They say “Home is Best,” I can’t agree more. Gweru is indeed the best. However, now after having toured many places, my love and admiration for this wonderful city is just much more pronounced. Located centrally in Zimbabwe, Gweru is home to some of Zimbabwe’s most glamorous tourist destinations.
Founded in 1894, Gweru formerly Gwelo was established as a military outpost, connections which it still possesses till this day. Gweru is Zimbabwe’s military hub. Gweru houses the country’s largest marshalling yard, Dabuka linking the country’s rail system with all countries in Southern Africa.
Gweru is a beautiful, serene town located in the Midlands Province in Zimbabwe. It is a three hour drive from Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city and a two hour drive from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city. The distance between Harare and Gweru is about 276.0 kilometres (km) while the Bulawayo-Gweru is 157.5 kilometres (km).
Arriving in Gweru, the Boggie Clock Tower greets you, located at the intersection of Main Street and Robert Mugabe Way; it was built in 1928 in memory of Major William James Boggie. This is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Located just outside the city centre is the Naletale Ruins, a Unesco World Heritage Site. The site has archaeological remains of the earliest people to live in this region, the Torwa dating back to the 17th century.
A splendid stone wall elaborately decorated with emblems of the Torwa people covers the area. The monument is set atop a kopje commanding good views over the surrounding countryside.
The Antelope Park to the south of the city centre is a private wildlife park offering many activities for guests. Here, you can enjoy the beauty of Zimbabwe’s wildlife most notably lions and elephants. For the brave and adventurous, there are also boat cruises in alligator infested rivers. Bird lovers can bird watch in the expansive gardens and park.
Other activities include lion walks, lion cub viewing, lion feeding, elephant rides, night encounter, and fishing, it’s a paradise in Africa. For accommodation, there are thatched river lodges, island lodges, river tents, standard rooms, and camping.
The Zimbabwe Military Museum is another great place to visit whilst in Gweru. Located in the city centre, the museum has various displays portraying the history of the National Army, Air Force, and the Police. Among some of the displays are war aircraft, aero engines, past and present uniformed forces’ uniforms. The museum has seven galleries including the foyer, the military history gallery, armoured vehicle hanger, police gallery, Guinea Fowl School Memorial hut and the artillery hanger.
This beautiful city is also home to some of Zimbabwe’s most acclaimed, elegant, fancy and of course affordable restaurants. For a laid back atmosphere, you can visit ‘The Barn’ restaurant where you will be treated to everything local, try out Zimbabwean dishes like Sadza with Mopani worms, cow intestines, and game meat. For a more outdoor feel, you can drive to White Waters where there is an open restaurant with loads of space. Here you can choose to serve yourself or order the service of an attendant. White Waters is perfect for picnic style outdoor relaxing and for a barbecue.
Nightlife in Gweru is incredible. There are many clubs and bars, all of which are warm and inviting. You will find every type of beverage from local flavours to foreign drinks. For those who love the thrill of spinning the reels and rolling the dice, there is a Carousel Casino at the Midlands Hotel right in the CBD where you can enjoy your favourite pastime.
Gweru has everything to offer, from the purple canopy of jacarandas, spiky red of poinsettias, cascades of bougainvillea to the beautiful rivers, wildlife, and history; it is definitely a destination of choice for your next trip.