Mutare, close to the border crossing into Mozambique is an attractive small town, with stunning views. It is very rare that visitors stay overnight, unless they are on business. The museum is quite charming, with a mix of displays on local history. Lovers of history should visit the Utopia House Museum. Those who like markets can go to the green market, on the way out to Birchenough Bridge. Hundreds of people make a living out here, making furniture, crafts, coffins etc. You will start to appreciate how hard Zimbabweans work to achieve their goals. And surely, they will appreciate you seeing them how they do it.
Another great place for walkers and birders is Musangano Lodge, in the Odzi area, 25 km from Mutare.
Enjoy the marked walking trails, ranging from a leisurely one hour afternoon stroll through the woodlands, to a more demanding three hour trek up the surrounding hills and through the local Aloe Route. The area is rich in indigenous tree species and also has an abundant birdlife, perfect for those interested in bird watching. No guide is needed. Musangano offers more: visits to local communities and to a commercial farm.
For those who like easy strolls, La Rochelle in Penhalonga, which borders Mutare, is the place to go to. Recently reopened it offers a unique classical atmosphere. Spend a quiet morning exploring the endless trails, which traverse the arboretum and beautiful gardens, or visit the nurseries where Sir Stephen’s Orchid collection continues to expand. No guide is needed.