Earth : Africa : Southern Africa : Zimbabwe : Matabeleland : Bulawayo
Bulawayo is in Zimbabwe. It is the second-largest city in the country, after the capital Harare, and until recently was Zimbabwe's industrial capital. It is a relaxed, elegant city with tree-lined boulevards and an air of shabby gentility. However, it's worth a day or two -- you can find good shopping and a worthwhile movie theater -- if passing through. It means to slaughter. This is the place where Mzilikazi had his first capital and used to slaughter his enemies.
A train runs about once every day from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo. The trip takes about 18 hours with expected delays and costs $10 for First Class and S7 for Second Class--First Class generally has 4 bunks per compartment, Second Class generally has 6, although there are special "half compartments" with 2 and 3 bunks respectively. First Class comes with bedding provided, Second Class does not. There are also Fourth Class tickets which are non-sleepers.
Minibus taxis run from the township outside Victoria Falls to Bulawayo in the very early morning and takes approximately 7 hours.
The two most commonly recommended bus companies running daily services from Johannesburg to Bulawayo are Greyhound and Pathfinder. The journey costs $40-50 on high quality luxury coaches. There are many other bus companies on the route. Heading back bus company touts in Bulawayo will be sure to catch you if you walk near the Greyhound or Pathfinder offices.
The city's outdoor swimming pool is like something out of a 1920s movie, with its ranks of brightly painted changing booths. Lie on the grass and watch the cranes roost in the towering trees of the neighbouring botanic gardens.
The Bulawayo Centre is a modern shopping centre with chic clothes shops, an internet cafe and a cinema.
K & S Restaurant Robert Mugabe Road—diagonally opposite Cape to Cairo Restaurant Cheap and tasty local food. $1 for Samza and Beans up to $5 for the best Samza and meat dishes, with a range of liver, hooves and other animal parts in between.
Bulawayo Club Corner of 4th Street and 8th Avenue Old fashioned club with a wood-panelled bar and an open-air atrium. Dinner is around $11, including a soup course. Must book in advance—visit during the day or call 648689. Lunch is around $9 and does not require a reservation. Also a lovely place to go for a drink throughout the day.
Rainbow Hotel Burke's Paradise Lodge Holiday Inn
Berkeley Place Josiah Tongogara Road, close to Evelyn High Street and Central Police Station Cheap, comfortable accommodation. Twin room with a shower and sink for $20 per night (negotiated down from $25 per night). Friendly staff and close to the town centre.