Great Zimbabwe, 36 km, is the main reason to go to Masvingo, you can go there from Masvingo by taxi, i was quoted 20 US $, or by minibus leaving from the town center before the TM supermarket at Hughes street for 2 $ (1,50 if you have change or if you are 2 or more), it might take half a hour until the bus is full. You arrive then at a turnoff to the Great Zimbabwe Hotel, about 1 km walk to the hotel, walk trough and another 600 m to the entrance, entrance fee is 15 $, if you want a guide add another 6 $.
There are three main musts in the Site:
- The Hill complex, is the upper part, up the hill. Was the first built part.
- The Great enclosure, at the low part.
- The Museum, small, where you can see the National Emblem Bird of Zimbabwe (the one in the bank notes) and some other interesting pieces.
To see all this relaxed you'll need all day.
The main highlight of the site is this group of buildings surrounded by a huge wall (11 metres high and 5 metres thick in some parts).
It is supposed to have been a royal place. The most impressive building inside is the 10 metres high round tower (see pic).
Sasda from $ 2,engish breakfast $ 5 in a small quiet garden, closing (like most other restaurants in Masvingo) early
Favorite Dish: Sadza (sort of polenta, in southafrica called pap) with beef
I arrived in Masvingo by local bus from Bulawayo. Then I took a smaller bus that took me to the ruins, a few kilometres away.
This second bus was so crowded that I had to stand all the way there (almost 15 minutes).
You have to tell the driver to stop you at the ruins (or follow the backpackers). Once you leave the bus, you have to walk 2 kilometres till the ruins entrance (or hitchhike if you are tired).
If you are in a hurry or wanna enjoy the ruins on your own, avoid the reconstructed Karanga Village.
You'll see there some folkloric dances and is really a tourist trap.
Favorite thing: The tall "Aloe Vera" plants that youcan find all over the place make the landscape very special and original.