National Herbarium and Botanic Garden

The 58-hectare National Botanic Gardens contain examples of the diverse plant life that thrive in Harare's pleasant climate. Most Zimbabwean species are represented, as well as specimens from Southern Africa. It's a great place to spend the day. One can walk one's dog, have a light meal in the restaurant and generally enjoy the situation. For anyone interested in Zimbabwe plants this is one definate place to visit.

About The National Herbarium and Botanic Garden

The National Herbarium and Botanic Garden is a center for research and information on the indigenous plants of Zimbabwe.  It s responsible for the study of Zimbabwe flora in order to promote its conservation, development and sustainable use.  Its mission is To Increase Knowledge and Appreciation of Zimbabwean Plants.  It fulfills this mission by looking after the plant specimens that are the essential resource material required in studying plant characters in order to arrive at their identity and names.  The National Herbarium stores preserved plant specimens while the living specimens are grown in the National Botanic Garden.

The Herbarium has about 500 000 plant specimens.  It is the main reference center for research on identifying and naming plants of the Flora Zambesiaca Region.  This region comprises Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana  and the Caprivi.

The Botanic Garden grows over 900 trees and shrubs of Zimbabwe in groups to show the associations that are found in various parts of the country.  It has sections with trees of the Highveld, Lowveld and Eastern Highlands.  Also growing are a number of trees from other countries that have climatic conditions similar to Zimbabwe e.g. Asia and Australia.

The Education Centre disseminates information on the plants of Zimbabwe and the plant kingdom in general to educational institutions especially schools.

Aims and Objectives

  • To conserve, enhance and curate Zimbabwe's principal collection of  botanical specimens for national and international reference and study.
  • To do scientific research and documentation on Zimbabwean plants and plant communities based on the herbarium collection and field surveys
  • To provide botanical services to Government Departments, NGOs, students, researchers and the public.
  • To provide a focal point for the international network of herbaria, in order to facilitate research on the flora of Zimbabwe and the region by national and international researchers.
  • To provide a pleasant and peaceful environment in which the Harare community can enjoy activities that are compatible with Botanic Garden management.
  • To raise revenue that will help in the development and maintenance of the National Herbarium and Botanic Garden. 

Facilities

The Botanic Garden Restaurant / Teahouse
This is open daily from 0730 hours to 1800 hours.

Auditorium
This open-air-under-thatch building is hired out for meetings and workshops.

Venue for Photography / Films
The Botanic Garden is a popular spot for wedding photos, especially around the lake.  It is also used by a number of companies in the shooting of films and adverts.

The Desert House
In this house are plants from the dry areas of Southern Africa.

Mazowe Botanic Reserve
This is a 48-hactare outstation of the National Herbarium and Botanic Garden.  It is  located some 30km North of Harare in Christonbank Township.  It provides a good example of the vegetation of the highveld (miombo).  The Reserve has over 300 plant species representing about 70 families.

To view a list of records for The National Botanic Garden Harare please visit the Flora of Zimbabwe Website