Harare City is the capital of Zimbabwe and one of the most populous cities in Africa.
Harare is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe, located in the northeastern part of the country. It is also one of the most populous cities in Africa, with an estimated population of 1.6 million people as of 2019.
The city was founded by Cecil Rhodes’ Pioneer Column in 1890 and named after Cecil John Rhodes’ hometown, Salisbury (now Harare).
The city of Salisbury, now known as Harare, was founded on 12 September 1890 by the Pioneer Column, a military volunteer force of settlers organized by Cecil Rhodes.
The area at the time was poorly drained and the earliest development was on the sloping ground along the left bank of a stream that is now the course of a trunk road (Julius Nyerere Way).
The first area to be fully drained was near the head of the stream and was named Causeway as a result. This area is now home to many important government buildings such as the Senate House and Office of the Prime Minister.
Salisbury served as the capital for both Southern Rhodesia from 1923 and for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1963.
In 1965, Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front government declared Rhodesia independent from Britain and proclaimed it a republic in 1970. Since then, Salisbury has been renamed Harare and continues to serve as Zimbabwe’s capital city today.
The city of Harare is situated on the Highveld plateau of Zimbabwe, at an elevation of 1,483 meters (4,865 feet).
The topography of the area is characterized by a parkland landscape, with reddish brown granular clay soils in the northern and central parts and greyish brown sand over pale loamy sand or sandy loam in the south. This unique terrain provides a stunning backdrop to the city and its surrounding areas.
The soils of Harare are highly fertile and have been used for agricultural purposes since ancient times. The region has long been known for its abundance of natural resources, including minerals such as gold, copper, and iron ore.
In addition to this, it is also home to some of Zimbabwe’s most important wildlife reserves, which provide habitats for a variety of species including elephants, lions, and rhinos. These reserves are protected by strict conservation laws that ensure their continued existence.
Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe and is home to a population of 2,123,132 people. The majority of the population are Shona-speaking people of African descent, making up over 90% of the city’s inhabitants.
Additionally, Harare is also home to many Ndebele people and Kalanga people. This diversity in ethnic backgrounds has helped shape the culture and identity of Harare as a city.
Apart from its African population, Harare also has a small but significant White Zimbabwean community with an estimated 25,000 living in the metro area.
This minority group has had a long history in Zimbabwe and their presence in Harare has contributed to the city’s unique blend of cultures and traditions. Despite their small numbers, they have had an important role in shaping the city’s economy and infrastructure over the years.
Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, has a subtropical highland climate under the Köppen climate classification. This oceanic climate variety is cooler and drier than a tropical or subtropical climate due to its high altitude position and the prevalence of cool south-easterly airflow.
The average annual temperature is 17.95 °C (64.3 °F), which is relatively low for the tropics.
The city experiences three main seasons: a warm, wet summer from November to March/April; a cool, dry winter from May to August; and a warm to hot, dry season in September/October.
Daily temperature ranges are about 7–22 °C (45–72 °F) in July (the coldest month), about 15–29 °C (59–84 °F) in October (the hottest month), and about 16–26 °C (61–79 °F) in January (midsummer). These temperatures make Harare an ideal destination for those looking for mild weather year-round.
Harare is a city that has grown rapidly over the years, and as a result, its transportation system has not been able to keep up with the growth.
The city lacks an effective public transportation system, leaving many of its residents dependent on informal minibus taxis. The public transport system within the city includes both public and private sector operations.
The former consists of ZUPCO buses and National Railways of Zimbabwe commuter trains, while privately owned public transport comprises licensed station wagons, nicknamed emergency taxis until 1993 when the government began to replace them with licensed buses and minibusses referred to officially as commuter omnibuses.
Harare also has two kinds of taxis: metered taxis which are more expensive but offer a more reliable service; and unmetered taxis which are cheaper but less reliable.
Both types of taxi services can be found in most parts of the city, although they tend to be concentrated around major shopping areas or tourist attractions.
Despite this limited availability, these taxi services remain an important part of Harare’s transportation network for those who cannot afford or do not have access to other forms of transport.
Where to stay in Harare
If you are looking for a place to stay in Harare, there are plenty of options to choose from. For adults, there are a variety of hotels and guesthouses that offer comfortable accommodations.
Many of these places are conveniently located close to the city center, making it easy to explore the sights and attractions of Harare. There is also a selection of self-catering apartments available if you prefer more independence during your stay.
For families traveling with children, there are several family-friendly hotels in Harare that provide amenities such as swimming pools and playgrounds. These hotels often have special rates for children under 12 years old and may even include meals in their packages.
If you’re traveling with infants under two years old, many hotels will provide complimentary cots or cribs for your convenience. No matter what type of accommodation you’re looking for, there is sure to be something suitable in Harare.
Recommended Harare tours
Harare is a vibrant city with plenty of attractions and activities to explore. For those looking to experience the best of what Harare has to offer, there are two great tours that are highly recommended.
The first is the Harare City Tour & Highlights, which takes visitors on a journey through the city’s most iconic landmarks and attractions. This tour lasts for one day and costs $128 per person. It includes visits to the National Gallery, the National Botanic Gardens, and other popular sites in Harare.
The second tour is the Mukuvisi Woodlands Afternoon Electric Bicycle Tour and Sunset Picnic. This three-and-a-half-hour tour takes visitors on an electric bike ride through the woodlands of Mukuvisi, where they can enjoy stunning views of nature while taking in some local wildlife.
At sunset, visitors will be treated to a picnic dinner before heading back home. This tour costs $100 per person and is sure to be an unforgettable experience for anyone who takes it.
Museums in Harare
Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, is home to some of the most fascinating museums in the world. From ancient artifacts to modern art, these museums offer a unique insight into the city’s history and culture. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or an extended stay, Harare has something for everyone.
The National Museum of Zimbabwe is one of the most popular attractions in Harare. It houses a vast collection of artifacts from pre-colonial times to the present day, including traditional clothing and jewelry, musical instruments, weapons, and tools.
The museum also offers interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore the history and culture of Zimbabwe through hands-on activities.
Other notable museums include the Natural History Museum which showcases wildlife specimens from around Africa and the National Gallery which features contemporary art from local and international artists.
No matter what your interests are, there is something for everyone in Harare’s many museums. With up to 50% off on admission fees at some locations, it’s easy to plan an affordable trip that will give you an unforgettable experience. So why not take a break from your daily routine and explore all that Harare has to offer?
Harare Attractions Information
Harare is the capital city of Zimbabwe and is a great destination for tourists looking to explore the country. It is home to a variety of attractions that will keep visitors entertained and engaged during their stay.
From historical sites to modern shopping malls, there are plenty of things to do in Harare.
One of the most popular attractions in Harare is the National Botanic Garden, which houses over 107 different species of plants and trees.
Visitors can also explore the National Gallery, which features an impressive collection of art from local and international artists.
Other popular attractions include the Mukuvisi Woodlands, where visitors can take part in activities such as bird watching and game drives; Lion & Cheetah Park, where visitors can observe lions and cheetahs up close; and the Kopje Monument, which commemorates those who died during Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence.
There are also many restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops located throughout Harare that offer a variety of entertainment options for visitors. With so much to see and do in Harare, it’s no wonder why it’s one of Zimbabwe’s top tourist destinations!
Things to do in Harare
Wild Is Life is a great way to explore the city of Harare. Located in Zimbabwe, this tour offers visitors the chance to experience the culture and beauty of this vibrant city.
The tour includes visits to some of Harare’s most popular attractions such as the National Botanical Gardens, Mukuvisi Woodlands, and the National Gallery.
Visitors can also take part in activities such as bird watching, game drives, and cultural tours. Prices start at $100 for a one-day tour and can be booked on Viator from $128.
The Wild Is Life tour is an excellent way to get to know Harare better.
It provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about its history and culture while exploring its many attractions. During the tour, visitors will have plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the sights and sounds of this unique city.
They will also have access to knowledgeable guides who can provide insight into local customs and traditions. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out or want to explore more deeply, Wild Is Life is sure to provide an unforgettable experience!
1. Hikes and views
Domboshawa is a great spot for hikers and nature lovers alike, offering stunning views of the Mashonaland country. Located just outside Harare, it is easy to access and quick to climb, making it an ideal destination for those looking for a short but rewarding hike.
The rocky outcrop provides visitors with a 360° view of the surrounding area, allowing them to take in the beauty of the landscape as they enjoy a drink at sunset.
Photo by Joshua Oates captures the beauty of Domboshawa perfectly; from its orange granite outcrop to its spectacular sunsets, this spot is sure to leave you with lasting memories.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an adventure-filled day trip, Domboshawa has something for everyone. So why not take some time out and explore this incredible location? You won’t regret it!
2. Water activities
Harare may not have a beach, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of water activities to enjoy. The city is surrounded by numerous small-to-medium-sized dams, all within an hour’s drive away.
If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, why not try your luck at Darwendale Dam? This spot has seen many records broken for largemouth bass fishing over the years – the current record stands at 8.2kg!
For those seeking something a little more thrilling, Arcadia Dam is the perfect spot. Located about 100km north of Harare, this dam offers plenty of opportunities for watersports such as kayaking and canoeing.
There are also plenty of spots to go swimming or just relax on the shoreline and soak up some sun. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful day out or an adrenaline rush, there’s something for everyone in Harare’s waters!
3. Wining and dining
For those looking for a great night out, Harare has plenty of options when it comes to wining and dining. From quirky cafes to sophisticated restaurants, there is something for everyone.
One of the most popular venues for locals is The Butcher’s Kitchen in Sam Levy’s Village, Borrowdale. This rustic restaurant offers an extensive selection of fresh meat that can be cooked to perfection by the chef.
The atmosphere at The Butcher’s Kitchen is always lively and inviting. Guests can choose their own cuts of meat from the display and watch as it is prepared in front of them.
After dinner, they can enjoy drinks with friends or take part in one of the many activities on offer such as karaoke or live music performances. With its delicious food and vibrant atmosphere, The Butcher’s Kitchen is a great place to spend an evening with friends or family.
4. Wildlife and game viewing
Harare is a bustling city, but it is also home to some of the most incredible African wildlife. Just a short drive away from the city center lies Mukuvisi Woodlands, a reserve that offers visitors the chance to explore and observe some of Africa’s most majestic creatures.
Mukuvisi Woodlands provides guided walks and horseback rides through its grounds, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with giraffes, rhinos, elephants, and many other species of game.
The reserve is located on Paget Road in Glenara, just 30 minutes away from Harare’s city center.
It is an ideal spot for those who want to experience the wonders of African wildlife without having to travel too far from the city. Visitors can expect to see a variety of animals in their natural habitat, as well as take in stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
5. Support local art
The city of Harare is home to a unique form of art – stone sculptures. These sculptures vary in size from small pieces to massive granite boulders and can be found lining the streets of Harare.
Doon Estate and Chapungu Village are two excellent places to visit if you’re looking for an up-close look at these incredible works of art. Not only will you find stone sculptures here, but also art galleries, hand-made pottery, and homemade Belgian chocolates.
Supporting local art is a great way to show your appreciation for the culture and creativity that exists in your community. By visiting places like Doon Estate and Chapungu Village, you can help support local artists by buying their wares or simply admiring their work.
You can also attend events like First Thursdays in Cape Town, which celebrates street art and other forms of artistic expression. Supporting local art is a great way to show your appreciation for the culture and creativity that exists in your community.
Gone are the days of empty shelves in Zimbabwe. Now, Harare is home to an impressive number of local and international businesses. Sam Levy’s Village is the most well-known shopping center in the city, located on Borrowdale Road.
It has been designed to look like an old European village, with brick pavements between stores and manicured lawns for shoppers to take in the open skies.
For something a little more rustic, visit the Avondale flea market. Located on top of the old car park behind Avondale Shopping Centre, on King George Road, this bustling market sells cheap clothes and local crafts as well as second-hand books and movies.
Here you can find unique items that you won’t find anywhere else in Harare. Whether you’re looking for a bargain or just want to explore some of Zimbabwe’s culture, this is definitely worth a visit!
Harare is a great destination for sports enthusiasts. With its many dams and lakes, visitors can enjoy a day of water skiing or skim across the water on a tube. The city also offers some of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in the region. Golfers can spend their Saturday at the Royal Harare golf club, located opposite the Presidential Residence on 5th Street.
This course offers stunning views of the city and is perfect for players of all levels. Another popular golf course in Harare is Champan golf club, located on Samora Machel Avenue.
This course features lush green fairways and well-maintained greens that make it an enjoyable experience for any golfer. Whether you’re looking to take part in some watersports or hit the links, Harare has something to offer everyone!
What travelers are saying
Travelers are raving about Wild is Life, a nature reserve located just 5 kilometers on the outskirts of Harare.
From the professional and friendly staff to the breathtaking sunset views, visitors have been in awe of this magical experience. The team on the ground and for booking in advance were all very helpful and accommodating, making it an enjoyable afternoon for everyone.
The Mukuvisi Woodlands is also a popular spot for travelers looking to get away from it all. With its quiet and tranquil atmosphere, there are plenty of hidden spots to relax and take in all of the wildlife around you.
Whether you’re looking for a picnic spot or just some personal time with loved ones, this nature reserve has something for everyone. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews so travelers can be sure that they’re getting honest feedback from other visitors.