Harare Travel Guide and Information
About Harare – The city where the “Sun Shines”:
Harare is known as the “sunshine” city for many good reasons such as its pleasant sunny weather and warm hearted people. It is the thriving and bustling capital city of Zimbabwe that is fully adorned with multiple attractions, state of the art galleries, age old museums, mesmerizing scenery, thrilling wild life, happening theatres and a culture of loving food and dance.
Apart from being the commercial, economical and official capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare is also a great connecting city for many neighboring landlocked countries. The city is majorly toured for its being gateway to Victoria Falls, ancient sites in Bulawayo and Game viewing in Zimbabwe. In comparison to other cities of its stature travelling, accommodation and living in Harare is considerable cheaper and easily affordable for a budget travelers.
Climate of Harare – The Goods and the Bads:
Harare enjoys a moderate sub-tropical climate classified in three seasons, the wet, the dry and the cold. It is called to sunshine city, for enjoying long sunny days throughout the year. The hottest month is October, the coldest is July and the rainy month is November generally. As Harare is situated at a high altitude the city enjoys a pleasing wind and low temperature extremely favorable for vegetation and greenery.
Between April to August is the best time to visit Harare as far as weather is concerned. A lot of game viewing, boating, fishing, hiking and other such activities’ can be enjoyed during this period.
Getting in – Harare International Airport:
Harare has a well established and well equipped International airport; the Harare International Airport (HRE) located around 12 kilometers at the outskirts of the city. Hired vehicles, minibuses and taxi cabs can be hired from the airport for onward journey. Also the airport has a large parking facility, post office, bank, exchange machine and city free shopping outlets.
During the cold months, Harare International airport becomes jam-packed and it is required to reserve flights well in advance to assure seats on the plane. Moreover, near the Christmas season as well, flights to and from Harare get extremely busy and sufficient time is required at check in and check outs.
Also some travelers use the railways and road connections through Zambia and South Africa to get in Harare.
Flights to/from Harare:
Among the most popular flights to and from Harare is the national airline Air Zimbabwe that offers direct flights to Harare from London Gatwick International airport. This airline also has a vast network of domestic and regional flights. Its other popular flight routes, onward from Harare include flights to Johannesburg, flights to Victoria Falls, flights to Bulawayo, Lusaka and Livingstone.
Not only the national airline is popular but the neighboring country South Africa also has a number of airlines that connect it and the rest of the world with Harare. The list includes South African Airways.
Among cheap, affordable but indirect flights to Harare from London are KLM, Air France, British Airways, Qatar, Kenya airways and Ethiopian Airline.
The cheapest flights to Harare are offered by Air Zimbabwe, Ethiopian Airways and Kenya Airways.
Getting Around – Transport in Harare:
The most common way of getting around in Harare is by hiring a car. Some hire a driver as well, while other prefers to drive them self. The two obstacles in enjoying the luxury of a hired vehicle in Harare are (1) fuel shortage and (2) strict traffic rules.
The city also has a rail system, minibuses and taxis are common means of transport.
Top Places to See
Below are the top seven places to see in Harare:
- For true Lion fans, it is unavoidable to visit The Lion and Cheetah Park. You can take some amazing photographs here up close with fierce lions. The park’s collection of animals also includes wildebeest, Zebras, eeland, Impala and other native animals. The park has a bird and reptile section too where you can meet long-jawed crocodiles and a famous 300 old tortoise.
- Another among the popular attractions of the city is the Mukuvisi Woodlands, a wide 110 hectre Game reserve that not only offers Safari but also other sports.
- A well Known landmark of Harare, the National Heroes Acre is also something that must be visited to witness how the great nation remembers its heroes in golden words and endless memories.
- Theatres and Galleries in Harare are the best way to spend a hot day under the roof and cooling of the building. One such place is Ruwa Sculptures Gallery famous for its stone exhibits. Also works of traditional and bold African art are worth seeing at the Dendura Gallery.
- Natural Rock formations at the Chriemba Balancing Rocks and Mountain of Drums, the Ngomakurira are both picturesque and entertaining locations.
Top Things to Do
The things that you must do in Harare include all kinds and natures of sports such as :
- Sailing and Fishing at Lake Chivero
- Water sports at Harare Safari Lodge
- Jetsking over the city
- Horse Riding, camping and walking safari at the Mukuvisi Woodlands
- Golfing at any of the various Golf clubs around the city
- Harare Stadium Tour
- Wild life Safari and Game Viewing
Food and Shopping
Zimbabwe was once known as “The Bread Basket” of the world. Most local foods are based on wheat, corn, maize, milk, mashed potato, rice and grains. Meat is mostly roasted on some special occasions. However, top café’s, dinners and eat out offer fast food. Popular eating places in Harare include 40 Cork Road café that has an outdoor sitting arrangement ideal for evening tea and snacks, the 167 Enterprise Road Chisipite that is not only a great place to dine it but also a historical building of importance. The Gardens of Café Espresso in Harare are also very popular among western travelers.
The popular locally made bear is Chibuku served in nearly all local bars. It is very cheap yet makes you long for more.
For shopping, Mbare open-flea market place is a must-hit. It is where you can bargain your way and get extremely cheap locally made handicrafts, souvenirs, fruits and nearly any thing you may desire.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit Harare is close to Easter period, not only that one can see the celebration and be a part of it, but also from April to August, the weather is very cool and favorable in Harare.
For information concerning Visa, Passport requirements, Travel Safety, Festival dates and other general information please check out the main Zimbabwe Travel Guide.