Zimbabwe: An African Getaway
January 1, 1970
by Nyaree Munodawafa
Zimbabwe boasts of unmatched beauty, great hospitality, and amazing scenery views. It is located in the Southern part of Africa, is landlocked and is home to not just amazing people but a gorgeous flora and fauna. The amazing Victoria Falls (also referred to as the smoke that thunders by the locals) is one of the seven wonders the world which lies on Zimbabwe’s banks. A visit to the Victoria Falls is worthy of the words majestic, unrivaled beauty and breathtaking, a trip that should definitely be on everyone’ s bucket list, for both locals and visitors. The country is culturally diversified and has the most peaceful people, a trip to the mountain side or a day watching the sacred hot springs(the locals have a few tales to tell) is definitely something worth experiencing. Zimbabwean weather is amazing, the people are warm and friendly and there are a lot of locations to visit and make amazing memories.
The National Art Gallery
One of the things that I love doing when I’m in the capital of Harare is visiting the National Art gallery. It’s located in the city center and while the capital is generally busy, the gallery offers a serene atmosphere which I have dubbed “the city break.” It completely shuts out all the hustling and bustling and provides an inspiring sanctuary that is also calm and peaceful. It displays pieces of national pride and heritage and showcases the artwork of Zimbabwe’s best artists. .After taking a walk across the gallery and seeing some amazing pieces, I generally move to the gallery grounds which are literally a breath of fresh air, a book in one hand and glass of wine in the other (some sweet rose from the restaurant), it is always a refreshing experience and a much needed city break that I would recommend to everybody. The last week of March into the first week of April these grounds are home toHarare International Festival of the Arts, fondly referred to by Zimbabweans as Hifa. An event that is worth noting in one’s calendar, it showcases local and international artists and it’s just a fun experience. There a few other galleries across Harare, that are worth visiting and if you visit and have a bit more time, the Gallery Delta and Shoko Gallery come highly recommended and I’m certain you will find a piece of art that would always remind you of the Dzimbahwe (traditional name for the country) people and their rich cultural heritage.
A 10-minute drive away from the gallery is a spot where locals and tourists have a taste of authentic Zimbabwean cuisine. In the affluent suburb of Avondale is a place that’s popular because of its amazing space and menu, built on green grounds with indoor and spacious outdoor sitting is the place known as Gava’s. They serve authentic Zimbabwean cuisine and boy I must say it’s just delightful and soulful. Visiting Gava’s is my favorite pastime, with most restaurants adopting a modern touch to their places, they have managed to preserve the local tradition and still maintain a few modern elements. While forks and knives are available, their menu definitely caters for the use of hands, a traditional Zimbabwean way of eating sadza, peanut butter rice, and some other delicacies. To make the most of your experience I would recommend their three pot combo, that is most certainly the best way to get a great taste of local meat, cooked with traditional methods and after this, foresee return trips on the cards (well I have had a few of my own). It’s a great place to make new friends and socialize with old ones, it’s a place where lifelong memories are made and it’s all done over a good meal, in true Zimbabwean style.
The Bird Sanctuary
About 30 minutes away from Harare’s city center is one of Zimbabwe’s famous lakes known as Lake Chivero and right on its shores is a national park known as Kuimba Shiri (singing bird). It’s a bird park that houses various species of birds which are always a delight to watch. As a single person, its one of the things I repeatedly do by myself, however, the place is great for families and children as well. I always see their faces light up when birds reveal new things to them and it just leaves children fascinated and with a lot of joy and the best part is the guides always have them hold some of the birds and help them create amazing moments. There is plenty of room for people to just have a lot of fun, a sitting area a pool and various other activities that children can enjoy. The restaurant serves amazing food, which is reasonably priced. A walk along the park is a must do at Kuimba Shiri, the birds will be flying around and showcasing their beauty in the trees and along the shorelines. This place is also great as they allow for guests to go fishing should they desire to do so, horse riding is also an exciting activity that I love whenever I visit the park. One of the most amazing things that happen at Kuimba Shiri is the bird’s display, the birds will be flying freely and from my understanding, this is so they can learn how to hunt and also work on their flying skills, this is done daily at exactly 4 o’clock (what a view).
- The country adopted US dollars as the main currency of trade after the country had faced some harsh economic challenges, living expenses are fairly reasonable.
- Renting a car is highly recommended and always shop around for a good deal, or u can opt for taxi services when you want to move about and always negotiate for a good deal depending on where you will be traveling to
- The cities to definitely visit are the Victoria Falls, Harare, Masvingo, Hwange Kariba and Inyanga
- Locals are fluent in English so you will hardly face any communication barriers so go ahead and approach anyone with any question or even make new friends.
- Be sure to pick u some collectibles, I highly recommend a place in the Newlands area. Most locals know where that is
- Bring a pair of shades