Cultural Heritage Tour in Zimbabwe (Chinhoyi, Harare, Masvingo and Matopos)- 5 Days/ 4 nights
Cultural heritage Tour Itinerary
Often focusing on people, landscapes and the classical highlights, our cultural journeys provide an ideal opportunity to savour the rich historical pedigree of some of Zimbabwe’s more remote destinations. A chance to venture off the beaten track, many of these trips take you deep into the heart of some of our country’s most culturally fascinating and largely undiscovered heritage regions.
Day 1- Chinhoyi
An early drive to Chinhoyi Caves from Harare will mark the beginning of the cultural heritage tour.
Upon arrival you will venture into a guided tour of the culturally significant site.
Chinhoyi caves are a geographical spectacle which consists of a system of tunnels and caverns. Chinhoyi caves are synonymously known as ‘Chirorodziva’ by the local people which means “the pool of the fallen” a name which was derived from an incident which took place in the 1930’s when the Nguni tribe who were moving northwards flung people into the pool. One interesting feature of the caves is the “wonder hole”. The 150 foot walls of the wonder hole drop vertically down to the sleeping pool, which is filled with water of an unbelievable blue and crystal clear. There are several underwater passages that lead from the sleeping pool and back to the main pool. The sleeping pool is a deep mysterious body of water which is also associated with myths and many local Shona people believe in superstitions and seldom venture near the water.
The tour will consist of an exploration of the dark caves, the mysterious sleeping pool, the park’s flora (which consists mainly of indigenous species and a few exotics) and bird watching of the not so numerous bird species.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant
You will head back to Harare and check in at a local accommodation facility.
The day will start off with a suiting breakfast.
Soon after breakfast you will venture into a guided tour of the Balancing rocks in Harare
The Balancing Rocks are geomorphological features of igneous rocks found in many parts of Zimbabwe. The formations are of natural occurrence in a perfectly balanced state without other support. The Balancing Rocks have been used as a metaphorical theme to explain the importance of development coupled with preserving the fragile environment of Zimbabwe. The rocks are shaped extraordinarily. There are some enigmatic San rock art sites worth visiting in the area as well. The formations are of natural occurrence in a perfectly balanced state without other support. Their popularity grew when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe featured the formations on the last series of Zimbabwean banknotes.
Soon after the Balancing rocks tour, you will head off to Highfields Township for a Township tour of the renowned town and visit Robert Mugabe’s home which has been turned into a tourism site.
Highfield is the second oldest high-density suburb or township in Harare, Zimbabwe. Built to house Rhodesians of African origin, Highfields was established in 1930 and it is of historical, cultural and political significance to Zimbabwe. Known as Fiyo in local slang, it is one of the birthplaces of the Zimbabwe African National Union and is home to several prominent people in the country. Robert Mugabe’s house can still be seen in Old Highfield, where it stands, riddled with bullet holes from an incident during the Rhodesian Bush War.
Thereafter, lunch will be served at Garwe restaurant
Garwe restaurant is a place where guests can enjoy a taste of Zimbabwean specials in an immaculate environment. All dishes are expertly prepared and will leave you wanting more.
Soon after lunch you will embark on an art tour at Harare’s National Art Gallery
National Art Gallery
The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare is a center of national culture that is devoted both to the presentation of contemporary art and to the preservation of the country’s visual heritage. The museum is home to a valuable and interesting collection of paintings, masks, images and sculptures ranging from the beginnings of African art through to the post-colonial phase.
To summarize the activities of the day the next stop will be at Ngomakurira and Domboshava rock and cave paintings.
Domboshava is undoubtedly a place where you will find beautiful scenery. It derives its name from the words “dombo” meaning large stone or rock and “shava” meaning red, hence the red-rock. Hills at Domboshava comprise of massive granite dome containing shelters with notable rock paintings. The rock paintings include fine animal and human depictions of several different styles. Some of these figures are believed to be San representations of the Bantu speaking people.
The next stop will be at Ngomakurira. It is a place of intense beauty and is of great cultural significance. With more strenuous hills to climb than Domboshava, it is filled with San rock art paintings.
After such an eventful day you will check in at a local accommodation facility
Day 3- Masvingo
After an early breakfast you will set off for Masvingo
Masvingo is a renowned town home to Great Zimbabwe, the national monument from which Zimbabwe got its name from. It is also famous for Lake Mutirikwi, the largest in-land lake in the country and Kyle recreational park. Of significance are cultural villages which are pivotal to the preservation of National heritage as they enrich lives through perpetuation of customs and traditions
The tour will commence at Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Great Zimbabwe Ruins
These ruins are a unique testimony to the Bantu civilization of the Shona between the 11th and 15th centuries. They are a testimony to a culture of great architectural skills. With stone walls balanced perfectly on top of one another without the aid of mortar, they are the largest collection of ruins in Sub-Saharan Africa. The name Zimbabwe comes from this renowned place. In Shona terms “Dzimba Dza Mabwe” is translated to house of stone.
After a remarkable tour, lunch will be served at Lodge at the Ancient City.
Soon after lunch you will mingle with the local Karanga people at Chesvingo cultural village.
Chesvingo Cultural Village
You will experience a day in the life of a Karanga individual in a village setting and surrounding. The tour will showcase the daily life trail of the Karanga people’s day to day activities which are predominantly agro-based. You will witness Karanga homesteads which are constructed in a horse shoe style with individual interrelated housing units. You will also feast on sumptuous traditional dishes that include sadza prepared from sorghum, relished with goat meat and road runner chicken. Not to forget is lip smacking homemade beer.
After such a remarkable day, dinner will be served at Lodge at the Ancient City.
Day 4- Matopos
Matopos offers a great deal of historical, cultural and heritage relevance to the people of Zimbabwe. It is well known for its hills comprising of extra ordinary collection of huge bare granite moulds with gravity defying boulders. Bushmen lived in the area many years ago and left a superb collection of rock art behind, much of which has been well preserved. It is also one of Zimbabwe’s prime wildlife sanctuaries with a large population of white rhino, black rhino, antelope as well as a variety of other animal species. Situated in the vicinity of Matopos is also the Silunguzi Hill cultural village.
Upon arrival there will be a guided tour of Matobo hills and Rhodes grave.
Guided tour and rock climbing at Matobo hills
Rock climbing At Matopos will give you ultimate thrills of heights and the adrenalin-filled satisfaction of completing the climb. This climb appeals to the seasoned climber in pursuit of heart throbbing adventure.
You will witness the extreme beauty and magic of the Matobo hills in a mountain climbing expedition. You will also enjoy viewing the white and black rhinoceros, sable antelope, leopard and klipspringer that call this region home. Not to miss out is the Cecil John Rhodes burial site ultimately known as the ‘the world’s view’ situated at Matobo hills where the Ndebele people traditionally knew as “the hill of the spirits.”
You will also witness a superb collection of rock art left behind by the San people, much of which has been well preserved.
After rock climbing and Matobo hills tour, you will head to Silunguzi cultural village for interaction with local Ndebele people.
Silunguzi Cultural village
At Silunguzi cultural village you will participate in different day to day domestic duties done by the local Ndebele people. This involves projects like basket making, milking cows, pottery making, pounding using a pestle and mortar, winnowing as well as grinding.
After such an interesting day you will check in and have dinner at a local accommodation facility in Bulawayo.
After an early breakfast you will head back to Harare and this will mark the end of the cultural experience.