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Eastern Highlands

Bellville, South...
Level Contributor
78 posts
Eastern Highlands

I hope to visit Zimbabwe for the first time during July this year. At the start I will be on my own and visit Victoria Falls and then Bulawayo / Matopos using public transport. Next is the Great Zimbabwe ruins. I will probably pick up a small rental car in Harare to go to Great Zimbabwe ruins and back to Harare. But now I am playing with the idea of starting my trip 3 days earlier and using that time to drive from Masvingo to the Eastern Highlands before going back to Harare. I gather that people go to the Eastern parts mostly for hiking or birding, neither of which I'm very good at - I'm more interested in the landscapes/mountains/views and the vegetation/forests - the photos I saw of the area looked beautiful. I thought of spending 1 day in the Bvumba area, and one further North, going back to Harare via Juliusdale. I've gathered that Chimanimani is 4x4 and hiking territory and thus not for me ! Is the same true for Nyanga National Park ?

I have 2 questions :

- In the new edition of the Bradt guidebook they say that places like "Bvumba Botanical Gardens and Reserve" and "Bunga Botanical Reserve" have been neglected to such an extent that they are overgrown jungles and not worth visiting (except for birding). La Rochelle Hotel has closed - I don't know if their gardens will still be open. Question is , is it worth going East ?

- I realise that some parts are not suitable for smaller saloon cars. And I have read warnings about vehicles being broken into or stolen at some of the favourite parking spots (near Pungwe Falls and others). Question - Which parts (if any) of the Eastern Highlands will it be possible and safe to go to on my own, and get out of the car to take photos ?

Or should I forget about this?

I really hope people who knows the area will advise me. Thanks.

Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
52 posts
58 reviews
1. Re: Eastern Highlands

Nyanga is definitely a must see as it has such a beautiful landscape. A small saloon car is indeed not an ideal especially if you want to see the really beauty of Nyanga. There has been some neglect but there is still a lot to see including the Mtarazi Falls, Rhodes Museum and National Park as well and taste the trout. If you need help let me know.

Bellville, South...
Level Contributor
78 posts
2. Re: Eastern Highlands

Hello

Thank you very much for the reply and the offer of help. I'm glad to know that Nyanga is a good destination. I have already organised a rental 4 x 4 to drive to the East and at present I am trying to book one of the rondavels / huts inside Nyanga Parks for 1 night.

1 post
3. Re: Eastern Highlands

Hi, Who did you hire your 4x4 from?

Bellville, South...
Level Contributor
78 posts
4. Re: Eastern Highlands

I hired a Toyota RAV4 with automatic transmission for 5 days from Doug Mc Lellan in the Northern suburbs of Harare (contact him at 0774 942 508 or mashava25 at gmail dot com). $69/day including comprehensive insurance and unlimited mileage. The RAV4 had 170000 kms on the clock but it never missed a beat - I developed a lot of respect for the vehicle ! There was a cash deposit to be payed - I got it back as soon as I returned the car. Everything worked exactly as we arranged it - no surprises at all. If I ever visit Zim again I will get one of Doug's Rav4's again.

West Hollywood...
Level Contributor
307 posts
5. Re: Eastern Highlands

Eastern Highlands - I heard that there are some excellent Coffee & Tea Plantations there that you can visit. A couple people told me this.

~Lucky Chucky

Bellville, South...
Level Contributor
78 posts
6. Re: Eastern Highlands

Yes,like at Aberfoyle. But I ran out of time, drove into the beautiful Honda valley, but not all the way up to Aberfoyle. I spend most of my "Eastern" time in the Mutare / Vumba area and I visited the Matarazi and Pungwe falls. Very beautiful area.

7. Re: Eastern Highlands

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