|The Cecil Kop Nature Reserve|
Cecil Kop Nature Reserve is located just two kilometres from the Mutare city centre and is managed and developed by Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe (WEZ) Manicaland Branch being established in 1977 to provide educational and recreational facilities for local citizens to view Zimbabwe's wildlife under natural conditions
The 1,500 hectare wildlife reserve consists of three distinct areas; Tiger’s Kloof, the forested north eastern mountain face with numerous springs rolling down to the dam and surrounding msasa woodland; Thomson's Vlei with its undulating grasslands and the Wilderness Area of heavily wooded forest, gullies and springs. It is home to two elephant (mother and son) one female giraffe, three zebra, one crocodile in Tiger Kloof dam, kudu, vervet and samango monkeys, baboons, and an occasional sighting of leopard. Sadly numbers of animals are down from the past, when there were more elephant and three white rhino, including Daisy. Like so many of Zimbabwe’s less well-known attractions, visitor numbers are severely reduced through the lack of positive news about the country and this has a direct impact on the revenues of each site. As a place to visit, the Nature Reserve is a wonderful amenity and is well-kept by staff and volunteers.
Visitors may drive around the Thompson's section for good views of the mountains and might be lucky enough to see game. Also a Nature Reserve, it includes a wide variety of vegetation types including Brachystegia woodlands, evergreen forests, montane grasslands and vleis.
The rolling granite topped hillsides covered in Miombo woodlands and valleys filled with dense forest patches attract a host of bird species that makes the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe one of the best birding locations in the country. Amongst those spotted are Gurney's sugarbirds, grey waxbills, spotted creepers, miombo tits, miombo double-collared sunbirds and augur buzzards high overhead.
When to visit
All year around Monday to Sunday 7am to 6pm
An entrance fee is chargeable Zimbabwe Scenic Sites