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“UNESCO cannot always be right” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Masvingo
Certificate of Excellence
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.
Level Contributor
96 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“UNESCO cannot always be right”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2013

...because decisions there are taken following political considerations, majorities, regional representation and a host of other things. So when Great Zimbabwe is ranked as the world's #4 World Heritage Site, you might be right in wondering where the global perspective is. Great Zimbabwe is a very impressive site. It bears witness to a great culture, both very advanced and very simple. It stands up well to comparisons with many other sites of historic importance, and it is unique in Sub-Saharan Africa. But on a global scale, it is a minor site.

Practical considerations: When on the way through Masvingo, do go to Great Zimbabwe. When just having two days in Zim, Great Zimbabwe is only a must if you're a real history buff and do not care much about the great national parks. Infrastructure around Great Zim is relatively good. Best place to stay probably Norma Jeane's.

Do take a guide, this is relatively inexpensive. Without a guide, it is much more difficult to understand what the whole place was about. The museum reminds one of the museums in the Eastern Bloc many years ago and is not really worth the visit. Unless you want to find out why Great Zimbabwe stands for unity in today's Zimbabwe.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Akka J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 reviews from our community

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Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Interesting but nothing exceptional”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2013

Well, from what I read about those ruins... it is of course nice & interesting to see them, but for the travel matters / logistics it requires to go there, I'm not sure I would redo unless you have time and does not matter about costs too much.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank seb_gva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
169 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Must see if you're in Masvingo”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2013

We did a quick 1 hour run round at 6am before returning to Joburg. The ruins are incredible, when one considers the planning and work involved in the building process. Unfortunately even though the ruins are open from 6 the museum only opens at 8 so we missed out there. One cannot visit Masvingo and not check out this amazing place.

Visited April 2013
Thank Karl J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“wonderful place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

Great Zimbawbe is really beautiful! We got a guide to show us around and it was really informative and good. The price for the guide is very little, so absolutely worth it. We stayed at the campsite on grounds (which was very good, too!!), so had the chance to walk around the Great Zimbabwe also outside opening hours. Wonderful!

Visited August 2012
Thank HelgaSt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Highly Impressionalable surroundings - needs a secon visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2013

It always ceases to amaze me that so much history is hidden in thoses walls and towers, all the hard work it must have taken to build this, it must have taken a special group of people to devise a plan to carry and source all thoses perfectly fitted (no cement here) and plan the contruction of this amazing site. Second to none. A good learning experience for all schools and budding archeologists alike.

Visited December 2012
Thank Shirley Rosemar... L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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