HARARE PUBLICITY OFFICE
Provides information for both local and foreign tourists about the city of Harare’s attractions and investment opportunities. Our core business is to promote tourism in Harare and its environs and to provide information on investment opportunities.
Telephone: +263 4 705085/6
Physical Address; Corner Sam Nujoma Street and Jason Moyo (Africa Unit square)
Mondays to Fridays from 0800 to1600
Saturdays 0800 -1200
The National Heroes Acre
The National Heroes Acre is a burial ground and national monument in Harare. The fifty seven acre site is situated on a ridge seven kilometres from Harare towards Norton. Its stated purpose is to commemorate Patriotic Front guerrillas killed during the Rhodesian Bush War and contemporary Zimbabweans whose dedication or commitment to their country justify their interment to the shrine. Work was initiated on the National Heroes Acre in September 1981 a year after Zimbabwean Independence. Ten Zimbabweans and seven North Korean architects and artists were recruited to map the site’s map layout. About two hundred and fifty local workers were involved in the project at the height of its construction. Black granite used for the main structures was quarried from Mutoko. Near the entrance of the Heroes Acre there is a museum dedicated to the rise of African nationalism in Zimbabwe and the anti-colonial struggle showcasing artefacts, photographs, documents and other remains from the Chimurenga and shortly after the war.
The Kopje Area
This is an essential component of the history of Harare as it was the first site on which the Shona habitants under Chief Neharahwa well known as Chief Haarari settled. Chief Haarari is where the capital Harare derived its name in English the phrase simply means ‘the one who never sleeps.’ According to a source, Chief Haarari was named so after an illness made him unable to sleep while another source states that it was because the chief could never be attacked by his enemies. Control of the Kopje passed from Chief Neharahwa to Chief Mbare whose name was then adopted by the well-known Harare Township called Mbare. Chief Gutsa was the last Shona Chief controlling the Kopje until September 1890 saw the arrival the arrival of the British Settlers led by F. Johnson who took over the Kopje and then established the Union Jack and this marked the birth of the British settlement in Fort Salisbury which became the pre-independence name of the city of Harare.
Chaminuka Shrine and Pioneer Bridge
These must be mentioned together as they are interlocked historically. Chaminuka Shrine is located in Muda area 35 km from Harare and it is said to be the final resting place of the Shona spirit and leader, Chaminuka. The shrine is sacred and is visited by locals for ritualistic purposes such as praying for the rains, it is a new tourism site and is in constant development to have more tourist facilities for visitors. However the shrine has maintained its natural state and it is common to wildlife such as zebra and it is however encouraged to maintain and respect for sacred nature for the site. The Pioneer Bridge was well known as the Muda river bridge which provided entrance to the early White Settlers to move into Salisbury as they come north from South Africa. Around 1890 one of the settlers was sent in advance to explore the route they would use to cross the Fort Salisbury (Harare). The man then planted a lemon tree to mark the crossing point for the other settlers. A bridge was then built to allow for the party and their wagons to cross safely into Fort Salisbury to this day the bridge and the tree stand as remnants of the key point of the history of Zimbabwe. The link between these two is because Chaminuka is known famously for predicting the coming of the White Settlers. “Vasina mabvi vachauya chapungu mudenga nemhungu pasi” meaning people without knees will come with eagle in the air and a mamba snake on the ground this phrase describes the trouser wearing settlers coming with their planes and the railways.
Harare Pioneer Cemetery is a large town cemetery in which there are two separate plots both marked by a cross of sacrifice. The Pioneer Cemetery is located some few km away from the CBD along Simon Mazorodze road just after a flyover. Amongst the graves there are sixty six men of the Rhodesia Native Regiment, the BSA police and the Harare Cremation Memorial commemorating a single Royal Air Force casualty of the Second World War. The Harare Cemetery is open every day from 0600 to 1800. There are twenty seven Commonwealth burials of the 1914 to 1918 war and further two hundred and twenty four Commonwealth burials of the 1939 to 1945 war in thus cemetery.
About thirty kilometres drive away from Harare lays Domboshawa, a magnificent outcrop of rock formations, a place of major interest for archaeologists, historians and tourists. Domboshava include the Domboshava site Museum, the Domboshava cave featuring rock art paintings. Domboshava has lovely scenery featuring the Rambakurimwa forest and Chavaroyi Hill, picnic facilities are available on site for one to take a rest and admire the balancing rocks, nature surrounding the area. Domboshava is of cultural importance to the locals and is used for religious purposes.
Chiremba Balancing Rocks
The Chiremba balancing rocks are one of the world’s ten balancing rocks in the world. Chiremba Balancing Rocks was declared a national Monument in 1994 and is located 13 kilometres south east of Harare in Epworth. It is characterized by granite balancing rocks within a natural breath taking scenic environment. The Balancing rocks are a continuation of the awe-inspiring landscape, comprising among other manifestations like Domboramwari.
The Balancing Rocks symbolize peace and stability of the nation’s economy. During the colonial period the Balancing Rocks were adopted as one of the motifs appearing on the Rhodesian paper currency. This symbolic significance continues today as it has continued to be used on the post-colonial currency. The business community has reaffirmed the importance of the Balancing Rocks by using it in various commercial adverts.
The site offers camping and picnic activities for individuals, family and group functions. On-site, is a kiosk offering refreshments and souvenirs. It is an ideal environment for weddings, birthday parties, and fellowships.
Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences
The small Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences has enough fossils and dioramas to keep most museum buffs happy for an hour or so. The highlights are the archaeological displays and the exhibits of traditional Shona crafts, arts and music. The museum is a 10-minute walk west of the city centre.
National Gallery of Zimbabwe
The National Gallery of Zimbabwe is in the southeast corner of Harare Gardens. It has a mix of contemporary Zimbabwean and African art including paintings (you can usually purchase paintings), stone sculptures, masks and carvings. The attached shop is excellent for sculptures, crafts and books on art.
National Archives of Zimbabwe
Founded in 1935, the National Archives of Zimbabwe, off Borrowdale Rd, is the repository for the history of Rhodesia and modern Zimbabwe. It features fascinating colonial artifacts and photos, accounts of early explorers and settlers, and a display about the Second Chimurenga. Prints of excellent oil paintings of Victoria Falls, among other places, are sold at the entrance.
Chapungu Sculpture Park
Founded by Roy Guthrie, as African Art Promotions Inc. in 1970, Chapungu Sculpture Park has pioneered the promotion of Zimbabwe Stone Sculpture (Shona Sculpture) and has built up the most important permanent collection of this work in existence. From its humble beginnings as a small gallery in the capital city , Harare, to the 20 acre sculpture park in the outskirts of Harare
The Town House dates back to 1933, it came as a result of a national architectural competition won by W D’Arcy Cathcart. The considerable publicity which was given to the building during its construction and at its opening on the 14th of November 1933 greatly enhanced D’Arcy’s reputation. By this time he was the heading architect in the town. The floral clock in front of the building was constructed in 1950 to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the town.
Cecil House (2 central avenue)
The stand was brought for 500 pounds in 1901 by the De Beers. Plans for four offices were approved by the municipality. In June 1903 the De Beers withdrew from most of their local activities and the building was leased to The BSA Company. Cecil House also soon become the headquarters of the BSA Police Commandant, Colonel Boodle. From 1908 to 1909 the entire building was used as the police headquarters until they moved to the old government house in Montagu Avenue (Josiah Chinamano). Cecil house then fell on hard times, it was sold and resold again but was finally bought by the Mining Industry Pension Fund and its originality was restored. The building was declared a national monument in 1977; the offices remain in daily use by the fund.
Market Hall (Mbuya Nehanda Street)
Market Hall, today known as Gulf Complex is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Harare, built around 1893 t0 1894 . Its various formers uses reflect much of the town’s early history recent renovations by the municipality have restored its original function as a market hall. Until about 1918, the market hall was used for selling produce grown along the Mukuvisi river banks. It also served as council offices until the Town House was built. Every Saturdays it was used as a market and during the week the hall was hired for concerts, roller skating, meetings and cinematograph shows. The building was being used as a motor spare warehouse in 1981 when the municipality, its owner served a Building Preservation Order on it. The building was then recommended to be used as the People’s Market and was to be restored its original appearance. The Market Hall is once again a vibrant centre of activity with modern services.
Makombe Building (L Takawira Street)
Formerly known as the Drill Hall, it was opened on 2 May 1902 and it was primarily intended for the training of volunteers. Makombe Building was popular as a venue for public meetings, concerts, dances, plays, civic receptions and in 1910 to 1911 it served as a palace a bioscope. Latter during the colonial period it was the headquarters for the first Battalion, the Rhodesia Regiment and the home of the city’s territorial soldiers. It became the main passport office in 1982 and in 1985 was renamed after Chief Makombe and Manicaland representative on the war council of the first Chimurenga.
THE last place that most hard-working Zimbabwean citizens would want to be, especially during the weekends, is indoors.
It seems citizens of this beautiful country not only work hard but also play equally hard. And outdoor facilities have been created for revellers who are not deterred by distances or the size of their pockets. Many such facilities have made names for themselves, for various reasons, good and not so good.
This is a fairly new place located a spitting distance from the Hunyani River Bridge, along the Harare-Chitungwiza road. Junction 24 has re-defined the term family outing in the capital. It is a mixture of various open-air concepts that have been in existence for some time. The place is serene and quiet. Lack of noise and bustle has made it a firm favourite for families. The structure is characterised by well-manicured lawns and grounds, security friendly parking, under tree sitting, children’s play centre, excellent ablution facilities, five restaurants and bars to cater for various tastes.
While children play, they occasionally shift their attention to the low-flying planes that land at the nearby Harare International Airport. And adults are spoilt for choice as the available bars (Mas Vergas, 419 Lounge, Wine and Spirit, Musoni Sports Bar and Pandari) offer varied play lists that cater for different tastes of music.
However, patrons are not happy with the pricing regime despite the excellent services at the joint. For instance, the popular country-style sausage asks for an average US$8, when the same delicacy costs about US$6 or less elsewhere. With the exorbitant pricing system, the place may probably never realise its full potential. The convenience shop where clients can pick one or two items to take home is also pricey.
The big fish in the capital used to congregate at this joint. At its peak, it had a magnetic pull that could not be resisted. Top characters in the capital that included DJs, business people, celebrities and socialites jostled to dine and wine at the joint. But the once revered Globe Trotter fell from grace following the incarceration of the founding owner, Dickson Kokwani Sabawu, and since 2009, it has been struggling to regain its lost lustre. Attempts to reclaim top position as a prime joy destination are proving futile and matters have not been helped by the protracted wrangle for ownership/control of the joint. Sizwe Sabawu, son of the incarcerated businessman, attempted to jump start operations not so long ago, but the effort sputtered and faltered.
Adverts of a comeback found no takers with only a handful patrons attending what was supposed to be a big return. Claims of renovations do not hold water as dilapidation is still evident. As things stand, no serious fun-loving reveller would head to the joint. However, fun-lovers are optimistic that the coming on board of fresh management will help turn tables for the better.
Though no longer commanding as high patronage as it was some six or so years ago, the Mega bars namely Mega 1 bar in Graniteside, Mega West in Westgate and Mega 2 in Hatfield, have managed to maintain a somewhat tight grip on the entertainment map. The owner of the bars has invested heavily in renovating Mega 1 and 2.
The former now boasts of one of the best stages for live performances, not only in the capital, but around the country, while Mega 2 has been turned into a perfect platform for family outing, providing all sorts of recreational facilities.
The problem, however, lies on the fact that Mega 1 hosts more family shows than Mega 2. By nature, these events call for families to bring along children. But the Mega 1 set-up does not support family outings. In short, Mega 1 is a bar and should not be open to kids.
For instance, for revellers to be able to get to the show venue, they have to pass through a bar. It is very unfortunate that the proper venue for these shows (Mega 2) is not being properly used for this purpose.
Being off-road and “off the radar” along the Harare-Mutare highway, Mtangaz has proved to be a place to unwind in peace. One of the most outstanding features of the watering hole is its ability to come up with events that cater for family outings. Children and adults enjoy horse rides at the hideout.
Proprietors of the venue have made sure that they at least come up with interesting programmes for their patrons, with the major emphasis being on catering for family units. Favourable prices for basics like soft drinks, alcohol and meat make outings memorable and affordable.
The venue has a butchery that offers meat at reasonable prices. The only challenge with this joint is accessibility. It is, indeed, a hideout.
This is by far one of the most popular open-air entertainment joints in the country. The place is made up of enterprising individuals. They braai, cook and buy drinks for patrons, of course for a fee. Also, in the process of enjoying what the area has to offer, one can receive car wash services for as little as US$1.
However, despite this place providing a platform for people to mix and mingle, far from hassles of the city, the environment, just like KwaFatso or Zindoga, which has an almost similar set-up, is not suitable for a family outing. For instance, there are no rules and regulations for clients since no one has exclusive rights to the place.
This results in all sorts of behaviour (most of which is unsuitable for juveniles) characterising the place. In fact, frequenters of the place kind of compete to outdo each other in wayward behaviour.
Also, ablution facilities at these joints are limited and in most cases unusable. Apart from this, the dusty environment (red soil) that is synonymous with Mereki is a huge turn-off.
Extra Mile Leisure Spot
The place does not have outstanding features but is a good place for a family outing. During an average day, it provides ordinary entertainment schedules with DJs sampling different music genres. It peaks when the spot hosts mega family shows featuring the likes of Alick Macheso, Jah Prayzah and Suluman Chimbetu. Prices of food and beverages are reasonable. Patrons are drawn from the surrounding residential areas that include Highfield, Glen View, Glen Norah and Houghton Park. There is, nonetheless, need to improve on the infrastructure.
Just like with Globe Trotter, Pamuzinda had its time under the stewardship of Victor “Godfather” Chiraga. A superb weekend was defined by passing through the joint. The venue was not only for unwinding purposes, it was also a battle field for musicians. The country’s top acts would use the site to settle industry disputes.
However, in the course of operations, tables turned and the venue sunk into oblivion. However, new proprietor, one of Zimbabwe’s seasoned promoters, Josh Hozheri of the once famous but now defunct Jazz 105, has moved in to revive fortunes of the place and the effort seems to be paying dividends. Now rebranded Pamuzinda (Ice and Fire), the joint is back on track. The spot has regained its lost pride and is now offering revellers value for money.
It seems the joint has completely disappeared and is no longer on the entertainment radar. Problems for this imbibing place started after controversial news filtered through from Sesombe, during Tongai Moyo’s funeral wake, that allegedly linked the owner of its sister joint (the popular but now defunct “Mai Jojo”) to some “adult pleasure” scandals. From then, the otherwise vibrant lady went into hibernation and that has had adverse effects on the joints.
Characterised by well-manicured lawns beautiful to the eye and dotted indigenous and exotic trees that sway and sing to the rhythm of winds, sports clubs have proved to be popular with Hararians seeking open-air entertainment. Clubs like Belgravia, Alexandra and Chapman are a hive of activity every weekend, never mind the time of the month.
Advantages of these sports clubs is that they offer both indoor and outdoor entertainment. When seasons switch from summer to winter, the environs have infrastructure that can guarantee continued pleasure. Most often, the clubs are used to host parties, weddings and corporate events.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Harare Gardens, the city's largest park, is a haven from the city bustle just a few blocks south, and a favourite spot for wedding photos and canoodling couples. Look for the island-like stand of rainforest with its miniature Victoria Falls and Zambezi Gorge.
Despite its peaceful atmosphere, Harare Gardens is notorious for crime, so always avoid short-cutting through the park at night and watch your belongings carefully by day. No cycling is allowed.
The nearest thing to a zoo in Harare is the Mukuvisi Woodlands, also given the trendy title of 'environmental centre'. Two-thirds of this 265-hectare woodland reserve, 7km east of the city centre, is natural msasa parkland, ideal for picnics, walking and bird-watching. The remaining area is a wildlife park where antelopes, zebras, giraffes and warthogs roam free.
Mukuvisi is at its best when there are special events on such as lectures or family days, which are advertised via banners around town.
National Botanic Gardens
The 58-hectare National Botanic Gardens contain examples of the diverse flowers and greenery that thrive in Harare's pleasant climate. Most Zimbabwean species are also represented, as well as specimens from Southern Africa. It's a great place to spend the day.
Greenwood Park was started in 1964 by a group of Harare Round Table No. 1 members, and is an ongoing project which is still run by Harare 1, as both a community service and as a method of raising funds. The park is an exhilarating place for children and the young at heart with rides for kids, particularly for those aged under seven. and is open Wednesday to Sunday, and Public Holidays, from 10:00am to 4:30pm.