Harare on Holiday

Formerly named Fort Salisbury after a British Prime Minister, Harare the capital city of Zimbabwe is named after Chief Harare, whose name translated from the local Shona language means "the one who does not sleep." Contrary to its name, Harare remains laidback and easygoing - although with the ma


ny entertainment venues on offer sleepless nights are also a very interesting prospect.
There are a number of nightclub venues around the city catering for most tastes, but the highlight of Harare’s evening entertainment is a dining experience at one of the city’s many fine restaurants. From an array of franchise eateries to more luxurious 5-star restaurants one will never be left wanting for a venue to dine out when visiting Harare. Greek, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, English, French, and even Mongolian are all available but Zimbabwe’s traditional dish with its unrivalled beef is arguably the finest culinary delight any visitor is likely to experience.
During the day there are many curio shops in the city centre to visit. Despite the clamp down on informal trading by the authorities recently, roadside vendors can still be found and by buying from the artists themselves visitors can contribute directly to the welfare of countless families who depend on eking out a meagre living with their fine artworks.
For anything other than curios, the National Gallery, with its fine display of fine indigenous art, is a wonderful place to start. The distinctive Shona style of sculpture is world renowned and the gallery’s outdoor stone and metal sculpture garden is a must see. The museum’s fine collection includes a display of early African art and culture from around the continent.
The National Gallery has been dogged by theft recently and we strongly advise you to go and see the artworks on display before the desperate times take their toll and more artefacts go missing.
The Harare Gardens lie adjacent to the Gallery, boasting a miniature Victoria Falls. On the outskirts of the city, is Doon Estate in Msasa. With its diverse collection of boutique shops and stalls that sell a range of unique wares, from African bush photos to Belgian Chocolates, this is guaranteed to impress local and foreign visitors.
Harare is rather like an old movie, filmed in Technicolor with its old cars, historic buildings and jacaranda-lined streets in full bloom. And although it is fraying along the edges, it is still well worth seeing. [email protected] Venues4Africa.com


Win a fabulous dinner for two
Dining Venues of the Month
This week the Venues4Africa.com team reviews two of Harare’s top restaurants, arguably the finest venues in and out of town, and has two exciting prizes to be won.
Situated in the heart of the Northern Suburbs of Harare, Amanzi Restaurant is set well back from the road in four acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. An old farmhouse, architecturally converted into a stylish modern restaurant, Amanzi has the capacity to seat 100 people. Guests can choose to sit in a small semi-private function room or on the large terrace surrounding the restaurant. All rooms are conveniently linked through open arches.
Amanzi was set up to offer its customers “fusion” cuisine – a combination of food from different countries and cultures around the world, taking the best from each. The decor is a sophisticated blend of interior styles created to form a backdrop for unusual collections of African antiquities and contemporary art.
The water feature is stocked with koi carp, and is floodlit at night. The property is noted for its collection of indigenous trees, predominately Msasa, and colourful shrubs, which provide a cool, restful atmosphere.
To win a dinner for two at Amanzi, readers of The Zimbabwean need to complete this sentence “Information is …” and email [email protected] with your answers.
The Lodge Restaurant at Wild Geese can be found on the city outskirts and is renowned for its fine food and ambience. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, their new menu offers a wide variety of delicious starters, main courses and desserts.
On warm summer nights patrons can enjoy their meals under the stars, surrounded by the African bush, or they can be seated in the dining room. The delicious Sunday lunches, served buffet style, include up to five starters, a choice of two roasts, a selection of vegetables followed by a variety of delectable desserts.
The Sunday lunches are excellent value (currently around Z$4.5M) and are very popular so bookings are essential. To avoid disappointment call The Lodge on +263 4 860466. To win a dinner for two to The Lodge at Wild Geese readers need to tell us which website has the most comprehensive database on Zimbabwean accommodation. All entries must please be emailed to [email protected]. Find out more about where to stay in Harare and email [email protected] or call +263 4 706 109.

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