The Chimanimani Mountains are composed mostly of sandstone, but it is distinguished by its huge volcanic peaks. These peaks stretch for fifty kilometres, and the main plateau reaches a height of 2,440m, dropping to 320m in deep gorges and river valleys. The mountains are only accessible through a series of footpaths, and although the park provides only basic facilities, the breathtaking beauty and pristine environment of the Chimanimani Mountains make this a popular destination for hiking, rock climbing, camping and birding. There are a total of 186 species of birds in the Chimanimani Mountains, including Laughing doves, larks, eagles, swallows and swifts. There are also klipspringers, and a large, protected herd of eland, the largest of antelopes.
Chimanimani National Park is full of wild, natural beauty – an area of yellowwood and cedar trees, proteas and wild orchids, massed purple lassandria, bushes of wild sweet peas, clear mountain pools and several waterfalls. The Bridal Veil Falls are a popular hiking spot, as is the nearby Chirundu forest, Africa’s southernmost tropical rainforest. Chirundu is home to many rare tree species, including cycads and strelitzias. There is also the aptly named “Big Tree”, a red mahogany that is more than a thousand years old, seventy metres high and sixteen metres in circumference.
The climate of the Chimanimani Mountains is characterized by a fluctuation between dry winters and wet summers as is typical for tropical southern Africa. Most of Chimanimani rain falls between November and March. The high precipitation combined with low temperatures cause a typical tropical mountain climate. The temperatures range between 12 to 15 °C during the cold season and 18 to 26 °C during summer. Frost is not uncommon between May to October.