Founded as Fort Salisbury by a small group of soldiers known as the Pioneer Column under the pay of imperialist Cecil Rhodes in 1890, Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe. Situated in the heart of Mashonaland in the north-east of the country, visitors arriving into Harare’s international airport with a day or half-day to spare shouldn’t miss the opportunity to delve into this city of 1.9 million people.

Harare’s Central Business District (CBD) is home to a mix of grand colonial-era buildings and more modern structures standing along grand avenues. They include the ever-alluring National Gallery of Zimbabwe and many of the city’s international hotels.

Slightly further afield, Heroes Acre was created following the instigation of majority rule in 1980, and features a small museum detailing the horrors of the war of independence alongside murals, statues, and an eternal flame.

More visually alluring still is the Shone Sculpture Gallery in Harare’s southern suburbs. Its gardens are one of several pleasant green escapes within the city area, and provides a great insight into Zimbabwe’s contemporary art scene.

Other green spaces include the nearby Balancing Rocks natural formation, Harare Gardens, and Haka Game Park, a Ramsar wetland and home to critically-endangered species including pangolin and porcupines alongside more common plains species such as impala and giraffe.

Closer to the hotels of the CBD, Mbare Musika market has become known as one of the best places to pick up authentic souvenirs in the Zimbabwean capital. It’s also a great way of experiencing the atmosphere and vibrancy of a thriving marketplace.

Top Zimbabwe Travel Destinations

Great Zimbabwe / Hwange National Park / Lake Kariba / Mana Pools National Park / Matobo National Park / Victoria Falls

The Big Five

African Elephant / Cape Buffalo / Leopard / Lion / Rhino

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