What To Do When You Have Spare Time In Harare
I’ve just finished my meeting in Harare and have a free afternoon and evening before my morning flight back tomorrow. What can I do to pass some time? This is a question that may need to be answered more often than you imagine but may also apply to many other scenarios.
Zimbabwe is a country with huge natural beauty which is often missed by people visiting the capital city. However there are number of attractions that are not too far from the city that could give the visitor a taste of what lies further away to maybe tempt them back for a better look. These would need to be within thirty minutes drive of the outskirts of town by car or taxi, companies such as Europcar can assist you with hiring a suitable vehicle.
Domboshava rocks lies about 30km north east of town and would give you a feel of the Zimbabwean vista. The journey out takes you through a peri-urban type landscape of large granite formations that rises above the surrounding plain. It would be recommended to pack some refreshments and something warm especially if you intend to watch the sunset which is truly breathtaking. Good footwear for hiking is helpful as it is a bit of a climb once you enter the park. The recommended path takes you past some rock art to the summit of the formation where you can take some time to relax and see Africa go by. If you have more time there are several longer trails, but the summit will take 10-15 minutes to reach. Unfortunately you will not see any of Zimbabwe’s famous game here.
The second option to get a feel for Zimbabwe's wildlife would be Bally Vaughan, Lake Chivero National Park and the Lion and Cheetah Park. A drive south west will take you past the Lion and Cheetah Park to the Lake Chivero National Park. Take the main road that leads to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, which initially starts past the National Sports Stadium, Heroes Acre and some of the high density suburbs to the west of the city.
Bally Vaughan Animal and Bird Sanctuary focuses on conservation and rehabiliting wild animals/birds that have been injured, orphaned or abandoned. Situated only 40 kilometres from the city centre, and open daily it is the ideal outing for the whole family to see all the animals and then relax and enjoy a picnic afterwards.
The Lion and Cheetah Park is a small private park which has a large number of Zimbabwe’s animal species in an easy to view arrangement. There is a coffee shop/drinks garden for refreshments and snacks as well as a curio shop for the ideal gift to take home. Proceeding onto Lake Chivero National Park one will then be able to view some of these same species in a more natural environment. The park is much larger and is adjacent to Lake Chivero which is the primary water reservoir for Harare. A large amount of birdlife especially along the lake shore will give some variety to the animals. Visiting these two places would take you most of a day so if time is limited then a visit to Mukuvisi Woodlands might be more suitable.
Mukuvisi Woodlands is a wildlife sanctuary located within the city limits and is therefore ideal if one only has a few hours to spare. An entrance fee of $4 is charged per adult and $3 for children aged between five and twelve years old. Animals you can expect to see include a wide variety of buck, giraffe, zebra, crocodiles and amazing amount of bird life.
The other extreme of Mukuvisi Woodlands could be a night away and venturing more into the wild, examples of these type of places include Imire Safari Ranch, and Darwendale Recreational Park