Mutare Tourist Guide Eastern Highlands Zimbabwe

Mutare, Zimbabwe's third largest city and provincial capital of Manicaland, is roughly in the center of the mountain chain which forms the country's border with Mozambique.

Nyanga is the northern link of the chain, Chimanimani is the southern; Bvumba, is Mutare's doorstep. Eastwards lie the mountains and the plains of Mozambique. Mutare is the commercial and industrial heart of the province, and educational, cultural and medical institutions are here.

Most visitors to Mutare travel by car. There are also buses from Harare to Mutare which cost US$5 per trip. The length of the trip is between 2 and 3 hours. There is a night train to and from Harare and a coach service. Otherwise visitors hitch hike or rent a car in Mutare. Tours available.


Cecil Kop and Thompson's Vlei
a 1700 hectare nature reserve, 3 km from the city center of Mutare. Best time to visit Cecil Kop is 1600hrs when food is put out to entice animals down the mountain. Visitors view game from terrace - elephant, rhino, zebra, wildbeast and a plethora of antelope. Drive through the Thompson's section for good views of the mountains and see giraffe, buffalo, warthog, nyala, blue duiker and other antelope.

These are the local Mutare administrative offices. Off Robert Mugabe Road.
This complex features Queen's Concert Hall, Turner Memorial Library, Courtauld Theatre, the the Mutare Post office

Courtauld Theatre
Is one of the best equipped amateur theatres in Zimbabwe, named for Sir Stephen and Lady Courtauld. Courtauld Players are the resident compnay, and visiting artisits are welcome.

Cross Kopje

The 10m tall cross(floodlit), on the eatern boundary of the city, was rected in memory of black soldiers who died in East Africa in World War 1. Path to the summit leadsd off Rekayi Tangwena Drive.

Murahwa's Hill National Trust nature reserve.
Situated below Christmas pass has evidence of early settlement from which artefacts have been taken to the Mutare Museum. A steep path leads from the old Christmas Pass road, a more gentle path leads from near the showgrounds on Magamba Drive, 4 km from the city. The hill is home to rare birds, trees and butterflies

Mutare Museum
On Aerodrome Road. The transport galler has a fine collection of vintage cars and carts.; displays of weapons, flora and fauna of the the region and large walk- in aviary with over 500 birds. Visiting displays are a regular feature, as well as art exhibitions and concerts. Open everyday except Good Friday and Christmas Day from 0900 to 1700

Main Bath Community Swimming Pool
Entrance on Robert Mugabe Avenue. Open Daily from 0900 to 1700 except on Mondays, Good Fridays and Christmas Day. Closed middle of May to Mid August.

National Gallery Kopje House
Restored. Originally the first hospital in Mutare, 1887. Open daily from 0800 to 1630

Where to Stay in Mutare
Holliday Inn, Wise Owel Motel, Eastgate Hotel, Christmas Pass Hotel, Valley Lodge, Mountview Hotel. Conference centeres at most hotels. For details on back-packer and other budget accomodation, camping, caravan sites ask Mutare Publicity. (tel 64711)"Drifters" budget accomodation, camping, caravan site, 21km on Harare Road
Holliday Inn Mutare

Is a village 5 km off the Harare road. On a farm 13 km south of the Village is Mapor Caravan and camping site. There is also good accomodation at Musangano Lodge and Chikundu private game park and winery, close by.

Penhalonga, Odzani and Odzi
In Imbeza Valley, 13km from Mutare on the road to Penhalonga, is the National Trust resort "La Rochelle Hotel and Restaurant". This has a unique garden trail for the blind, with directions in Braille ( the only other of its kinds in Africa is at Kirstenbosch, Cape). There are also holiday cottages, caping and caravan sites. Neare Penhalonga is the Pioneer Nurses Memorial, on the site of the first hospital in Manicaland. In the Odzaniarea beyond Penhalonga are Lake Alexander (trout) and Small Bridge Dam(coarse fishing). The road eventually joins Mutare/Nyanga highway at Watsomba. Off the Nyanga highway, Osborne Dam, the newest addition to the National Parks and there are caravan and camping facilities available, also lake cruises with visits to a traditional village

Bvumba Mountains
These steep green "mountains of the mist", clothed in indeginous forest, lie South-east of Mutare. There are fascinating clound effect, breath taking views fotwards Mutare and into neighboring Mozambique, over coffee plantations and the Burma Valley to the Himalaya and Chimanimani mountains.

Botanical Gardens
The 30 hactor gardens have a variety f indigienous and exotic plants- azaleas, fuchsias and hydrageas are abundant. Bunga Forest woodland reserve has footpaths, natural streams, majestic views, varied bird life. There are three places on or near the forest to have tea/cofee.

Castle Beascon( approaching through the Vumba Heights gateway) and Chiyakwaremba ( at a lay-by) are both 15 mins climbs offering spectaccular biews

How to Get There
Ideally by car, but a bus leases tembwe street at 1000 daily and goes as far as Couldland, 17km from Mutare

Where to Stay
Inn on the Vumba, White Hrose Inn, Eden Lodge, Leaopard Rock Hotel and The Castle guest house. There are slef cattering cottages throughout the mountains.; caravan and camping site in the botanical gardens; backpack accomodation and camping at Ndundu Lodge (28.5km Bvumba Road) and Ardroy Guest House ( Blue Mountain Road along Essex Road)

Leopard Rock Mutare

Juliasdale and Nyanga
Thwe nothern section of the eastern highlands lies between 60km(Honde Valley) and 120km(World's view) north of Mutare. In the Juliasdale are is Zimbabwe's highest waterfall, M'tarazi falls, and the Honde view. Both are on the edge of an escarpement which drops 762km t the fertile Honde Valley. Nearby is Pungwe View, where visitors look down on the Pungwe Falls and the start of the 10km gorge. In wet weather it is advisable to approach this region from Nyakupinga Road and Brackenbridge road, rather than the scenic route.

West of Juliasdale on the road to Rusapoe the countr offers a seemingly endless vista of crag and boulder. In Nyanga National Park places of interest include Nyangwe (Mare) Dam., the trout hathcery, Nyangwe Fort, pit structures, Nyangombe Falls and swimming pool and Zimbabwe's highest mountain, Mount Nyangani (2592m). Ancient ruins where there is a site museum, 11km north of Nyanga.

In Troutbeck are the Connemara Lakes, World's View, Eagle's View, and the church of St. Catherine-in-the-Down's. Trout fishing(fly only)in the dams of the National Park; enquiries: Warde's Officce. Horse riding available in the Park and at the Troutbeck Inn. Golf courses at three of the hotels, plus many other sporting facilities. Wild-water rafting on the Pungwe River. Mountain bikes for hire.

Troutbeck Inn

A right turn at about 46km on the main Mutare- Nyanga Road leads to a long descent through the highly fertile Honde Valley to Aberfoyle.

How to get there
By car is best;local buses leave Mutare from Tebwe Street/Railyway Avenue or Sakubva Market Place from 0600 to 1300.

Where to saty
Juliasdale Brondesbury Park Hotel, Montclair Casino Hotel, Pine Tree Inn. Privatley owned cottages. Hidden Rocks Camping and Caravan park, on the Rusape Road, pas Brondesbury Park hote.

Nyanga Hotel, The Village Inn, Troutbeck Inn, Inn on Rupurara, National Parks lodges at Udu, Nyangwe (Mare) and Rhodes Camps and Pungwe Drift. Camping at M'tarazi and Nyangombe sites. Caravans at Nyangombe. Many self catering cottages. Nyanga Art Village: 1km past village turnoff - traditional dancing every Saturday

Honde Valley: Aberfoyle Club. Red Dragon

The name serves both the range of granite mountains and the small town 150km south east of Mutare. The area is remote, but served by an excellent tarred road. The mountans are a challenge to hikers and climbers. Near the town, Bridal Vlei Falls and the Eland Sanctuary. The base camp for the national Park is 19km from the town. A three hour jile from the base camp is the mountain hut(overnight shelter). Camping at campers own risk is allwoed anywhere in the national park (even in the caves). Please remember to leave only footprints and take only photographs. Sports facilities at Country Club

How to get there
By car, hitch-hiking is difficult. Local buses leave from Sakubva Market (3.5km from the city onChimanimani Road) before 0700 hours and at intervals during the morning

Where to stay
Chimanimani Hotel, Frog and Fern Bed and Breakfat, Heaven Lodge (for backpackers), Country Club

Deep in the baobab country, 85 km from Mutare, on the Birchnough Bridge Road, is the Hotsprings Health Resort, which offers lodges, restaurant, coarse fishing

An importand farming area; large coffee and tea estates. Full board is available at Kiledo Lodge and there aer two self cattering cottages in this area for visitors wishing to visit the Haroni-Rusitu forest reserves, Chririnda forest and other attactions. Coarse fishing available


  1. Its one of my dreams to be there , even though you might be a very nice place but one day l will be in Nyanga

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  4. The Manicaland Province has a lot to offer to both Locals and Foreigners! Good blog guys, i've just Added Manicaland especially Vumba, Inyanga, Troutbeck and Christmas Pass to my Travel List.

    I just love my country and proud to be Zimbabwean. Next time try and write about the culture of the people of Manicaland, their language and how friendly they are. Mudoite kuti amweni anhu akaite sesu aite like to come ikweyo!

    1. I love Manicaland, its full of great places where u can relax and have fun. Try Troutbeck in Nyanga, Leopard Rock in Vumba among other great places...

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