Bvumba Mountains

The Bvumba Mountains or Vumba Mountains straddle the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border, and are situated some 10 km south east of Mutare. The Bvumba rise to Castle Beacon at 1,911 metres, and are, together with the Chimanimani and Nyanga part of the Eastern Highlands of the Manicaland and adjacent Manica provinces. They are referred to as the "Mountains of the Mist" (Bvumba being the Shona word for "mist"), as so often the early morning starts with a mist which clears by mid-morning. Although lying mostly within Zimbabwe, the mountains extend north-eastward to Mount Vumba (or Monte Vumba) in Mozambique. They are capped by cool, green hills which shelter country hotels, a casino and golf course at the Leopard Rock Hotel and a Botanical Garden with one of the best views in Africa. The mountains are also known for their coffee plantations.

Vumba Botanical Gardens & Reserve

Vumba Botanical Gardens is located 32 kilometres from Mutare .The scenery in Vumba is that of high massifs, juxtaposed with lush green natural forests, vast plantations of pine and wattle, perennially flowing rivers, crystal clear upland rivers cascading down-slope and deep ravines. On the belly of Vumba mountains are the Vumba Botanical Gardens, a must-see for all those who love peace and nature. The gardens are popular for botany lovers, retreat destination and an up-market wedding venue. It is a garden endowed with indigenous orchids and ferns punctuated by a network of footpaths that enable clients to navigate all the corners of the garden. The gardens are fit for a weekend retreat or even a single days retreat with a taste of flora and Unique fauna.

Mountain hikes

The climb to the prominence, Castle Beacon, is up a large granite dome. The lower slopes form a mist belt with sub-montane vegetation. Proteas are found on the higher levels.[3] Vumba Mountain, on the Mozambique side, is a steep hike to a summit with a good view of Manica and environs.

The mountains are dominated by savannah woodland, including Brachystegia / miombo. There are also extensive sub-montane grasslands, local mist-belts with mosses and epiphytic and lithophytic ferns and sub-montane evergreen forest in the deeper ravines. The higher levels of the mountains are sparsely vegetated with shrubs such as proteas, aloes and Strelitzia.

In the centre of the mountains lies the Bunga Forest Botanical Reserve and neighbouring Bvumba Botanical Garden. The latter is landscaped around a number of small streams and includes an important cycad collection, with 59 of the 189 known species.