Zimbabwe is blessed with a wide range of stunning landscapes, from the majestic World Wonder of Victoria Falls to the stone wall brilliance of Great Zimbabwe to the game rich floodplains of Mana Pools. However an oft overlooked but no less stunning part of our beautiful country is its Eastern Highlands. Forming a rugged boundary with neighboring Mozambique the eastern Highlands are comprised of 3 main mountain ranges; Nyanga in the North, Bvumba in the middle and Chimanimani in the South. All 3 mountain ranges are part of the East African Rift system that runs down the continent from East Africa.
Nestled under the Nyanga plateau, which peaks to form Zimbabwe's highest point Mt Nyangani, is Eastern Highlands Plantations Limited, (also commonly referred to as Aberfoyle Tea Estates). Spread over the lower slopes of the Nyanga plateau are vividly verdant fields of tea.
A view in any direction from one of the many high points on the estate reveal rolling, lush and methodically trimmed fields, a testament to mans' innovative and persistent tenacity. Carved out of the wilderness in the 1950's there is no doubt that a lot of indigenous flora would have been mowed down to make way for the plantations, and as a lover of all things natural and indigenous this will always be in the back of my mind. However, the inherent man made beauty has the effect of subduing those negative thoughts.
The estate also ceeded a large portion of its land on the lower slopes of the Inyangani plateau to nature and subsequently to National Parks. The Gleneagles Reserve is a haven of indigenous forest best explored on foot and with a sense of awe. At 2000 hectares the reserve is the largest and best preserved block of Afro-Montain forest in the country.
Babbling streams hemmed in by tall Forest Newtonians create a backdrop that wouldn't go amiss in a Lord of the Rings movie also create a habitat for a plethora of rare birds and so are a mecca for avid birders from all over the world.
The area also offers a variety of adrenaline inducing activities such as gravity defying zip lines through the forest canopy and white water rafting down the Pungwe River, these can be organised through Far and Wide Zimbabwe with Aberfoyle Lodge providing the perfect base to explore the area's many exciting offerings.