Photo via zimbabwetourism.net
The capital and most popular city in Zimbabwe, Harare, was founded on September 12, 1890. Located in the northeastern part of the country, Harare’s pre-colonial, as well as, post-colonial records pertaining to its evolution and name change makes a very interesting case.
According to history, the city was previously known as Harawa during pre-colonial times and was ruled by a Shona Chief by name Neharawa.
The city was, however, founded on the aforementioned date by a volunteer military settler force from South Africa known as The Pioneer Column. The force was organized and led by British businessman and former Prime Minister of the then Cape Colony in South Africa, Cecil Rhodes. Note that the city was founded during the colonial era.
A painting of The Pioneer Column hoisting a Union Jack flag in Fort Salisbury
Initially established as a fort, it was named Fort Salisbury in honour of The 3rd Marquess of Salisbury who was then British Prime Minister. The name was, however, shortened to Salisbury after it was upgraded into a municipality in 1897.
This came with significant developments, notably the construction of a railway in 1899 linking Salisbury to the port of Beira in Mozambique. This subsequently evolved the municipality into a trading and mining hub.
Salisbury — Tony Ward’s collection
Salisbury was officially elevated to a city in 1935. It served as the capital city of the then British self-governing crown colony of Southern Rhodesia, as well as, the capital city of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1963.
Salisbury Airport — Tony Ward’s collection
To mark the second anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence on April 18, 1982, the government officially changed the name of its capital to Harare, as part of an effort aimed at ridding the country of its colonial past. The name was chosen in honour of Chief Neharawa.
A very beautiful and serene city, Harare is definitely a place worth visiting as a tourist. From a wide range of wildlife and game reserves for adventure lovers to museums, as well as, historic and beautiful landmarks for those who want to keep it on the low, visitors are most definitely guaranteed a worthwhile experience.
Take a look at some photos of the beautiful city below:
Mukuvisi Woodlands — Photo Credit: zimbabwetourism.net
National Botanical Gardens — Photo Credit: ttnotes.com
National Heroes Acre
National Botanic Gardens — Photo Credit: Lonely Planet
National Heroes Acre — Photo Credit: Lonely Planet