A place of astonishing beauty, they run approximately 300 km from north to south bordering with Mozambique. The three hilly ranges of Nyanga, Chimanimani and Bvumba make up the Eastern Highlands. Green hillsides, mountain streams, cool winds, great places to stay, scenic drives, a variety of things to do make this a must-see destination.
Enjoying a cool wet climate different from the dry, arid air of the rest of Zimbabwe are the Eastern Highlands. The north of the Eastern Highlands is made of the Nyanga range that has a rolling countryside and tea plantations. Likening it to the moors of Scotland, the European settlers created lakes and planted forests of fir.
They even introduced trout to the lakes. Much of this was the private property of Cecil Rhodes.
This is now known as the Nyanga National Park. The highest peak in Zimbabwe the Mount Nyangani (2595 m) is found in the Nyanga mountain range. Nyanga has good walking routes and hiking trails which lead to some good views like the Mtarazi falls, Nyangombe falls, lakes etc where you can relax and have a picnic. There are few golf courses, homely lodges and hotels and places where you can buy locally made food products and crafts.
South of Nyanga is the town of Mutare, about 263 km southeast of Harare and 290 km west of Beira, the port in Mozambique. It is considered as Zimbabwe's gateway to the Indian Ocean. Not important tourism-wise, it is the springboard for other attractions of the Eastern Highlands.
Further south are the mist-laden forests of the Bvumba mountains. The Bvumba botanical gardens are the major attraction here and are the starting point for quiet walks into the valleys surrounding the gardens.
Bvumba is also known for its soft cheeses and fine coffee. Here you can also find one of the best golf courses at Leopard Rock hotel.
The southernmost range is the Chimanimani mountains that has granite spikes which can be climbed. An ideal place for serious hiking and enjoying the surreal beauty of nature with the variety of bird and plant life, Chimanimani is one of the places waiting to be visited more often than not.
You can go walking or climbing or go bird watching; you can do horse rides, golf over lush grounds, eat trout, see lovely botanical gardens and buy local food and crafts; with so much to do and see, the Eastern Highlands offer an unmatched experience to the tourist.