SIGHTS, BEAT AND TASTE OF BULAWAYO

Visitors to Zimbabwe are spoiled for choice on what to do and what to see. From Lake Kariba to the hidden gems of the Eastern Highlands Mountain and the game parks in between. For most first-time visitors to the landlocked Southern African country, Victoria Falls tops the to-see list, with other destinations lining up for attention.

Bulawayo, The City of Kings as it is affectionately known, adds to the tourist appeal that Zimbabwe has to offer.

If you are looking for an idyllic destination with a mixture of history-steeped architecture and a strong cultural feel, then Bulawayo is the destination for you. The warm Zimbabwean hospitality awaits you , as you are received by locals with the words “Samukele”  which means “Welcome” in Ndebele.

The city of Bulawayo is said to hold many attractions  that will surprise you. Visitors to Zimbabwe’s second-largest city are known to extend their stay upon realising that there is so much more to see and explore. 

The City of Kings has a rich history spanning over 127 years. The wide city roads that were designed to accommodate the pioneer's scotch carts and century-old buildings still stand today telling a story of the eternity of time.

 

WHERE TO STAY

Bulawayo offers accommodation for everyone. In April each year, the city hosts the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, an event that draws business leaders and exhibitors from across Africa and beyond. During the week-long fair Bulawayo accommodates over 2000 visitors with ease and with different accommodation needs.

Bulawayo is a popular stop for overlanders on their trek from Cape Town to Nairobi, stopping over in the city exploring its rich cultural heritage, unique infrastructure and tourism attractions.

Apart from character-filled flagship hotels, the city has a wide range of bespoke lodges and cosy options that are available through online accommodation websites.
Here are some of the accommodation facilities to consider next time you are in Bulawayo.

  1. Cresta Churchill
  2. Holiday Inn Bulawayo
  3. Nesbitt Castle
  4. Amalinda Lodge
  5. Matobo Hills Lodge

 

WHAT TO EAT

The Matebeland region is the nerve centre of Zimbabwe’s livestock industry. Legend has it that once you indulge in a Matebele steak for lunch you never want to eat any other steak. The Matabele steak is exported all over the world is known for its tenderness, farmers in the region take pride in ancient methods of raising cattle naturally and organically thereby giving it the great taste that it is primed for worldwide.

To enjoy some of the local flavours and food, make sure you try out these restaurants.

  1. The Cattleman Steakhouse
  2. Indaba Book Café
  3. Roosters Pub and Grill
  4. Sis Bee’s Kitchen
  5. Mumsie Kitchen

 

WHAT TO DO IN BULAWAYO.

As a cultural hub of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo has a wide variety of tourist attractions that are a must-see for visitors to the city.
Here are our Top 5 must-visit places in Bulawayo;

  1. Railway Museum
  2. Bulawayo Art Gallery
  3. Matopos National Park
  4. Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre
  5. Tshabalala Game Reserve

 

 

 

 

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT BULAWAYO.

“The City of Bulawayo provides a perfect environment for conducting business and for investment. Our role in enhancing development and investments has been in ensuring that the local investment climate is friendly for businesses; through an assured provision of water, sanitation, refuse removal services and a good road network. We are cognizant that an absence of these may constrain the business sector. Bulawayo has special economic zones in the Belmont, Kelvin, Donnington and Umvumila Industrial areas”. - Councillor Solomon Mguni Mayor of the City of Bulawayo.

“Someone once said to me “In Bulawayo, you will make friends that will remain friends for a lifetime” – this speaks to the permanence of what the City has to offer. Bulawayo is the industrial cradle of Zimbabwe due to its strategic location along the trans-Zambezi-Limpopo corridor which leads into northern markets and is a gateway into South Africa due to its railway, road and air linkages. The location is an access point to key tourism industry endowments and locations like Matopo National Park and Victoria Falls. The city is endowed with a bulging literate youth population, industrial space and large scale factory infrastructure which is necessary for a shorter time to market for most products. Nested in an untapped mesh of gold seams the city has hosted an assembly of industries, textile & garment factories, leather goods manufacturing, hardwood timber industries and agro-processing plants.” - Busisa Moyo – Chairman (Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company & Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA)

“Not only is Bulawayo the creative hub of Zimbabwe, but it is also one of the fast-growing lifestyle cities in Southern Africa. Being born and bred in this city, one can't help but also be very ingenious in their approach to life and work. I love how the city oozes with so much style, colour and an upbeat atmosphere, creativity is an inborn thing and our culture is so beautiful” - Gilmore Tee (Creative Director, Curator, Media Practitioner & Forbes 30 under 30)

'Bulawayo has greatly influenced my creativity, I grew up listening to Lovemore Majaivana's music and I remember going to watch The Cool Crooners at a concert with my grandmother. The city has a vibrant arts and culture scene. In 2019 I held a concert at the art gallery in Bulawayo, I have fond memories of the concert. I look forward to a homecoming concert once it’s possible to do so,' - BERITA – Award-winning Singer, Songwriter & Producer

 

HOW TO GET TO BULAWAYO

Travellers to Bulawayo have an option of rail, road and air. Fastjet offers regular flights to Bulawayo from both Harare and Johannesburg and fares are available on the airline’s website. All fare offers include a free baggage allowance.