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Harare- Zimbabwe Overview

A guide to hotels, lodgings as well as what to see and do in Harare – the capital of ZimbabweHarare has no absolutely compelling sights but is a pleasant and compact city with a population of more than a million people.

Set in the natural garden of the Zimbabwe highveld 1 500 metres above sea level, Harare is a city of trees and gardens nurtured by champagne air and a temperate climate.The name `Harare’ means in the Shona language `the one who does not sleep’ and indeed Harare is a city with many stimulating attractions

Harare has some very interesting markets where the visitor can find a wealth of local arts and crafts.

Shona sculpture is unique to Zimbabwe and there are many Places where you can view or purchase works by internationally successful artists.

There are various safari camps and lodges which are not far from the city. There is a large variety to choose from, all providing excellent accommodation and game viewing activities as well as great opportunities for day trips

History of Harare

The city borrows its name from the first Shona inhabitants of the marshy flats near The Kopje (inselberg) on which it stands today, who were themselves called Ne-Harawa after the regional chief – Haarare (one who does not sleep). The Mbare people, under the rule of the lower Chief Mbare, controlled the kopje itself. When Chief Gutsa later came to settle in what is now the suburb of Hillside, the inevitable conflict between the two groups, resulted in the killing of Chief Mbare. The Mbare people, moved away, ultimately destined for the rugged western plateau, just north of the Zambezi Valley. Gutsa’s success at small-scale combat was no match however for the subsequent intruders.

11 September 1890 saw the arrival of the Major Frank Johnson led British South Africa Company’s (BSAC) pioneer column, and their discovery of Gutsa’s kopje. Two days later, the Union Jack was raised at the present site of Africa Unity Square and the anticipated settlement was named Fort Salisbury. The Mashonaland area was believed to be favourable for agriculture, a great source of gold and ripe for expropriation by the colonists. The land was subdivided and the civilian members of the column given 1250 hectares of land and fifteen mining claims each.

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