Mutare, Zimbabwe

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Mutare, Zimbabwe

Region: Manicaland

Geographic Coordinates: -18.966700, 32.633300
Temperature Range: 15.0°C to 30.0°C (59°F to 86°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 224802
Language: Shona

Mutare is a city situated in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe, Bordering Mozambique. It is the fourth largest city in Zimbabwe and has a population of over 187, 000 people. The city was established in 1897 as Umtali and was renamed to Mutare in 1982 after Zimbabwe gained independence from British rule. Mutare is famous for its picturesque mountainous landscapes and scenic views. The most prominent landmark in the area is Mount Nyangani, Which stands at an elevation of 2, 592 meters above sea level, Making it the highest peak in Zimbabwe.

Visitors can either hike to the summit or enjoy a scenic drive through Nyanga National Park which offers breathtaking views of waterfalls, Rivers, Forests and wildlife. The city also has several historical sites including Rhodes Museum which displays artifacts from Cecil John Rhodes’ time as governor-general of Southern Rhodesia. Another must-visit attraction is Mutare Museum which showcases traditional art and crafts from local tribes such as Shona, Ndebele and Tonga. For those interested in shopping, Mutare has several malls such as Diamond Plaza Shopping Centre where visitors can purchase souvenirs or everyday items.

The market area known locally as Sakubva offers fresh produce including fruits, Vegetables and meat products at affordable prices. Mutare boasts a diverse culture with various ethnic groups living together harmoniously. This diversity can be experienced through different cuisine options available such as Portuguese-inspired dishes found at restaurants like Fernando’s Chicken Inn or traditional African meals served at local eateries like Mama’s Kitchen. Education plays an important role in Mutare with several reputable institutions offering quality education including Africa University which attracts students from all over Africa to study courses ranging from business to theology.

Mutare offers visitors a unique experience with its stunning natural beauty, Rich history and diverse culture making it an ideal destination for tourists seeking adventure or relaxation while learning about Zimbabwean heritage.

Important Landmarks

  1. Vumba Mountains
  2. Christmas Pass
  3. Mutare Museum
  4. Sakubva Stadium
  5. Mutare Provincial Hospital
  6. Leopard Rock Hotel and Golf Course
  7. Bvumba Botanical Gardens
  8. Chikore Mission
  9. Utopia House Museum
  10. Mutare Central Business District

Primary Industries

  • The major industries and businesses in Mutare, Zimbabwe are diverse and include:
    1. Agriculture
    2. Mining
    3. Manufacturing
    4. Tourism
    5. Retail
    6. Healthcare
    7. Education
  • Agriculture is a significant industry in Mutare due to the city’s fertile soil. The area produces various crops such as:
    • Maize
    • Tobacco
    • Tea
    • Coffee
    • Citrus fruits
    • Vegetables
  • Mining is also an essential industry in the city with several mines that extract minerals such as:
    • Gold
    • Diamonds
    • Chrome
    • Tantalite
  • Manufacturing companies are present in Mutare producing:
    • Textiles
    • Clothing
    • Footwear
    • Among other products
  • Tourism is also a growing industry with several tourist attractions such as:
    • The Vumba Mountains offering hiking trails with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside
  • Retail plays a vital role in providing goods to people living in Mutare. Several shops markets offer various:
    • Foodstuffs
    • Household items
    • Among others
  • Healthcare services are available through several hospitals within the city providing medical care to residents of the area.
  • Education services ranging from pre-schools to tertiary institutions are available for students from all over Zimbabwe.

  • Noteable History

    1. Mutare was founded in 1890 by the British South Africa Company under Cecil Rhodes’ leadership.
    2. The First Chimurenga War took place in 1896-97, with the Shona and Ndebele people rebelling against British colonial rule, centered around Mutare.
    3. Herbert Chitepo was a Zimbabwean nationalist leader who played a crucial role in gaining independence from British colonial rule but was assassinated in Zambia in 1975.
    4. Josiah Tongogara was another prominent Zimbabwean nationalist leader who also contributed to the struggle for independence but died tragically in a car accident just before Zimbabwe gained its independence.
    5. Mutare is situated near several diamond mines, including Marange Diamond Fields, which have been mired with allegations of human rights abuses and corruption.
    6. Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe causing widespread damage and loss of life including areas within Mutare.
    7. Manicaland Province encompasses Mutare and is famous for its stunning natural beauty featuring diverse wildlife habitats such as Nyanga National Park and Chimanimani Mountains National Park.
    8. The Eastern Highlands are an awe-inspiring mountain range running through eastern Zimbabwe that includes some of the country’s most beautiful scenery like Bvumba Mountains with botanical gardens showcasing exotic plants from all over Africa.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. National Gallery of Zimbabwe – Mutare Branch
    2. Mutare Museum
    3. Vumba Botanical Gardens
    4. Bvumba Mountains
    5. Cecil Kop Nature Reserve
    6. Utopia House and Art Gallery
    7. The Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition Centre
    8. Sakubva Flea Market
    9. Mtarazi Falls
    10. Christmas Pass Viewpoint

    Cultural Events

    1. Mutare Agricultural Show is an annual event held in August that showcases agriculture and farming in the region.
    2. Mutare Festival of Arts is a week-long celebration of music, dance, theatre, and visual arts that takes place every October.
    3. Christmas Carols by Candlelight is an annual event held at the end of December where people come together to sing carols and celebrate Christmas.
    4. Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) is an annual trade fair that takes place in Bulawayo but attracts visitors from all over Zimbabwe, including Mutare.
    5. Chimanimani Arts Festival is a three-day festival celebrating traditional music, dance, and art from the Chimanimani district near Mutare.
    6. Manicaland Provincial Agricultural Show is a regional agricultural show held annually in September showcasing local farming practices and products.
    7. Easter Celebrations are observed by Christians with church services on Good Friday followed by Easter Sunday celebrations which include family gatherings and feasts.
    8. Independence Day Celebrations take place on 18th April each year when Zimbabweans celebrate their independence with parades, speeches, fireworks displays, and cultural performances across the country including Mutare.


    • Sadza – a thick porridge made from maize or sorghum flour, usually served with a variety of vegetable and meat stews.
    • Mopane worms – a traditional delicacy made from the caterpillar of the emperor moth.
    • Kapenta fish – small freshwater fish that are usually dried and then fried or stewed.
    • Matemba – smoked fish that is often served as a snack or appetizer.
    • Chikanda – a type of dumpling made from ground peanuts and cassava flour.

    Some popular restaurants in Mutare, Zimbabwe include:

    • The Old House Restaurant & Bar – known for its excellent steaks and seafood dishes.
    • The Lemon Tree Restaurant & Bar – offers both African and Western cuisine in an elegant setting.
    • La Rochelle Country House & Spa – A fine-dining restaurant serving French-inspired cuisine with an African twist.
    • Hillside Lodge & Restaurant – A lodge restaurant offering international dishes.
    • Tony’s Coffee Shop – A casual eatery serving breakfast, lunch, coffee and cakes.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Vumba Botanical Gardens is a public park that boasts beautiful gardens, hiking trails, and picnic areas.
      2. Christmas Pass Recreation Park is a popular spot for picnics and outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and bird watching.
      3. Mutare Sports Club is a recreational center that offers facilities for tennis, squash, cricket, swimming, and other sports.
      4. Bvumba Mountains National Park is a nature reserve with scenic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
      5. Murahwa’s Hill Nature Reserve is a conservation area with walking trails and stunning views of the city.
      6. Mutare Museum is an educational attraction that showcases the cultural heritage of Zimbabwe through exhibits on history, art, archaeology, and natural science.
      7. Sakubva Stadium Complex is a sports facility that hosts local soccer matches and other events throughout the year.
      8. Leopard Rock Golf Course & Country Club provides an exclusive golfing experience set in breathtaking surroundings with luxurious amenities for members to enjoy their leisure time in style.

      Note: Some of these parks/attractions may be temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions or maintenance work; it’s advisable to check before visiting any place during this pandemic situation as it can change frequently based on government guidelines & safety measures taken by each venue operator/business owner.


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