Scenic Nyanga

Article by Tami Mudzingwa
In the rolling hills of the Eastern Highlands lies one of Zimbabwe’s hidden gems, Nyanga National Park. Nestled in thick evergreen forests, the hills and valleys are punctuated by majestic waterfalls, streams, and rivers flowing with crystal clear water. The mystical Mt. Nyangani imposes its towering presence over the scenic view, while the lesser peaks and lush valleys complete nature’s portrait of this wonderful place. Located 271km from Harare and 108km from Mutare, Nyanga provides a convenient getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. Upon arrival, all visitors are greeted by an inexpressible serenity that can only be explained April.

Nyanga is also home to zebra and several species of antelope, including the waterbuck, wildebeest, klipspringer, kudu, and eland. The main predators include leopards, hyenas, and the occasional lion. The perennial streams are stocked with rainbow trout, providing the finest fly fishing experience in Mare, Rhodes, Gulliver, and Purdon lake. Udu is the only lake where bream fishing takes place. The rippling landscape also presents an array of adventure activities; hiking, canoeing, biking trails, and abseiling which will get one excited. For an adrenaline rush, an encounter with the famed Skywalk and Zipline at Mtarazi Falls awaits. Troutbeck offers a verdant 18-hole golf course in addition to horse rides to suit all ages and agility. History enthusiasts can visit the granite pit structures from the Stone Age and historical sites such as rock paintings and ancient gold workings.

The Rhodes museum by the body’s transition into a mode of relaxation. The journey itself is captivating. When approaching Nyanga one will discover roads flanked by flat-top acacias while the granite mountains, littered with the indigenous Msasa trees, display an assortment of brown, red, and gold colours between winter and spring. While the hills are covered in dense pine and wattle forests, the cool valleys are home to species of proteas, everlastings, and sprawling orchards filled with fresh fruit. In addition to an abundance of plant life, the bird watching is prolific; with over 300 species including migratory birds that fly in between November and likewise chronicles Nyanga’s bygone years and this visit must be complemented by a trip to the scenic World’s View for a more far-reaching experience. For overnight stays, an abundance of options is available. One could rough it out in the campsites provided by Zimparks, or enjoy a more comfortable stay at Montclair, Troutbeck, Blue Haze, Pine Tree Inn, and many other lodges and hotels.

Moreover, Zimparks provides self-catering facilities located at three camps, namely Udu, Mare, and the recently renovated Rhodes camp; all well-suited for the budget traveler. The road to Nyanga is well paved and easily accessible with a small vehicle. However, navigating within the national park would require a high clearance vehicle (preferably with 4WD) due to the rough terrain. To get there from Harare one takes the Mutare road, till  Rusape. In Rusape, the road signs indicate Nyanga/Juliasdale. From there, head on straight and experience a journey to be remembered. There’s so much more Nyanga has to offer, and all that’s been shared does not amount to a tenth of what awaits every visitor. Words will never be enough, see it for yourself and witness the marvel of nature that is Nyanga National Park.

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