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Content and photos courtesy of Zimbabwe Tourism, All Events In

Basic information

  • Area: 960.6 km2 (370.9 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: 4
  • Currency: United States Dollar ($) and others
  • Population (EST): 1,606,000
  • Official language: English, Shona, Ndebele
  • Time Zone: CAT (UTC+2)

10 Reasons to Visit Harare

1. Harare is a lively African city that offers many great things to do for those who are visiting Zimbabwe. It's an attractive and well designed place with plenty of parks and open spaces to stretch out and enjoy the culture of working Africa. Harare is also very close to some of the most important nature reserves of the country. Sitting up on one of Zimbabwe's highest plateau's, and air is fresh and the view is quite pleasant.

2. It seems like Harare is always in bloom with its diverse sprouting of flowers, trees and shrubs. The jacaranda trees are certainly a highlight, and bloom to their full capacity in September and October. The purple blossoms are a marvel to behold, and blanket the city in all different hues of violet and indigo. The Botanical Garden of Harare is not to be missed for its 900 various species of tree and shrubbery. These varieties come from all across the country, and the Garden makes for a nice leisurely afternoon amidst the botanical splendour.

3. If Harare is famous for one thing it is definitely its fine craft work; a great source of national pride in Zimbabwe. The Shona soft stone carvings are found here one exhibit, and they're not to be missed. On display in the National Gallery one can also find fantastic examples of African art and local crafting. Another great way to see the finest of the local crafting is to peruse the curio stalls and see up close the intricate basketry, beadwork, and carvings that are for sale.

4. Harare takes pride in the work that has gone into preserving some of its older buildings, and the Mining Pension Fund Building is a fabulous example. Located on Central Avenue and Second St, this historic building is steeped in Zimbabwe's cultural heritage. It's possible for visitors to pop inside and take in the architecture. In fact, all along Robert Mugabe road can be found a number of these historical buildings, and taking an afternoon walk down the road is a great way to see it all.

5. Of particular interest to travelers and explorers are the National Archives, home to historical diaries, reports, and notebooks in Rhodesiana and Africana. The most famous names in African missionary work and exploration have their writings preserved at the archive, and most are on display for visitors to read.

6. No visit to Harare is complete without stepping into the Mukuvisi Woodlands. This beautifully preserved woodland sits on the banks of the Mukuvisi stream. Here one can find a great variety of plant and animal species, including countless varieties of bird and mammal. It's not uncommon to catch of glimpse of giraffe, impala, zebra, bushbuck, reed cuck, and eland, all in their natural habitat.

7. To get a gorgeous overhead view of the city the place to go is the Kopje. It's a large granite hill that rises out of the central Herare, and a favorite spot for visitors to take photographs and behold the nice, open layout of the city. The air upon the hill is so fresh, and the warm African sun feels even warmer from its heights.

8. Chapungu Sculpture Park is not to be missed. Highlighting some of the best sculptural art in Africa, the Park is home to tons carvings made out of black serpentine stones that can be found all across Zimbabwe. These stones are iconic and can even be viewed from overhead in an airplane. Because these stones are so ubiquitous, the people of Zimbabwe have become inspired to make sculptures out of them. There are also exhibitions of various other artists, both local and from abroad.

9. The Civic Centre of Harare is a fine place to find other important cultural buildings, such as the Queen Victoria Museum and Queen Victoria Memorial Library. There are plenty of different interesting exhibits on public display, and it's quite interesting to learn about the history of Zimbabwe here.

10. Harare is known for its charming outdoor cafes, and they're a great place to dine on some local cuisine. A staple in the Zimbabwe diet is Sadza, which is a thick porridge that is made from white corn meal. It is eaten with every meal, usually along with vegetables and meat. Chibuku is a popular local beer that looks a little strange in its brown plastic container, but it really tastes quite good. It's not uncommon to see local labourers and businessmen relaxing with a Chibuku in their hands after work.

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