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Cultural Heritage Tour

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Explore the political and cultural heritage of the Great Zimbabwe capital. Learn about the early indigenous inhabitants of the largest stone structure in the country. Great Zimbabwe, once the kingdom of the Monomotapa people, is . .
Country: Zimbabwe
City: Masvingo
Duration: 4 Day(s) - 3 Night(s)
Tour Category: Culture Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99
Package Itinerary

Explore the political and cultural heritage of the Great Zimbabwe capital. Learn about the early indigenous inhabitants of the largest stone structure in the country. Great Zimbabwe, once the kingdom of the Monomotapa people, is steeped in mystery. Built between the 13th and 15th centuries, Great Zimbabwe was the center of a vast Shona Empire, which covered most of modern Zimbabwe.

This vast complex of granite stone is second only to the pyramids of Ancient Egypt in terms of pre-colonial African architecture and size. A World Heritage Site, the breathtaking ruins are a highlight for anyone traveling to Zimbabwe. Continue to the second of three Unesco world heritage sites, the historic Matobo Hills National Park. Steeped in history, the park is home to the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, stunning granite rock formations, and the opportunity to track black rhinos on foot.


Matobo National Park Spectacular granite rock formations and wealth of ancient rock paintings.

Great Zimbabwe - The largest complex of ruins in Africa south of the pyramids in Egypt.

Day 1: Harare - Masvingo

We depart from (Harare 296 km ) for the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa. Great Zimbabwe (designated a world heritage site) is impressive, built hundreds of years ago, between the 11th and 14th centuries). On arrival, you will be assisted to check into lodges or similar.

This afternoon, we will tour the ruins of Africa's second-largest stone structure (after the Egyptian pyramids) which share the region with one of the most attractive game parks in the country. These are without doubt the most famous and most splendid ancient ruins in sub-Saharan Africa.

The place is surrounded by myths and mystique that have puzzled experts for years; try a moonlight tour to prove that. Take your time to explore both the ruins in the valley and the so-called acropolis on the hill and marvel at the skill of those ancient architects and stonemasons. According to historians, it was a sophisticated complex of buildings that could have housed over 40 000 people at its peak.'

Archaeological findings have shown that it was a religious and temporal capital of great significance. Informative educational lectures are presented by local experts. Excursions are led by knowledgeable tour guides.

Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Masvingo - Bulawayo - Matobo Hills

After breakfast, we take a tour of the local village where we meet a traditional spirit medium who is attuned to the ancient spirits of the ruins. This region is bathed in mystery, and academics are divided about the history of the ruins. This is followed by sightseeing in Mushandike Sanctuary, which is a close distance to this monument. The Mutirikwe National Park is a beautiful amalgamation of scenic landscape, manicured trees, and granite structures. A must-visit for nature lovers, it houses exotic plants like aloe and giant cacti.

We move to the Mutirikwe dam and we enjoy the blue waters of the second-largest man-made dam in Zimbabwe after the Kariba dam, before departing for Zimbabwe's oldest national park, Matobo (also UNESCO-designated). We pass through Zimbabwe's second capital, Bulawayo, en route to Matobo Hills, where we visit the nearby Khami ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Once the capital of the kingdom of Butua, the ruins include pavement and decorated stone walls of the royal enclosure dating from the 13th century. We complete our journey to Matobo, with its beautiful rock formations.

Overnight Standard Lodge / Camp Included meals: Dinner, breakfast, and Lunch

Day 3: Matobo Hills National Park

On this day you have a full day to explore the Matobo hills, which are home to an outstanding collection of rock paintings, the largest in southern Africa. Indeed, Matobo does offer a variety of sights; some striking scenery notably the "Kopjes" – strangely shaped weathered granite outcrops often in the form of huge "marbles" balanced on top of each other. This is an outstanding game park, which is full of reintroduced animals and, in terms of the whole gamut of African wildlife parks.

By exploring the Matobo Hills, you will learn a lot about African culture. You will be gathering a lot of knowledge about the history of this area. There are some amazing ancient rock paintings in the Matobo Hills. We will Visit the Site Museums at Nswatugi and Pomongwe San painted caves as well as a number of caves or overhangs which can be visited and contain Rock paintings.

On the hill ¨Malindidzimu¨, the legendary place of benevolent spirits also known as ¨View of the World¨, are the tombs of Cecil John Rhodes, Leander Starr Jameson, Sir James Coghlan, and the Allan Wilson Memorial.

Overnight Standard Lodge / Camp Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: End of Adventure

After breakfast, we depart for Bulawayo where you will be taken on a sightseeing tour to the major tourist attractions which include the National History Museum, and the Railway Museum, before heading back to Harare where the tour ends.

Price Includes:

Accommodation Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, and lunch as specified in the itinerary, airport transfers, transportation by road, entrance fees, activities as shown, and the services of qualified guides.

Price Excludes:

Airfares, gratuities, laundry, beverages, and expenses of a purely personal nature.

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