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Unspectacular Harare

Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa

Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa

Looking back, we still find only one reason for staying in Harare: to break up a trip. A good place to do so is at “It’s A Small World” guesthouse. The lovely garden with pool and nicely decorated rooms are truly inviting, all for 40 USD a double. Only the kitchen could need some improvement, but no worries. The mall down the road features a cool café, where mainly white and Indian business people sip their café latte and some restaurants. The Bon Marché supermarket fits right in. Even though it was too pricey to shop there, it was great for looking.

The neighborhood around the guesthouse is typical for Zimbabwean suburbia: tranquil, with beautiful houses surrounded by large gardens and high fences. Whether these barricades hint at a real or imagined security issue we could not assess. Or do people simply copy what is a common practice in South African residential areas? Harare’s very center is dominated by bland modern buildings and certain parts of downtown are clearly dodgy. Drunkards sat in front of liquor shops, others flung garbage around when they were digging through it.

Our guidebook said the National Gallery was a must-see. We don’t know why. Whereas truly beautiful is the double alley of trees lining the main road into the center. The canopy works like a giant umbrella and creates a snug, shaded passage for cars and pedestrians alike.


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