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About Bulawayo

Bulawayo is the architectural hub of Zimbabwe, a historian’s dream and a must-see for any wildlife enthusiast. With more than 1.2 million residents, it is the second largest city in the country. Bulawayo offers old colonial charm and welcomes guests to enjoy its surreal surroundings. Top attractions include Matobo National Park, Natural History Museum and Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage.

Cheap flights to Bulawayo are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to enjoy all that the city has to offer! Bulawayo is home to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ), which is located just 24 minutes from the city centre. Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport serves a multitude of airlines – including South African Airways and Air Zimbabwe. Non-stop direct flights depart from Johannesburg daily. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Popular flights to Bulawayo

Flight Route Airline Trip Type Travel Dates Searched Price from
Cape Town - Bulawayo SAA Return Aug 30 - Oct 10 1 day ago R5,859.00
Johannesburg - Bulawayo SAA Return Oct 12 - Oct 26 1 day ago R4,069.00
Durban - Bulawayo SAA Return Aug 3 - Aug 14 1 day ago R7,779.00
East London - Bulawayo SAA Return Aug 8 - Aug 14 1 day ago R7,939.00
Bloemfontein - Bulawayo SAA Return Aug 9 - Aug 14 1 day ago R7,529.00

Why visit Bulawayo

rhino-national-park-bulawayo

National park

The Matobo National Park is just one hour’s drive from the city and is home to rhino, antelope, leopards and a large array of birds, including the black eagle.

old-architecture-bulawayo

Architecture

Old colonial-styled buildings with sweeping arches and pillars set behind beautiful wide tree-lined streets, giving the city of Bulawayo a classy European feel.

khami-ruins-bulawayo

Ancient Ruins

The Khami Ruins journey you back in time to when it was once the capital of an ancient kingdom. This marvel is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Zimbabwe
Currency United States Dollar (USD) / South African Rand (ZAR)
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.07 USD
Language English, Shona and Ndebele
Hub Airport Bulawayo Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ)
Time Zone GMT+ 2
Travel Adaptor Type D / G

Best time to visit Bulawayo

Bulawayo experiences warm and sunny weather all year long, with the wet season running from November to March every year. The best time to visit Bulawayo will depend on your interests in the city. There are plenty of museums, theatre productions and shopping centres to visit which are available all year. If you wish to get the best wildlife experience it would be wise to visit during the dry season – April to October. During this time the wildlife and nature reserves are all open and available to visit. For cheap flights to Bulawayo, plan your trip in spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November).

Weather & Climate in Bulawayo

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall levels (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 18°C 18°C 17°C 14°C 11°C 9°C 9°C 11°C 14°C 16°C 18°C 17°C
High °C 17°C 26°C 27°C 25°C 24°C 21°C 21°C 25°C 28°C 28°C 29°C 28°C
Rainfall (mm) 134 107 69 25 8 2 1 1 5 27 87 126

Overview

Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo is so much more than what you may have bargained for. Many who visit the city do so to visit its main attraction, Matobo National Park. But if you scratch just a little under the surface you’re bound to find something extraordinary.

Bulawayo has a rich history. For an authentic look into it, a visit to the Khami Ruins is a must. The area was once the capital of a powerful ancient kingdom and old rock paintings from the San people can be found as well. To thoroughly enjoy your time there, hire a horse with a guide and get the full experience. Not just ancient history, the city streets are also lined with remnants of its British colonial past. Beautiful Victorian-styled buildings can be found all around the city with arches and pillars that have been perfectly preserved.

The Matobo National Park is wonderful for seeing wild beasts in their natural environment. Spot kudu, white and black rhino, black eagles and even the occasional leopard. To learn more about the animals of Africa, visit the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage which helps to rehabilitate injured and orphaned animals.

Compare several airlines, and book your cheap flights to Bulawayo online at Travelstart.

Visa & Customs

South Africans who wish to visit Bulawayo in Zimbabwe do not need a visa to do so. You will be granted entry into the country at all access points on presentation of your valid passport.

For more information, please contact the Embassy of Zimbabwe, in Pretoria:

Zimbabwe House 798 Merton Street P. O. Box 55140 Arcadia 0007 Pretoria South Africa Tel: (+27) 12 342 5125 Fax: (+27) 12 342 5126

Health & Safety

Bulawayo is quite a safe city to visit and there are always people out and about. As it does get quite busy, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and not to be flashy with your expensive possessions as theft does occur. Also, it is better to travel by private taxi in the evenings and not to walk around alone after dark.

When taking photos, make sure that you are allowed to photograph the building or street that you’re on, as this is not allowed in some areas of the city due to political reasons.

It is always important to go for a general health check-up before a trip overseas. For your trip to Zimbabwe, it is strongly recommended to get the following vaccinations: hepatitis A, malaria and typhoid.

Cost of Living

Item Johannesburg Cape Town Bulawayo
Meal, inexpensive restaurant R 90.00 R 100.00 R 40.79
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) R 22.00 R 20.00 R 11.90
Cappuccino (regular) R 19.00 R 20.00 R 17.00
Taxi 1km (normal tariff) R 10.00 R 12.00 R 10.20
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 35.00 R 35.00 R 27.20

Where to stay?

Bulawayo caters for all accommodation and has something for every budget. Of the most popular and more expensive are the city hotels and guesthouses in old colonial-style buildings. These range from 3 to 5 star and the price varies accordingly. It is also very central, allowing for visitors to walk around the city (during the day) and visit tourist attractions and local markets.

There are also more affordable options in the form of B&B’s and even dorm rooms that can be rented per bed per night. This is perfect for travellers just passing through the city and just need a place to sleep before moving on to the next location.

Get Around

The most common way to get around in Bulawayo is to use public transport. There are buses and minibus taxis but unless you know exactly where you want to get off, they might be confusing to navigate. If you find yourself needing to travel around the city after dark, it would be a good idea to call a private taxi and when doing so, discuss the price ahead of time with your driver. There are also many car rental companies available in the city.

Main attractions in Bulawayo

Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage

Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage

The Railway Museum

The Railway Museum

Bulawayo Flea Market

Bulawayo Flea Market

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