Running alongside the Mozambican border for some 300 kilometres, the Eastern Highlands is a mountainous area of spectacular natural beauty: rolling hills, green forests, rugged peaks, misty valleys, deep gorges, cascading waterfalls, and sparkling rivers and lakes. This is a totally different side to the Zimbabwe that most visitors know: the cool damp climate and lush green landscapes of the Eastern Highlands are a contrast to the dry savanna in other parts of the country. While there is some game in the parks of the highlands, this is not a prime safari destination. Instead, people visit the Eastern Highlands for the outdoors activities of hiking, horse riding, fishing and golf, as well as the superb birdlife and the stunning scenery.
The Eastern Highlands is made up of three areas – the Nyanga Highlands in the north, the Bvumba Mountains in the centre and the Chimanimani Mountains in the south – each of which has its own attractions. In the rolling hills of the north, Nyanga National Park is where you’ll find Zimbabwe’s highest mountain, Mount Nyangani, and its highest waterfall, Mtazari Falls as well as wildlife, lots of birds, wonderful hiking trails and excellent trout fishing. The central highlands are home to the city of Mutare – the biggest settlement in the region – but the real draw is the Bvumba Mountains, where lush forests are home to rare bird species and the samango monkey. In the southern highlands, Chimanimani National Park is excellent for mountain hiking, while you can indulge in some forest threrapy at Chirinda Forest Reserve, Africa’s most southern tropical rainforest, and go horseback riding in the hills.