A day in and around Harare, Zimbabwe
So many smiles on the streets of Harare
I know it’s not always convenient but, if you are up for negotiating the hectic Harare traffic. The oh so frequent pothole, it’s the easiest and quickest way to get around Harare. To be perfectly honest, it’s part of the fun and certainly memorable, you know you are in Africa.
Saying that, if you’re in Harare for a stopover or layover, there’s enough to keep you amused in the heart of Harare city.
Off to the Newlands craft market in Harare
On our way to Harare city centre, we wanted to pop into the roadside Newlands craft market. We’d seen these handicraft sellers a few times along Enterprise Road. And as we were getting to the end of our 3-week Zimbabwean adventure, we wanted to take home a couple of the stone sculptures.
Newlands craft market
I know when we are back home in the UK seeing one of the little souvenirs will bring back so many memories of the trip.
A helpful guide
If you're considering an adventure around Zimbabwe, then your in for a holiday of a lifetime. I always find it incredibly useful to plan our trips with the help of a guide book.
Take a look at this informative Bradt guide, it will give you great tips and advice.
Would you like your hippo in wood, stone or wire?
Parked up, we strolled into the market, which is spread out along the side of the road. Immediately the local vendors are greeting you with smiles and reassuring you that the items they have on their stall are the best.
So much to choose from at Newlands craft market
There’s no pressure, we take a look around see if there is anything that catches our eye, then move onto the next stall.
It’s slightly overwhelming at first as you don’t know which way to look as there is such a selection. We didn’t arrive with anything specific in mind, so it was a hippo and elephant overload. The choice was yours; you could have it in stone, wood or wire.
Newlands craft market along Enterprise Road
So many memories of Harare
We’d visited Zimbabwe 20-years ago, and there were so many familiar-looking pieces; however, I couldn’t resist it. The locals are so friendly, and we found some great keepsakes that will ensure our memories are topped up for years.
Stoneware at Newlands craft market
Harare City Centre
Back in the truck and we’re off into town, and we’re heading for the council car park in Park Lane. Harare’s Park Lane is a little different from the one in London; however, the parking is a lot cheaper, at two Zimbabwean Bond (40p), what a bargain.
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Central Avenue, Harare
National Gallery of Harare
Just along from the art gallery is Cecil House. Part of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe. This attractive single-storey building with its ornate scrolled ironwork gable was constructed by the De Beers in 1901. Cecil Rhodes, the founder of De Beers, died the following year and was laid to rest at Matobo National Park, just outside Bulawayo.
Social Security Centre, Harare
Samora Machel Avenue, Harare
Along this busy road is the tallest building in Zimbabwe, the New Reserve Bank Tower. Built-in 1997, it stands at 394 feet (120 metres), which isn’t that high in comparison to some sky-scraping city centres, but still looks quite impressive, nonetheless.
Just down from the New Reserve Bank Tower, is the Pearl Assurance House another one of Harare’s standout buildings, which constructed in 1959.
New Reserve Bank Tower
Pearl Assurance House
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The “old guard”
In the other direction along Samora Machel Avenue, is the High Court of Zimbabwe which is housed in the elegant cream and grey Mapondera Building, this was built in 1932.
Mapondera Building 1932
Then there is the immaculate Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, in the now Mashonganyika Building.
Originally when it was built in 1899, it was the Standard Bank building, then the Charter House and since 1926.
It has the name it bears today.
Scales of Justice
Africa Unity Square
Africa Unity Square
Flower sellers in Africa Unity Square
Lunch with the locals
If you would like to try some Zimbabwean cuisine, particularly ‘sadza’ head to Gava’s, it serves “sadza with soul”. Sadza is traditionally eaten with your fingers and mixed with a stew of your choice.
This was a great experience within a very relaxed environment, although try and arrive early as Gava’s is popular with the locals.
Why you’ll love Africa
Beaming smile at Flavourlitious
While we wandered around Harare, we were stopped a few times by local Zimbabweans who just wanted to chat to us and say hello. It was very heart-warming that they made us welcome. I think tourists are a little few and far between now.
Lady in red, oh, and grey!
I love this photo; it just says ‘Africa’ to me.
Not too many people could wear a lovely summer red dress, a knitted bobble hat and carry them off so well.
Bearing in mind that our visit to Zimbabwe was in April, I also had to do a double-take when I spotted a guy walking along the street wearing a Christmas jumper.
Shona Sculpture Gallery
We now jumped back in the truck as we were heading in the direction of Harare Airport, as this is where the Shona Sculpture Gallery is located.
The Shona Sculpture Gallery has an indoor gallery with smaller pieces of art. Within its lush, secluded garden, there are some beautiful larger pieces nestled amongst the foliage.
“Adult Literacy” by Jonathan Mhondorohuma
The Chindu “Wedding Gift” by Tonderai Sowa
The works that are on display here are incredible, the sculptures are all produced by Zimbabwean artists, some of which are by 3rd generation carvers.
There was one exhibitor that was born in 1916 and is still carving today.
Shona Sculpture Gallery
A Shona Sculpture, the elegance is beautiful
A Shona Sculpture, incredible colours from one piece of stone
I must admit some of the pieces were astounding, I would have loved to have taken one home.
Since returning home, I found out that their sister company, Guruve, is only around one hour away from me. So, the seed was planted, and for my birthday I bought a piece of work by Jonathan Mhondorohuma. It’s beautiful, and she just makes me smile.
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I was really impressed by the way you presented the city of Harare. It made me proud to be a Zimbabwean. A lot of time we hear negative coverage. Thank you so much. Best article ever.
Thanks very much for your lovely comments. Zimbabwe is a beautiful country and the welcoming locals made our travelling experience incredibly memorable. Loved it.
Thank you for reminding the world that despite socio economic and political challenges, Zimbabwe still remains a beautiful country, with warm people and still attractive, with a lot to offer. You have done better than us Zimbabweans in marketing our country. It’s the only country we have, challenges or no challenges, we have no other. Thank you for this important reminder!
Yes, it is such shame what Zimbabwe is going through at the moment as the country has so much to offer. The wildlife is unbelievable and your national parks must be the envy of so many countries.
And as I mentioned the locals are so welcoming, friendly and always happy for a chat.
Hi Leon, as Janis has said we truly love Zimbabwe, and its people, especially it’s people. Our last trip was our third, and I really hope it’s not our last because there’s so much more to discover. Of course, there’s the amazing wildlife, and landscapes like Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba, Hwange & Matobo, but let’s not forget the arts & culture – such talented people. We have our very own Shona sculpture by Jonathan Mhondorohuma that takes pride of place in our home.
We wish the very best for the country, and its people.