Harare, Zimbabwe - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to Harare


Harare (Founded as Fort Salisbury or Salisbury)

Area: 960.6 km2 (370.9 sq mi)

Official language(s): English, Shona, Ndebele

Population: 2,000,000 (EST)

Time Zone: Central African Time - CAT (UTC+2)

Formerly known as Salisbury or Fort Salisbury, Harare - the capital city of Zimbabwe, is a modern city lying in the northeastern part of the country. The city stands out because of its tall buildings and wide streets, a completely modern landscape that showcases both sides of Zimbabwe. Home to over two million people, Harare was founded in 1890, created a municipality in 1897 and chartered as a city in 1935. It was the then capital of the colony of Southern Rhodesia, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953–63), and of Rhodesia (UDI) - (1965–79).

Administratively, Harare is a metropolitan province, which also incorporates Chitungwiza town and Epworth. It is the centre of Zimbabwe’s commerce, communications and industry, and also the main distribution point for the agricultural produces such as tobacco, maize, cotton, and citrus fruits. The Harare International Airport is the largest airport of the country and serves as the base for Air Zimbabwe. The country's oldest university - University of Zimbabwe, was founded in 1952 and situated in Mount Pleasant, about 6 km (3.7 mi) north of the city.

Information & Facts


Harare has a pleasant subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb). The average annual temperature is 17.95 °C (64.3 °F), rather low for the tropics, and this is due to its high altitude position and the prevalence of a cool south-easterly airflow. – Wikipedia

Eating Out

When in town, don't forget to taste the local cuisine, a surprising mix of British food and traditional African dishes. The stale food is sadza, a thick white porridge made from maize meal, served at every meal and usually accompanied by vegetables or meat dishes. There are other foreign options to explore.


Zimbabwe has 16 official languages. English, Shona (70%) and Ndebele (20%) are the most widely spoken languages in the country. 


The Zimbabwean Dollars (Z$) was the official currency of Zimbabwe till it was abandoned in 2009. The Zimbabwean Dollars was decomissioined in 2015 and various foreign currencies such as the South African rand, Botswana Pula, Pound Sterling, Indian rupee, Euro, Chinese Yuan, Japanese yen, Australian dollar and the United States dollar are now used for all transactions in Zimbabwe. 


There is a strong appreciation for the city's cultural and historical heritage and a number of the older buildings have been preserved. Some of the main attractions are: National Gallery, National Archives, Chapangu Sculpture Park, The Kopje and National Botanic Garden. When in town, also visit the Museum of Human Sciences and the National Gallery, Queen Victoria Museum and the Harare City Library (formerly the Queen Victoria Memorial Library.


Central African Time (CAT) is the time zone used by countries in Central and Southern Africa. It is the two hours ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+02:00) and is the same as both the Africa Standard Time and Eastern European Time. Daylight saving time is not observed.

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