We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great Zimbabwe” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe
Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 1 Attractions in Masvingo
Type: Historic Sites, Monuments/ Statues, Cultural
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This is now the great capital of great significance ancient monument south of the Sahara; in Africa it is second in size and importance to the Egyptian Pyramids. The towering stone houses Dzimba dzamabwe were home of 2000 shona speaking people that prospered between 12th and 15th centuries and its 270 hectares in size. That's where the beautiful stylish fish eagle was found i.e, the Zimbabwe bird on the national flag. The country was later on named Zimbabwe derived from the ruins.Every structure was built using a dry stone technquie- entirely without mortar-involving millions of stones, each one supporting another.
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great Zimbabwe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

This was my second visit in 3 years. I would recommend that you use a guide - we used Phillip and he was fantastic, great sense of humour, knew the history and was very patient. Cost was only $3 for 2-3 hours.

The museum is OK by African standards although it is a little disconcerting to have police follow you around the museum.

Visited August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

90 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    44
    35
    8
    2
    1
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Gweru, Zimbabwe
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Awe Inspiring”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

Great Zimbabwe is an ancient city which may have housed the heart of the Munhumutapa empire. It has two main complexes, a hilltop complex and a lower complex. Getting to the hilltop complex is a bit of a hike but not a tough one. Yet it's worth it to take the time to get there as you get to see wonderful ancient architecture and the best views of the second complex below.
The complex below has high walls which are dry built (no mortar used). The highlight of it is the conical tower which is about two stories high, all dry built.
Its amazing how ancient people built this structure, it must have taken years to build. That it still stands today is testament of their architectural prowess. Having visited the pyramids at Giza, I still find this place awe inspiring. lots of accommodation nearby (some within walking distance) plus proximity to lake mutirikwi means you wont be short of other activities to do while in the area.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“See it once but not twice.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

Very nice surroundings. Great view. But the entrance fees are a bit over the top and at the gate you are greeted by a strange police man who seems to have drunk a bit too much local ale (perhaps a one time occurrence?). We chose not to use a guided tour. The museum is of very poor quality and you have a guard following your every step to check if you do not take pictures (in the so called museum). The Great Zimbabwe is worth a visit if you are in the surroundings but do not plan a whole vacation based on it because you would be a bit disappointed.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Khalkis, Greece
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“The oldest ruins in Africa”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

The place holds a great energy. The ruins are still there since 14th century and its amazing to see 15mt height walls to stand still without any mortar at all.

Its the first ancient building in sub saharan Africa and its a MUST see if you make it to south Zimbabwe.

The campsite which is adjacent to the ruins is awesome. A spectacular green field full of shade is what a camper/ back packer wants! However the facilities are completely run down but still the place is amazing.

We really liked the fact that its very reasonably priced both the accommodation and the visit to the site.

Highly recommended attraction!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Zim history-nice breath of fresh air”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

Great Zimbabwe is a historic site 3 hours south of Harare, the capital, by car and is near the town of Masvingo. The ruins are concentrated in three different spots on the site: the "Hill Ruins" are atop a hill where there are shy monkeys-they are accessible by three passageways, the easiest being the longest and the hardest being the shortest; the "Great Enclosure" is the biggest and consists of a walled in village; the last is the "Valley Ruins" which are ruins of stone houses set in a field with special looking trees.
The entry price is quite high... 15$ for foreigners and 7$ for Zimbabweans.
The bathrooms are incredibly clean.
There is a small, well kept souvenir shop, and apparently there is a snack shop/restaurant, but it was closed when we visited (it was during the weekend..?).
All in all, it's worth a stop for people who are interested in Zim history, and is fun for families with kids-children can run around and let their energy loose while climbing boulders.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Great Zimbabwe also viewed

Mana Pools National Park, Mashonaland Central Province
Matopos National Park, Matabeleland South Province
 
Kariba, Mashonaland West Province
Bulawayo, Bulawayo Province
 

Been to Great Zimbabwe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Great Zimbabwe, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.