Harare officially called Salisbury until 1982 is the capital of Zimbabwe, with an estimated population of about 2.1 million. Harare is Zimbabwe’s leading financial, commercial, and communications center, and a trade center for tobacco, maize, cotton, and citrus fruits. Manufactured goods include textiles, steel and chemicals, and gold is mined in the area. Harare is situated at an elevation of 1483 meters and has a pleasant subtropical highland climate.
Numerous suburbs surround the city, retaining the names colonial administrators gave them during the 19th century, such as Warren Park, Borrowdale, and Mount Pleasant.
Two South American species of trees, the jacaranda and the Flamboyant, which were introduced during the colonial era, contribute to the city’s color palette with streets lined with either the lilac blossoms of the Jacaranda or the flame red blooms from the Flamboyant. They flower in October/November and are planted on alternative streets in the capital.
In spite of economic difficulties over the years, Harare is still a vibrant and buzzing city and is friendly and safe to visit. I still call it the “Sunshine City” – full of smiling and happy faces! There is a variety of good quality hotels and lodges, including the World Famous Meikles Hotel, celebrating its Centenary next year! There is a good range of restaurants and cafes offering a mixture of local and international cuisine and some great spots for listening to local music. There is plenty for a visitor to do in and around Harare including a visit to the well-known Silver Smith, Patrick Mavros, Doon Estate which offers a variety of local arts and crafts for sale, Chapungu Sculpture Park where you will see the work of some world-famous sculptures, Domboshawa Rocks and much more.