Bulawayo’s got it all – the energy, friendly people, the freshest ideas and the high-octane lifestyle and unique character which attracts people from all over the world.
We want to help you make 2019 your year to explore Bulawayo with 10 fun trip ideas that are easy on the pocket.
Contact the organisation directly for the latest prices and information as their subject to change at the organisations’ discretion.
Here is a list of fun things to do in the metropolitan province of Bulawayo in no particular order:
1. Visit the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe
A very interesting museum highlighting Zimbabwean history. Very well preserved and meticulously kept. A real treasure. So many things to see and in each section, a different feel. It has to be seen to appreciate it.
The Natural Museum of Zimbabwe located in the Centenary Park in Bulawayo, was built in 1962, and in 1982 all the natural science collections were moved there and it was renamed the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe.
With its stunning displays and valuable research collections it is the best museum in Southern Africa and ranks fourth in size among the museums of Africa.
It is an impressive circular building with nine public display galleries, a lecture hall with a seating capacity of 120 people, a cafeteria, and eight research departments with substantial study collections.
Know more: Natural Museum of Zimbabwe
2. Visit the Railway Museum of Zimbabwe
The Bulawayo Railway Museum is a museum located next to the National Railways Station in Bulawayo, with several exhibits of the history of railways in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe.
Its oldest exhibits date back as far as 1897, and includes Cecil John Rhodes’ personal railway coach.
Know more: The Bulawayo Railway Museum
3. Visit the Matobo Hills Lodge
Visit Matopo Hills for extraordinary landscapes, intriguing rock art, geological wonders, as well as sightings of rhino and raptors. Matopo Hills is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is said to hold the greatest concentration of leopards in Zimbabwe.
For a spectacular view of the sun setting over the hills, go for a picnic or a braai (barbeque) at one of the recreational spots, or stay in one of the lodges (Matobo Hills) that were built into the rocks.
Know more: Matobo Hills Lodge
4. Visit the Nesbitt Castle
The eccentric original owner built the castle in the 1920s, after he had visited one overseas. The castle was built using local stone.
Today, the owners have turned it into a hotel, restaurant and pub, surrounded by green lush gardens and a pony park. Colonial paraphernalia and gothic design adorn the winding, mysterious passages and provide for a fascinating visit.
Know more: Nesbit Castle
5. Visit Hillside Dams
The suburban venue is a popular spot for picnics and walks. There’s a good restaurant where you can have a cup of coffee or bite to eat, if you don’t want to bring your own food.
There are two dams – the upper and the lower – and you can explore along aloe and granite-lined paths for a couple of hours.
Know more: Hillside Dams
6. Visit the Khami Ruins
Khami Ruins lies 22 km West of Bulawayo. Khami Ruins is an extensive complex of stonewalled sites. It is one of Zimbabwe’s World Heritage Sites and was the capital of the Butua State, its leaders reigning at Khami from about AD 1450 until its fiery destruction around AD 1644.
A small site museum provides useful background information to the site itself. It differs to Great Zimbabwe in size, structure and construction method, although they both stem from a similar design. Here, stone walls were used to create terraces on which huts were arranged. The stone in this area is difficult to use for free-standing drystone walls, so it was built into the hillside instead.
Don’t miss the short walk up to the Hill Complex where the elite lived, and where a Portuguese Cross of mysterious origins points to a lovely view of the hillside. There is a picnic area under large trees where you can refuel after your history walk.
Know more: Khami Ruins
7. Have lunch at The Bulawayo Club
Once a gentleman’s-only club, this is an insightful place to look around, with many interesting colonial relics. It is primarily a hotel but the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Built in 1935, the foundation stone was laid by Prince George, later King George VI of Great Britain. The Bulawayo Club is a distinguished gentlemen’s club of stunning architecture offering accommodation, dining, meetings, functions, snooker, historic library and bar.
Know more: The Bulawayo Club
8. Visit the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage
Chipangali is where injured wild animals can be cared for, and prepared for release if possible. The orphanage has a long history, and was patroned by Diana, Princess of Wales from 1983 until her death.
They have a range of animals ranging from leopards to bush babies who now call Chipangali home.
Know more: Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage
9. Visit the National Art Gallery
Housed in one of the country’s finest monuments, the National Gallery in Bulawayo is a unique facility, which holds invigorating and challenging exhibitions.
Douslin House, where the Gallery has been housed for more than a century toda, is an architectural splendour which makes it evident how the gallery had it’s own goal of aesthetic appreciation and artistic aim.
Know more: National Art Gallery
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