Zona, is one of the highest yielding tea estate in the world. It is located only 38km from Chipinge town.  Though smaller in size Zona’s beauty is every bit as dazzling as its sister estates.  Bordering both the famous Chirinda Forest and Mozambique Zona’s landscape is sweeping hills of green tea, intermingled with natural forest which conjures up ideas of a magical green carpet.  A feeling of tranquillity overcomes you when surveying the stunning scenery.  Altitudes range from 815m to 1050m the climate is perfect for tea growing.

Tea is currently Zona’s prime focus. Whilst various varieties of tea are grown, the most common are PC 110 and SFS 150. Only a fraction of the made tea goes onto the local Zimbabwean market with the majority sold internationally and around the SADC region. The factory, built-in 1951, comprises 2 factory lines.  Each factory line can produce 400kg of made tea per hour (+1700kg green leaf being processed per line).  The factory also processes tea from the  “outgrowers”.

Three perennial rivers cross through the estate, namely the Zona river, Manyoka river, and Nyaudongo river. The Manyoka and Nyaudongo rivers flow into the Zona river. The Zona river, in turn, then suppliers a small but rather picturesque 1160m³ dam, which takes care of all Zona’s irrigation requirements.  Safe drinking water is available from a borehole and a natural spring.

Fact check

The magnificent and enchanting Chirinda Forest lies along Zona’s Eastern border.  The Chirinda Forest is the most southern natural rain forest in Africa being purely fed by rain, unlike others in the southern region which are sea-fed.  The forest, steeped in local legend, is home to many tree species, fungi, and vegetation not to mention abundant birdlife, small mammals, and insects.

Plantations of wattle and gum trees are established as fuel for the factory leaving the indigenous areas purely for conservation.  All conservation areas are protected from any type of hunting or destruction of the flora and fauna.

Led by a strong management team Zona is a thriving estate with a dedicated, hard-working community behind it.

Local Innovation

A motorbike made from scrap metal by a Zona employee.  The architect, Jone Chadyiwanwbwa Muchanga, known affectionately as “Manager”, was born and raised on the estate. Though a little mentally challenged Manager is a full-time employee at Zona taking his precious bike to work and back each day.  During his spare time Manager spends hours working on his beloved motorbike.

Zona In Pictures