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Travel Guide To Bulawayo

Bulawayo - 27 May
21° 13°

Partly Cloudy


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  • Zimbabwe
  • Bulawayo
  • USD, Rand and Euro
  • English, Ndebele and Shona
  • 600 000

General Information About Bulawayo

Bulawayo is the second-largest city in Zimbabwe after the capital Harare, with, as of the 2012 census, a population of 653,337. It is located in Matabeleland, 439 km (273 mi) southwest of Harare, and is now treated as a separate provincial area from Matabeleland. The capital of Matabeleland North is now Lupane, as Bulawayo is a stand-alone province. Colloquially Bulawayo is also known by various names, these being the 'City of Kings', 'Skies', 'Bluez', 'Bulliesberg' or 'KoNtuthu ziyathunqa' – an Ndebele phrase for "a place that continually exudes smoke". This name arose from the city's historically large industrial base.[3] The majority of the Bulawayo's population belongs to the Ndebele ethnic and language group. For a long time in Zimbabwe's history Bulawayo was regarded as the industrial centre of Zimbabwe and the city served as the hub to the country's rail network with the National Railways of Zimbabwe headquartered there because of its strategic position near Botswana and South Africa.[3] It is the nearest large city to Hwange National Park, Matobo National Park and Victoria Falls.

Bulawayo Culture and History

The city was founded by the Ndebele king, Lobengula the son of King Mzilikazi kaMatshobana who settled in modern-day Zimbabwe around the 1840s after the Ndebele people's great trek from Zululand. The name Bulawayo comes from the isiNdebele word KoBulawayo meaning 'a place where he is being killed.' It is thought that at the time of the formation of the city, there was a civil war and a group of Ndebeles not aligned to Prince Lobengula were fighting him as they felt he was not the heir to the throne, hence he gave his capital the name 'where he (the prince) is being killed'.
 It is said that when King Lobengula named the place "KoBulawayo" his generals asked "who is being killed mtanenkosi (prince)?" and he replied "Yimi umntwanenkosi engibulawayo", meaning "its me the prince who is being killed". At the time Lobengula was just a prince fighting to ascend his father's (Mzilikazi) throne. It was common at the time for people to refer to Bulawayo as "KoBulawayo UmntwaneNkosi" "a place where they are fighting or rising against the prince". The name Bulawayo is imported from Nguniland which is a place once occupied by the Khumalo people. The place still exists and it is next to Richards Bay.

Bulawayo Nightlife

Popular Bars in Bulawayo

Private Lounge
Cloud 9
Club 40/40

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Holiday Inn, Bulawayo
Bulawayo Zimbabwe

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Choose the peaceful Holiday Inn Bulawayo hotel, your ideal conference venue close to Bulawayo city centre.The tranquil Holiday Inn Bulawayo is set among blooming gardens, just 3km from downtown Bulawayo. Sink into a sofa in the homely Lobby while you surf the web with complimentary wireless Internet, or host events in our 4 spacious meeting rooms.

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Cresta Churchill
Bulawayo Zimbabwe

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Perfectly situated near many of Bulawayo’s historical and cultural landmarks is the Cresta Churchill hotel – a mere 6.7km from the Railway Museum, 7km from the Natural History Museum, and a comfortable travelling distance from the Khami Ruins (within 32km) and the Matobo National Park (about 52km away).

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Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel
Bulawayo Zimbabwe

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The Bulawayo Hotel has everything to offer the travelling national and international visitor. The multi-lingual staff will strive to make your stay a memorable one, and will delight in showing you the best of their city has to offer.

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Bhedu Berry Lodge Bulawayo Zimbabwe

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Bhedu Berry Lodge invites you to experience unsurpassed Zimbabwean hospitality. We offer accommodation to business groups, lengthy stay education/ training personnel, on-the-move, family and leisure travellers. Quality facilities for hosting your professional and casual events, with high quality board room and conferencing facilities furnished with high-tech equipment. Breakfast is served at the guests’ request. To add to that, our guests can make use of the rooms’ mini bars and safely store your fruits and snacks as well as stock up on the beverages you desire.

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General Information About Old Bulawayo (KoBulawayo) King Mzilikazi Khumalo left Zululand in 1822 and by 1840 had established the Ndebele
The Natural Museum of Zimbabwe located in the Centenary Park was built in 1962, and in 1982 all the natural science collections were moved here and it was renamed the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe. With its stunning displays and valuable research collections is the best museum in Southern Africa and rank fourth in size among the museums of Africa.
Housed in one of the country’s finest monuments, the National Gallery in Bulawayo is a unique facility, which holds invigorating and challenging exhibitions. Douslin House where the Gallery is housed is 100 years today. Its architectural splendour makes evident the gallery’s own goal of aesthetic appreciation and artistic aim.
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Matobo National Park occupies a total area of 44 500 hectares. Established in 1953, the Park was awarded Unesco World Heritage Status in June 2003. The Park includes an Intensive Protection Zone where a large population of Black and White Rhinoceros are successfully breeding. The Park offers a diverse package of tourist attractions and activities.
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Khami Ruins National Monument is located to the west of the Khami River, 22 km from the City of Bulawayo. The property, located on a 1300 m hilltop downstream from a dam built during 1928-1929, covers an area of about 108 ha, spread over a distance of about 2 km from the Passage Ruin to the North Ruin.
Chipangali is a haven for wild animals which have little hope for survival in the wild – creatures which have been orphaned, abandoned, injured, born in captivity or brought up unsuccessfully as pets. It is often the last refuge for those brought in sick or injured, and increasingly it is a sanctuary for confiscated animals.