Zimbabwe Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Holidays and events

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
March April Easter
April 18 Independence day
1st of May Labor Day
25. May Africa day
August 11 Heroic day
12. August Defense Forces Day
December 22 Day of Unity
25./26. December Christmas

Source: Countryaah – Zimbabwe Holidays

Zimbabwe: climate

The climate in Zimbabwe can be divided into two climate zones: North and South


The average daytime temperatures in the north range from December to May around 27-29 °C. Temperatures drop to 24 °C by June/July and rise to 33 °C by October. At night the temperatures drop to 17-18 °C from October to March and down to 6 °C in June/July. The rainy season lasts from December to March. During this time the average number of rainy days increases from 0-1 to 14-15.


The further south you go, the warmer the temperatures and there is less precipitation. In the extreme south the daytime temperatures are 32 – 33 °C from October to February. By June/July they drop to 25 °C. At night from November to March they drop to 20-22 °C. The average temperatures drop below 9 °C until June/July. From November to February there are about 4 – 5 rainy days per month, in the remaining months 3 or even less.

Zimbabwe: national customs


Although the US, Japan and Germany put their travel warnings for Zimbabwe into perspective in April 2009, due to the political and economic instability of the country, travelers should be careful about their personal safety and possessions. While many locals are curious and friendly to tourists and their countries of origin, many Zimbabweans are extremely sensitive to foreign opinions about their country and their politicians. Political discussions should therefore be better avoided. It is also better not to ask about political opinions. You shouldn’t necessarily express your own opinion either, because speaking against the government is a crime in Zimbabwe.

You should watch out for dealers and tractors, because they can often be extremely intrusive. With a friendly, determined “No, thank you!” but all problems should be solved.


After their stay in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, many travelers reported covert to open racism against whites. Not infrequently, racist remarks and even threats by villagers were reported. One should take this aspect into account when traveling in the country.


Tipping is compulsory or at least should be in Zimbabwe. People don’t earn much and are very dependent on the generosity of tourists.

Daily behaviors

Clapping your hands twice means “thank you”. Men clap by touching the wrist of the other with the fingertips of one hand. Women clap so that their wrists cross. It is often used, especially when someone is enough. When a hand is full, you clap your chest with your free hand as a token of thanks.

In contrast to the Asian region, handing over things with both hands is perceived as very rude in Zimbabwe, because it gives the impression of being stingy. It is very polite, however, to hold the wrist of the right (giving) hand with your left hand when handing something over to someone (or shaking someone’s hand). This gesture symbolically increases the value of the goods presented. In everyday life, this gesture is often modified by simply touching the wrist or just indicating this movement with the hand. If you accept something, you do so exclusively with your right hand, because the left hand is considered unclean. The same also applies when you present something.

Eating Habits

The national dish in Zimbabwe is sadza, a stew made from meat, vegetables and sauce with a thick cornmeal paste. For an authentic African feel, eat everything like the locals do: roll the sadza into a lump the size of a golf ball, hold it in the bowl, and use your thumb to create a small bulge in the pulp. Then you put some stew on it with your thumb again and eat it. But you can’t immerse the piece twice.

For the very exact: when the food is served, you can gently clap your hands twice. That means “thank you”. Zimbabweans will be amazed and amazed at so much cosmopolitan background knowledge.


Homosexuality is a big problem in Zimbabwe and there is no anti-discrimination law. While large parts of society simply taboo them, homosexual acts are officially considered punishable. The illegality of homosexual acts found a clear legal basis in Zimbabwe in 2006 with the law against “sexual abnormalities”. This law can be used to punish anyone who carries out an act that “involves contact between two men and is considered an indecent act by a reasonable person”. So even actions like hugs, holding hands, etc. are punishable. Homosexuals live in the country in the social underground. Robert Mugabe makes himself very clear about his opinion on same-sex love: “Homosexuals are perverse and repulsive. They violate the laws of nature and religion ”and are“ worse than animals ”. In Zimbabwe, homosexuality can be punished with a fine or up to three years in prison.


UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari
  • Matobo Hills
  • Ruined city of Greater Zimbabwe
  • Khami ruins
  • Victoria Falls



The capital of the province of Matabeleland North, located in the southwest, is the second largest city in Zimbabwe after Harare, with a population of 1,500,000. The trading center for the surrounding area is both a railway junction and a university town. The colonial cityscape, which is dominated by Victorian houses, is quite pretty. While the National and National Railway Museum are located directly in Bulawayo, you have to drive into the vicinity to visit the ruins of Khami and the Matobo National Park.

Chitungwiza Chitungwiza,

which was only created in 1981 through the merging of the suburbs Seke, St. Marys and Zengeza, is Zimbabwe’s third largest city with around 321,800 residents. The metropolis, perceived as the “sleeping city” of Harares, is one of the fastest growing cities in Zimbabwe. Most of the residents travel to the Zimbabwean capital every day to work. Chitungwiza, which is close to Harares Airport, suffers from a total congestion of the local public transport system and offers hardly any sights.


The city of Epworth, with 114,000 residents, is a suburb of Harare, one of the fastest growing and poorest settlements near Harares. The city is an outstanding example of so-called urban farmland, because vegetables are grown in front of private houses. The poverty, the completely inadequate infrastructure and the sometimes catastrophic living conditions are terrifying.


The city of Gweru, called Gwelo until 1982, spreads almost in the center of Zimbabwe and has only had city rights since 1971. Around 141,000 people live in Zimbabwe’s fifth largest city, which is one of the country’s most important import and export centers. Apart from an internal airport, Gweru has numerous educational institutions and a very good infrastructure.


Harare, the largest and capital of Zimbabwe, was still called Salisbury until April 18, 1982. It extends in the west of the province of Mashonaland and has an estimated population of 1.6 million people – in the metropolitan area it is about 2.9 million people. The largest airport in the country, Harere International, is located in the largest suburb of Harares, near Chitungwiza. With the University of Zimbabwe, Harare has the largest higher education institution in the country. It is located in the beautiful Mount Pleasant district, around 3 miles from the city center. Major attractions in the city include the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Jacaranda-tree-lined Sam Nujoma Street, National Heroes Acre and the bustling Mbare Musika market in the Mbare district.

Ruined cities

Ruined city of Greater Zimbabwe

The ruined city of Greater Zimbabwe is located in southern Africa and borders on South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

Ruins of Khami

The place Khami is located in the southwest of the country about 5 km west of the city of Bulawayo and is a ruin site.

Special structures

Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo (also Emagumeni)

The multi-purpose stadium in Bulawayo is currently mainly used for football and serves as the home ground for Highlanders FC, one of the largest football clubs, and Bantu Rovers FC. Fans of the latter also call the stadium Emagumeni. According to official information, the stadium has a capacity of up to 32,000.

Eastgate Center in Harare

This shopping center (5,600 m²) and office building (26,000 m²) in Harare was designed by the architect Mick Pearce in such a way that it is ventilated and cooled in a purely natural way. This made it the first and only structure in the world that could be proud of such a high level of development. The Eastgate Center opened in 1996. It is located at the intersection of Robert Mugabe Avenue and Sam Nujoma Street.

Kariba Dam and Reservoir

The gigantic Kariba Dam with a height of 128 meters was built between 1955 and 1959 and is now one of the largest hydropower plants in the world. The dam feeds a hydropower plant with a capacity of 1320 MW. With the Karibastausee, the dam creates the second largest reservoir in the world in terms of content and the fifth largest in terms of area. It has a catchment area of 520,000 km² and has caused several earthquakes since it was filled due to its enormous weight.


Buildings in Harare As the recognition and appreciation of Harare’s urban past and culture has increased, numerous structures have been preserved in the cityscape, including the Mining Pension Fund Building on Central Avenue and Second Street. Other architectural examples of the past can be found along Robert Mugabe Road, between Sam Nujoma Street and Julius Nyerere Way.

Mushandirapamwe Hotel in Harare

The Mushandirapamwe Hotel at the Machipisa Shopping Center in Harare’s Highfield district is owned by the Tawengwa family and served as the temporary residence of the returning ZANU troops in 1980, the year of Zimbabwe’s independence. The Mushandirapamwe.Hotel was also where the national team of Cameroon lived in the 1990s when they were in the country for the qualifying match for the FIFA World Cup.

National Heroes Acre (also Heroes Acre) near Harare

Horoes Acre is a burial site near Harare and dedicated to all Zimbabweans who have been declared national heroes by the Politburo of the ruling ZANU Party (PF). Not surprisingly, one can quickly see that the so-called national heroes were almost all of the PF’s sympathizers. The 230,000 m2 area extends about 7 kilometers from Harare on the Harare-Bulawayo Road and is considered the country’s national monument. The work on Heroes Acre took place in the 1980s and was based on the ideas of artists from North Korea and Zimbabwe. Most notable is the Eternal Flame, perched on a 40-meter tower that can be seen from many parts of Harare.

National Sports Stadium in Harare

The National (Multi-Purpose) Sports Stadium Harares can hold up to 60,000 spectators and is mainly used for football matches. One of the greatest events it hosted in its history was Amnesty International’s Human Rights Now! Benefit Concert in October 1988 and the 6th All-Africa Games in 1995. The stadium has recently been extensively renovated.

Rufaro Stadium in Harare

Up to 35,000 people can be seated in the Rufaro Stadium, a multi-purpose sports stadium which is currently mainly used for football matches. The most recent renovations were donated by FIFA as part of its GOAL program.


National Archives in Harare

The National Archives in Harare contain countless documents on the Rhodesian and Zimbabwean past in the form of diaries, notebooks and reports. Quite a few original works by some of the greatest names in “discovery” and missionary work in Africa can be found.

National Railway Museum in Bulawayo

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second most important city, has the Railway Museum, which opened in 1972, where all the important information about the history of Zimbabwe’s railway can be obtained. Components of the large collection of vehicles are locomotives, wagons and also the saloon car of Cecil Rhodes, the namesake of Rhodesia.

National Gallery in Bulawayo

In Bulawayo there is also a branch of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. It used to be housed in an old building behind the town hall. But since 1993 they have been found in Douslin House, an elegant two-story house built in 1901.

National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe is located in Harare and offers a nice collection of modern sculptures, paintings and reliefs. The gallery is dedicated to the presentation of modern art against the backdrop of the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage.

National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Mutare

A third branch of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe opened in 1999 in Mutares Kopje House. The building itself dates back to 1897 and once served as Mutare’s first hospital.

Natural History Museum of Bulawayo

In 1964 the public was able to take a look at the Natural History Museum of Bulawayo for the first time, a place that, with its 75,000 exhibits, can be proud of the largest collection of mammals in all of Africa.

Queen Victoria Museum in Harare

The very attractive Queen Victoria Museum in the Zimbabwean capital Harare shows numerous exhibits which can give insights into the history of Zimbabwe. These include weapons, tools, rock paintings and objects of everyday use.


Solusi University in Bulawayo

Bulawayo has an important private university, Solusi University, which dates back to 1894. But it was not until 100 years after it was actually founded, in 1994, that the educational institution received state recognition and was the first private institution to officially call itself a university. Solusi University is owned by the Seven-Day Adventists, who still run it.

University of Zimbabwe in Harare

With ten faculties and around 10,000 students, the University of Zimbabwe is the largest university in the country. It is located in the north of the state capital Harare and consists of ten faculties. It was founded in 1952 as a college of the University of London. But since 1971 it has had the status of an independent university.

More Attractions

Chapungu Sculpture Park in Harare

The large numbers of black snake stones that have been found throughout Zimbabwe have led some artists in the country to make stone work. In the Chapungu Sculpture Park in the state capital Harare you can see some of these works by numerous artists.

Kopje in Harare

The Kopje in Harare is a granite mound that rises in the southwest corner of central Harare. A visit is worthwhile because from there you can get wonderful views over the Zimbabwean capital.

Mbare Musika in Harare

Mbare Musika is the largest and most important fruit and vegetable market in Harare. It is located in the Mbare district and is the main trading point for agricultural products in the country. At the same time, Mbare Musika is the main bus station in the region and therefore functions in the dual position of the most important trade and transport center in Zimbabwe.

Sam Nujoma Street in Harare

Sam Nujoma Street is one of the most important and largest streets in Harare and was formerly called Second Street. It is named after Sam Nujoma, the first president of neighboring Namibia. One of the special features of the road is the wonderful jacaranda trees that shape it in many parts.

Nature and national parks

Chimanimani National Park

Since 1950 Chimanimani has been designated as a Zimbabwean National Park. It is a mountain park located in the eastern highlands, which attracts less with its animals than with its varied flora. The national park can only be explored on foot and currently offers almost no overnight accommodation. Tourist camps can only be found on the Mozambique side.

Chizarira National Park

The Chizarira National Park (together with the Chete and Chirisa safari parks) extends over 192,000 hectares in northwestern Zimbabwe and borders the Hwange National Park, the Victoria Falls, the Zambezi and part of the Kariba Reservoir. The park, which is characterized by floodplains, dense forest areas and tunda mountains, has so far hardly been developed for tourism. For reservations one must contact the National Park Office in Harare. Accommodation is unfortunately rare and can only be found at Kazwizi Camp or in the form of the expensive Chizaria Wilderness Lodge.

Gonarezhou National Park

The second largest national park in Zimbabwe after the Hwange National Park, together with the South African Kruger National Park and Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park, form the huge Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. The name Gonarezhou means something like “place of many elephants”. The park, which is dominated by bushland, forests and grass savannahs, offers its visitors breathtaking wildlife, which not only houses birds, the rare nyala antelope and the muskbuck, but also elephants, buffalo, lions and leopards. Unfortunately, the animal world is being decimated by poaching, especially since the legal relaxation of the ivory trade in 2008 also had serious consequences for the elephants named here. Gonarezhou National Park, which is also famous for the rock carvings found,

Hwange National

Park Zimbabwe’s largest national park, with an area of around 14,650 km², spreads out in the west on the foothills of the Kalahari near the border with Botswana. The park, which is one of the most famous nature reserves in Zimbabwe, features a landscape made up of deserts and sandy soils, trees and grasslands. African elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, hippos, warthogs, lions, hyenas and countless species of birds live in the park, which can also feed through the many artificial water holes.

Kazuma Pan National Park

In the extreme northwest of Zimbabwe lies the 323 km² Kazuma Pan National Park, which impresses with its varied fauna and flora, which is mainly characterized by flat grass and Kalahari bushland. There is no accommodation in the park. Camping is only allowed in two places. To make matters worse, visitors are only allowed to enter the park between March and December, which is related to the mass migration of animals from Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari

The Mana Pools National Park is located in western Zimbabwe, the site includes the safari areas Sapi and Chewore. The area of the park is about 2,500 km².

Matusadona National Park

The approximately 1,500 km² Matusadona National Park spreads out right next to the Kariba Reservoir. It is one of the rather unknown natural beauties of Zimbabwe and is therefore still largely untouched. The flora is characterized by an impenetrable wilderness that hugs the reservoir and is one of the last available habitats for the endangered black rhinoceros. The park also has the second largest population of wild lions in Africa after the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. Unfortunately, the park is difficult to get to and almost undeveloped.

Nyanga National Park

The former Rhodes Inyanga National Park is particularly famous for its 33,000 hectare mountain terrain, which includes the 2,600 meter high Inyangani, the highest mountain in Zimbabwe. There are also numerous waterfalls such as the 760 meter high Mtarazi Falls, the sixth highest on earth. Also worth mentioning are the relics that can be found in the park and that date from the Stone Age.

Victoria Falls

This waterfall of the Zambezi is the longest uninterrupted waterfall on earth and one of the most famous waterfalls in the world.

Kavango-Zambezi reserve

The Kavango-Zambezi Conservation Area (KAZA) stretches across five countries in southern Africa, including Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The entire area covers an area of around 444,000 km² – which is roughly the area of Germany and Austria. The area has so far been largely spared from tourists. But nature lovers from all over the world are increasingly discovering this cross-border natural attraction with its fascinating flora and fauna.

The protected area serves the following four purposes in particular:

  • The preservation of biodiversity
  • Creation of development opportunities for the local population
  • Promotion of tourism
  • Secure peace in the region through cross-border cooperation.

More natural beauties

Inyangani, Vumba and Chimanimani mountain ranges

The landscapes impress with deep valleys, gorges, wooded slopes, trout streams and steep rock faces.

Matobo Hills

In the Matobo Hills mountains you can find stone age caves with wall paintings, the granite rocks have bizarre shapes and there are dams rich in fish and a game reserve. Further

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari

The Mana Pools National Park is located in western Zimbabwe, the site includes the safari areas Sapi and Chewore.

The area of the park is about 2,500 km². During the rainy season the land is inundated by the waters of the Zambezi and only 4 large lakes remain in the dry season.

The dam, which was built in 1950, prevents nutrient sludge from being brought into the area, which means that planter growth slows and vegetarian animals can no longer get enough food.

These sites became UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1984.

Matobo Hills

In the Matobo Hills mountains you can find stone age caves with wall paintings, the granite rocks have bizarre shapes and there are dams rich in fish and a game reserve.

It is about 50 km from Bulawayo, where black and white rhinos, leopards and giraffes, zebras, kudu and many other wild animals as well as many species of birds still live. The almost extinct black eagle is primarily at home there.

The Matobo Hills became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

Ruined city of Greater Zimbabwe

The ruined city of Greater Zimbabwe (Great Zimbabwe) is located in the south of Zimbabwe, which borders South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

The center of the fallen Munhumutapa empire is about 40 km from the city of Masvingo, the former Fort Victoria. The city was surrounded by walls that suggest it was built in the 12th century.

The ruins were built from hand-worked stones without mortar. The ruined city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986

Ruins of Khami

The place Khami is located in the southwest of the country about 5 km west of the city of Bulawayo and is a ruin site.

The place originated in the 15th century and was an important trading center. What remains are the ruins of a palace complex that stood on a hill above the settlement, as well as remains of stone walls and terraces.

The ruins of Khami became a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986

Victoria Falls

This waterfall of the Zambezi is the longest uninterrupted waterfall on earth and one of the most famous waterfalls in the world.

The water masses of the Zambezi – at high tide up to 10,000 m³ per second and during the dry season 170 m³ per second – pour over a width of around 1,710 m over a 110 m sloping rock face.

The resulting sprays rise up to 300 m and can still be seen at a distance of 30 km.

In the language of the natives the waterfall is called “Thundering Smoke”. In the vicinity of the falls, a railway bridge built in 1905 crosses the Zambezi Gorge. The waterfalls have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989.

This world natural heritage crosses borders and is also part of the world natural heritage of Zambia.

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