Things To Do & PLaces To Visit in Harare
Harare is known as the Sunshine City of Zimbabwe for a reason. It is home to the iconic balancing rocks and many places and attractions worth visiting. There are so many sites and things to see and do around Harare than any other place in Zimbabwe.
In terms of tourism and interesting things to see, Harare is not just about Jacaranda streets. It is blessed with a variety of places and tourist sites that can benefit families, researchers, students, international travellers and young children. While it is not the ultimate place for your Wild Zimbabwe Safaris, Harare has a lot of places of interest and things to see and do for those who take time to discover it. We have some pictures and a list of 27 plus places in and near the city. Just keep reading!
pictures credit D.F.P
We have compiled an extensive list of the places and things to do and see in Harare on this page. Just Keep reading! This list is a comprehensive guide of about 30 places including top 10 locations to enjoy and have fun. Here you find some of the country’s best wedding venues, parks, national monuments, landmarks and botanical gardens located in and near Harare. These places have attracted visitors from all walks of life.
If you live far from Harare you may consider fascinating attractions around Bulawayo City.
A list of 27 places to visit in Harare!
27 Main Attractions
The drum beating mountains; The name Ngoma means drum and Kurira is beat or sound in Shona. The name is written as one word Ngomakurira. This shows the visitor that there used to be some drum sounds coming from the hill. The place is associated with African traditional religious activities. How to get up the mountain? Tourists will have a choice to drive an off road truck or to walk. Walking has advantages as you will see ancient rock art painting done by San people along the way. It will take over 2 hours to get up the mountain peak on foot. Driving a 4×4 will take you just above 90 minutes. Apart from the San rock painting art, tourists might also spot a number of game including the elusive rock rabbits and bucks.
Located just 27 km north of Harare, the red granite rocks of Domboshawa are very beautiful to see. As seen in the picture, they are majestic and an attraction to travellers and visitors. This is a good place for your Zimbabwe holiday pictures.
Epworth-Chiremba Balancing Rocks
Located some 13,5km towards the south east of the city are the Epworth balancing rocks. Sometimes refered as Chiremba balancing rocks, they are some of the most famous country landmarks as they have been used on Zimbabwe’s money. Many writers have named the country’s balancing rocks from more than 3 locations as among the top 10 famous from around the world. Zimbabwe has got many spectacular and must see rock formations like the ‘Mother and Child’ rocks found at Matobo and the rest of the country. These rocks are sometimes called kopjes or koppie.
Though located outside the city, we regard it among Harare tourist attractions as it is just some few kilometers outside the capital. The San rock painting art at Domboshawa Cave is a must see for people interested in history and ancient African rock art.
Lake Manyame Recreational Park
It provides some of the best fishing lodges in Zimbabwe. The place formally known as Darwendale is about 11 000 hectares and the lake is almost 75% of that. This is a top fishing resort in Zimbabwe after Kariba and Zambezi. What makes it more special is the fact that it holds the world record of bass outside the USA and Mexico. In 2004, a Harare resident Max Mashandure entered record books when he caught a largemouth bass weighing just above 8kg.The lake is Zimbabwe’s top location for bass fishing tournaments. There are many lodges nearby to offer visitors and anglers the best while on holiday.
Lake Chivero Recreational Park
Formerly known as Lake Macllwaine, Chivero offers a number of things to see and do. This is a laid back place where visitors are drawn to the relaxed atmosphere of the place. There is a wide array of plain game and nocturnal animals including rare ones. This is also a place to see a number of wild animals including rhino, tsessebe, hyrax and hare. Here bird watchers can see a variety of African wild birds including some rare ones on given days. Lake Chivero offers some well known fishing lodges in the country. It has hosted a number of fishing competitions for Barbel, Common Grass Carp and Robustus. Other fish found include tiger fish, hunyani salmon, bream and yellow fish. With several picnic and caravan camping spots, the place also offers a number of activities that include ball games.
The National Heroes Acre
Zimbabwe’s national heroes acre is the country’s burial place for the country’ political elite. A national hero status is the highest award given to people upon their death in Zimbabwe. There is also a museum at the place open to visitors. Other attractions include the statue for the unknown soldier, eternal flame and wall murals.
Zimbabwe Museum Of Human Sciences
It houses the oldest wooden artefact ever found in sub Sahara Africa. It is called ngoma lungundu. The historical artefact belongs to the lemba people. There are many other things on display and the place is good to visit if you want to learn one or two things about Zimbabwe.
The National Archives of Zimbabwe
The most important information in the country’s history is stored here. Visitors will be able to see treasured documents, communications and publications pertaining to early European settlers, Zimbabwe’s past wars and present history.
The National Art Gallery Of Zimbabwe in Harare
This is the best place to see Zimbabwe’s finest and best visual and contemporary art. Here the country’s most treasured hand fine arts and artefacts are kept. This art is from some of the best artists in the country.
Harare City Library
Housed in one of the country’s oldest buildings, Harare City Library has been in existence for over a century. Visitors will get a lot of information about Zimbabwe and Harare from one of Africa’s best and oldest libraries.
Lion And Cheetah Park
This is a place where you can see lions, including white lions right in Harare. The place also has some Zebras, Kudu, Impala, giraffe and antelope.
If you want to learn and know more about Africa’s dangerous and venomous snakes, this is the place to visit. Snake world has got snakes of all sizes, colours and shapes. The place is one of Harare tourist attractions thanks to the ‘dangerous’ creatures.
Mukuvisi woodland is a family friendly wildlife centre in Harare where one will get to see different animals like wildebeest, elands, kudu, impalas and zebra without the need to visit far national park. There are also a number of interesting birds that one might encounter.
Chapungu Sculpture Park
Famous for its Zimbabwe Shona Art Sculptures, Chapungu is a place where the best of handmade African sculpture can be seen. Founded by an Englishman Roy Guthrie in the late 60s, this place has acted as a springboard for many local artists. Chapungu has produced renowned stone sculptors like Dominic Benhura whose works has been on exhibition in many art galleries around the world.
Kuimba Shiri Bird Sanctuary
Located at Lake Chivero, herer a number of birds including owls and eagles can be seen. The place offers a number of activities like fishing, horseback riding, wild game viewing from a nearby park and as well as water sports.
Wild Is Life Grand Zimbabwe
They have a worthy cause protecting, rescuing and caring for animals including endangered ones. Here one can learn and discover important things relating to animal welfare in Africa. They have several animals including lions, sables, giraffes, kudus and the rare and endangered pangolin.
Larvon Bird Gardens
At this bird sanctuary, visitors will be able to see several African bird species including rare ones. There are over 390 bird species that can be found here.
Thetford Game Reserve
A place for big 5 wild animals encounters right in Harare, there you will see rhinos and buffalo.There are also other varieties of plain game in the reserve.
This is just a family friendly picnic sight. Recommended for relaxing after a busy day in the city. It is mainly used for weddings and other events. The green trees and grass, the clean Umwinsi River and its gentle waterfall makes this one of the best picnic and outdoor venue for Harare people.
Cleveland Dam Recreational Park, Harare
This is one of the best places to hang out with friends. The park is mainly used by Harare residents for weekend parties and family picnic. It is a protected area with a lot in terms of fauna and flora, though it must be emphasised that you will not see any big game in the area. The place is ideal for bed watching and there are several local African varieties.
National Botanical Gardens
Located in Alexandra Park, this is a very quiet and laid back place very good for just relaxing and bird watching. This is a place to see most of Zimbabwe’s 800 plant varieties. The other side of the garden has a number of rare and endangered plant species from motherland and the rest of the world.
Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens
One of the ‘must visit’ places. It is Harare’s best place to see aloes and cactus plants and some very rare and endangered plants as well. Founded by an Englishman, Harold Basil Christian, it has one of the world’s largest collection and varieties of aloes and cycad. A lot has been done to protect some of the plants one will never see in the African forests. For bird watchers, this is the place to see sunbirds.
The gardens are the biggest park in the capital. Very close to the city, they are ideal for resting. Unfortunately it is not safe at night time. Visitors and tourists should avoid secluded places and walking in the dark.
Greenwood Park, Harare
This is ideal place for people with kids. The place has got some train, swings and playground that is available during opening hours. What makes it special is that there are very few such places in Zimbabwe.
Mbare is a very busy place in Harare where the rural and urban life connect. There, people board buses to visit the country side. There are also small household things sold to commuters. Caution: for visitors this is not a place to carry valuables. Better to be in the company of others as you will be ‘requested’ to buy things by persistent vendors. Despite the above, Mbare remains one of the most popular places in Zimbabwe and a well known face of Harare.
Harare First Street
This is the high street of Harare. There you can have a closer look at how business goes in the capital. Harare city is also ideal for best deals on electronics, clothing and other supplies you might need during your visit. If you are lucky you can also see some street performances, people walking on wire or some street drama and theatres to refresh the busy minds.
Harare Car Hire
For tourists and visitors, hiring a car can be a daunting tasks. If you intend to get around the city, the best thing to do is to hire a driver or taxi. This way you can also determine the money you wish to pay and there won’t be any issues to worry about. However, if you need the car for many days and longer journeys you might have to use car hire firms which are many and a bit more expensive. This can be arranged prior to your travel.
Harare has a number of international food outlets and cuisines to suit the tastes and budgets of different travellers. This is the place where tourists have a choice to visit their Thai, Indian, Arabian, Chinese, African, Italian, English or Greek restaurant. There are also good takeaways within the city. There are many eating outlets in the city and suburbs nearby. Prices will vary and there is always something for everyone.
Harare is Zimbabwe’s shopping bazaar. Here travellers can get anything from clothing, electricals, food, travel and backpacker gear. If you are travelling to remote areas, Harare is the place to stop and fill up your baskets before your long journey.
After learning about Harare tourist attractions you might then wonder and have many questions about safe and secure accommodation in Harare. Harare has cheap and affordable budget accommodation. This will come in the form of bed and breakfast, guest house and backpackers hostels. There are many individuals who have turned their houses into overnight guest lodges and hotels. Some even have excellent facilities including swimming pools, internet and digital TV. Hotels, lodges, motels and inns will vary widely from 2,3,4 and 5 star accommodation. The prices will depend on the place. While there are some cheap and very affordable places, some are very expensive if they are in the 4,5 star category. There are several caravan parks and camping sites especially around recreational parks and lakes. Some of them are very secure and safe. You still need to do your due diligence before your journey. Bush and farm camps can also be arranged. The city also offers some of the country’s best wedding and conference venues. This can be at private lodges, parks and hotels.