Harare Travel Guide

Harare Jacarandas © GrahamBould

Known as 'the sunshine city', Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe and a gateway to the country's many attractions, including Victoria Falls and Kariba. Recent turmoil in Zimbabwe cast a dark shadow on the city, with fuel and food shortages affecting tourism and day to day life throughout the country. However, the Zimbabwe situation has improved of late and the shortages have abated, making Harare an appealing travel destination once again.

Beautiful residential areas surround the city centre, the most developed being Borrowdale, Chisipite, Mount Pleasant and Avondale. There are some wonderful galleries and museums in and around Harare showcasing local culture and heritage, some of the most popular being the National Gallery, the Dendera Gallery and the Queen Victoria Museum. Not far out of town, the Ruwa Sculpture Gallery is also worth a visit.

Borrowdale Village is a quaint complex offering a variety of shops, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs - an excellent place to spend the day (or night!) while on holiday. Other Harare shopping centres include Westgate, which has a great movie theatre, and the Eastgate Shopping Mall, located in the CBD. When not sipping cappuccinos at a café in the village, the local residents often go to the Harare Sports Club to watch cricket, or to Old Georgians (OGs) for rugby. Golf is another favourite pastime, with some fantastic courses based in the city, as well as a couple of fun putt-putt courses.

For nature lovers, visiting the Lion and Cheetah Park is a must when in Harare, and the Chriemba Balancing Rocks are also good to see. The National Botanic Gardens are another good outdoors attraction in Harare. Horse riding and walking safaris are offered in the nearby Mukuvusi Woodlands, while Lake Chivero is great for jet-skiing, sailing and fishing. There are a number of parks and museums in Harare - in particular the Mukuvisi Woodlands Environmental Centre is a popular spot for family picnics and birdwatching. Two thirds of the 260-hectare reserve is natural parkland, while the remainder is a small wildlife park.

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