Harare City Profile

Harare Profile

Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, is located in the north-east of Zimbabwe. Originally known as Fort Salisbury, after the then British Prime Minister, the town was granted municipality status in 1897 and developed further upon the arrival of the railway from the port of Beira in Mozambique a few years later. Harare became a city in 1935 and today has a metro area population of 1,558,000 (2022), with 98% Africans, 1% Asians and 1% whites. Salisbury was renamed Harare in 1982 to mark the second anniversary of the country's formally recognised independence from the UK. It has been suggested that the name Harare is derived from the African word 'Haarari' meaning 'he does not sleep', the slogan of an African chief who lived in the area to warn off those who might have considered attacking him and his people during the night.

Originally famous for its safety, today Harare has a somewhat dilapidated feel due to the economic woes of the country and crime is on the rise with tourists, such as there are, being strongly encouraged to traverse the sprawling city (which has many open spaces including the National Botanic Garden) by taxi or car only. Harare is the country's main distribution point for agricultural produce, especially its Virginia tobacco and, as a hub for bus, rail, road, and air transport, the city has remained a major trading centre for the manufacture of steel, textiles and chemicals as well as having a gold mining presence with a number of mines in the area.

Harare City Profile

If visting Harare, check out the Museum of Human Sciences on the Burnet Road which contains many exhibits from Zimbabwe's history including a 700-year-old Ark of the Covenant replica, believed to be the oldest wooden object ever found in sub-Saharan Africa. If you're into history, the National Gallery, located on Julius Nyerere Way in the city centre, is also worth a visit and features traditional Shona stone sculptures, paintings by local artists, and regular special exhibitions. For those with a liking for Zimbabwean crafts, maybe spend a few hours browing the Doon Estate, a row of former railway workers' houses that have been converted and now sell local crafts. Oh, and if you stop there for refreshments, look out for the local monkeys who are somewhat partial to any sugar cubes left on the tables!

You're more likely to have personal effects go missing if you visit the Mbare Musika, a large, busy street market on the on Ardbennie Road in the centre of the city next to Harare's main bus terminal. Lots to buy but lots to lose because of thieves operating in the area. Speaking of which ... the Harare Gardens (located behind the National Gallery) is a great place to relax and has a island-like stand of a rainforest and a miniature Victoria Falls, well, sort of. Just imagine the Victoria Falls without the water but don't close your eyes when doing so especially after dusk when the gardens are considered unsafe, especially for tourists. For more about Harare check out the video below then make a virtual landing at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in the link provided then check out our interactive map of Harare and zoom in on areas of interest.

Harare Profile: Volunteer in Zimbabwe

Volunteer in Zimbabwe

Check out all the latest fee paying and free African volunteer work placements and charity work job opportunities abroad with local projects and volunteering organisations in Zimbabwe.

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Harare Profile: Harare City Map

Harare City Map

A satellite map of Harare, capital city of Zimbabwe, which you can use to zoom in to explore each street of the city and its major tourist attractions.

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Harare Profile: Harare Airport

Harare Airport

Make a virtual landing at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, the main airport in Zimbabwe, which that will probably be your point of entry into Zimbabwe for your volunteering work.

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Harare Profile: Sponsor Children in Zimbabwe

Sponsor Children in Zimbabwe

Details of how to sponsor children in Zimbabwe with Zimbabwe child sponsor organisations, charities, programs and projects.

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Harare Profile: Zimbabwe Country Profile

African Country Profiles: Zimbabwe

In another of our African country profiles, find out all about Zimbabwe in a series of information articles, latest daily news, videos, and images together with volunteering and child sponsorship opportunities.

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