Referred to as the “Mountains of the Mist” (Bvumba is the Shona name for “mist”) the Bvumba Mountains are often covered in mist in the early morning which tends to clear by mid-morning. Located at a climb of 609 meters above sea level, the Bvumba Mountains rise to Castle Beacon at 1911 meters. Climbers of the Bvumba Mountains come across the beautiful botanical gardens, laid out in a sprawling 30 hectares of land with terraces and filled with beautiful, fragrant flowers and shrubs, including colourful hydrangeas, fuchsias and begonias, as well as fringe forests of banana groves, avocado and mango trees.
The Bvumba Mountain range is historically significant in that there are well-preserved hunter-gatherer rock art paintings (comprising several human figures, some holding bows and arrows and others in trance) thought to be of around 8000 years in age, as well as contemporary ritual sites, used for rainmaking, divining and healing. There are at least 86 stone-age sites in the Zimbabwean portion of the Bvumba Mountains, tucked into a sacred forest and part of a set of living Shona rituals connected with rock art symbols and the landscape. The rock art exists largely in its original natural environment, and offers unlimited opportunity to educate visitors about hunter-gatherer culture, art and spirituality. Surrounding the hunter-gatherer rock art sites are fairly dense savannah woodland. Known as the Chinhamapere sacred landscape, this area is thought to be a powerful place for communication with the ancestors and valued resource used for traditional ceremonies.
Although small in area, the Bvumba Mountains offer a botanical paradise and home to some of the rarest butterflies in the region. The Bvumba Mountains also has numerous birds, and is best known as one of the main breeding areas of Swynnerton’s Robin, which lives and breeds in small patches of forest. A smaller number of mammals inhabit the Bvumba, perhaps the most notable of which are the leopard and the samango monkey. There are also baboons and several antelopes in this region. Savannah woodland adjoining the Mozambique side of the range is also home to several rare reptiles.