Aberfoyle Lodge Eastern Highlands #Zimbabwe
Stretching for 300km down the eastern side of Zimbabwe, bordering Mozambique, are the Eastern Highlands – the combined name for three ranges of hills and mountains – the rolling countryside and tea plantations of the Nyanga range; the granite peaks of the Chimanimani Mountains; and the green meadows and the coffee plantations of the Bvumba range.
These areas are sparsely populated, making it a peaceful place to visit. It enjoys a cool, wet climate providing relief from the higher temperatures of the lower lands. Hidden within the rolling landscape are great little places to stay, beautiful scenic drives, fantastic walking trails and magnificent sights. Distances here are small, but differences in landscapes are great.
To the north of the Eastern Highlands, the hills are covered in rolling heath-land. This reminded the first European settlers of Scotland, so they created lakes, planted forests of fir trees, and introduced trout to the streams. Now known as the Nyanga National Park, much of this area was the private estate of Cecil Rhodes. The Nyanga range is home to Mount Nyangani, the highest mountain in Zimbabwe (2595m). It is a good area for walking, with plenty of mountain trails, varying from gentle strolls to challenging hiking routes. Some lead to deep gorges and tumbling waterfalls (including Mtarazi Falls, which at 725m is one of Africa’s highest), others lead up mountains or to spectacular vistas. There are even serene lakes where you can relax with a picnic or hire a boat.
South of Nyanga National Park, the botanical gardens at La Rochelle are en route to Mutare, the region’s centre, just off the spectacular Christmas Pass. South of the town are the luxuriant cloud-forests of the Bvumba Mountains, which have views into Mozambique. Here the Bvumba Botanical Gardens are a very special attraction, commanding ethereal views over rolling mists (Bvumba means mist in the Manyika language), and the start for gentle walks into the surrounding valleys. This Bvumba area is also known for its boutique soft cheeses and fine coffee, so the delicious food found here is no surprise.
Continuing south, the scenically diverse Chimanimani Mountains are a destination for dedicated hikers. The granite spikes can be climbed and the fresh streams and pools are ideal for cooling off after a hard day’s hiking exploring the rivers and valleys. The area is also home to many species of flower, making it popular with botanists.
Aberfoyle Lodge was completed in 1960 as a Club for the Tea Estate staff and later converted to a Lodge. It still has the original wood floors, large verandahs and old fashioned comfort but with new décor and comfortable furniture and bedrooms. You drive down into the Honde Valley, along the floor of the valley, through the banana plantations and avocado trees which are the main source of income for the rural people of this valley. You then climb out the other side of the valley, crossing several rivers that flow down from the surrounding mountains including the Pungwe River. The drive then takes you through the incredible rolling tea fields of the Eastern Highlands Tea Plantation in which Aberfoyle Lodge is nestled. We have many extremely rare birds found only in the forests around Aberfoyle and surrounding areas with its unique flora that remain green all year round as a result of receiving some of the highest rainfall in Zimbabwe. We also have tea factories that are of great interest to visit as well as seeing the construction of a very large hydro plant utilizing the water coming off the mountains from the Nyamingura River. Our pepper gardens which are about a 30 minute walk along the Nyamkombe River are very unique and they are the only organic pepper gardens in Zimbabwe.
After driving through the beautiful Honde Valley and the Eastern Highlands Tea plantations you arrive at what has to be one of the best kept secrets in the world. Aberfoyle Lodge is situated in a very special part of Zimbabwe. With rolling tea plantations, riparian forests and the Nyamkombe river surrounding the lodge, you feel as though you are in an oasis of true serenity. At an altitude of 800 metres our temperatures are perfect throughout the year. Winter temperatures average around 21 degrees C, so if you are looking at getting away to the Eastern Highlands and are worried about the chill, then Aberfoyle is perfect for you.
All of our vegetables are organically grown in our vegetable garden. Found just below the lodge, it is open to all guests to have a wonder through, and even taste a few of the vegetables. Our delicious honey comes from our own bee hives; our organic black pepper comes from our vines; and our coffee and tea are both grown on the estate. Our eggs and chickens are free range and farmed on the estate. We are also in the process of farming trout and bream to supply the restaurant; and for the children to have a go at catching their dinner. Using these beautiful fresh ingredients our chef is able to come up with some of the most delicious meals that you will ever experience.
Our rooms have just been renovated and are beautifully decorated. Each one is named after a special bird found in the area, and is unique in the sense that the colours of the bird make up the colours of the interior decor of that room.
If you are a birder then you are in paradise. Our bird guide Morgan is exceptional, if you are after a special bird that is found in the area then we will get it for you. Send us a check list a week in advance and we will come up with a plan to make the most of your time with us. Have a look at our birding page for a bit of info on what birds you are likely to see. There are also many species of Orchids found in the forests surrounding the lodge. So if you are interested in the flora and fauna of the Eastern Highlands then you will love what they have to offer.
Once you arrive at Aberfoyle there is no need to get back in your car because all of our activities are located right at the lodge. If you don’t mind a small drive through the estate then you can experience the tea making process on a tour of the Wamba Tea Factory, or take tours of 5 different hydro electricity plants from 35KW to 16MW. Infact the lodge itself is powered by its very own little hydro electricity plant built in the 1950’s.
We know that you will love everything about Aberfoyle Lodge and hope that we see you here soon.
Aberfoyle Lodge Eastern Highlands Zimbabwe Rooms
Fish Eagle – 1 King (executive suite)
Seedcracker – 1 King (executive suite)
Sunbird – 2 Singles
Bush Shrike – 1 Double (interleading with sunbird)
Turaco – 1 Double
Kestrel – 2 Singles
Trogan – 1 King
Fluff tail – 2 Doubles
Crimsonwing – 2 Singles
African Pita – 1 King
Kingfisher – 1 King
Tchagra – 2 Singles
Woodpecker – 2 Doubles
Twinspot – 1 King
Blue Swallow – 2 Singles
SELF-CATERING: Hornbill House – 7 Singles + 1 Single in lounge
Discover Nature at it’s FinestWIDE ARRAY of ACTIVITIES
A wide range of activities are available at Aberfoyle to keep you busy throughout your stay.
- 9 hole Golf Course
- Nyawamba Dam
- Nature Walks & Mountain Hikes
- Tree Canopy Tours
- Mermaids Pool & Bumslide
- Tea Factory
- Mountain Biking
- White-Water Rafting
- Trail Biking
- Carving Factory
- Fishing (Yellow, Tiger, Bass, Bream and Trout)
- Pepper Gardens
- 18 hole Putt Putt Course
We also have an all-weather tennis court, table tennis, darts, a large 13m x 7m swimming pool with a children’s slide and children’s paddling pool, a squash court and one of the best snooker tables in the country.
A wide range of activities are available at Aberfoyle that will keep you and your kids entertained.
We have an all-weather tennis court, table tennis, darts, a large 13m x 7m swimming pool with a children’s slide and children’s paddling pool, a squash court and one of the best snooker tables in the world.
Golf Course: Our very well maintained short but challenging 9 hole golf course with cynoden greens undulates among the tea plantations. Golf clubs and balls are available for hire and friendly caddies are always on hand to retrieve lost balls in the tea and forest (beware of buffalo-beans and snakes)
Nyawamba Dam: Enjoy a calm and peaceful kayak around Wamba Dam and dabble in a little fishing at the same time…there are bass and bream to be caught. Bass fishing is strictly catch and release
Birding: Our excellent bird guide and will help you to glimpse at some very rare birds such as the Twin Spot, Crimson Wing, Anchieta’s Tchagra (Wamba Bird), Pallid Honeyguide, Green–Backed Woodpecker, Blue Swallow, Lesser Seedcracker and Copper Sunbird. In the early mornings and late evenings you might observe the Palm Nut Vultures as these rare vagrants fly in to feed on the oil palms at the edge of the golf course
DSC_0734Nature Walks & Mountain Hikes: Aberfoyle Lodge and the surrounding area is steeped in history and folklore and Morgan, who was born here and has lived his whole life in the area will fascinate you with tales and history of the region. He will lead you up to scale various mountains such as Domwe, Dzunzwa, Makhore and Tsongorera, pointing out various medicinal plants and other things of interest.
Tree Canopy Tour: We have recently installed a Tree Canopy Tour which is a very novel way of bird spotting and experiencing the forest and trees as you zip down from platform to platform
Mermaids Pool & Waterfall: We can pack you a picnic lunch and you can wander down to Mermaids pool where there is a waterfall and a cool natural pool to swim in. On the way there you can visit our fascinating Hydro Electric Plant built in 1961 that generates the power for the Lodge.
Tea Factory Visit: The Lodge is set amongst the tea lands and a guided visit to the Wamba Tea Factory is very interesting.
Pepper Gardens: Enjoy a walk to the organic pepper gardens.
Carving Factory: We have 2 carvers who make beautiful wooden items painted with the birds found in this area.
A well stocked bar with a piano, lounge and DSTV will cater for your evenings relaxation.
We take great pride in our menu’s and specialise in very well cooked and presented dishes.
www.aberfoylelodge.comEastern Highlands Tea Plantations
Private Bag 1020
Zimbabwe Telephone Numbers:
+263 783 883150 (please note that there is very limited signal at the lodge contacting me via email is best) Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org Get Directions