The mystic Bvumba Mountains lie on the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border, approximately 25 km south east of Mutare. The Bvumba rise to Castle Beacon at 1911 metres, and are, together with the Chimanimani and Nyanga part of the Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe bordering Mozambique.

These mountains are referred to as the "Mountains of the Mist", as so often the early morning starts with a mist but clears by mid morning. The Vumba’s cool green hills shelter a casino and golf course at the Leopard Rock Hotel and a Botanical Gardens with one of the best views in Africa.

The mountains are dominated by savannah woodland, including brachystegia and 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 network of paths and a number of small streams and includes an important cycad collection, with 59 of the 189 known species.

Although small in area, the mountains are a botanical paradise and home to some of the rarest butterflies in the region. The Bvumba mountains offer exciting and varied birding opportunities. The area is probably best known as one of the main breeding areas of Swynnerton's Robin which lives and breeds in small patches of forest.

Other species include the Crowned Eagle, Narina Trogon, Livingstone's Lourie, Tambourine Dove, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Twinspots and the rare Starred Robin.

 


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