Bulawayo

Bulawayo is a relaxed, elegant industrial city with wide tree-lined boulevards, in western Zimbabwe. Several World Heritage sites, including historic monuments from the precolonial era and national parks, are within an hour's drive from Bulawayo, making it a great tourist destination.

Understand

Bulawayo was founded by Lobengula, the last Ndebele king, who settled in what is now Zimbabwe around the 1840s along with a large number of fellow Ndebele who had trekked there all the way from Zululand. In 1893, the British South Africa Company invaded the area in a conflict known as the First Matabele War. The British troops destroyed the city and forced the king to flee. They then built modern Bulawayo over the ruins of the former royal Ndebele city.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 27 27 26 26 23 21 21 23 27 29 29 28
Nightly lows (°C) 16 16 15 13 9 7 7 9 12 15 16
Precipitation (mm) 142 109 84 18 10 3 0 0 5 20 81 122

Although by latitude, Bulawayo is in the tropics, by virtue of its fairly high elevation, its climate is subtropical. Bulawayo is cooled by a prevailing southeasterly airflow most of the year, and experiences three seasons.

With little rain and cool, refreshing temperatures during the day, the winter season from May to August is ideal for a visit.

Temperatures soar in the hot dry period from September to November, so it is advised to book accommodation with air conditioning if you plan to visit during those months.

Rains that moderate the temperature fall from December to March, mainly as relatively brief afternoon thunderstorms.

Get in

Plane

Train

A train runs once every day from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo. The trip takes about 14 h with expected delays and costs US $12 for first class sleeper and US $10 for second class sleeper. first class generally has 4 bunks per compartment, second class generally has 6, although there are special "half compartments" with 2 and 3 bunks respectively. First class comes with bedding provided but not second class. a seat cost only $8.

One should be aware that this train is usually without electricity, so a torch is a must as after 18.00 it becomes quite dark inside of the train.

there is also a night sleeper train going from Bulawayo to Harare three times a week. sleeper class $12. seat $10.

Bus & Mini Van

Minibus taxis run from the township outside Victoria Falls to Bulawayo in the very early morning and takes approximately 7 hours.

The five most commonly recommended bus companies running daily services from Johannesburg to Bulawayo are Intercape, Greyhound, Intercity, Citiliner, Eagle Liner. you can book tickets of the five bus lines on line. The journey costs R330–R470 on high quality luxury coaches. Eagle Liner buses departs Bulawayo for Johannesburg everyday at 14.30 pm. the ticket cost R330. The Eagle liner booking office is at 5th ave and G Silundika street.

Intercape also has buses from Bulawayo to Vic Falls, Harare. Intercape has the Largest intercity route network in southern Africa

Get around

The city itself is fairly walkable.

Local Buses

Local transport is mainly by 18 seater minibuses called "kombis". The cost from the CBD to the suburbs is usually 50 cents.

Taxis

Taxis do not have a particular colour but are clearly marked. A taxi trip within the CBD costs $2 and outside the city center limits it costs $1 per km.

See

Do

The city's outdoor swimming pool is like something out of a 1920s movie, with its ranks of brightly painted changing booths. Lie on the grass and watch the cranes roost in the towering trees of the neighbouring botanic gardens.

Buy

shopping & Supermarkets

Banks & ATMs

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Stay safe

There was an outbreak of cholera in 2008. Check on current conditions before you go, and make sure to avoid obvious possible sources of contagion, such as unboiled water that is not from a sealed bottle and raw fruits or vegetables, especially if they can't be peeled. Also, strongly consider washing toothbrushes only with water that has either been boiled or come out of a sealed bottle. Unfortunately, water shortages are also a strong possibility in Bulawayo and the rest of Zimbabwe.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 31, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.