Exploring Tourism in Zimbabwe
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Top 10 Places To Visit In Harare

Harare, Zimbabwe

Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe. On the edge of landscaped Harare Gardens, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe has a large collection of African contemporary art and traditional pieces like baskets, textiles, jewelry, and musical instruments. The unusual granite formation Epworth Balancing Rocks is southeast of the city. Wildlife such as zebras and giraffes roam Mukuvisi Woodlands, which has bike paths and a bird park.

Here are the Top 10 Places to Visit in Harare, which are worth visiting on a Harare trip:

1. Mukuvisi Woodland

This is one of the few places within the city center where you can see games like kudu, rhino, giraffe, and elephant as well as a wide variety of birds and indigenous flora. Although small, this reserve is well maintained and offers a pleasant few hours in a convenient location. You and your family can walk through the game park because there aren’t any predators in it, and can even take a horseback ride through the woodlands to get much closer to the animals than you would on foot.

2. Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary

This sanctuary adopts and rehabilitates orphaned animals ranging from monkeys to domestic cats, to lions. When you visit this motley crew of lovable creatures, a knowledgeable guide will take you on a tour and tell you the history of each animal. Tea is provided and you’ll have the opportunity to watch the lions and other animals being fed. As featured on BBC’s Nature’s Miracle Orphans. Some readers ask me where I encountered a marmoset that sat on my camera – it was at Twala!

3. WildLife Sanctuary

In this wildlife sanctuary and orphanage, many of the animals freely wander the lawns rather than staying in a cage. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet African animals in a safe environment. It’s also home to Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery, which was featured on the BBC show Nature’s Miracle Orphans. Visitors arrive at 3.30 pm where they have a guided tour of the sanctuary, a home-cooked afternoon tea, and champagne and canapes at sunset. Visits usually last 3 hours.

4. Doon Estate

A motley collection of converted railway workers’ houses have been converted into shops that sell wares from local craftspeople. This complex is not as well-supported as it once was, but it’s still a pleasant way to see many different types of Zimbabwean craft products in one formal location. Doon Estate is outside the city center, which means that monkeys are common visitors, and they have a penchant for stealing the sugar cubes from the coffee tables!

5. Haka Game Park

Situated at Cleveland Dam, this is a good family-friendly place to get out of the city and enjoy some fresh air. There is plains game on-site including giraffe and zebra, as well as over 250 species of birds. The park is owned by Harare City Council but privately leased. You can have a picnic or braai at the purpose-built areas, and go walking along the natural footpaths which meander around the park.

6. Lion and Cheetah Park

Despite the official name of this park, sadly there is no more cheetahs left. Drive yourself around the various large enclosures and pretend you’re on a mini-safari: the lion enclosure is a firm favorite. Another star of the park is Tommy, a Galapagos tortoise over 250 years old, weighing around half a tonne. This is an affordable family day trip option, which offers a drive-through game park, petting zoo for farm animals, and horse riders. There are braai and picnic spots available for you to bring your own lunch. There’s a curio shop and a kiosk selling basic refreshments. There’s also a snake park nearby.

7. Museum of Human Sciences

A museum containing some interesting exhibits on Zimbabwean history. Sadly it has been rather neglected in recent years. Don’t miss the Habitat Exhibition in the Natural Sciences Gallery. Also check out the 700 year old ark of the covenant replica, the oldest wooden object ever found in sub-Saharan Africa.

8. Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens with an impressive variety of aloes, cycads, and succulents. You can walk around the gardens, have a picnic under the large trees, go bird-watching, or hire a guide to take you on a private tour.

9. Domboshawa

Also known as Domboshava, literally translated as ‘The Red Rock’, this granite hill on the outskirts of Harare is a great place to go for sundowners. It’s an easy-ish walk to the top – and not too strenuous that you can’t carry a picnic basket! There’s a small entry fee which you can pay on arrival to one of the officials in uniform near the car park.

After walking through the open-sided building at the entrance, follow the hand-painted arrows on the rocks, heading left towards the rock paintings and caves. After that, meander slowly to the top and take in the view. Although the incline isn’t too steep, the rock can be slippery, so wear walking shoes. Also, bring a torch in case your sundowners last longer than expected and you have to walk down in the dark.

10. Avondale Flea Market

supermarket, but behind the shopping center there’s something a little more interesting: an open-air car park that’s been used as a flea market for years.

The bottom floor of the flea market contains stalls selling African curios like drums, mbiras, wall hangings and carvings. As this section is below ground level, it’s a little dark in there, which adds atmosphere to the traditional masks and fabrics hanging from the stalls.

On the first floor, there’s a mixture of handmade goods as well as mass-produced clothes, jewelry, second-hand books, and toys of varying quality. It’s well worth a scrounge – but don’t accept the first price that the sellers offer. Some stalls sell similar or identical goods, so don’t buy the first thing that you like – compare prices first.

Besides these, there is much more to explore in Harare of Zimbabwe!!!

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