Harare - Abbey Travel, Ireland


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Welcome to Harare


Known as 'the sunshine city', Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe and a gateway to the country's many attractions, including Victoria Falls and Kariba. Recent turmoil in Zimbabwe cast a dark shadow on the city, with fuel and food shortages affecting tourism and day to day life throughout the country. However, the Zimbabwe situation has improved of late and the shortages have abated, making Harare an appealing travel destination once again. Beautiful residential areas surround the city centre, the most developed being Borrowdale, Chisipite, Mount Pleasant and Avondale. There are some wonderful galleries and museums in and around Harare showcasing local culture and heritage, some of the most popular being the National Gallery, the Dendera Gallery and the Queen Victoria Museum. Not far out of town, the Ruwa Sculpture Gallery is also worth a visit. Borrowdale Village is a quaint complex offering a variety of shops, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs - an excellent place to spend the day (or night!) while on holiday. Other Harare shopping centres include Westgate, which has a great movie theatre, and the Eastgate Shopping Mall, located in the CBD. When not sipping cappuccinos at a café in the village, the local residents often go to the Harare Sports Club to watch cricket, or to Old Georgians (OGs) for rugby. Golf is another favourite pastime, with some fantastic courses based in the city, as well as a couple of fun putt-putt courses. For nature lovers, visiting the Lion and Cheetah Park is a must when in Harare, and the Chriemba Balancing Rocks are also good to see. The National Botanic Gardens are another good outdoors attraction in Harare. Horse riding and walking safaris are offered in the nearby Mukuvusi Woodlands, while Lake Chivero is great for jet-skiing, sailing and fishing.

Information & Facts


Harare has a sub-tropical climate with a summer season from October to April. The days are generally hot and sunny, with temperatures range around 86ºF (30ºC), and there are often afternoon thunderstorms. Rain occurs mostly between November and March. The winter climate is pleasant with warm, dry days from June to August (temperatures drop more extremely at night) and the average temperature is around 68ºF (20ºC).

Getting Around

Fuel shortages in Zimbabwe have made travel difficult in the past but this seems to be on the mend and the most effective mode of transport in Harare is still by car. There are rental car companies based throughout the city, and taxi cabs and minibus taxis are also widely available. Road conditions in Zimbabwe have deteriorated dramatically in recent years but the main highways are still functional. There are international and domestic flights to and from Harare international Airport, and bus services are also available.

English is the official language in Zimbabwe, although it is only spoken as a first language by a tiny percentage of the population. Several indigenous languages are spoken including Shona and Ndebele.

The official currency is the US dollar (USD). The Zimbabwe dollar (ZWD) was effectively abandoned as the official curency in early 2009. Major credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard, are accepted in most of the larger hotels, restaurants and shops; Many smaller establishments still do not have credit card facilities; Diners Club and American Express are sometimes not accepted. ATM facilities, dispensing US$, are available in the cities.

Local time in Zimbabwe is GMT +2.
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