Bulawayo, ‘Skies’, the City of Kings and Queens is a must visit for anyone who travels to Zimbabwe. We wrote about things that many people, even locals, don’t know about Zimbabwe’s second biggest city and below we seek to showcase 7 reasons why you should visit the city:
Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage
Image Via: Chipangali Facebook Page
Situated on the main Gwanda Road, 23km east of Bulawayo, Chipangali provides a home for orphaned, sick or abandoned wild animals. There are lions, leopards, cheetahs, black rhinos and many species of antelope and a large collection of birds. Open daily except Mondays, and Christmas Day, from 10am to 5pm, visitors have an opportunity to have an educational tour and get to know more about the Zimbabwean wildlife. They also have a volunteer programme, where you can contribute to the project by helping out. Cost: $3 child, $5 adult
Matobo National Park
Matobo National Park is one of Zimbabwe’s major tourist attractions 32km south of Bulawayo and was recently accorded Unesco World Heritage site status. Containing fantastic rock formations with San (Bushmen) painted caves the National Parks Rest Camp overlooks the Maleme Dam, where there are caravan and camping sites with a game park with varieties of game. You will find animals such as sable, impala, klipspringer, rhino, wildebeeste, zebra, and occasionally leopard may be seen in the Park. Bird life is prolific and includes the world’s largest concentration of Black Eagles. Cost: $15 person, $10 car. (Should be cheaper for locals/residents).
Image Via: www.mydestination.com
While most people know of Great Zimbabwe very few remember Zimbabwe’s other internationally recognised heritage site – Khami Ruins. Just 22kms west of Bulawayo it was once capital of one of the great precolonial Shona States having the next capital after the abandonment of Great Zimbabwe.
The 35-hectare property includes an extensive complex of stonewalled sites along the banks of the Khami River that are more picturesque than Great Zimbabwe and well worth a visit.
Amakhosi Cultural Centre
Image Via: amarbakshi.com
Amakhosi Cultural Center is a popular Theatre House that was founded in 1980 by Cont Mlanga, an award-winning playwright, actor and theatre director. Located in Makokoba suburb just off the Old Victoria Falls road, Amakhosi’s main objective is training and talent developing in the performing arts thought it actually started off as a youth karate club before being turned semi-professional in 1988. The Centre holds its own as a key anchor for the arts and creative cultural industries, not only in Bulawayo but the country as a whole and a visit to their premises will help get an appreciation of what they are doing.
Natural History Museum
Image Via: Natural History Museum Zimbabwe
The Natural History Museum is not only Bulawayo’s but also Zimbabwe’s largest museum that is home to extensive displays of history, geology, animals, birds and insects, and holds a library as a major source for scientific and educational activities and embraces a comprehensive library and exhibition galleries. Located in Centenary Park with its stunning displays and valuable research collections is the best museum in Southern Africa and rank fourth in size among the museums of Africa. Cost: Locals $1 children, $3 adults. Foreigners $5 children, $10 adults.
Image Via: www.tripadvisor.com
The museum is situated behind the Bulawayo Railway Station, in the Raylton suburb with several exhibits of the history of railways in Zimbabwe and Rhodesia. Its oldest exhibits date back as far as 1897, and include Cecil Rhodes’ personal railway coach. The museum is located in an area that was previously a workshop used in the maintenance of refrigeration wagons.
The Museum is owned by the National Railways of Zimbabwe. Opened in 1972, the Museum displays a wealth of small exhibits and models as well as steam and diesel-electric locomotives.
A nature reserve and bird sanctuary, with many picturesque walks and picnic areas, as well as a restuarant. Take Hillside Road for 5kms and then turn left into Cecil Avenue and right into Banff Road. There is a small entrance charge.
Main Image: Joshua Nkomo Statue, Main Street, Bulawayo; Credit: radiodialogue.com