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This site controlled by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management is best known for its collection of aloes and cycads which attract large numbers of nectar-eating birds, particularly sunbirds. In addition to the 40ha garden there is a further 200ha of miombo woodland which is excellent birding territory. Just over 275 species of birds have been recorded here.

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Birding

In the gardens, the many sunbirds are one of the main attractions, particularly during June, July and August when the aloes are in flower. White-bellied Sunbird, Variable Sunbird, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird and Miombo Double-collared Sunbird are all common, but Copper Sunbird, Purple-banded Sunbird and Western Violet-backed Sunbird need a little more work to locate them.

Large numbers of Grey-rumped Swallow breed in rodent holes in the open grassland next to the entrance gate during the winter months. This area also attracts Abdim's Stork and Cattle Egret.

In the miombo woodland it is possible to find Red-faced Crombec, Whyte's Barbet, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Green-capped Eremomela, Southern Hyliota and maybe even a Spotted Creeper. Miombo Blue-eared Starling and Greater Blue-eared Starling are common.

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General

Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens are 41km from the city centre. Take the Enterprise Road from Harare and on the outskirts of the city take the left hand fork to Shamva. Travel approximately 15km, past the Enterprise Country Club and turn right at the sign to Ewanrigg. The Gardens are 3km down this gravel road. There is an entrance fee payable at the gate (currently US$5 for visitors) and it is important to remember that the gates only open at 8am.

Zimbabwe Parks Website

Derek Solomon 1997.



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