Located 7km from the city centre of Harare along Hillside Road, The Mukuvisi Woodlands are one of Zimbabwe’s national treasures. It provides one of the few remaining large green spaces open to the public in Harare. Over 18 000 school children visit each year.
The Mukuvisi Woodlands was first proposed as a protected green-belt area in 1910. An uphill battle against suburban development in the area continued until 1980. Finally, an official lease agreement was signed between Mukuvisi Woodlands Association, formed in 1979, and the Harare Municipality. The Association now enjoys a 99-year lease to 2090.
The 263 hectares of indigenous Msasa and Miombo woodland are very conveniently located for an initial introduction to Zimbabwe’s game life, before you visit a National Park, or Game lodge. You will see zebra, giraffe, eland, wildebeest, ostrich, and impala, including some of their young born within woodlands, as well as a wide variety of birds and indigenous flora.
Situated in Harare suburb of Hillside with over 140 indigenous trees species including Msasa, Muhacha, and Munhondo and over 300 bird species; enjoy the beauty of nature without leaving the city limits.
Home to a number of important environmental organisations such as Campfire, The Orchid Society, Action Magazine, The Zambezi Society and Wildlife and Environmental Zimbabwe (WEZ)
Now open every day of the year for viewing the animals from the viewing platform, especially around 10am feeding time when the plains game gather with their young and you may see eland, zebra, impala and giraffe.
Many local people visit for a 3km, 5km, 8km or 10km walk, or run, or bike ride on Sunday mornings. The gate opens from 7:00am and visitors can start their walk any time up to 11am. Dogs are welcome on Sundays, as long as they remain on a leash.
The objectives of the Mukuvisi Woodlands Association were first defined as:
- To conserve and utilise the Mukuvisi Woodlands;
- To provide and develop facilities for education in the principles and practice of nature conservation, environmental studies and research;
- To encourage the public to appreciate the natural environment.
Mukuvisi Woodlands has succeeded very well in all of these, and continues to succeed, particularly in the area of Conservation Education. Mukuvisi Woodlands’ flagship Eco-Schools Programme is helping to create a new generation of environmentally aware and dedicated children, who understand today’s burning conservation challenges and issues. Mukuvisi Woodlands offers regular Bush Camps for children, and holds many other educational events throughout the year. There is a full time Education Officer, plus several university students on attachment doing research and teaching on an on-going basis. The woodlands are a great place to relax with family and friends.
There is an entry fee to the woodlands. Extra fees apply for the horse rides and guided tours of the game park.
Credits: Mukuvisiwoodlands.co.zw, Harare City Council, Rosie Mitchell-Wild Imaginings.
Photo credits: Rosie Mitchell-Wild Imaginings for Mukuvisi Woodlands,