In the geographical heart of Zimbabwe, Gweru serves as the main hub of an agricultural region known for its cattle and crop farming. It was named “The Steep Place” by the indigenous Ndebele people due to the high banks of the Gweru River and was the site of a 19th-century British military outpost. More recently, it’s been nicknamed the “City of Progress”, with several colleges and universities located here.
Things to do
A highlight of visiting Gweru is getting up close to lions at Antelope Park, which runs the world’s first program dedicated to rehabilitating lions and releasing them back into the wild. The 1,200-hectare game park is also home to zebras, giraffes and around 150 species of birds that can be spotted on game drives, guided walks and horseback safaris.
Interested in the country’s armed forces? Pay a visit to the Zimbabwe Military Museum, which lies within Gwelo Park. In addition to a large collection of military aircraft and tanks, the museum also features uniforms from the Army, Air Force and Police and exhibits dedicated to nationalists such as Josiah Chinamano and Herbert Chitepo.
Gweru is an ideal base for exploring Danangombe, a former town established by the Rozvi culture during the 17th century. It’s believed to have been occupied following the abandonment of Khami, a ruined city that’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While most of Danangombe’s mud-brick dwellings no longer remain, it does feature beautiful stone walls decorated with traditional motifs.
Gweru is around 3.5 hours’ drive from Harare and Robert Gabriel Mugabe Airport while Bulawayo and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport are around two hours away. Buses and mini buses connect Gweru with nearby towns, although having your own vehicle is the most convenient way of getting around.
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