Top Restaurants in Harare and Bulawayo

Harare

Amanzi is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens in the heart of the northern suburbs of Harare, and is regarded as one of the top restaurants in Harare. Housed in an elegantly-converted Colonial farmhouse, warm interiors flow through open arches, and a nearby garden waterfall and crackling fire brazier create a romantic ambience for enjoying delicious international food. Harare Hotel Perfectly situated in Eastlea and close to the most popular accommodation in Harare, as well as to the business hubs of Newlands and Msasa, and a tranquil haven from the hustle and bustle of the city, Garwe is highly recommended by locals. Here you can sample traditional Zimbabwean cuisine including guinea fowl, goat, and ox-tail, as well as various vegetable dishes. Food is also eaten in the traditional way – with the hands.

Exuding elegance and charm, Victoria 22 is housed in a beautifully restored Colonial house and is a favourite of the well-heeled locals. Quite formal and expensive by Harare standards, the restaurant offers a set menu with four choices and undoubtedly the best food in town. An evening of fine dining here is a must!

Of course, the Cresta Hotels range of restaurants are worth mentioning here too. Tiffany’s Restaurant, in Cresta Jameson Hotel is a beautiful feature restaurant with excellent service, outstanding cuisine and wine. and an elegant ambience. Cresta Jameson Hotel’s Sandawana Restaurant, serves delicious English buffet breakfasts and lunches, as well as buffet and á la carte dinners in a comfortable and informal setting. Amanzi Restaurant

Contemporary-chic décor, gourmet cuisine, a fine selection of imported wines and a relaxed ambience greet you upon arrival at Chatters Restaurant in Harare’s Cresta Lodge. The comprehensive menu offers delightful favourites, accompanied by excellent service with a smile.  Situated on the ground floor of the Cresta Oasis Hotel, Café Afrique also offers a wide selection of innovative and tempting Zimbabwean dishes, excellent wines and outstanding service.

Bulawayo

Exuding a cosy, old world charm with thick wooden ceiling beams and leaded-light windows, the Tudor-styled Inglenook, located in the Cresta Churchill Hotel, is one of best restaurants in Bulawayo. Upholstered ladder-back chairs and highly polished bench tables create a warm, English pub-type ambience with a comprehensive menu and wine list. Staff are friendly, service is excellent and meals are reasonably priced.Bulawayo Restaurants

Experience fine-dining at its best in the beautiful, long-standing Nesbitt Castle, surrounded by exquisitely landscaped gardens. Experience 21st century luxury, intertwined with the gothic, medieval feel of 12th century romance in Bulawayo’s most sought-after destination.

With glorious views over Bulawayo, Horizons is an upmarket and contemporary-chic eatery conveniently located in the heart of the city, close to your Bulawayo accommodation. Enjoy a drink at the sleek bar before dining on the outside terrace next to a tinkling waterfall and swimming pool.

Fine Dining in Botswana

There are a number of restaurants and eateries in Botswana that serve excellent cuisine, but the cream of the crop would have to be dining by candlelight in one of the many luxury game lodges in this exciting country.Botswana Restaurant

However, if you are simply passing through one of the big cities, there are a few upmarket establishments and hotels in Botswana that are worth a visit. Gaborone’s ‘The Mall,’ the central market district and the tourist town of Maun have the best selection of restaurants, with a varied choice of international and local cuisine.

The Beef Baron Grill and Rib Room (Grand Palm Hotel and Casino, Gaborone) is your best bet when it comes to fine dining in a luxury setting. This elegant eatery serves traditional Botswana cuisine, as well as steak and ribs, and is as opulent as it gets.

Rodizio (Riverwalk Shopping Centre, Gaborone) is another upscale eatery and meat-eater’s delight, with great service and catchy live music on weekends, while The Beijing Red Lantern Chinese Restaurant (5659 Legolo Road, Broadhurst, Gaborone) serves the best Asian cuisine in town.The small town of Maun, which is generally a hub for day-safari trips to the Okavango Delta and other north-eastern hotspots, offers a couple of good places to eat. Try Homey Hilary’s (Mathiba 1 St, Maun) for delicious vegetarian fare, which includes homemade bread, soups, salads and bean specialties. The well-known Sports Bar and Restaurant (Shorobe Road, Sedie, Maun) is a classy watering hole with chef-inspired dishes from an extensive Western menu, including pizza and pastas, while The Curry House Restaurant (The Mall, Maun) is unpretentious, inexpensive and serves delicious, authentic Indian curries.

Some of the best places to eat in Botswana are set in game lodges close to the major towns or in the national parks and wildlife reserves, the pride of Botswana Tourism. Serving mostly local cuisine with a nod towards meat-heavy Western dishes, settings range from simple to glamorous, depending on the accommodation itself.

Chobe Game Lodge (Chobe National Park) has a brilliant reputation regarding food, and famous names who’ve loved the place include Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, while the diminutive Tuli Safari Lodge (Northern Tuli National Park) is also beautiful and serves great food.

The Newly Refurbished Cresta Riley’s Hotel

The city of Maun, also known as ‘the ‘Gateway to the Okavango Swamps’ is fast becoming Botswana’s tourism capital, providing the perfect base and starting point for tours to the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Pans.

While the town offers a comfortable range of accommodation to suit every budget, the newly refurbished Cresta Riley’s Hotel should be on the top of the list, offering both business and leisure travellers a comfortable, home-away-from-home retreat in the heart of the city.Botswana Hotel Located on the banks of the Thamakalane River, the elegant hotel offers three-star accommodation in the form of suites, twin rooms and double rooms.  Boasting private balconies with beautiful views of the river and the hotel gardens, each room features modern amenities, including air-conditioning, multi-channel television, tea/ coffee making facilities and direct-dial telephones, to ensure a comfortable and relaxed stay.

A variety of convenient services are on offer, such as a 24-hour reception service, Internet access, modern conference facilities and room service.  A sparkling swimming pool is the ideal place to relax and unwind with a drink from the outdoor pool bar, and Riley’s Grill serves delicious continental and full breakfasts, a varied a la carte menu for lunch and delectable dinners.Maun Hotel Stylish and modern conference facilities cater for up to 80 guests, with state-of-the-art technology and spacious boardrooms to ensure all business guests are comfortable.

The warm and welcoming hotel staff are at the ready to cater for your every need, such as assisting with the arrangement trips in and around Maun, including game viewing, mokoro and boat trips, birding and visits to the local Crocodile Farm.  They can also book trips further afield to the Okavango Delta, Moremi, Chobe National Park and Savuti, leaving guests to worry about nothing except relaxing in style.

The Cresta brand is synonymous with luxurious style and service excellence and promises unrivalled attention to detail for a happy and comfortable stay.

Traditional SeTswana Cuisine

The Tswana migrated into central southern Africa in the 14th century. As hunters, herders and agriculturists, they found the land abundant in game, lush grazing for cattle, and fertile soil for the cultivation of sorghum, beans, pumpkins and sweet melons. Maize, introduced later by Portuguese explorers, was also highly productive. Over time, these came to form the foundation of Botswana traditional cuisines.


With the country among the most developed in Southern Africa, visitors will find contemporary Botswana food to be a blend of external influences and traditional cooking. Mozambique king prawns, smoked salmon and a variety of European and Eastern dishes can be found, but experiencing local foods is something not to be missed!

Much like the rest of Botswana, Francistown traditional cuisine is based on lamb, mutton, chicken and other meats (beef being the most popular). Sorghum and maize are the main crops grown in Botswana and are popular for breakfast. The staple food is called Bogobe, made by pouring maize and sorghum flour into boiling water and cooking until a soft paste forms.

 

Francistown restaurants offer guests plenty of traditional dishes to choose from. Dried bean leaves are a popular SeTswana food. The national dish of Botswana is called Seswaa, a meat stew served over thick polenta or pap. The meat is boiled with onion and pepper (tradition mandates nothing else be added). Once the meat has cooked for about two hours, it is shredded and pounded with salt to add flavour. The final serving comes with thick maize meal and a leafy vegetable called Morogo.

 

For the more adventurous travellers, the Mopane worm, native to Southern Africa, is a common delicacy in Botswana restaurants. The caterpillar is cooked in hot ashes, boiled, or dried and fried.

 

The experience of dining in Francistown can be complemented by a sampling of traditionally brewed alcoholic drinks. Bojalwa ja Setswana (the beer of Batswana) is made from fermented sorghum seeds. A commercially produced and packaged beer, Chibuku, is a favourite drink in villages, towns, and in some parts of the city. Travellers staying overnight can look forward to tranquil accommodation, private space and evening entertainment after a day out experiencing the best traditional cuisine Botswana has to offer.

Harare Weddings at Cresta Lodge

Zimbabwe weddings are held in locations as diverse as the country itself. From the inner city to the majestic Victoria Falls, safari weddings or onboard the famous houseboats of Lake Kariba, these joyful occasions are characterised by a wealth of destinations and exciting activities for the choosing.

 

Amongst the Harare wedding venues, the Cresta Lodge is surrounded by beautiful gardens and set in a tranquil environment. Situated just outside the city centre, the hotel is ideal for the bride and groom wishing to experience an outdoor event without having to voyage outside of Harare.

Just a few kilometres away, the Cresta Jameson hosts an in-house chapel, greatly simplifying the event planning for the big day. Receiving guests from outside the capital is not the only advantage conferred by the short distance from the airport – deciding on a honeymoon getaway is one of the most exciting things when planning a wedding, and close proximity to the airport means you can rely on a speedy departure. In fact, the entire concept of a honeymoon is to get away from it all and at Cresta Jameson, you can!

 

The modern, yet stylish, conference centre at Cresta Lodge can seat several hundred guests, making the venue ideal for large wedding parties; while the nearby Cresta Jameson is an option for more intimate events. With a range of menus to choose from, the dedicated food and beverage team are able to satisfy all tastes and budgets.

Both venues offer complimentary amenities and 4-star Harare accommodation for the days before and after the big event. Visitors can look forward to round-the-clock buffet catering and à la carte lunch and dinner; while drinks and light snacks can be enjoyed over jovial conversation at the Continental and Chatters bars, which is open until late.

 

With top-notch reception, accommodation, dining and hosting facilities, whether you plan on grand splendour or a more personal wedding reception, these hotels are sure to exceed all expectations. A warm welcome, exceptional service and a charming atmosphere all go a long way to ensure that any wedding held in Harare is a unique experience with memories to last a lifetime.

Weddings at Cresta Marang Gardens

With summer garden weddings being all the rage these days, Cresta Marang Gardens have been a hot choice for couples wanting a high class experience under the trees and surrounded by gorgeous African landscape.  It is conveniently located just 5km out of Francistown, a thriving and bustling town some 400km north of Botswana’s capital city Gaborone, 500km south of Kasane and 200km west of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.

Located on the beautifully scenic banks of the Tati River, it is an ideal location for a dream garden wedding.  Guests will be collected from the airport in Francistown, a complimentary service, and accommodated in the 105 rooms available.  If there is an overflow, the well-maintained campsite can accommodate those who don’t mind a slightly more rustic stay in the heart of nature’s finest offerings.  The rooms in the hotel are air-conditioned and all of them, with the exception of the budget rooms, have coffee and tea making facilities as well as a television.  There is Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Most wedding couples choose to celebrate for an entire weekend, and the festivities flow freely from the cocktail lounge to the pool bar and to the casino in the evenings, according to the guests’ wishes.  On the big day, everyone can relax while the bride and groom get ready for their big day.  There is a flurry of activity as staff set up the wedding reception under the shade of the trees on freshly cut and manicured lawns, while in the kitchen; staff will be preparing five star cuisine suitable for the couple’s perfect day.

In the unlikely event the weather turns and the reception cannot be held under the trees outside, the hotel will ensure that one of its conference rooms is transformed into a room reflecting the essence of romance that will ensure that the day more than meets expectations.

Accommodation is arranged as follows:

  • 12 rondavels which have king-sized beds.
  • 14 chalets with king-sized beds and can sleep up to five people each, these are perfect for families.
  • 22 executive rooms with twin ¾ sized beds.
  • 8 budget rooms.
  • 1 cottage with a kitchenette and a small lounge.

 

If you have guests coming from around the world, Marang Gardens is the perfect place to impress your guests with an African garden wedding.

Camping in Francistown

Francistown, founded in 1897, is the second largest city in Botswana, and is often referred to as the capital of the north.  Once a gold mining mecca, named after Daniel Francis, an English mining concessionaire who acquired prospecting licenses in the region in 1869, the town is dotted with abandoned mines reminiscent of its glory days.


Today Francistown is a hub of textile milling and leather manufacturing, but is often used as a stopover for travellers through Botswana, and is a particular favourite for those who love the outdoor camping style, with the two most popular spots being Marang Hotel and the Woodlands Stopover.

While it may seem strange to camp at a hotel, Marang Gardens offers the best of both worlds.  It has perfectly manicured lawns and offers shady campsites.  There are rustic tables and chairs set out under the trees for when the weather is good and you want to eat your meals ’al fresco’.  The shared ablutions are clean and comfortable.  There are two separate rates for camping, and for electricity, but the convenience of having the electricity far outweighs the nominal fee for it.

Your safety is number one priority here, so you will see guards patrolling the grounds 24 hours day and night.

If leaving behind all creature comforts is not your idea of a great camping experience, then this spot is perfect for you.  The pool bar offers televised sports action and drinks, and there is internet access from the hotel reception should you be unwilling to cut your ties with the outside world.

The Woodlands Stopover campsite is covered in lush grass and the sites are well spaced.  There is a swimming pool close to the campsite – a welcome respite for those who have travelled far, particularly in the summer months.  Electricity is paid for separately, and the ablutions here are clean and offer hot showers throughout the day and night.

Friendly staff is always on hand to assist you with any queries and each site has their own braai facility.

While there is not a lot to do in Francistown, camping here certainly offers plenty of opportunity to relax and take in the breath-taking scenery of the surrounding African landscapes.

Matobo National Park & Matopos Hills

Known as the Matobo National Park, the Matopos National Park, is a worthwhile destination for a day trip from the surrounding Zimbabwe hotels, and is the oldest park in Zimbabwe. The area has a long and interesting history, varied species to view and several sights of historic importance. The Matopos Hills found within Matopos Naitonal Park, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Formed over 2 million years ago, the Motopos Hills encompass some 3100 square kilometres of Southern Zimbabwe, close to Bulawayo, and were first inhabited by the San about 2000 years ago.  Reminders of their presence such as rock paintings, clay ovens and cave dwellings have been discovered here and faithfully preserved for visitors to marvel at today. Continue reading

Cultural Tourism in Botswana

Botswana is approximately the size of France, and is the 48th largest country in the world, with about 70% of its land made up of the Kalahari Desert.  It is a country with great ethic variety, and diverse, interesting people. To gain insight into the myriad of colourful customs and traditions that are incorporated into the daily lives of those living within Botswana’s landlocked borders, visitors should embark on one of the many enlightening cultural tours available.

Guests can also do a cultural trip to meet the BaYei people of the north-west district of Ngamiland.  This Bantu-speaking tribe have many survival skills, including novel fishing methods which are used in conjunction with skilful canoe building techniques, which they brought with them from Zambia.  The people of the baYei tribe are also very good at understanding the language of plants and their medicinal benefits, and on the tour you can learn which plants are believed to work best for particular ailments.

There are interesting past hunting skills to be learned, and guests will be able to get a better understanding of the traditional practices of initiation at the Initiation School.  Here you will find out more about the important transition from puberty to adolescence and ultimately manhood, through traditional dancing which interprets the two life stages.

Visit the oldest inhabitants of this area, the San, who have for thousands of years, lived off the harsh semi-desert environment of the Kalahari.  Tours will take you to meet the San people and learn about their hunter-gatherer lifestyle which has been held together for centuries through the ancient art of story-telling.

A fantastic way to immerse yourself in San culture is to experience the Kuru San Dance Festival, which is a 3-day celebration of San culture.  The festival has been held in the small village of D’Kar every second year in August since 2008, and welcomes Bushmen from the whole Kalahari region.  This includes not only Botswana, but its neighbouring countries of South Africa and Namibia as well, who make music, sing, take part in healing dances and socialise around the fire together.

It is a fascinating experience, and the experience of seeing these thousand year old traditions being practiced will make a lasting impression on you.

 

PALAPYE – THE EDUCATIONAL, MINING AND INDUSTRIAL HUB

Morupule Coal Mine

It was established in 1973 and is owned by Debswana which is a partnership between the government of Botswana and De Beers. It was established to supply the Bamangwato Concession Limited Company which mines copper and nickel in Selebi Phikwe. The mine also supplies both the local and regional market such as the Morupule Power Station nearby which has helped in the reduction of deforestation in the area form the traditional use of firewood for heat in the chores of everyday life. It is located just 15km form the village of Palapye.

 

Morupule Power Station “B”

 

It was born out of the need for Botswana to supply her citizens with electricity (self-sufficient). The station was and is to supply electricity since Botswana’s main supplier Eskom pulled back in assisting Botswana with electricity

 

BIUST (Educational Hub)

 

This is short for Botswana International University for Science and Technology was established by the government of Botswana to focus on Science, Technology and Engineering with its lectures from all over the world. It is the first of its kind in Botswana and it is just located behind Kurumela ward which is opposite the Water Treatment Plant for Water Utilities.

Botswana Railways Station

 

It offers seamless, rail-based transport solutions to consumers who need to move a series of merchandise for the mining sector and primary industries. It has been operational since 1897. It is located in the heart of Palapye popularly known as Old Mall.