What to See & Do

Masvingo has a number of attractions, but it is the town’s close proximity to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins which forms its major appeal. It is believed that the Great Zimbabwe Ruins may hold the key to the mystery of the lost civilization of ancient Africa. The famous ruins, approximately 30 km from Masvingo are the country's premier national monument, and is the largest stone structure ever built south of the Sahara. The Great Zimbabwe Ruins are filled with fascinating rock formations and this complex set of ruins is one of the country's greatest historical and cultural attractions covering almost 1800 acres. The Great Zimbabwe Ruins were built by the Shona cattlemen and became a National Monument, earning world-wide recognition; it was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1986.

Close to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins you will find the Hwange National Park - a huge wildlife reserve and one of the few great elephant sanctuaries left in Africa. This Zimbabwean park is home to black and white rhinos, beautiful large antelope - kudu, sable and eland - and other wild game. The Hwange National Park also has the largest concentration of leopard, black eagle and other birds of prey in the world.

Lake Mutirikwe Recreational Park (also known as Lake Kyle Recreational Park) is located 32 km from Masvingo, and is situated on the northern shores of Lake Mutirikwi. The park holds a variety of wildlife, including zebra, giraffe, white rhino, wildebeest, and more species of antelope than any other park in Zimbabwe. The focal point of Lake Mutirikwe Recreational Park has to be Lake Mutirikwi, the largest man-made lake in Zimbabwe. Lake Mutirikwe offers fishing, yachting, power-boating and water skiing, but since the water contains both crocodile and the bilharzia parasite, swimming is not advised.  

Near to the southern shore, an ancient Bushman rock painting of a hunting scene can be found nearby. On the northern shore of Lake Mutirikwi, the landscape is characterised by rolling hills, covered mainly by miombo woodland and grassland - making this one of the most scenically beautiful parks in Zimbabwe. The area owes much of its undisturbed beauty to the absence of elephant, and the lack of predators creates an ideal setting for walking and horseback safaris.

September is the prettiest month when Masvingo's purple jacaranda trees and scarlet poinsettias are in full bloom, but tourism here is popular year-round.

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