Zimbabwe's capital city is Harare. With a population of around 2 million it is also Zimbabwe's biggest city and the commercial capital. Originally called Salisbury, the name was changed with Zimbabwe's independence in the 1980's and named after a Shona chief, Neharawa.
Holidays to Harare offer visitors a modern city with an excellent climate and a real cosmopolitan feel. Central Harare with its wide thoroughfares is host to lots of shops, parks, gardens and restaurants and it is easy to walk around during the day. For some of the best views of the city The Kopje - a granite hill rising above the south-west corner of central Harare - is the perfect spot. For some history swing by the National Gallery, with the chance to see a number of interesting displays of African art and travelling exhibitions, including a permanent display of some outstanding Shona soft-stone carvings. For more pieces of Shona sculpture a visit to the recreation of a Shona village at Chapungu Sculpture Park is a good choice.
You will also find plenty of nature integrated with the city bustle, exemplified by The National Botanic Gardens, home to 900 species of wild trees and shrubs from all over the country, spread across 58 pretty hectares. There's also the Mukuvisi Woodlands to discover. The nearest thing to a zoo in Harare, two-thirds of this 277 hectare woodland reserve is natural parkland, ideal for picnics, walking and bird watching. The remaining area is a wildlife park home to a variety of birds and animals, such as giraffe, zebra, impala, wildebeest, bushbuck, steenbok and eland.
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