Khami Ruins
Khami Ruins
4.5
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Constructed in the 16th century, this is a site of the former capital and major trading city.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
83 reviews
Excellent
36
Very good
36
Average
10
Poor
1
Terrible
0

GeneralShamu
New York City, NY849 contributions
Jun 2022
Go here int he morning before the sun starts beating down on you. There was no one here during our visit so it was a great experience to really take in the ruins. It's a must as part of a broader circular tour of the country from Harare to Victoria Falls (clockwise). This goes hand in hand with the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.

Time needed - up to two hours.
Written July 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gordon H
Longmont Co16 contributions
Apr 2012 • Family
I visited Khami ruins last week. The road is okay, by Zimbabwe standards. There was one road block, the police were polite and did not try to shake us down for a bribe. There is a site attendant and a police officer at the gate (just a chain between two poles, which the policeman lets down for you to drive over. Small entry fee required, worth every penny. Site is clean, and totally serene. There appear to be places to barbecue or picnic. No water available, so take what you need with you. A very photogenic place, highly recommended
Written April 12, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Darren Cummings
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe124 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
Decided to visit the ruins , road access poor to get to however once there cheap to enter, lovey views from the site, nice walk up to the dam wall, however the actual ruins a little un kept , however well worth the visit especially the dam at the far side.
Written March 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Suzanne S
Dunedin, FL50 contributions
May 2019 • Solo
Khami Ruins is a smaller, less-visited site than the Great Zimbabwe, but has all the same elements - the brick work, especially. It preceded the Great Zimbabwe’s building.
Written May 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

midway42
Georgia2,975 contributions
Jun 2018 • Solo
Part of the same cultural tradition as Great Zimbabwe but existing after its demise, the Khami Ruins are found about a 30 minute drive from Bulwayo. The property in question was part of the Torwa dynasty, which flourished from the 15th to 17th Centuries after the demise of its predecessor. Khami is the second largest stone structure in the country and remains relatively intact. I visited on my last day in Bulawayo; the admission fee was the standard $10, paid at the entrance desk which is found in a small museum that explains the time period of the monument.

The tour of the area was basically divided into two parts: a walk around the Hill Complex and a larger loop around everything else. The former is what most people come here for and consists of the most picturesque portion of the site, the terraced retaining walls of the Main Platform that form the three levels of the hill. Extensively restored, the Khami-style decorations (herringbone, checked, cord, chevron, etc.) are found here, as are remnants of the royal living quarters at the top. A quick walk over to the Cross Platform followed, best known for the Dominican Cross (go figure) and remnants of several dhaka houses nearby. The second portion of the tour was referred to by my guide as “The Ramble of the Lessers” and consisted of a longer walk around the area following the banks of the Khami River. Theirs is a bit of an historical smorgasbord found along the route, from the Kahmi Dam (built in 1928) to the Rock Gong to the fairly impressive Precipice Platform. The latter is the largest stone platform of the site and surrounded by water. Visits to the Passage Platform, a gameboard, and the Monolith Platform round out the several kilometer long walking route.

Overall, my visit to Khami Ruins was a pleasant enough diversion with a couple caveats. First, at this point I had seen a couple examples of stone ruins on the trip (Great Zim and those at Nalatale) and this bunch, while obviously historically important, simply didn’t add up in terms of grandeur or location. Second, there was quite a bit of conjecture (“we think this structure was this,” etc.) especially in the walking loop at the end.

I certainly don’t regret my visit here but would rank this third behind trips to the other two UNESCO cultural sites (Great Zimbabwe and Matobo Hills) I visited in the country. A recommended visit perhaps for those with a specific interest in the time period.
Written July 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sheralyn s
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe36 contributions
Oct 2017 • Friends
It's been a year since my first visit to the ruins. I went out with a friend who now resides in UK and she had never been to Khami Ruins. It was so disappointing to arrive there and find a very unhelpful member of staff in attendance. Nobody in our party had cash and we were advised that if Ecocash doesn't work we have to go home!! Signal was available at the boom and if it didn't work there, only the person carrying a Friends of the museum card could walk up the hill and try from there. It was a very frustrating 15 minutes of trying to pay. Surely a booster or something can be installed to help visitors pay to see this beautiful atttaction, the cash crisis in Zimbabwe is not going away and to tell visitors who have driven 22 km to Khami that they have to go home if they can't pay seems a bit offside and not very good for our world heritage site. The ruins are still marvellous and a much needed calming tonic after that frustration.
Written October 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ralfk0104
Kempton Park, South Africa28 contributions
Jan 2017 • Family
Don't rely on google maps to get you there from Bulawayo. You need to go into the next province and follow a road that doesn't show up on maps. However it is marked by road signs.
Take walking shoes. The ruins are spread over a vast area. You need 2 to 3 hours to walk through them. If it is hot have some water with you. Nothing available to buy.
It may be better to visit in the dry season when there are fewer plants and the ruins may be more visible.
I thought it was pricey for foreigners at $10 pp, especially if you are from a neighbouring country.
Written January 16, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Wantok-Traveller
Melbourne, Australia47 contributions
Aug 2014 • Friends
The road to the site less than 30 mins from Bulawayo is in poor condition (gravel and where sealed pot-holes) and considering it is a UNESCO site and second in importance to the Great Zimbabwe it is a disgrace. The museum was closed or more correctly not completed, with staff including police sitting under trees. No map was provided - luckily I had an old publication (Ruins of Rhodesia) which had excellent maps and explanations otherwise we would have missed 3/4 of the site. It is well worth the visit despite no assistance from the so called guides - they are in good condition and are a good comparison to the earlier Great Zimbabwe ruins.
Written August 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marcel G
Nyon, Switzerland451 contributions
Mar 2013 • Solo
Khame Ruins are somewhat outside of Bulawayo and can be a pain to reach if you don't have a car. You can rent a taxi which is quite expensive. I tried by commuter, but there is none that goes to the ruins themselves, so agreed with the driver to take me there and wait for me for a quite big amount of money. If you're in a group you'll be able to get a better price.

The ruins are not very big, but still quite impressive, because admittedly, the Shona's ancestors built them between 6 and 9 centuries ago (don't know exactly).
Written August 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Raymond W
Townsville, Australia4,558 contributions
Nov 2010 • Couples
The first-time traveler to Africa may not expect a wealth of historical sites, but if you pick your region carefully, you can make some great history-based itineraries. One of the most promising locations is Zimbabwe, home to some of the finest ancient monuments south of the Sahara.

The big drawcard is Great Zimbabwe, capital of a large African empire, but the lesser Khami Ruins, near Bulawayo, have their own charms. This small site is little-visited, despite its proximity to Zimbabwe's second city. Set amongst trees and shrubs, you will glimpse lots of birds flitting amongst the ruins, and even a few vervet monkeys. This natural setting provides a fair part of the appeal of this site, though the monkeys and even antelopes that frequent here are also a threat to the fragile stone walls of the ancient platforms. The stone walling and terraces wind around amongst the trees and hills, offering a glimpse of a vanished settlement. The most impressive ruin is a large wall which runs alongside a modern dam. The beautifully patterned stonework of this large wall is one of Zimbabwe's artistic treasures.
Written August 23, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Khami Ruins, Bulawayo

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