Travel Guide to Masvingo Province
Best places to visit; things to see & do in Masvingo
Masvingo Town is the provincial capital of Zimbabwe’s south eastern province of Masvingo. Formerly known as Fort Victoria, Masvingo is home to Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Kyle Game Park & Recreational Resort, Lake Mutirikwi and many other interesting places.
The town is home to Masvingo University, Masvingo Teacher’s College and Masvingo Polytechnic. Masvingo offers cheap and affordable accommodation in the form of hotels, lodges, guest houses, camp sites and self catering overnight accommodation. The town also has excellent facilities and venues to host weddings, functions and parties. Masvingo Town is the first place to be officially occupied by European settlers before Harare and Bulawayo. The main attraction in Masvingo is Great Zimbabwe Ruins. There are many other places of interest that are located far from Masvingo town within the province of Masvingo as shown on the list below.
Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Great Zimbabwe is an ancient stone city. It was built by indigenous Zimbabweans many centuries before European settlements were established. What makes them so unique is the fact that there are no such structures of this size south of the Sahara. They are sub-sahara Africa’s second largest ancient. Great Zimbabwe is a UNESCO World Heritage site.There are many small ruins scattered in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa built in the same pattern but they are far below the size and splendour of Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
Lake Mutirikwi is Zimbabwe’s second largest lake. It has some beautiful surroundings including panoramic views of the communal areas. Mutirikwi is Masvingo’s ideal family place for picnic, nature walks, water sport, game viewing and fishing.
Kyle Recreational Park
Kyle Recreational Park is just next to Mutirikwi Lake.There are plenty of plains game that can be seen by tourists in the game park. They include the endangered white rhino, kudu, zebra and eland. There are also a number of indigenous birds in the area.
Located just close to Mutirikwi Lake, the Chamavara cave has amazing ancient San rock art and paintings. These paintings depict the lifestyle and activities of Zimbabwe’s ancient indigenous communities. Some of the paintings on this site are very important national treasures.They include a 5 meter high painting of a human being.
It is located some 24 KM from Masvingo town on the way to Bulawayo.This remote place is ideal for boating, fishing and plain game viewing. Managed by the Zimbabwe National Parks, this conservation spot offers a number of recreational activities. Wild game farming is also practiced here. Mushandike has caravan and camping sites.
Masvingo Civic Centre Gardens
The Civic Centre Gardens and Park are very close to the town council offices. They offer the perfect place for relaxing and picnics. If you love history, here you will also see an old Ruston Proctor locomotive steam train that was used by early British settlers. There are also a number of relics that remind us that the Masvingo is Zimbabwe’s oldest town.
Shagashe Game Park
Here you can see wild animals in Masvingo. There are other activities to do including nature walks, picnics and birding.
For anglers, this is a popular spot for bass fishing. Muzhwi dam offers a number of water based recreational activities.
Majiri Stone Ruins
Majiri Stone Ruins are very close to Topola growth point in Murinye area. Like Great Zimbabwe, these ancient dry stone walls are in the same pattern of many ruined ancient cities dotted throughout Zimbabwe.
Italian Chapel of Masvingo
The chapel was built by captured Italian soldiers who were then brought to Rhodesia as prisoners of war by Britain. Their remains and some of their religious artefacts are found at the chapel.
The Old Fort, Bell Tower, Curfew Tower
They were built in the early 1890s. The Masvingo (Victoria) Fort and Towers were built to protect British and European settlers from military attacks. At the time, there was a lot of resistance to colonial occupation. These towers and forts housed guns that were used to defend the settlers.Visitors can see these guns today in Masvingo. These sites are now national monuments. The Old Fort and Towers are located right in Masvingo City. They are on Hughes Street and Corner Robert Mugabe and Leopold Takawira Streets.
Hotels and Lodges
There are so many places in and around town where tourists, visitors and backpackers can find cheap and affordable overnight accommodation.There are some very good hotels and lodges in the 2, 3 star categories. There are also some cheap bed and breakfast guest houses suitable for lone travellers and individuals with tight budgets. These can be available for 50$ or less.
Masvingo Tour Guides
Masvingo tourist attractions are in different locations in and out of the city. There is no public transport from Masvingo town to Great Zimbabwe, Mushandike and Lake Mutirikwi resorts. The best thing to do is to arrange with local tour guides who might offer transport at reasonable prices. Visitors can even decide on price and there will be many people willing to help.
Masvingo has a number of small and big retail outlets including supermarkets where visitors can buy travel essentials and supplies. Most resorts are way out of the city so it is good to stock up any food and supplies that you may need if you are camping or just visiting far. There are few restaurants and fast food outlets where food can be bought at reasonable prices in the city.