The 10 Best Museums in Bulawayo

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, is a treasure trove of cultural heritage, and its museums are the custodians of this rich history. As I meandered through the wide, tree-lined avenues, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the stories etched in the walls of its storied institutions. Let’s embark on a journey through the 10 best museums that Bulawayo has to offer, each a window into the past, showcasing a tapestry of art, history, and culture.

Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe

First on the list is the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe. This colossal building houses an impressive collection of exhibits that span the geological, biological, and historical narratives of Zimbabwe. From the majestic taxidermy displays of African wildlife to the intricate details of entomology, the museum captivates visitors with its comprehensive portrayal of the natural world. It’s a must-visit for anyone keen on understanding the ecological diversity of Southern Africa.

Bulawayo Railway Museum

For those fascinated by the romance of the rails, the Bulawayo Railway Museum is a delightful stop. It’s a homage to the age of steam locomotion, with a collection of vintage trains and memorabilia that tell the story of Zimbabwe’s railway heritage. Climb aboard historic carriages and imagine the bygone era of train travel that played a pivotal role in the country’s development.

Art enthusiasts will find their haven at the Bulawayo National Gallery of Zimbabwe. This gallery showcases a blend of traditional and contemporary African art, offering a visual feast that reflects the dynamic cultural landscape of the region. The rotating exhibitions ensure there’s always something new to discover, making it a hub of artistic inspiration.

Old Bulawayo

Step back in time at Old Bulawayo, a reconstructed 19th-century royal village that was once the headquarters of the great Ndebele King, Lobengula. The thatched huts and royal enclosures provide a glimpse into the pre-colonial era of the Ndebele people, offering a profound understanding of their social and political structures.

Tshabalala Game Sanctuary

While not a museum in the traditional sense, Tshabalala Game Sanctuary serves as a living museum of wildlife conservation. Located just outside Bulawayo, it’s a serene escape where visitors can observe a variety of bird species and Antelope in their natural habitat. It’s a testament to Zimbabwe’s commitment to preserving its biodiversity.

Amakhosi Cultural Centre

The Amakhosi Cultural Centre is a vibrant space dedicated to the performing arts. Here, the rich tapestry of Zimbabwean culture comes alive through dance, drama, and music. It’s a place where traditional stories are preserved and shared, ensuring the legacy of the nation’s diverse cultural expressions continues to thrive.

Khami Ruins National Monument

A short drive from Bulawayo lies the Khami Ruins National Monument, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These ancient ruins are remnants of a once-thriving city and serve as a testament to the architectural prowess of the Torwa dynasty. Exploring the terraced stone walls and intricate decorations offers a fascinating insight into Zimbabwe’s pre-colonial history.

Entumbane Hall of Heroes

The Entumbane Hall of Heroes is a poignant tribute to the fallen soldiers of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle. The exhibits and memorabilia honor their sacrifices and educate visitors on the country’s journey to independence. It’s a place of reflection and remembrance, highlighting the resilience of the Zimbabwean people.

Bulawayo Publicity Association

Though not a museum, the Bulawayo Publicity Association is an invaluable resource for those looking to delve deeper into the city’s attractions. With a wealth of information on Bulawayo’s history and points of interest, it’s the perfect starting point for any cultural exploration.

Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage and Research Centre

Lastly, the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage and Research Centre is a sanctuary for injured and orphaned wild animals. While providing care for these creatures, the center also educates the public on wildlife conservation. It’s a heartwarming experience that underscores the importance of protecting Zimbabwe’s natural heritage.


  • What are the operating hours for the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe?

    The museum is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Sunday, including most public holidays. It’s always a good idea to check ahead for any changes in schedule.

  • Yes, the gallery often has exhibitions where local artists’ work is for Sale. It’s a fantastic way to support the artists and take home a piece of Zimbabwean culture.

  • Is it necessary to book a tour to visit the Khami Ruins National Monument?

    While you can explore the ruins on your own, booking a guided tour can enhance your experience with expert insights into the site’s historical significance.


Bulawayo’s museums are more than just repositories of artifacts; they are vibrant centers of education and culture that bring the rich tapestry of Zimbabwe’s history to life. From the geological wonders at the Natural History Museum to the artistic expressions at the National Gallery, each institution offers a unique perspective on the nation’s heritage. Whether you’re a history buff, wildlife enthusiast, or art lover, Bulawayo’s museums provide an enriching experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression. So, next time you’re in the city, make sure to carve out time for these cultural gems – they’re the key to unlocking the stories of Zimbabwe’s past and present.

By exploring these museums, you’ll not only gain knowledge but also contribute to the preservation and Celebration of Zimbabwe’s cultural legacy. Remember, each visit is a step towards ensuring that these stories continue to be told for generations to come.

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