Top 7 Things to do in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe!
With extra wide streets that the Kings and Queens used to be paraded down, low buildings and Jacaranda trees everywhere, Bulawayo is something special. It’s purple for a couple months out of the year with an old country western vibe, it is definitely a stop in the country you won’t want to miss!
Visit Nesbitt Castle (maybe even stay a night!)
Currently under renovations (August 2018) but still open to the public, this place is such a treat!
I got a chance to walk the grounds and nobody was around, the space is beautiful, perfectly kept and there are animals roaming freely. The castle itself is quite marvellous and large making it hard to take your eyes off. They have done a wonderful job at keeping it genuine and authentically preserved from its glory days. There is also a bar that is located on the side which is a great little place to stop for a drink or get some stone oven pizza! The castle hosts an array of events such as weddings, conferences and teas. It really is quite stunning and you can book a room to stay the night once renovations have been completed! Definitely worth the wander over.
Go to FoodLovers Market
Great food with a really lovely view and lots of fresh produce!
This awesome market is located near the old ascot racetrack and it has a bunch of other great little shops in the plaza. FoodLovers in particular has a great selection of fresh foods, a ready made food bar and a little cafe in the back. That was an extra special treat where we went for breakfast on our first morning as it overlooked a really pretty and lush lagoon.
Stay with June in her beautiful Airbnb
Typically I don’t shout out airbnb’s but this host is heaven sent!
June is such a sweetheart and loves hosting guests! Her home is beautiful with a real rustic, Spanish charm. Her two little dogs are a complete pleasure and the neighbourhood if flanked with these amazing trees that bloom purple flowers in the spring! She is eager to lend a helping hand and tell you all about the country. We are so fortunate that we got to meet her and spend some time. Her home is clean, quiet and very cozy.
Take the overnight train to or from Victoria Falls
Presuming you’re going to see the Falls you should definitely take the steam train between the two cities.
For only $12 USD you get yourself a sleeper cabin that leaves Bulawayo at 7:30pm and arrives sometime the next morning in Victoria Falls. It’s saves you a night of accommodations; which can rack up pretty quickly here in Zimbabwe and it gives you a chance to experience something new. Of course you can take the bus if you’re in a time crunch but why not sit back a bit and get on a train! It wasn’t the most comfortable ride but it certainly offered some of the most beautiful morning scenery through the Hwange District.
Take a bike ride around the city!
Bulawayo isn’t hilly and although some of the people drive a bit crazy, if you’re comfortable on a bike it’s an amazing way to get around!
It was a quick and easy way to get to see some of Bulawayo’s charm and character. Busy streets and plenty of old buildings, it’s a unique way to experience a small city and get some exercise at the same time!
Visit Matobo Hills
Just under an hour outside of Bulawayo and worth the hike!
Unfortunately this is one of the sites that we missed out on but I would still HIGHLY suggest it because pretty much everyone that we met and told we went to Bulawayo asked us if we had gone to Matobo. Big mistake in missing it! It is a very special National Park in Zimbabwe where there are arrangements of natural balancing rocks created by erosion. Just another one of Zimbabwe’s special little natural wonders!
Walk the streets with the most Jacaranda trees
If you’re lucky enough to get to Zimbabwe between the months of September and roughly November then you must make sure your camera is charged and you’re on foot!
Jacaranda trees are nearly everywhere in Bulawayo and they are extremely beautiful, purple and large! You virtually cannot miss them unless you’re colourblind. They have the most striking colour of purple when in full blossom and are planted along both sides of many streets making the visual absolutely stunning. Take your time and take a walk if you can handle the heat it will be well worth your time!
Are you visiting Zimbabwe? We have plenty of advice to share, including
An amazing place to stay in Victoria Falls – Nguni Lodge