Museums, Art Galleries and Botanical Gardens

ID #4914

Parks, Gardens and Game Reserves around Mutare, Eastern Highlands, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa.

Three are close to Mutare, as follows:

•    Osborne Dam Recreational Park.  The latest addition to the areas protected by Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife.  It covers over 2600-Ha with a capacity of 400 million m3 making it the third largest inland water source.  It stretches for 16-km up the Odzi River and 15-km along its Nyatande tributary.  It is over 6-km wide and 66-m deep.  Activities include boating and bass-fishing.  The Bass Masters Society views the site as potential record-catch territory.  Anglers enjoy a catch-and-release culture. Birding around the lake is increasing in popularity and a range of aquatic and terrestrial birds are to be seen.  Walking paths along the dam wall, around the shores, down the Odzi River and in the nearby hills (Mount Jenya) provides a range of scenery for hiking enthusiasts.  A 102-km drive around the lake includes access to several nearby rural settlements. The camping area, which can accommodate up to 300 campers, is equipped with braai facilities and electrical outlets at every other site. It is an ideal location for fishing and boating tournaments.  A rest camp with two lodges is scheduled to open early in 2000. Other future developments include the introduction of game, pony rides along the lakeshore, boat cruises, windsurfing and canoeing. Access is from the Mutare/Harare road 36 km from Mutare and along 20-km of gravel roads through the Odzi farmlands, or by using the Koodoosberg road off the Nyanga/Mutare road.
•    Vumba Botanical Garden and Reserve. Well-wooded 200 Ha park at an altitude of 1500-m in the lush Vumba Mountains. It includes 159-Ha of landscaped gardens built around perennial streams that form a small lake.  Sheltered walks between indigenous ferns, leads to displays of banked hydrangeas, proteas and azaleas. Begonias, lilies, aloes, fuschias, cycads and many other species also flower in abundance. Wonderful views eastwards over Mozambique as the ground drops sharply away to the plains hundreds of meters below.  It also includes 42-Ha of indigenous sub-tropical equatorial forest. Footpaths are open to day visitors who wish to explore the biodiversity and rare species of ferns and orchids within the reserve. A caravan site with a panoramic view and electrical outlets is situated within the garden.  A well-maintained campsite with a swimming pool is available throughout the year. All areas with ablution blocks with hot and cold water. Water on tap and braai facilities.  The Vumba Tea Garden is located within the Botanical Garden.  It opens at 10h00 365 days a year. A selection of teas and cakes, light meals, vegetarian dishes are served. A range of arts and crafts and curios is on sale. 29-km from Mutare.
•    Bunga Forest Botanical Reserve. 1555-Ha of indigenous sub-tropical equatorial forest. The reserve’s trees are host to a variety of mosses, ferns, and orchids endemic to humid climate of the Vumba. A variety of butterflies and rare birds are present as well as wildlife including bushpig and samango monkey. Spot the dwarf chameleon on one of the many trails leading to streams and waterfalls throughout the forest. Castle Beacon, accessible from the western side of the Vumba Heights, provides a stunning view of the surrounding countryside. Birchenough Bridge, 120-km way, is visible on clear days. AVParks

Manicaland Provincial Office        Private Bag Q7763 Mutare
+263 (20) 63907 telephone
                    +263 (20) 63955 fax
Central Reservations            Box CY826 Causeway, Harare Zimbabwe
                    +263 (4) 706 077
                    +263 (4) 726 089

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Last update: 2009-07-27 06:39
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.0

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