Local Attractions around the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site

Founded in 1890 , Masvingo, where The Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site is located, is the oldest surviving colonial town. Truly described as the ‘historical urban heart of the country’…Burrett and Sagia. It has gone through a variety of names from Fort Victoria (British monarch) to simply Victoria in 1929, being briefly named Nyanda in 1982 to finally being named Masvingo which means ‘fortifications’. Masvingo is rich in heritage – not simply the Great Zimbabwe, there is so much more in the area to explore.

Accessibility of the Destinations
Masvingo is equidistant from all major cities. Accessibility to all tourist destinations is mostly by self driving. Charter flights can land and take off at the Masvingo Airport as well as at Buffalo Range Airport in the low veld. All facilities are accessible by road.

Let us explore Masvingo

Tugwi Mukosi dam

The largest artificial lake in Zimbabwe following Kariba. Rises above 90m the foundation and has the capacity of 1.8billion cubic meters of water being over 40km in length. Opportunities for tourism include houseboats, fishing, water sport activities, hotels , self catering chalets, conference centre and casino, museum for the construction project, game park and angling.

Murray Mc Dougal drive

The scenic circular drive connects Masvingo, the lakeshore of Lake Mutirikwi and the dam wall. The Murray McDougall Drive has been called Zimbabwe’s garden route. Good tarred road for the first sixty kilometers, some twenty-five kilometers of dirt road, before joining the tar again on the A9. A full day’s journey with plenty to see and enjoy. The drive takes you past the Glen Cova Club to the Glenlivet turn-off.

Mutirikwi dam wall

Built in 1961 ,Lake Mutirikwi is the second largest inland lake in Zimbabwe formerly known as Lake Kyle. The story of Kyle is intimately bound to the Triangle Sugar Estates. The Lake is formed by Mutirikwi and Mushagashe Rivers where they meet at a point 40kms from Masvingo.

Lake Mutirikwi has been providing water to the City of Masvingo, as well as providing water activities to both local and international tourists. Main water activities at Lake Mutirikwi include Bass Fishing, Skiing, boating, yachting, and game viewing by boat.

St Andrews Chapel

The smallest Chapel in Zimbabwe; it seats just twelve people, has a weathervane of a fish on top of the small, sharp steeple that surmounts Chapel with its pointed granite walls outlined in black paint.

Built as a shrine to a departed daughter by her loving parents, a tiny blue latched gate leads to the Chapel.

Italian Chapel of St Francis of Assisi

The Chapel located 5 kilometers east of Masvingo along the Masvingo-Mutare highway, was built during the Second World War by Italian internees, not Prisoners of War as they were civilians, detained mostly in the African colonies and kept at the No.5 Internment camp at Masvingo. The Internees built the Chapel during the years 1942 to 1946.

Sikalo Lion Park

Sikato Lion Park is strategically situated near the Great Zimbabwe Monument and Lake Mutirikwi makes it easier for Tourists to consume the products without wasting time traveling. Simply wild conservancy is located on the Northern shores on Lake Mutirikwi. Sikato Lion Park has 2 lions one male and 2 females, in an enclosure. Simply wild boast 10 lions , including 1 oldest male who is 21 years old. Sikato Lion Park; the simple wild conservancy has changed the face of tourism for Masvingo.

Chamavara caves

The “huge human figure” which dominates the paintings is unique in Zimbabwe rock art. The site is also interesting, along with Dengeni Cave in the Zaka area and Rumwandi Rock Shelter (formerly called Impey’s Cave) as they were intensively studied by Leo Frobenius and Henri Breuil, both pioneers of rock art research in Southern Africa. Both denied a local origin for the rock paintings and saw Egyptian or Minoan influences and used their interpretations, however faulty, of these rock art paintings to provide evidence for their theories.

The Glenlivet Mountain Resort

A unique Hotel located at the foot of Nyuni Mountain where the valley in to the Kyle Recreational Park emanates. The establishment was named after the pristine and wild location of Glenlivet in Scotland. With a rich history of boasting a Scotch whisky named, The Glenlivet, the hotel was established in a similar set up of the place in Scotland. With the Livet River in Scotland influencing the name, the Hotel is also located near a river that runs from Nyuni Mountain into Lake Mtirikwi.

Established in 1918, signifying the hotel is more than 100 years old and one of the oldest tourism facilities in Masvingo Province. Despite being one of the oldest hotel in the Province, Glenlivet has stood the taste of time. Prior to opening its doors to guests from all over, the then Rhodesia, and abroad the hotel was privately owned property with a vast stretch of land used for farming, Glenlivet Hotel is 36km along Masvingo Mutare Highway then you turn right. It is believed that some of early British and European settlers working on the Great Zimbabwe were housed at the Hotel far from local disturbance and as years progressed the Hotel benefitted by the construction of the Lake Kyle (Mtirikwi – which spans from the dam wall running back past the meanders within the reach of the Hotel back to its source in Gutu, being fed by Pokoteke river and Mtirikwi river – (their confluence can be seen at the Hotel).

Glen Livet Hotel boasts an Anglo-Scottish theme in both ambience and set-up which has also mapped the service delivery to be of top notch quality. Being proud hosts of Her Majesty, The Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh on their state visit to Zimbabwe from the 10th-19th of October 1991.
Present day, the hotel stands in unison with nature having one of the most beautiful gardens in the valley and a picturesque environment overlooking Lake Mtirikwi as it stretches into the distant valley being swallowed by small Kopjes and Hills in the Kyle Recreational Park. The hotel provides accommodation and meals, conferencing, banqueting and activities like mountain hiking,horse riding, nature walks , swimming,sauna, volleyball and fishing.