Jacarandas in Harare © GrahamBould
Known as 'the sunshine city', Harare is the capital
of Zimbabwe and a gateway to the country's many attractions,
including Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba. Turmoil in Zimbabwe has
cast a dark shadow on the city, with fuel and food shortages
affecting tourism and day to day life throughout the country.
Foreigners should note that the country is still
struggling with many hardships; violence is seldom aimed at
tourists but travellers should be sensitive to the political
situation and exercise caution in the big cities, such as Harare.
The tourist enclaves like Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba remain
virtually untouched by any sort of upheaval.
Beautiful residential areas surround the city centre
of Harare, the most developed being Borrowdale, Chisipite, Mount
Pleasant, and Avondale. There are some interesting galleries and
museums in and around Harare showcasing local culture and heritage,
some of the most popular being the National Gallery, the Dendera
Gallery, and the Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences (formerly the
Queen Victoria Museum).
Borrowdale Village is a quaint complex offering a
variety of shops, restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs. Other Harare
shopping centres include Westgate, which has a great movie theatre,
and the Eastgate Shopping Mall, located in the CBD.
When not sipping cappuccinos at a café in the
village, the local residents often go to the Harare Sports Club to
watch cricket, or to Old Georgians (OGs) for rugby. Golf is another
favourite pastime, with some fantastic courses as well as a couple
of fun putt-putt courses based in the city.
For nature lovers, visiting the Lion and Cheetah Park
is a must when in Harare, and the Chriemba Balancing Rocks are also
good to see. The National Botanical Garden is another good outdoor
attraction in Harare. Horse riding and walking safaris are offered
in the nearby Mukuvusi Woodlands, while Lake Chivero is great for
jet-skiing, sailing, and fishing.
There are a number of parks in Harare - in particular
the Mukuvisi Woodlands Environmental Centre is a popular spot for
family picnics and birdwatching. Two thirds of the 260-hectare
reserve is natural parkland, while the remainder is a small
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