Urban tourism is one sector that has the potential to contribute to the economy of any society. There are many African cities that have enthralling views and potential to offer unforgettable experiences to travelers.

Despite Zimbabwe’s poor international reputation, Harare, the country’s capital, is indisputably renowned for its astounding beauty. With jacaranda-lined city streets, excellent weather, and a buzzing and rapidly growing population, Harare is the next go-to city on Ayiba’s travel list. The first go-to city was Accra.

We highlight some of the best places where one can eat, stay, hang out, and shop in Harare.

Martin Addison

WHERE TO EAT:

For breakfast stop by Café Nush to grab a coffee and watch Harare’s movers and shakers come and go. Make sure to sample their tasty grilled chicken wraps. A favorite for informal business lunches and catching up with friends, don’t be surprised if you find yourself sitting next to music legend Oliver Mutukudzi or the next Strive Masiyiwa.

If you’d like to have a taste of truly traditional Zimbabwe cuisine, Garwe Restaurant is the place to be. Located a mere ten minutes from Harare central business district in the eastern suburb of Eastlea, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous meal in a serene, relaxing environment. From staples like Sadza rezviyo to Sadza remhunga, tsunga, madora, and road runner, you’ll find it all. Garwe restaurant is a truly classic Zimbabwean food experience.

Nsima_Relishes

Feeling a little fancy? Stop by upscale Pistachio, a mainstay of the H-town foodie scene.  The restaurant is consistently packed thanks to its lush green gardens and fantastic food. Their chai latte is one of the best you will find in the city while their burgers and salads are also top-of-the-line. While you’re waiting, munch on complimentary foccacia bread sticks to fight off your hunger as you watch everyone else’s plates of amazing looking food go by. Cordon Bleu trained head chef and owner Teresa Muirhead’s mission is to create an oasis of fresh and healthy eating in Harare- but don’t worry there are also some pretty decadent cakes if your “fresh and healthy” comes with pastries on the side.

For a great dinner, check out for Amanzi Restaurant situated in the heart of the northern suburbs of Harare.  Amanzi’s philosophy centers on eco-consciousness: many ingredients used in Amanzi’s kitchens are organically grown in their own garden, kitchen scraps are composted, paper, glass and plastic are recycled, and staff is trained in energy saving practices. Amanzi offers its customers “fusion” cuisine.  A combination of the best food taken from different corners of the world.

WHERE TO HANG:

Adrenalin junkies can visit Charles Prince Airport   for skydiving, one of capital’s top tourist destinations. On baller status? Here’s a pro-tip: people often hire private flights to visit different tourist destinations including top and remote Safari destinations.

For nature lovers. Zimbabwe is blessed with beautifully rocky and hill landscapes including the famed Domboshawa (red hills) and Ngomakurira (beating drums) . These two places are some 30 km north east of Harare. The gorgeous setting   is an ideal opportunity for outdoor photography and family picnics. Anyone a history buff? You’ll enjoy learning about rocks and rock paintings believed to have been left by ancient dwellers during the Stone Age.

Ngomakurira derives its name from the traditional African drums that were played in the mountains during religious services. Of immense popularity are the steep mountain climbs that attract enthusiasts from all over the world. Some people use bikes while others summit the mountain on foot.

Then there is the Stephen Margolis Resort nestled away in Harare’s tranquil and serene Nyarongo River Valley in Derbyshire, Waterfalls. It is one of Harare city’s best kept secrets, combining space, style, and comfort. Stephen Margolis Resort has business and leisure facilities set in well-manicured gardens featuring indigenous trees and balancing rocks with Africa’s Big Five skillfully carved on them. The resort offers braaing, fishing, watersports, camping, picnics and more.

WHERE TO SHOP: 

Located in Msasa , The Doon Estate   is a market that sell a range of locally handmade jewelry, furniture, fabric, arts and crafts, beautiful handmade pottery, potato printed fabrics,  and sculpture.

The Hustler Market is a great place to find local designers fashion, food, crafts, and jewellery.

Lookout for Tanya Mushayi, a surface and fashion designer behind popular Zimbabwean brand and Ayiba alum Tanya Nefertari. She has made a name for herself locally and abroad.

Situated in Harare, Joina City offers an enjoyable shopping experience. Joina City’s modern architecture provides shoppers and visitors an authentic “Hararian experience” unlike anywhere else in this vibrant welcoming city.As Harare’s second tallest building, Joina City boasts unparalleled and spectacular views of the city. For the discerning and classy shopper, the mall has a plethora of services and a host of exclusive stores from top boutiques, the latest technology. a state- of- the- art gym and spa, restaurants, kid’s stores, a reputable supermarket, reliable and efficient dry cleaner, banking services. and much, much more. Open seven days a week between 09.00hours and 18.00hours, Joina City has excellent security with 600 bays of secure and  convenient underground parking and twenty-four hour CCTV and manned security to ensure you enjoy hassle- free shopping.

WHERE TO STAY: 

Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel is a modern, world- class facility located 15 km from the Harare International Airport. The Hotel is perfect for businessman and leisure seekers alike. Its unique concave shape reflects all the splendor of the ancient Royal Munhumutapa Kingdom, and draws on that legendary African civilisation for its name, Monomotapa.

Located in the heart of the capital city Harare, Meikles’ Hotel is a legendary meeting place for international business executives, dignitaries, leisure travelers and celebrities’. Its gracious charm and silver-service style are reflected in it being one of the Leading Hotels of the World.

Renowned for its beautiful gardens and collection of fine Shona Sculptures, The Bronte Hotel is an oasis of tranquility, its amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, two swimming pools, a fitness centre, a complimentary breakfast buffet, secure on-site parking, and fine dining at Emmanuel’s Restaurant.

Bronte Hotel

Bronte Hotel


damien_farrellHave you been to Harare (or do you live there)? What else would you add? Email editor@ayibamagazine.com if you’re interested in contributing to a “24 Hours” guide!