Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Region: Bulawayo


Geographic Coordinates: -20.170000, 28.580000
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 30.0°C (50°F to 86°F)
Climate: Dry and sunny climate with occasional thunderstorms during summer months. Cool temperatures in winter.
Population: 653337
Language: English

Bulawayo is the second-largest city in Zimbabwe, Located in the southern part of the country. It was founded by King Lobengula of the Ndebele people in 1870 and was initially called KoBulawayo, Which means place of slaughter. The name came about as a result of a battle between Lobengula’s forces and those of his rival, Shona chief Mashayamombe. Today, Bulawayo is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage.

It has several museums showcasing its history and culture such as Natural History Museum with an impressive collection of fossils and taxidermy animals from Zimbabwe and beyond; National Art Gallery displaying contemporary art from local artists as well as works by renowned international artists. The city also has several parks offering recreational opportunities to residents and visitors alike such as Centenary Park with beautiful gardens, Picnic areas, Playgrounds for children, Walking trails; Mabukweni Dam Recreational Park where visitors can go fishing or take boat rides on the dam.

Bulawayo is known for its colonial architecture giving it unique charm like Bulawayo Railway Station built-in 1897 still functioning today as an important transport hub for both passengers and goods. The city boasts several markets where one can buy fresh produce at affordable prices such as City Hall Flea Market , Egodini Market , Renkini Bus Terminus among others popular with locals who come to stock up on groceries or simply enjoy some street food.

In terms of education , Bulawayo boasts some reputable schools including Girls’ College (one of Zimbabwe’s top girls’ boarding schools), Christian Brothers College (a boys’ school with a rich history), Falcon College (a private boys’ boarding school located outside the city). The city is also home to National University of Science and Technology offering various undergraduate/postgraduate courses. Bulawayo is a fascinating city with much to offer from its museums, Parks, Markets, Colonial architecture to educational institutions. Its friendly people and relaxed atmosphere make it an ideal destination for tourists looking to experience Zimbabwean culture firsthand.



Important Landmarks

  1. Matobo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts beautiful rock formations and ancient cave paintings.
  2. Khami Ruins is an archaeological site dating back to the 15th century and was once the capital of the Kingdom of Butua.
  3. Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe showcases the country’s natural history with exhibits featuring fossils, minerals, and wildlife.
  4. Bulawayo Railway Museum displays Zimbabwe’s railway history with locomotives and carriages from different eras.
  5. Tshabalala Game Sanctuary is a nature reserve located on the outskirts of Bulawayo where visitors can see various wildlife species such as giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and birds.
  6. Nesbitt Castle is a historic castle built in 1897 by British businessman Theodore Holdengarde as his private residence.
  7. Centenary Park is situated in central Bulawayo with green spaces perfect for picnics or family outings.
  8. Mzilikazi Art Centre showcases local artists’ work.
  9. National Art Gallery features Zimbabwean art.
  10. The Palace Hotel is a historic hotel built-in 1920 known for its colonial architecture.

Primary Industries

  1. Manufacturing
    • Textiles
    • Clothing
    • Furniture
    • Food products
    • Chemicals
  2. Mining
    • Gold
    • Nickel
    • Chrome
  3. Agriculture
    • Maize farming
    • Cotton farming
  4. Retail
    • Groceries
    • Electronics
  5. Tourism
    • Matobo Hills National Park
  6. Service sector
    • Financial services firms
      • Banks
      • Insurance companies

Noteable History

  1. The founding of Bulawayo: In 1894, the British South Africa Company under the leadership of Cecil Rhodes founded Bulawayo.
  2. The Matabeleland Rebellion: In 1896, the Ndebele people rebelled against British colonial rule in what is now known as the Matabeleland Rebellion. Although the British eventually put down the rebellion, it had a lasting impact on relations between Ndebele and European settlers.
  3. Joshua Nkomo: Joshua Nkomo was a prominent Zimbabwean nationalist who played a crucial role in fighting for independence from colonial rule. He was born in Bulawayo and spent much of his life there.
  4. The Second Chimurenga: From 1966 to 1979, black nationalist forces led by Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo fought against white minority rule during the Second Chimurenga, also known as the Zimbabwean War of Liberation. Many important battles occurred around Bulawayo during this period.
  5. Rhodes’ Grave: Cecil Rhodes passed away in 1902 and is buried at Matopos National Park near Bulawayo.
  6. Lobengula’s Kraal: Located just outside of Bulawayo, Lobengula’s Kraal is an important historical site that dates back to before European colonization.
  7. King Lobengula: King Lobengula was a powerful ruler of the Ndebele people who resisted British colonialism until his eventual defeat and exile to South Africa in 1893.
  8. David Livingstone: David Livingstone visited what is now modern-day Zimbabwe multiple times during his travels throughout southern Africa as one of Africa’s most famous explorers and missionaries.
  9. National Railways Museum: The National Railways Museum located in Bulawayo houses an impressive collection of locomotives and railway memorabilia dating back to colonial times.
  10. The Natural History Museum Of Zimbabwe: The Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe, also located in Bulawayo, features exhibits on the natural history and ecology of Zimbabwe, including a large collection of insects and butterflies.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe: This museum showcases the natural history and cultural heritage of Zimbabwe, with exhibits on geology, anthropology, archaeology, and wildlife.
  2. National Art Gallery: The National Art Gallery is a must-visit for art lovers in Bulawayo. It houses a collection of contemporary and traditional art from Zimbabwe and other African countries.
  3. Matobo Hills: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located near Bulawayo and offers stunning views of the landscape as well as ancient rock paintings.
  4. Khami Ruins: These ruins are a testament to the advanced civilization that once existed in this area over 500 years ago.
  5. Tshabalala Game Sanctuary: This sanctuary is home to several species of wildlife including giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and birds.
  6. Mzilikazi Arts & Crafts Centre: Visitors can buy locally made crafts such as pottery, carvings, jewelry at this center which supports local artisans.
  7. Railway Museum: The museum provides insight into the history of railways in Zimbabwe with exhibits on locomotives and railway equipment dating back to colonial times.
  8. The Nesbitt Castle: A historic building that has been converted into an upscale hotel where visitors can enjoy tours or stay overnight in one of their luxurious rooms or suites.


Sports Teams

  1. Highlanders Football Club – Founded in 1926, Highlanders FC is one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in Zimbabwe. They have won numerous domestic league titles and are known for their passionate fanbase.
  2. Bulawayo Chiefs Football Club – Established in 2015, Bulawayo Chiefs FC is a relatively new team that has quickly risen through the ranks to become a force to be reckoned with in Zimbabwean football.
  3. Matabeleland Tuskers Cricket Team – The Matabeleland Tuskers are a first-class cricket team that represents the Matabeleland region of Zimbabwe. They have won several domestic titles and produced some notable players over the years.
  4. Bulawayo Athletic Club Rugby Team – The Bulawayo Athletic Club is one of the oldest rugby clubs in Zimbabwe, having been founded in 1894. They have a rich history and have produced several national team players over the years.
  5. Southern Mavericks Basketball Team – The Southern Mavericks are a basketball team based in Bulawayo that competes in various local leagues and tournaments. They were founded relatively recently but have quickly gained popularity among local fans of the sport.


Cultural Events

  1. Bulawayo Arts Festival is an annual event that celebrates various forms of art, such as music, dance, theatre and visual arts in Bulawayo.
  2. Zimbabwe International Trade Fair is a major trade fair that takes place annually in Bulawayo and attracts exhibitors from all over the world to showcase their products and services.
  3. Umthwakazi Cultural Festival is dedicated to celebrating the culture of Ndebele people who are indigenous to Bulawayo through traditional dances, music performances, food and clothing.
  4. Matobo Hills Cultural Festival takes place near Bulawayo and celebrates the cultural heritage of local communities through traditional dances, music performances and storytelling sessions among others.
  5. Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo brings together artists from across Zimbabwe for an annual event where they can showcase their talents in various disciplines such as poetry readings or stand-up comedy shows.
  6. ZimFest Live Music Festival is a popular musical event held annually at Hartsfield Rugby Grounds where local musicians perform alongside international acts like Johnny Clegg or Oliver Mtukudzi among others.
  7. The Zimbabwe International Film & Festival Trust (ZIFFT) promotes film culture within Zimbabwe by organizing events such as workshops on filmmaking techniques or hosting screenings of award-winning films from around Africa during their annual film festival held each year in July.

Cuisine

  • Amakhosi Cultural Centre – offers traditional Ndebele cuisine and cultural performances.
  • The Boma Restaurant – serves a variety of Zimbabwean dishes including sadza, nyama choma (grilled meat), and muriwo unedovi (spinach with peanut butter).
  • Nando’s – a chain restaurant that specializes in peri-peri chicken.
  • Mama Africa Eating House – serves African-inspired dishes such as jollof rice, bunny chow, and boerewors rolls.
  • The Smokehouse Grill & Bar – known for their grilled meats and seafood.
  • Winter Palace Chinese Restaurant – offers authentic Chinese cuisine.
  • Café Nush – a coffee shop that also serves light meals like sandwiches and salads.
  • News Cafe Bulawayo – a trendy bar/restaurant with an extensive menu of cocktails, burgers, pizzas etc.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Centenary Park is a large public park that offers walking trails, picnic areas, and a small lake.
    2. Hillside Dams Conservancy is a nature reserve that provides hiking trails, bird watching, and fishing opportunities.
    3. Mabukweni Recreational Park is a community park with playgrounds, soccer fields, and basketball courts for visitors to enjoy.
    4. Tshabalala Game Sanctuary is an excellent wildlife sanctuary that offers guided tours and game viewing opportunities for tourists.
    5. Matobo National Park is known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique rock formations and ancient cave paintings that attract many visitors every year.
    6. Bulawayo Golf Club welcomes the public to play on its 18-hole golf course at any time of the year.
    7. Hartsfield Rugby Grounds are home to the Bulawayo Rugby Football Club and host local rugby matches throughout the season.
    8. Ascot Racecourse hosts horse racing events all year round for those who enjoy this exciting sport.
    9. Queens Sports Club hosts cricket matches all year round so fans can watch their favorite teams compete against each other in this popular sport.
    10. Bulawayo Athletic Club offers athletics training facilities for both juniors & seniors so they can train effectively in preparation for competitions or just stay fit by participating in sports activities regularly.

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