The Chimanimani National Park, part of the Eastern highlands, is an incredible region running over 300 km’s from north to south forming a natural border with neighbouring Mozambique. The Eastern Highlands vary from the gentle rolling countryside near Nyanga in the north to the fierce granite spikes of the Chimanimani Mountains in the southern parts of Zimbabwe. The Eastern Highlands are a sparsely populated area; exploring this region on a safari of Zimbabwe can prove to be a fascinating discovery – the area is lush, undeveloped and rich with safari animals.
At the southern end of this exquisite Zimbabwean mountain chain, the volcanic peaks of the Chimanimani Mountain are sharp and jagged. Most of them can be conquered with little mountaineering skill and they are punctuated with hundreds of rivers, waterfalls and pools to entice bathers after a long day’s hike. Further south and in the central region of Zimbabwe, you will find the Bvumba Mountain, an archipelago of misty peaks, which provides amazing vantage points into Mozambique and Zimbabwe!
The Zimbabwean Eastern Highlands are also home to the Bvumba Botanical Gardens, which contains trees and shrubs that have been gathered from all over the world. Overlooking the giant water lilies on the ornamental Zimbabwean lake is a tea house which appears to all the world like an English cricket pavilion; uprooted from a village green in the Home Counties and replanted in the heart of Africa. This is all just a short drive away from the bustling Zimbabwean town of Mutare.
One of the highlights of the Eastern Highlands is the Bridal Falls of Chimanimani which is the second highest falls found in Africa. Just a little further from the Eastern Highlands, the hot springs of the Save River Valley (the valley of baobabs) can be found – at an altitude of less than 600 m. This Zimbabwean Eastern Highlands region even boasts an oasis in the desert offering a hot pool with water high in therapeutic minerals!
A short drive further south brings travellers to the Birchenough Bridge. This is a 300 m steel arch suspension bridge replicating the bridge at Sydney Harbour, again not far from the Zimbabwean town Mutare. The beautiful scenery of the Eastern Highlands is breathtaking and makes this a natural safari destination for people who come from all over the world to experience its splendour.
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 Ndebeli cultures are open to explore, and the people are gracious and accommodating to all who visit. Safaris to the Eastern Highlands are great all year round, if you want to climb one of the parts of the Eastern Highlands then we recommend travelling in the warmer months of the year.
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