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Southern African Highlights

The Great Zimbabwe Monument

Fact File:
Build around AD 1250 – AD 1450
Located about 30km off Masvingo
The city of the Great Zimbabwe used to cover about 80ha

The Great Zimbabwe Monument is a ruined city that is belivied to be the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from 1270 to 1550CE. The mediaeval monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built till the 14th century, spanned an area of 722 hectares. Great Zimbabwe acted as a royal palace for the Zimbabwean monarch and would have been used as the seat of their political power. One of its most prominent features were its walls, some of which were over five metres high and which were constructed without mortar.
The construction of Great Zimbabwe is claimed too by the Lemba, an ethnic group with a tradition of ancient Jewish descent through their male line and female ancestry derived from the Karanga subgroup of the Shona. This tradition was recently substantiated by DNA analysis.

How to get there?

It used to be a bit easier as Zim was not as struggled as it is today. In nowadays the easiest way of going there is joing an organised tour. The tourism sector in Zimbabwe is recovering, so in the near future it should be possible to travel the country by bus or by rental car again. Make use of google maps for a detailled and individual route description. Some companies are already operating in the country. If you plan to travel from eg South Africa to Zimbabwe with a rented car, make sure that you are actually allowed to cross the border. Some companies do have pretty strict rules on that!
update (15 Aug 2011): There are public buses running from eg Bulaway or Harare to Masvingo and from there you can catch of the combis/mini buses to the Great Zimbabwe monument ($2 return).

View Great Zimbabwe Monument in a larger map

Experience Southern Africa - 15 days
Start: Johannesburg End: Johannesburg
Countries Visited: South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe
Spotting the Big Five in Kruger National Park, gazing out across Victoria Falls, tracking rhinos on foot in Matobo National Park, feeling the pulse of a continent at a dancing demonstration, discovering the less-visited Zimbabwe, exploring the Okavango Delta the traditional way on a mokoro canoe excursion, feeling the pulse of four diverse countries.

more overland tours covering Zimbabwe

© Sebastian Hermanns - All Rights Reserved - last modified 2015-12-09 2:51 PM

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