Visit to Bvumba Mountains & 
Leopard Rock Resort 

(click any picture to get enlargement)

Nicole is currently posted to Harare, Zimbabwe and we've been here for just over 2 years.

For most of the time in Zim, we haven't been able to go on many trips because we had an old, blind cat that did not take well to the kennel.

Since his passing earlier this year, we have been exploring Zimbabwe.  This trip was to the east and the Bvumba Mtns. 

The total driving time was about 4 hours.  3 hours on a nice road to Mutare and then 1 hour on a windy road into the mountains.

The middle of Zim is relatively flat & full of small farms. Certain stretches were quite dry, as the rain is "hit or miss"

Every now and then, big granite outcroppings popped up.

This is what some of them
 look like from the air.

There are also smaller versions that blend into the countryside.

2016-12-03-Lookout-04 2016-12-03-Lookout-12 2016-12-03-Lookout-15

Near the Eastern border we entered the Bvumba mountains.

From this point we could look down upon Mozambique.

We are heading in this direction,
to a resort somewhere up there.

This is an overhead view of the mountain resort.  The golf course is pretty obvious and the hotel complex is just left of center.

Here are some links for more information:

Bvumba Mountains

Leopard Rock Resort


The central part of the complex is original and from the colonial times.  It was built in the 40's and had 20 suites. 

The building to the right was built in the 90's and has about 50 rooms.

Due to the economic issues facing Zimbabwe, the hotel was quite empty ... maybe 10 guests.

2016-11-30a-Lodge-05 2016-11-30a-Lodge-01 2016-11-30a-Lodge-02

Upon entering the resort, we followed a nice red-brick road through a lush garden setting. 

2016-11-30a-Lodge-08 2016-11-30a-Lodge-15 2016-11-30a-Lodge-16

The landscaping was gorgeous & the buildings looked pretty cool ... a mixed Afro-Euro design. 

2016-11-30a-Lodge-21 2016-11-30a-Lodge-22 2016-11-30a-Lodge-24

Our room was large, well-equipped and very "Colonial British" in design and decor; with wifi!

2016-11-30a-Lodge-27 2016-11-30a-Lodge-32 2016-11-30a-Lodge-20

The balcony was a bit small, but offered a nice view of the garden area.

Our first sunset was pretty nice and the mini-bar was plenty big enough for all the snacks & drinks that we brought along.

This trip would be for 4 nights and the weather was forecasted to be nice throughout ... yeah! 

2016-11-29-Sunset-11 2016-11-29-Sunset-09

2016-11-30a-Lodge-37 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-04 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-08

The first morning we got up early and Nicole saw some movement in the rocks ... monkeys!  

2016-11-30b-Monkeys-09 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-11 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-12

Within a few minutes a whole troop of about 50 monkeys descended from the trees to feed.

2016-11-30b-Monkeys-14 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-13 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-17

These are the Samango monkeys and they are unique to south-eastern Africa; quite elegant!

2016-11-30b-Monkeys-22 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-29 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-19

There were a few mothers and their babies were fun to watch.  This little guy got the courage to explore and mom had to keep an eye on him.  After a while he was ready for a nap ... too cute!

2016-11-30b-Monkeys-24 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-27 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-32

2016-11-30b-Monkeys-36 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-40 2016-11-30b-Monkeys-46

A few quickly climbed into the palm trees and began snacking on the nuts.
If it wasn't time for breakfast, we could have watched them for hours!

After breakfast I decided to head to the golf course and see what the process was to play.

It was only a 30 second drive to the clubhouse and I found out that nobody else was playing, so I decided to take the opportunity to have a highly rated course (top 10 in Africa) totally to myself!

2016-12-01-Views-01 2016-11-30c-Golf-02 2016-12-02-Golf-10

Nicole escorted me to the pro shop where I signed in and paid my $30 fee ... ridiculously low by international standards, by 3x what I normally pay in Harare (yes, I am spoiled). 

2016-11-30c-Golf-09 2016-11-30c-Golf-15 2016-11-30c-Golf-21

After seeing how nice the views and landscapes were, Nicole decided to walk along with me.
Little did she realize that she'd soon become my caddie, as the course was pretty tough and I was constantly searching for my hits ... it didn't help that sometime I hit three balls and lost track.

2016-11-30c-Golf-24 2016-11-30c-Golf-26 2016-11-30c-Golf-33

The signature hole, named after the developer, looked ridiculous to Nicole, but not to me ... 
I changed my mind after four balls didn't even come close to the green ... damn! 
Golf is cheap here, but balls are expensive ... I usually return from home trips with 200+ balls. 

2016-12-02-Golf-01a 2016-11-30c-Golf-38 2016-11-30c-Golf-17

In reality, I only played golf twice during the four days, mainly due to the many other activities.  
The views were spectacular & I can be proud that I donated over 20 balls to the local economy.

2016-11-30a-Lodge-25 2016-11-30a-Lodge-37 2016-11-30a-Lodge-36

In the afternoons we sat by the pool; finding a place wasn't hard since there were so few guests.

2016-11-30d-Animals-10 2016-11-30d-Animals-07 2016-11-30d-Animals-13

One evening we went to the "game viewing platform" for sundowners (happy hour & sunset).

2016-11-30d-Animals-15 2016-11-30d-Animals-20 2016-11-30d-Animals-28
The eland is the biggest of the antelope; don't mess with him! These young zebras used dirt to keep the flies away ... not pretty!

Although wild, these animals let us get close to get nice shots.

2016-11-30e-Ostriches-03 2016-11-30e-Ostriches-05 2016-11-30e-Ostriches-14

The ostriches, one of Nicole's favorite animals, came into a pen each evening to get fed.
Nicole literally had them "eating out of her hand" ... which she said actually tickled a bit. 

2016-11-30e-Ostriches-22 2016-11-30e-Ostriches-35 2016-11-30e-Ostriches-36

2016-11-30e-Ostriches-42 2016-11-30e-Ostriches-49 2016-11-30e-Ostriches-51

These guys may not be the brightest animals, but they are interesting ... and kind of cute! 

The sunset was somewhat blocked by trees, the overall ambience was very relaxing. 

There are supposed to be over 300 different kinds of birds, but unfortunately we didn't see many. 

2016-11-30f-Sunset-02 2016-11-30f-Sunset-06

2016-12-01-Castle-25 2016-12-01-Castle-24 2016-12-01-Views-11

One afternoon we took a hike towards the large formation at the back side of the property.

2016-12-01-Hydragena-1 2016-12-01-Hydragena-7 2016-12-01-Hydragena-9

It was interesting to run into wild hydrangea plants that would rival the best botanical gardens!

2016-12-01-Castle-08 2016-12-01-Castle-07 2016-12-01-Castle-06

After a few strenuous hours, we came to The Castle, the residence of the original owner.

2016-12-01-Castle-17 2016-12-01-Castle-14 2016-12-01-Castle-20

The views from the ramparts were quite nice ... looking towards southern Zimbabwe

2016-12-01-Castle-01 2016-12-01-Castle-10 2016-12-02-Sunset4

The Castle is now used for events; a great party venue!

The Queen of England visited & called this the "throne room".

The sunset was quite royal,
as were the gin & tonics :)

2016-12-03-Plant-08 2016-12-03-Plant-15 2016-12-03-Plant-17

The day we departed was quite foggy, but we saw a unique cycad-like plant on the way out = ??

2016-11-30b-Monkeys-35 2016-12-01-Hydragena-5 2016-11-30a-Lodge-13

Overall this was a memorable trip and, since it's within 4 hours of Harare, I am sure we will return.

Return to Jay's main page