Bulawayo is a city that will surprise and delight you with its rich history, culture, and nature. Whether you’re looking for historical sites, natural scenery, or cultural attractions, Bulawayo has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll show you the top 10 best places to visit in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Khami Ruins National Monument
If you’re interested in the ancient history of Zimbabwe, you can’t miss the Khami Ruins National Monument. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the remains of the capital of the Kingdom of Khami, which ruled over southern Africa from the 15th to the 17th century.
The ruins are located on a hilltop overlooking the Zambezi River, and they showcase the impressive architecture and craftsmanship of the Khami people. You can see the stone walls, terraces, platforms, and towers that once formed the city’s palaces, temples, and public buildings.
You can also learn about the culture and trade of the Khami people, who had contacts with other African kingdoms and European traders.
The Khami Ruins National Monument is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and there is a small admission fee. You can either take a guided tour or explore the site on your own.
For a stunning view of Bulawayo and its surroundings, head to the Hillside Dams. These man-made lakes were built in the early 1900s to provide water for the city’s development.
Today, they are a popular recreational area for locals and tourists alike. You can enjoy the scenic beauty of the dams and the hills, as well as the wildlife that lives there.
You can spot various species of fish, birds, and reptiles in and around the water. Many hiking and biking trails wind through the area for those interested in more active pursuits.
Alternatively, you could simply relax in one of the many picnic spots available.
The Hillside Dams are a great place to escape from the city and enjoy some fresh air and nature.
The Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe
If you want to learn more about Zimbabwe’s natural history and biodiversity, you should visit The Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe. This museum is one of the largest and best in Africa, with over a million specimens on display. You can see exhibits on Zimbabwe’s geology, paleontology, archaeology, botany, zoology, and anthropology. You can also find interactive displays and activities for kids, as well as a library and a research center. The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Bulawayo Railway Museum
If you’re a fan of trains and railways, you’ll love the Bulawayo Railway Museum. This museum is housed in an old locomotive repair shed, and it features a collection of over 30 locomotives from different eras and countries. You can see steam engines, diesel engines, electric engines, and even royal coaches that were used by British monarchs. You can also see various items of railway memorabilia, such as tickets, uniforms, signs, and tools. The museum is open daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
If you’re looking for a fairy tale experience in Bulawayo, you should visit Nesbitt Castle. This castle was built in 1894 by a British settler family who wanted to create their own dream home. The castle is made of sandstone blocks and has turrets, battlements, and a drawbridge. It is set in beautiful gardens that are open to the public.
You can take a guided tour of the interior of the castle, where you can see the original furniture, paintings, and artifacts that belonged to the Nesbitt family. You can also enjoy a meal or a drink at the castle’s restaurant or bar. The castle is also used as a venue for weddings and other events.
National Gallery in Bulawayo
The National Gallery in Bulawayo is where you can see some of the best art in Zimbabwe. The gallery showcases paintings, sculptures, and photography from local and international artists. The gallery also hosts special exhibitions throughout the year that feature some of Zimbabwe’s most talented artists. The gallery is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Old Bulawayo is where you can experience the colonial history of Zimbabwe. This area is where Bulawayo was founded in 1893 by Cecil Rhodes and his British South Africa Company. You can see some of the original buildings that were constructed during this period, such as government offices, churches, schools, and hotels. You can also see some monuments and statues that commemorate important figures and events in Zimbabwe’s history.
Khami Dam is another place where you can enjoy the beauty of nature in Bulawayo. This dam was built in 1928 and is the second-largest in Zimbabwe. The dam is surrounded by hills and forests, and it offers a tranquil and picturesque setting for visitors. You can go boating, fishing, camping, or hiking at the dam, or simply admire the views of the water and the wildlife. Khami Dam is a perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Mabukwene Gardens are one of the best places to visit in Bulawayo if you love flowers and plants. These gardens are located on the outskirts of the city, and they feature a variety of flora from different regions of Zimbabwe. You can see roses, orchids, aloes, cacti, and more in these gardens. You can also see some animals, such as monkeys, birds, and butterflies. The gardens are a great place to relax and enjoy the colors and fragrances of nature.
Centenary Park is one of the most popular places to visit in Bulawayo for families and friends. This park is open every day from sunrise to sunset, and there is no entrance fee. The park has something for everyone, including a playground, a picnic area, a swimming pool, and a zoo. You can see lions, giraffes, zebras, and other animals at the zoo, or you can enjoy some fun activities at the park. Centenary Park is an ideal place to spend a day with your loved ones.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bulawayo
What are the top 10 best places to visit in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe?
The top 10 best places to visit in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe are:
- Khami Ruins National Monument: A UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the ruins of the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Khami.
- Hillside Dams: A scenic and recreational area that offers stunning views of Bulawayo and its surroundings.
- Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe: A museum that displays a variety of exhibits on Zimbabwe’s natural history and biodiversity.
- Bulawayo Railway Museum: A museum that features a collection of over 30 locomotives and other railway memorabilia.
- Nesbitt Castle: A fairy tale castle that was built by a British settler family in 1894.
- National Gallery: A gallery that showcases paintings, sculptures, and photography from local and international artists.
- Old Bulawayo: An area that preserves the colonial history and architecture of Bulawayo.
- Khami Dam: A beautiful dam that offers a tranquil and picturesque setting for boating, fishing, camping, or hiking.
- Mabukuwene Gardens: A garden that features a variety of flora and fauna from different regions of Zimbabwe.
- Centenary Park: A park that has something for everyone, including a playground, a picnic area, a swimming pool, and a zoo.
How can I get to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe?
There are several ways to get to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. You can fly to the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport, which is located about 25 km from the city center. You can also take a bus or a train from other cities in Zimbabwe or neighboring countries. You can also drive to Bulawayo by car, as there are several major roads that connect the city to other regions.
When is the best time to visit Bulawayo, Zimbabwe?
The best time to visit Bulawayo, Zimbabwe depends on your preferences and activities. Generally, the climate in Bulawayo is mild and pleasant throughout the year, with warm days and cool nights. However, there are some seasonal variations that you should consider. The dry season runs from May to October, and it is the best time to see wildlife and enjoy outdoor activities. The wet season runs from November to April, and it is the best time to see greenery and flowers. The peak tourist season is from July to September, when the weather is sunny and dry. The low tourist season is from December to February, when the weather is hot and humid.
So, there you have it! Our top 10 best places to visit in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. We hope that this list has inspired you to visit this amazing city and discover all that it has to offer. Whether you’re looking for history, culture, or nature, Bulawayo has it all. So don’t wait any longer and book your trip to Bulawayo today!