Bvumba. The word means “mist” in the local Manyika language.
Nyanga National Park
At 2593 metres, Nyangani, Zimbabwe's highest mountain is situated in Nyanga National Park. The views from the top of the mountain over the surrounding landscape are fantastic. In this National Park you will also find the highest waterfalls in Zimbabwe, Mutarazi Falls.