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Visiting Mutare Zimbabwe

So what do you do when you come to Mutare as a visitor, oh no, the good question to ask is what is it that you cannot do in Mutare.

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Mutare has everything to suit everyone's taste. Mutare's visitors come from all parts of the world. All the visitors have had lifetime vacations in this picturesque city.  Everything is breath taking. Locals live simply and are very nice, humble and  hardworking people.


Things to do  in Mutare 

   The Civic Center Complex

The Civic Center complex, apart from being the administrative center of the city, contains the Courtauld Theatre, the Queen's Hall and the Turner Memorial Library. Across the road from the complex is the Mutare Post Office, which was opened in 1973. Visitors may see the Mayor's Parlour, the reception rooms and the Council Chamber during working hours.

The Turner Memorial Library, in the Civic Center complex, is a subscription lending library with a good variety of fiction and non-fiction.

Victory Avenue off Aerodrome Road

Archaeology, transport, culture and natural history Open daily 09H00 to 17H00

The Mutare Museum was established in 1945 and in 1959 was taken over by the National Museums and Monuments as the third of its five national museums. The Museum houses the national collection of antiquities, firearms, edged weapons, and road transports. The display galleries include flora and fauna of Manicaland, zoology exhibits, transport items and a large "walk-in" aviary housing over 500 birds. Temporary displays are held regularly.

Utopia House Museum

Jason Moyo Drive 11
Lifestyles of the early settlers  ~ Open weekdays

Part of the antiquities collection is displayed at Utopia House Museum, situated 2 miles away. This is furnished to depict the 1910-1920 period. The Museum is the home of the Phoenix Theatre who put on plays of a high standard.

The Municipal Camping/Caravan Park

 situated 3 miles from Mutare near the top of Christmas Pass on the main road to Harare. The site enjoys a splendid view of Mutare and has cooking and laundry facilities.

The Municipal Swimming Pool

The Municipal Swimming Pool is gained from Churchill Road and is open every day except Mondays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. It also closes for the winter from mid-May to Mid-August.


The Courtauld Theater

The pipe-dream of The Courtauld Players after the Second World War became a reality in 1955, mainly through the generosity of the theatre's two benefactors, the late Sir Stephen and Lady Courtauld. The theatre can boast backstage and lighting equipment equal to any amateur theatre in Africa. It is used by visiting professionals, individual performers and local societies.

Kingsley Fairbridge Memorial

At the Kingsley Fairbridge Memorial the statue of young Kingsley Fairbridge, his African companion, Jack, and his dog, Vic, was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother on July 8, 1953. It commemorates Fairbridge - poet, founder of the Fairbridge Farm Schools and traveller. His family house, Utopia, still stands in Mutare and has been made into the Fairbridge Museum.

Chace's View

From the top of Christmas Pass, almost opposite the Fairbridge Memorial, a short road leads to Chace's View, giving a panoramic view of Mutare and the Vumba Mountains.

Mutare Heights

The road to the Kingsley Fairbridge Memorial continues through the hills for 2 miles to a viewpoint near the television receiver. From this point, Mutare Heights, visitors can look over the entire city and surrounding hills and valleys. During the wet season the road should only be attempted by those in four-wheel drive vehicles.

  The Cecil Kop Nature Reserve

Arcadia Road
Antelope, elephant, rhino, zebra and wildebeest. Open daily

The Cecil Kop Nature Reserve encompasses 4200 acres of scenic beauty, where one can see Zimbabwe's wildlife under natural conditions only 2 miles from the City Center, open every day of the year. Visitors may also drive around Thompson's Vlei section of the game park on the eastern borders of the city.


The Murahwa's Hill forms the backdrop to the Mutare Showgrounds, a nature reserve that is a naturalist's paradise. Rare birds, butterflies and trees are found in their natural environment. The hill is within easy reach of the car park behind the Showgrounds of from the sign-posted turn-off on the Old Christmas Pass Road.

  The Cross Kopje

The Cross Kopje dominates the Mutare skyline with its 33 foot high cross, which at night is permanently floodlit, making an impressive sight. The massive stone cross was erected by Colonel Methuen as a memorial to African soldiers who fell in the First World War.


Mutare Main Park Aloe Gardens

The result of many years of hard work, the Aloe Gardens in Mutare's Main Park are becoming increasingly famous throughout the southern Africa region. The gardens contain about 10,000 aloes and numerous indigenous shrubs and cycads. The 243 species of aloe were collected from throughout Africa and Malagassey.

Lake Alexander is situated 25 miles north of Mutare on the Oazani Road which passes through Penhalonga. This site offers magnificent views, as well as thatched shelters, toilets, braai areas for campers, and is popular for fishing, yachting and rowing. Row boats are available for hire, and there is a yachting club at the lake. Smallbridge Dam, upstream from Lake Alexander on the Odzani River offers fishing and motor boating in scenic surroundings.

When to Visit

Zimbabwe is a year-round destination. However there are seasons that special interest groups should note:

  • For high adventure enthusiasts, white water rafting is most exciting when the Zambezi waters are low, generally from August to December.
  • The best time to visit the Vumba Botanical Gardens is from December to May, when the vegetation is lush and green and most plants are in flower.

Traditionally, peak season in Zimbabwe is from July to October and middle season is from May to June. Availability is at a premium during these seasons, so you will need to book in advance.

These are the most comfortable times for travelling, but it is during the wet summer, from November to April, when the landscapes are a striking, fresh green.       

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