Chimanimani National Park

Chimanimani National Park

Chimanimani National Park boasts an astonishing area of 656 km2. Situated in the captivating Chimanimani Mountains, this protected area in the Manica Province of Mozambique is a nature lover’s paradise.

With its awe-inspiring landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and cultural significance, this hidden gem offers an unforgettable experience for visitors seeking to explore the wonders of Southern Africa.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chimanimani National Park covers an expansive area of 656 km2.
  • The park is located in the scenic Chimanimani Mountains on the border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
  • It is renowned for its pristine environment, diverse flora and fauna, and cultural significance.
  • Monte Binga, the highest peak in Mozambique, can be found within the park.
  • Chimanimani National Park offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking and camping.

Geography of Chimanimani National Park

Chimanimani National Park encompasses the Mozambican portion of the picturesque Chimanimani Mountains, a stunning mountain range spanning approximately 50 kilometres. The park’s crown jewel is Mount Binga, standing proudly as the highest peak in Mozambique at an impressive elevation of 2436 meters.

Spanning over 656 km², Chimanimani National Park protects this majestic mountain range and includes a substantial buffer zone of 1723 km² that extends into lower-elevation areas. This buffer zone is crucial in preserving the park’s ecological significance and is home to several forest reserves established in 1953.

“The buffer zone of Chimanimani National Park is a testament to our commitment to conservation. It ensures the protection of valuable forest reserves, such as Moribane, Mpunga, Maronga, and Zomba, which contribute significantly to the park’s biodiversity and natural beauty.” – Park Ranger

The forest reserves within the buffer zone are vital havens for a diverse range of plant and animal species. Nestled within the lush greenery, these reserves sustain a delicate balance of fragile ecosystems, providing essential habitats for flora and fauna to thrive in this mountainous landscape.

Such pristine natural surroundings can be found throughout Chimanimani National Park, offering visitors a remarkable experience in nature’s heart.

Flora and Fauna of Chimanimani National Park

Chimanimani National Park is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, contributing to its reputation as a biodiversity hotspot. The park boasts an impressive flora, with over 30% of Zimbabwe’s total plant species thriving within its boundaries. This makes it a haven for nature enthusiasts and botany enthusiasts alike.

Besides its remarkable plant diversity, Chimanimani National Park provides a vital habitat for several rare and unique animal species. Among them are the Red-capped robin-chat and the elusive Welwitsch’s bat. These species are not commonly found in other regions, making their presence in the park particularly noteworthy.

The park is also home to various wildlife, although it may not offer the same abundance as other reserves. Visitors can encounter majestic animals such as elandbushbuck, and the diminutive blue duiker. While their numbers may be relatively small, witnessing these creatures in their natural habitat is a rewarding experience.

Chimanimani National Park’s commitment to conservation and protection ensures that these flora and fauna flourish undisturbed. It serves as a sanctuary for these species, playing a crucial role in preserving their populations and contributing to the overall biodiversity of the area.


Chimanimani National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The park offers numerous hiking trails that cater to all skill levels, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the pristine environment. These trails lead to breathtaking waterfalls, scenic viewpoints, and unique rock formations, providing an unforgettable experience.

Camping is a popular activity in Chimanimani National Park, offering visitors the chance to spend the night surrounded by the serene beauty of nature. Whether you prefer camping in designated areas, exploring the caves, or staying in the mountain hut, the park provides a range of options to suit different preferences.

However, Chimanimani National Park is not just a natural wonderland. It also holds great cultural significance, as locals have preserved cave paintings, ancient traditions, and beliefs for generations. Exploring the park allows visitors to connect with the rich cultural identity of the region, adding an extra layer of depth and meaning to their experience.

Whether you are seeking adventure, looking to explore the pristine environment, or eager to immerse yourself in the local culture, Chimanimani National Park has something to offer for everyone. Discover the beauty of this hidden gem and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Fees Type Locals (USD) SADC Visitors (USD) International Visitors (USD)
Conservation Fees (Daily) $3 N/A $10
Vehicle Entry Fees (Category IV Parks Including Chimanimani)
Saloon vehicles, pickups, and 4-wheel drives $3 Day Visitors: $1 | Accommodated/day: $3
Minibuses (up to 25 seats) $10 Day Visitors: $5 | Accommodated/day: $30
Trailers $3 Day Visitors: $1 | Accommodated/day: $10
Caravans $3 Day Visitors: $1 | Accommodated/day: $10
Buses/Lorries (Schools) $10 Day Visitors: $5 | Accommodated/day: $30
Buses/Lorries (Other) $20 Day Visitors: $10 | Accommodated/day: $30
Overland Trucks (Defined routes, Matobo & Chizarira) $50 Prohibited
Lorries (Mining) $50.00 Prohibited
Accommodation Rates
Specific rates for Chimanimani not listed. Please refer to the document for standard rates on accommodations.

Surrounded by the majestic Chimanimani Mountains, this small town offers a plethora of activities to suit every taste and interest.

Begin your journey by exploring the rugged and scenic mountain ranges of Chimanimani Mountains National Park. With its diverse hiking trails, from easy day walks to challenging multi-day treks, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, you’ll find a trail that suits your fitness level.

In addition to hiking, Chimanimani National Park offers a range of other activities. Set up camp and witness breathtaking views of waterfalls and rock formations. Keep an eye out for eland, klipspringer, blue duiker, and various bird species as you venture through the park.

If waterfalls are your thing, then Bridal Veil Falls is a must-visit. Located within the Eland Sanctuary, this beautiful waterfall offers a picnic and camping site where you can swim, fish, and simply relax. For a truly remote and unique experience, head to The Corner, a hidden gem in the northeast corner of the park. Here, you’ll be spellbound by rare species of plants, insects, and birds.

Looking for some adrenaline-pumping activities? The Outward Bound Centre is the place to be. Try your hand at zip-lining, abseiling, rock climbing, kayaking, and more. Feel the thrill as you conquer new heights and push your limits.

If you prefer a more relaxed pace, visit the Arboretum, a botanical garden showcasing indigenous trees and plants. Take a guided or self-guided tour, enjoy a picnic, and soak in the panoramic viewpoints of the surrounding landscapes.

Chimanimani National Park offers a world of adventure, wildlife, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re hiking the trails, bird watching, camping, or simply indulging in nature walks, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable getaway. Come and explore the beauty of Chimanimani today!

Hiking Trails in Chimanimani National Park

Chimanimani National Park in Zimbabwe offers an array of hiking trails that cater to all fitness levels and experience. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there’s a trail waiting for you to explore the breathtaking beauty of the park.

From gentle nature walks to challenging multi-day treks, these hiking trails provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes and observe the diverse flora and fauna that call Chimanimani home. You can embark on your own adventure or opt for guided tours, where experienced guides will provide professional assistance and invaluable information about the park’s wildlife and geological wonders.

Here are some of the notable hiking trails in Chimanimani National Park:

  • 1. Umhlangeni Falls Trail: This trail takes you on a journey to witness the magnificent Umhlangeni Falls, cascading from a height of 60 meters. The trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
  • 2. Bridal Veil Falls Trail: Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you hike to the Bridal Veil Falls. This trail leads you through lush forests and unveils picturesque views of the waterfall.
  • 3. Nyamadzawo Falls Trail: Discover the hidden gem of Nyamadzawo Falls as you hike through scenic landscapes and experience the serenity of this secluded waterfall.
  • 4. Pungwe Gorge Trail: Prepare for an exhilarating adventure as you navigate through the rocky terrain of Pungwe Gorge. The trail rewards hikers with awe-inspiring views of the gorge and its surrounding cliffs.
  • 5. Mountain Hut Loop Trail: Experience the magic of camping in the mountains with this trail that takes you to different mountain huts. Each hut offers spectacular views and a unique camping experience.

These are just a few examples of the incredible hiking trails that await you in Chimanimani National Park. Lace up your boots, grab your hiking gear, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through Zimbabwe’s picturesque landscapes.

Trail Name Description Difficulty Distance
Umhlangeni Falls Trail A scenic trail leading to the majestic Umhlangeni Falls with breathtaking views of mountains and valleys. Easy 6 km
Bridal Veil Falls Trail A trail through lush forests offering picturesque views of the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls. Moderate 9 km
Nyamadzawo Falls Trail A hike to a secluded waterfall, surrounded by stunning landscapes and serene atmosphere. Difficult 12 km
Pungwe Gorge Trail An exhilarating trail through rocky terrain, providing awe-inspiring views of the gorge and cliffs. Difficult 15 km
Mountain Hut Loop Trail A trail that takes you to different mountain huts, each offering unique camping experiences and panoramic views. Moderate 20 km

Bird Watching and Wildlife Viewing in Chimanimani National Park

Chimanimani National Park is a paradise for bird watching enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of bird species to spot. From majestic eagles and soaring vultures to vibrant hornbills and colorful songbirds, the park is alive with avian wonder. Whether you’re an avid birder or simply enjoy observing these feathered creatures in their natural habitat, bird watching in Chimanimani National Park is an experience like no other.

But the park’s offerings extend beyond bird watching. Its diverse ecosystem supports a rich variety of wildlife, making it a haven for wildlife viewing as well. As you explore the park, you may encounter magnificent mammals such as eland, klipspringer, and the elusive blue duiker. With their natural grace and beauty, these creatures provide an unforgettable glimpse into the wonders of the animal kingdom.

With numerous wildlife viewing opportunities, Chimanimani National Park gives you the chance to observe these animals in their natural habitats. Whether you embark on a guided tour or venture out on your own, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the region’s rich biodiversity and conservation efforts. It’s an immersive experience that will deepen your appreciation for nature and wildlife.

For bird watching tours and wildlife viewing adventures, Chimanimani National Park is the perfect destination. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a nature enthusiast looking to discover the wonders of Zimbabwe’s wildlife, the park’s diverse avian and mammal species will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.

Accommodation in Chimanimani National Park

The only official accommodation in Chimanimani National Park is located at the campground adjacent to the Park Office and the nearby Mountain Hut. Although the facilities might be in a state of disrepair, they still provide operational toilets and hot water for your convenience.

For visitors who prefer a more adventurous experience, camping gear can be brought along to enjoy wild camping within the park. This allows you to immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings and connect with nature on a deeper level.

Please note that the Dead Cow campsite, mentioned on some outdated maps, has been abandoned and is no longer operational.

Accommodation Options Amenities
  • Operational toilets
  • Hot water

Tips for Exploring Chimanimani National Park

When planning to explore Chimanimani National Park, it’s crucial to follow some essential tips and guidelines for a safe and memorable experience. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a nature enthusiast, these tips will help you make the most of your visit.

1. Plan your hiking routes: Chimanimani National Park offers a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks. Before embarking on any hike, research the trail difficulty, duration, and obtain a detailed map of the area. This will ensure that you choose a route that suits your fitness level and allows you to fully enjoy the park’s natural beauty.

2. Pack appropriate gear: To fully immerse yourself in the park’s stunning landscapes, ensure you pack essential hiking gear. This includes sturdy hiking boots, comfortable clothing, a backpack with water and snacks, sun protection, a first aid kit, and a reliable map or GPS device. Packing appropriately will ensure your safety and comfort throughout your journey.

3. Respect the environment: Chimanimani National Park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. When exploring the park, be mindful of your actions and follow the principles of Leave No Trace. Avoid littering, stay on designated paths, and refrain from disturbing wildlife or damaging plants. By respecting the environment, you contribute to the preservation of this beautiful natural heritage.

4. Prioritize safety: Safety should be your top priority when exploring Chimanimani National Park. Inform someone of your hiking plans, including the route and estimated return time. It’s also advisable to hike with a partner or in a group, especially on more challenging trails. Additionally, check weather conditions before setting off and be prepared for changes in weather. Always heed park authorities’ advice and warnings to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Reaching Chimanimani National Park

Accessing Chimanimani National Park is an experience in itself. You can enter the park from the top western side, where you’ll be greeted by the magnificent views from Pork Pie Mountain, which stands at an impressive 1,987 meters. From there, you can explore the park’s various hiking trails that lead into the Chimanimani Mountains.

The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including wild orchids, field flowers, eland, sable, bushbuck, baboons, blue duiker, and klipspringers. Visitors can also admire attractions like Bridal Veil Falls, a picturesque waterfall nestled within a narrow kloof, as well as caves and pools waiting to be explored.

To access Chimanimani National Park, you can drive to Chimanimani village and then take a gravel road to the Mutekeswane base camp. While some trails may not be well-marked, a basic map provided by the park will help you navigate. The park is open from Monday to Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm, ensuring you have ample time to immerse yourself in its wonders.

So, if you’re looking for an adventurous and captivating experience, Chimanimani National Park is the perfect destination. Discover the accessibility of this stunning mountain wilderness and embark on an unforgettable journey into nature.

Directions to Chimanimani National Park

To reach Chimanimani National Park, you can start your journey from Mutare and take the A9 Chimanimani Road heading south. After 66.5 kilometers, turn left onto the A10 and continue for another 79.5 kilometers. At 129.6 kilometers, you will find a left turn for Chimanimani village, and after 148.3 kilometers, you will reach the village itself. From there, the ZPWMA base camp is about 165.5 kilometers away, accessible via a gravel road.

While the tar road leading to the park is generally in fair condition, the potholed section and the remaining gravel road can pose some challenges. Therefore, it’s important to be properly prepared and have a suitable vehicle for the journey.

Here are the GPS coordinates for the park entrance: 19°47’18.91″S and 32°59’38.52″E.

Road Conditions to Chimanimani National Park

Tar Road Potholed Section Gravel Road
Generally in fair condition Challenging Pose some challenges


Directions Distance Time
From Harare 450 km 6-7 hours
From Mutare 220 km 3-4 hours
From Beira 390 km 5-6 hours

Park Managed by: