Nyanga National Park lies in the northern part of the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe and is the country’s oldest national park. Not a classic wildlife destination, Nyanga National Park offers something different for birding and nature enthusiasts. Zimbabwe’s highest point—Mount Nyangani—lies in the centre of the park, while the country’s highest waterfall—Mutarazi Falls—can be found in the southern part of the National Park.
The National Park boasts vast expanses of lush grassland peppered with clusters of dense forest and spans over 116,000 acres of the African wilderness. Although wildlife is scarce within the National Park, one of its main attractions is its several archaeological sites. Other local attractions in and around Nyanga National Park include the Pungwe and Honde Rivers, the Mutarazi Falls, and the Honde Valley.
Nyanga National Park is located approximately 260 kilometres from Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, making it easy to access via road.
Set in the northern part of the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, Nyanga National Park is a unique destination, compared to Zimbabwe’s classic safari parks on offer. The elusive wildlife of the National Park reveals an impressive diversity of mammals. Safari-goers might spot the occasional lion or buffalo that sometimes stray into the region from the Mozambique lowlands. Visitors can expect regular sightings of kudu, reedbuck, and other antelope, as well as predators such as hyenas and leopards.
Additionally, Nyanga National Park is well known for its populations of Samango monkeys and blue duiker, both of which are not found outside of the Eastern Highlands. Furthermore, the endangered Inyangani river frog is found in the rocky, fast-flowing streams of the Montane grassland.
For the birders, Nyanga National Park is part of the globally important Eastern Zimbabwe Mountains Endemic Bird Area (EBA) and is an interesting bird oasis. There are over 300 species of birds in the National Park.
Nyanga National Park is a year-round destination and ideal for birding and nature enthusiasts. The birdlife is abundant throughout the year. However, the best time for bird watching is from November to April when the migratory birds have arrived. During the wet season, the scenery of the National Park is on full show, while wildlife viewing is hit-and-miss at any point during the year.
Nyanga National Park, in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, is not a classic safari destination. It is best known for its birding opportunities, attracting nature enthusiasts and avid birders throughout the year. Travellers are encouraged to pack their cameras and binoculars for extraordinary sights of green hills, perennial rivers, thundering waterfalls, and unsurpassed stretches of valley.
Hikers are drawn to the National Park, with plenty of walking and hiking trails that crisscross the landscape—some of which ascend toward the peak of Mt. Nyangani. Avid anglers are encouraged to bring along their rods and cast a line in the trout-filled rivers, streams, and reservoirs. For wildlife spotting, visitors can expect to encounter blue duiker, the Samango monkey, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, and bushbuck.
The National Park attracts thousands of birders throughout the year, with large numbers of species recorded in the Park. Birding combined with hiking means better opportunities to spot the likes of the brown-hooded kingfisher, the golden-breasted bunting, Livingstone’s turaco, and various warbler.
There are various lodges, hotels, and guest accommodations in and around Nyanga. Guests can expect a range of budget-friendly options, with the creature comforts of home. The National Park itself has three camps with self-catering lodges. Each comes with a fully-equipped kitchen and a view of the dam. For more up-market lodges, there are options further afield.