A three year project to conserve, develop and sustain the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site.

Funded by Agence Française de Développement, the project is implemented by the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe and managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in partnership with UNESCO.

A powerful symbol of cultural and political identity

The National Monument of Great Zimbabwe is the unique architectural achievement of the lost civilisation of the Shona/Bantu people of the 11th-14th centuries. Extending over almost 800 hectares with walls reaching 9.7 meters (32 feet) high in places, the site holds some of the largest drystone structures in sub-Saharan Africa. To this day, this royal house of stone is imbued with mythical and spiritual significance, serving as the namesake of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the source of the country’s national icon, the Zimbabwe Bird.

Great Zimbabwe was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 .

About the Site

Approximately 30 km from Masvingo, the Great Zimbabwe WHS is located in the lowveld at an altitude of some 1100 m in a sparsely populated region of the Bantu/Shona people. The site, built between 1100 and 1450 AD, extends over almost 800 ha and is divided into three groups:

  • The Hill Ruins
  • The Great Enclosure 
  • The Valley Ruins

Great Zimbabwe represents one of the most spectacular architectural and cultural landscapes in Africa.

Follow on Twitter

Discover the Site


The Great Enclosure


The Hill Complex


The Valley


Interpretation and visitor facilities


Shona Village


Nemamwa Craft centre

UNOPS in Africa