I was one of the few lucky Ugandans to attend Sanganai International Tourism Trade Fair in Zimbabwe back in June.
Now, if truth be told, Zimbabwe has always been one of my dream safari/holiday destination for as far back as I could remember.
The Zambezi river seen in pictures with breathtaking sunsets, and large elephants drinking at its banks, the magnificent Victoria falls captivated me with its local name –Mosi-oa-tunya (the smoke that thunders), and the Matobo Hills with their incredible rock formation that makes you believe that maybe, just maybe, once upon time, long ago, giants did walk this earth, and this was their playground.
Finally, my dream was coming true, and I was going to visit Zimbabwe; and not just the capital city of Harare, but Bulawayo as well!
Bulawayo, ladies and gentlemen, known as the city Of Kings & Queen, was the place all the high fliers from East, Central and Southern Africa made into their playground in years past.
Bulawayo is a beautiful, city with its huge tree lined streets, and a mixture of colonial and modern buildings, happening night life (including the oldest hotel- Cape to Cairo- which is the midway point that was used by “explorers” and travellers to and from these two places.) This hotel that was built in 1903 has now been turned into a lively bar with different theme nights.
I promise to write a more in-depth account about this beautiful city in my next account.
In the meantime, let me give you an overall account of my feelings and view about my first visit to Zimbabwe.
Now, remember that for the past 20 years or so, the West has put an embargo on Zimbabwe’s information, goods, and services to and from this amazing country, and the only news the world ever hears about Zimbabwe, is almost always negative, narrated by nations and people who know next to nothing about Africa in general, and Zimbabwe in particular- or at least that is how they come across.
Due to this never ending negative publicity that we have been forced fed for so long, my colleagues and I were a bit apprehensive about what we were going to find.
Imagine then, just how pleasantly surprised we were when we landed at Harare International airport to find organised and polite immigration officers, and a clean environment.
The drive from the airport to our hotel did not disappoint either.
The streets were wide, roads tarmacked, and depending on the part of town, very clean!!
Our 30 minutes’ drive, brought us to our hotel of the night…The Bronte hotel…Wow, this hotel totally met and even exceeded my expectations.
I think this beautifully colonial style built hotel contributed greatly to my falling in love with Zimbabwe.
The hotel staff was efficient, eloquent and very friendly, the rooms even though very cold, were lovely and good sized, with a balcony overlooking the lush, colourful gardens.
The Bronte attracts the crème de la crème of Harare, and this manifested by the clientele in the well-stocked bar ( another favourite of mine with its huge fire place warming revellers)
Next to the bar, is the restaurant constructed in stone and wood with large windows opening out to the gardens, serving delicious meals. In hindsight, the food served here, should have been an indication of the treat we were in for the 10 days stay in Zimbabwe. Quite frankly, in all my travels, I have not had fresher and tastier food (well maybe Mombasa came a close 2nd).
So, after a sumptuous meal, and a glass or two of nice wine, it was time to hit the sack in preparation for a very early morning flight to Bulawayo aboard Air Zimbabwe!
My adventure was about to begin…
By Dorothy Tukamushaba OkoboiBook Now Ask a Question