The 10 Best Places To Visit In Bulawayo

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, is a fascinating destination brimming with culture, history, and natural beauty. It’s a place where every corner tells a story, and the warmth of its people makes you feel right at home. From the moment I set foot in this city, I knew I was in for an adventure that would etch itself in my memory.

One of the city’s gems is the Matobo National Park. Just a short drive from the city center, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and history buffs alike. The park’s unique balancing rocks and ancient San rock paintings are a sight to behold. I spent a day there, hiking and marveling at the breathtaking landscapes, and I can tell you, it’s an experience not to be missed.

Matobo National Park

As I mentioned, Matobo National Park is a must-visit. The granite kopjes and wooded valleys are home to a rich array of wildlife, including the elusive leopard and the majestic black Eagle. The park also houses the Grave of Cecil John Rhodes, a significant figure in Zimbabwe’s colonial history. The “View of the World” at Rhodes’ grave offers panoramic views that are simply unforgettable.

Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe

For those who love to delve into the past, the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe is a treasure trove. It’s one of the best museums in Southern Africa, showcasing the country’s natural heritage. From geology to paleontology, and from entomology to ornithology, the museum covers it all. I was particularly fascinated by the display of taxidermied animals, giving a glimpse into the country’s diverse fauna.

Bulawayo Railway Museum

Train enthusiasts, listen up! The Bulawayo Railway Museum is a charming stop where you can explore vintage locomotives and carriages. It’s like stepping back in time as you wander through the old steam trains. The museum tells the story of the railway’s role in the development of Zimbabwe, and it’s a nostalgic journey through the age of steam.

Khami Ruins

Just west of Bulawayo lie the Khami Ruins, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. These ruins are remnants of the capital of the Kingdom of Butua of the Torwa dynasty. Exploring the terraced stone walls and intricate decorations left me in awe of the architectural prowess of ancient civilizations. It’s a quiet spot, perfect for reflection and a picnic.

Tshabalala Game Sanctuary

For a serene wildlife encounter, Tshabalala Game Sanctuary is the place to be. It’s smaller than Matobo but equally enchanting. I enjoyed a morning horseback safari, spotting zebra and giraffe. The sanctuary is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with numerous species flitting through the acacia trees.

Old Bulawayo

History buffs will appreciate Old Bulawayo, a reconstruction of the 19th-century royal town of King Lobengula, the last Ndebele monarch. Walking through the thatched huts and learning about the Ndebele culture gave me a deeper understanding of the region’s history. It’s a cultural experience that’s both educational and humbling.

Art lovers should not miss the Bulawayo Art Gallery, housed in a beautiful, old building. The gallery features contemporary Zimbabwean art and often hosts exhibitions and workshops. I found myself lost in the vibrant paintings and sculptures, each telling a story of Zimbabwe’s cultural landscape.

Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage

Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage is a heartwarming stop where injured and orphaned wild animals are cared for. Visiting the orphanage, I met a variety of animals and learned about conservation efforts in Zimbabwe. It’s a place that fills you with hope for the future of the country’s wildlife.

Mzilikazi Art and Craft Centre

For a taste of local craftsmanship, the Mzilikazi Art and Craft Centre is a must-visit. I watched artisans at work, creating pottery, weaving baskets, and carving wood. It’s a great place to pick up unique souvenirs and support local artists.

Centenary Park

Last but not least, Centenary Park offers a peaceful escape in the heart of the city. With its well-manicured lawns and colorful flower beds, it’s a lovely spot for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic. The park also features a small history museum and a miniature railway for kids.


  • What is the best time to visit Bulawayo?

    The best time to visit Bulawayo is during the dry season, from May to October, when wildlife viewing is at its peak and the weather is pleasant.

  • Is Bulawayo safe for tourists?

    Yes, Bulawayo is generally safe for tourists. However, as with any destination, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and take standard safety precautions.

  • Can I find guided tours in Bulawayo?

    Absolutely! There are several tour operators in Bulawayo that offer guided tours to the city’s attractions and nearby national parks.


Bulawayo is a city that captures the heart with its rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty. From the ancient ruins of Khami to the tranquil Tshabalala Game Sanctuary, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re marveling at the balancing rocks in Matobo National Park or soaking in the local art scene, you’re sure to leave with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags and set off for an adventure in Bulawayo – a city that’s truly a hidden gem in Zimbabwe.

In crafting this article, I’ve shared insights and experiences that showcase the best of Bulawayo. It’s my hope that this piece not only informs but also inspires you to explore this remarkable city. With its array of attractions, Bulawayo is a destination that deserves a top spot on your travel list.

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