National Botanical Gardens
|National Botanical Gardens|
|Harare Botanic Garden|
National Botanic Garden of Zimbabwe is situated about 4 km North of Harare City Centre in the suburb of Alexandra Park. It also houses the National Herbarium of Zimbabwe. The gardens have an area of almost 7 square kilometers. Initially established as a recreation area in 1902. In 1962 it became the National Botanic Gardens under the direction of Dr Hyram Wilder. Half of the gardens are devoted to indigenous plants from Zimbabwe's woodlands and include most of the 750 species found in the country. Other areas contain plants typical to the African continent including rare and endangered species, as well as exotics from South America, India, Australia and the Far East.
Zimbabwe Scenic Sites
It is situated off Sandringham Drive, Alexandra Park, next to the National Parks offices. Just over half of the area was developed to feature Zimbabwean woodland types including Miombo, Acacia, Lowveld Tree Savannah, Lowveld Riverine and Zimbabwean Rainforest. In addition to plants from other parts of Africa there is a section comprising of species from Australia, the Far East and South America. Approximately 215 species of birds have been recorded in the gardens though at present the pond is dry and the forest streams are not being pumped, so some of the waterbirds are lacking.
But a visit is still productive and Purple-crested Turaco, Whyte’s Barbets, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Lesser Honeyguide, Brown-backed Honeybird (and sometime Green-backed), woodpeckers, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, occasional Miombo Tit and other woodland birds can be found.Red-throated Twinspot and Black-throated Wattle-eye are two birds that appear to be moving into Harare and can both be found here. Sunbirds are common and include Miombo Double-collared, Variable, Scarlet-chested, and occasional Copper, with Purple-banded in winter – check in the acacia section for the last one. Dusky Larks and Bronze-winged Cursors sometimes pass through on migration between April and June.
Tambourine Doves are sometimes found in the forest sections and it is here you can also check for roosting Bat Hawk. Several other raptors have been recorded including Yellow-billed Kite, African Cuckoo Hawk, Long-crested Eagle, Lizard Buzzard and the small accipiters.