Mutare (formerly Umtali) is considered the most beautiful town in Zimbabwe. The small city center with its wide streets and flowering trees hardly gives you an idea that Mutare, the third or fourth largest city, has 300,000 inhabitants. The city is located in the east of the country, only a few kilometers from the border with Mozambique.
- Beautifully situated town
- Gateway to the Vumba Mountains
- Good shopping facilities
Apart from a surprisingly diverse town museum, the town has little entertainment to offer.
A few hotels of international standard can be found in town, as well as privately run simple lodges. Most visitors, however, prefer to stay in the nearby Vumba Mountains (idea: Kwayedza Lodge) The Vumba Area can be reached in a 20 minutes drive by car.
In Mutare, as in the other larger cities of Zimbabwe, fast food of Western style is served, especially in the hotels. If you want authentic African food, you will find this at Kwayedza Lodge in the Vumba Mountains (please book in advance).
Mutare can be reached from the capital Harare in about 3 1/2 hours by car, on partly new tarred road. A small airfield is available, but there are no scheduled flights anymore
Train / Bus
A railroad connection Harare-Mutare with a night train with sleeper jused to run on an almost daily base. However, the general level of service has declined so much in the last few years that at most only hardened low-budget travelers can be expected to use this mode of transportation. According to recent information, the connection has been (temporarily?) discontinued altogether.
There are long-distance bus connections between Harare-Mutare-Bulawayo.