Location: Haroni-Rusitu area

Image 1

Photo: Bart Wursten
View from the banks of the Haroni River towards the southern Chimanimani Mts

Image 2

Photo: Bart Wursten
Meeting young gold panners on their way to the mountains

Image 3

Photo: Bart Wursten
One of the last tall Borassus palms left in Zimbabwe.

Image 4

Photo: Neil Crouch
Haroni Gorge

Image 5

Photo: Neil Crouch
Rusitu Forest

General Information

Quarter degree square: 2032B2 and 2033A1

Country: Zimbabwe

Habitat: Low-altitude riverine and evergreen forest.

Altitude range: 330 - 370 m

Annual rainfall:

Location (short):

Location (detailed):


At the foot of the Southern tip of the Chimanimani Mountains lies the valley where the Haroni and Rusitu Rivers meet before they enter neighbouring Mozambique. The area offers one of the very rare corners of low-altitude, high rainfall habits in Zimbabwe. Quite a number of species listed in our flora - and even our fauna - are restricted to this area and are considered very rare in Zimbabwe, although some might be more common in Mozambique, where these low-lying habitats are more readily available.

Unfortunately, these species and their habitat are also highly threatened. Encroachment of human settlement and agriculture has greatly diminished the formerly protected forest areas, particularly the Rusitu Forest Reserve. The devastating effects of Cyclone Eline in February 2000, have only added to its demise and consequently many clearings, opened up by fallen trees have been invaded by the notorious Lantana camara. The forests on the banks of the Haroni River are slightly better preserved, although the recent 'gold-rush' in the Chimanimani Mts has also left its marks on the banks of this river system.

Despite all this, even recent visits in 2007, still managed to yield some of these rare finds including Costus afer (Zingiberaceae), Zamioculcas zamiifolia (Araceae), Saba comorensis (Apocynaceae), while some of the last remaining Borassus Palms (Borassus aethiopum, Arecaceae) in Zimbabwe still stand in the densely populated valley.

Useful links

View a list of records for Haroni-Rusitu area

View a list of unique taxa (excluding cultivated plants) for Haroni-Rusitu area

View a list of unique taxa (all taxa whether cultivated or not) for Haroni-Rusitu area

View map showing records

View a list of recorders who have visited this location

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Location details: Haroni-Rusitu area.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/location-display.php?location_id=52, retrieved 30 May 2024

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