Bulawayo, kontuthu ziyathunqa, Konyama aypheli kuphela amazinyo endonda, the royal capital, the city of kings and queens – these are some of the names that have been bestowed upon the historic city.
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With its undiluted rich culture, Bulawayo is undisputedly known as the cultural hub of Zimbabwe, hence giving birth to many arts groups that have went on to establish Zimbabwe outside our boarders.
Bulawayo is undeniably a travel destination with lifetime experiences. Here are some of the amazing places to visit when you finally set foot in Bulawayo
1. Bulawayo Art Gallery
If you are a lover of all things visual art then this is probably one of the finest places to start your tour. Douslin House, where the Gallery is situated, is more than 100 years old. The building’s architectural splendor makes evident the Gallery’s own goal of aesthetic appreciation and artistic aim.
The gallery prides itself of having to house locally and visiting internationally acclaimed artists; and if you are lucky you can witness some of them at work in their studios. To spice up the tour of the place,you can also grab a bite at Studio Nosh, an upmarket restaurant and coffee shop situated in the gallery. The food is always fresh and the front shop staff is very friendly.
The Bulawayo Gallery has a calm atmosphere that opens up one’s clogged mind. It becomes a peaceful haven in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city life happening on the other side of the walls.
2. The Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo Statue
From the Bulawayo Art Gallery, going facing west and moving along JMN Nkomo street, you will bump into the statue of Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo. This monument is another must visit spot in the city as it symbolic of a history about Bulawayo and the country at large. Erected on the 22nd of December 2013, the statue stands exactly at the same spot that the statue of Cecil John Rhodes once stood.
Joshua Nkomo is synonymous with the city and during his lifetime earned himself the name ‘Father Zimbabwe’. It is only right that you visit the statue to understand the city itself.
3. Khami Ruins
Located 22 kilometres west of Bulawayo, Khami ruins was once the capital of the Kingdom of Butua of the Torwa dynasty. It is now a national monument, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The site is an enlightenment of the innovation and architectural expertise Africans had in the precolonial era. It is definitely worth a drive out of town.
4. Bulawayo Railway Museum
Visit Bulawayo and get engulfed in the railway history of Zimbabwe and Southern Africa itself. The Bulawayo Railway museum features a historical narrative of the railway systems in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa. The museum is located behind the railway station along Hebert Chitepo Street (which changes to Josiah Chinamano Road).
The museum houses Cecil Rhodes’s private salon carriage that was purchased in 1896 by de Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd., from Pullman Palace Company, Chicago, USA., for £2,650.14s.9d. It was later on presented to the Rhodesia Railways in 1944. If you are a lover of all things vintage this is a must visit gem.
5. Indaba Book Cafe
One tourist recently described Indaba Book Cafe as having “the good vibes!!”. this was before going on to describe the service as “incredible and very welcoming”. Indaba book Café is a great place to eat, drink some really good coffee and get free wi-fi! With an artsy feel Indaba Book Cafe is a good place to host meetings, read a book or even write one. Located in a less busy part of town along 9th Avenue and J. Tongogara Street. Indaba has definitely has good vibes, it is one of the best hang out spots Bulawayo has on offer.
We encourage you to take some time and travel into the heart beat of creativity and culture and explore the richness of the royal capital that is Bulawayo.