Rhodes Nyanga National Park

Situated in the northern part of the Eastern Highlands

Nyanga National Park is situated in the northern part of the Eastern Highlands and is without doubt  one of Zimbabwe’s most scenic areas with its rolling green hills and perennial river systems which transverse the 47 000 hectares of the Park. The area consists mainly of rolling hills and granite mountains with acacia, miombo and mixed woodlands, montane forests, exotic plantations and montane grasslands. There are also numerous steep  gorges, rivers and waterfalls, farms and orchards. This area is an outstanding destination for those who enjoy the great outdoors.  The cooler climate is just perfect for scenic drives, hiking or golfing.

From Harare you turn off the main Harare – Mutare road at Rusape and follow the signs to Juliasdale. Although tarred, the roads are generally in poor condition and you need to watch out for potholes which are not always easily seen when in shadow. 4WD is recommended.

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The area experiences orographic rainfall which occurs when moist air rises and cools, producing orographic clouds, which are the source of the rain. These weather patterns are unique to the Eastern Highlands and as a result much of the flora and fauna is quite localised and very different to the dry, low lying west and the rest of the country. 

Altitudes between 1 800 and 2 593 metres provide cool weather and fresh mountain air, perfect for rest and relaxation. With its stunning mountainous views, numerous waterfalls, varied activities and unique flora and fauna, Nyanga National Park provides visitors with an unforgettable experience.

Visitors to the Eastern part of the country in June to August will be exposed to a kaleidoscope of colour as the leaves of the indigenous Msasa trees transform and develop through a variety of reds, yellows, maroons, golds, browns, oranges, and greens over a few weeks. A wonderful sight to behold and photograph

There are numerous ancient ruins in the area as well as waterfalls which are well worth a visit. There are essentially three main types of ruins to explore, namely pits, forts and terraces. There are also some caves with rock paintings and ancient gold workings.

On the edge of the Rhodes Nyanga National Park is Mt Nyangombe, Zimbabwe’s highest mountain (see ‘Attractions’ below).  

Many of the dams and lakes in the Nyanga area are famous for their good trout and bass fishing and it is also an excellent area for golf, horse riding and mountain hikes as well as birding, rock climbing and abseiling

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At A Glance



  • Inn on Ruparara (17 lodges with en-suite, bar, restaurant and lounge)®
  • Troutbeck Inn (73 rooms, bar, restaurant)
  • Rhodes Nyanga Hotel (Built early 1900s – 24 rooms, bar & restaurant)
  • Pine Tree Inn (14 rooms with en-suite, bar, lounge, restaurant)
  • Mutarazi Falls Cottages (Self Catering – 3 cottages x 2 bedrooms))

Note: In terms of accommodation in the Nyanga area there is a wide variety on offer. The Eastern part of Zimbabwe has been impacted quite severely by the country’s economic woes so much of the accommodation is budget.

The two main hotels are Inn on Ruparara and Troutbeck Inn and there are other smaller hotels which are older, basic and comfortable such as the Pine Tree Inn and Rhodes Matopas Hotel. Generally the food is of a reasonable quality.

There are also numerous self-catering lodges which have all the basic essentials and are comfortable. The further south you travel in the Eastern Highlands to Mutare and beyond there is a lot of additional accommodation and things to do and see.

The Eastern Highlands extend for approximately 300 kms (188 miles).

There are also a number of ZIMPARKs Lodges. See ‘ZIMPARKS Facilities’.

ZIMPARKS Facilities


There are lodges available at three camps in Nyanga National Park. The lodges are self catering facilities with fully equipped kitchen, refrigerator, stove and cooking utensils.

Mare Dam:

Located approximately 8 kilometres from the Park entrance along a gravel road. Set in a beautiful pine forest, each of the lodges overlook the scenic dam.

Rhodes Dam:

The spacious thatched lodges are set in amongst the pine forest and face a tranquil dam.

Udu Dam:

Lodges at Udu are set in a very scenic area around the dam which has views of the rugged mountains. There are also a number of stands of beautiful Acacia Trees.

Camping and Caravan Sites: 

Cooking facilities are available on wood fires. Ablution and toilet facilities are provided in communal blocks. Tents and camping equipment are not available for hire.

Electricity is available at certain caravan sites.


The camping and caravan site is situated at the Mare River approximately half a kilometer west of the tourist office. The camp accommodates 40 caravans.


The camping site is situated near the Nyangombe River. Entrance is approximately 3 kilometres west of Rhodes Tourist Office on the Nyanga Village Road. The site is well sheltered and has plenty of trees especially acacia trees.


Location and Road Access

From Harare– take the Harare Mutare Road for 169 km to Rusape and turn left. From Rusape, follow the Nyanga road for 90 km and turn right at the main park entrance.

From Mutare– take Harare- Mutare road for 11 km and turn right at Juliasdale road. Follow this road for 85 km to the end and turn right towards Nyanga village and then right at the main park entrance.

Harare – Rusape 169 kms (105 miles)

Harare – Nyanga 274 kms (170 miles)

Harare – Mutare 262 kms (163 miles)

Harare – Masvingo 293 kms (183.13 miles)

Harare – Gweru 277 kms (172 miles)

Rusape – Nyanga 105 kms (65 miles)

Nyanga –  Mutare 116 kms (72 miles)

Nyanga – Melsetter 266 kms (165 miles)

Nyanga – Birchenough Bridge 250 kms (156 miles)

Nyanga – Masvingo 425 kms (264 miles)

Nyanga – Gweru 550 kms (342 miles)

Masvingo – Gweru 164 kms (103 miles)

Beitbridge – Bulawayo 322 kms 200 (miles)

Bulawayo – Harare 440 kms (274 miles)

Bulawayo – Masvingo 280 kms (174 miles)

Bulawayo – Mutare 578 kms   (359 miles)

Bulawayo – Nyanga  686 kms (429 miles)


Nearby Attractions

  • Mount Nyangani (2593 metres)
  • World’s View
  • Nyangombe Falls
  • Mutarazi Falls
  • Pungwe Gorge and Falls
  • Nyamuziwa Falls
  • Kezi Ruins
  • Nyangwe and Chawomera Forts
  • Trout Hatchery (near Purdon Dam)
  • Rhodes Museum


Mutarazi Falls is the highest waterfall in Zimbabwe and the second highest in Africa.

Visitors may leave their vehicle at the car park and take a short hike to the edge of the escarpment for spectacular views of the waterfalls and the Honde Valley, some 800 metres below


Nyanga National Park is approximately 10 minutes drive from Nyanga town where fuel, banks, hospitals, supermarkets, pharmacies, and other social facilities can be found. 

Location Pin



Wildebeest, kudu, buffalo, Klipspringer, Leopard, hyena, blue duiker, Samango monkeys, zebra, waterbuck, impala, sable, eland, the clawless otter (upper Kairezi River) and smaller mammals can be seen in the Park including the endangered Inyangani River Frog. 


The variation in the Eastern Highlands terrain attracts different species of birds to specific areas.  In the forests the lesser known Chirinda Apalis and Roberts’s Warbler can be seen whilst other forest birds include the Orange Ground-thrush, White-starred Robin, Swynnerton’s Robin, Red-capped Robin-chat, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Barratt’s Warbler, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler, Barratt’s Warbler, Olive and Black-fronted Bush-shrike.

Red-faced Crimsonwing can be seen in the brush and in the more open bush areas the Yellow-bellied Waxbill is common and the Livingstone’s Turaco can also often seen and heard. Orange-winged Pytilia can be found in the more open habitats as can the Swee Waxbill in the western parts of Nyanga. Wattled Crane also breed in the area.

The mountains are important for the rare Taita Falcon and summer brings Blue Swallows to the montane grasslands to breed. The miombo woodlands produce Whyte’s Barbet, Miombo Tit, Rufous-bellied Tit, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Miombo Double-collared Sunbird, Broad-tailed Paradise-whydah and Black-eared Seedeater, whilst the acacia can be searched for the elusive Ashy Tit.

A check on the skies is always a good idea in this area, particularly around escarpments and Scarce Swift, African Black Swift, Mottled Swift, Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Augur Buzzard and Verreaux’s Eagle can be seen and in open grassland you could find Secretary birds, Pallid Harrier, Moustached Grass-warbler and Striped Flufftail.

Garden areas attract a wide variety of birds including the Bronzy and Malachite Sunbirds on flowers.


Fly fishing is very popular in the Park’s rivers and dams. Lake Gulliver and the Mare, Udu, Purdon and Rhodes Dams have been stocked with trout from hatcheries maintained by the Department of National Parks. The Rainbow trout is most widespread within the park’s dams and streams but Brown trout and the American brook trout are also present.

Bream fishing is also available at Udu Dam.

Mount Nyangani

Mount Nyangani (formerly Mount Inyangani) is located in the Nyanga National Park and is situated in close proximity to Juliasdale.

It is the highest mountain in Zimbabwe  at 2,593 m (8,504 ft)

Mt Nyangani is approx 275 km (171 mi) east of Harare and 70 miles north of Mutare. 

The area is very popular with walkers and ‘outward bounders’ and climbing Mt Nyangani is on many visitors ‘to do’ list. Depending on individual fitness the walk will generally take between 1½ to 3 hours.

Whilst the walk does not require rock climbing it is still a relatively steep climb and it is recommended that people with health conditions, injuries or who are out of condition  should not attempt it.

The ascent is tiring and the decline is strenuous and hikers need to be careful of loose stones. It should not be attempted after rains.

Annual rainfall totals are high (around 2200 mm) but long spells of dry weather occur during the winter period of May to August which generally makes for ideal walking conditions as it is quite cool.

It is essential that you have the correct footwear which should not be loose. You will also need to take water and it is recommended that you take something to snack on. It is advisable to take a camera.

When climbing Mt Nyangani you need to be very aware of prevailing weather conditions and should seek local advice. The weather can change very quickly from sunny skies to thick fog and visibility will be severely impacted. It is easy to become disorientated and to loose direction, so is potentially very dangerous. Under fairly severe conditions a number of fatalities have occurred over the years.

The summit lies atop a small outcrop of rock around 40 metres above the surrounding area. The remainder of the peak is a broad moor of mainly rolling hills and plateau covering an area of about 8 km2. There are excellent views to be had and on a clear day there are many good photographic opportunities. The edges of the plateau fall steeply away to the east and west sides.

Three rivers have their sources on Mount Nyangani: the Nyamuziwa River, the Kairezi (Gairezi) River and the Pungwe River. The first two are tributaries of the Mazowe River, which is itself a tributary of the Zambezi River. The Nyama River, a tributary of the Kayirezi, falls off the main plateau in a waterfall on the northeast of the mountain and the Kairezi Falls are located on the east edge of the main plateau.

Sign Post


  • Fly fishing
  • Trout and bream fishing
  • Rock climbing
  • Abseiling
  • Bird watching
  • Game viewing
  • Horse riding
  • Walking and hiking trails
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Caravaning
  • Golf (Claremont Golf Club – 18 holes; Troutbeck Inn – 9 holes)
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