Masvingo

The home of the architectural magnificence of the Great Zimbabwe, The national monument from which the country takes its name. It is the oldest colonial settlement in Zimbabwe, and grew up around the encampment established in 1890 by the Pioneer Column. Even the very first cricket match in Zimbabwe is said to have taken place in Masvingo.

About Masvingo

Masvingo (before 1982 known as Fort Victoria) is a town in south-eastern Zimbabwe and the capital of Masvingo Province. The town is close to Great Zimbabwe, the national monument from which the country takes its name.

Known as Fort Victoria until 1982, when its name was briefly changed to Nyanda. Within a few months its name was again changed to Masvingo when it was discovered that Nyanda did not translate very well across dialects. It is the oldest colonial settlement in Zimbabwe, and grew up around the encampment established in 1890 by the Pioneer Column en route to their eventual destination, Salisbury. The Old Fort national monument is located in the centre of town, and was erected in 1891 as one of a series of fortifications to guard the route from Salisbury to the south. The very first cricket match in Zimbabwe is said to have taken place close by in 1890.

The landscape in southern Zimbabwe relatively flat, interspersed with rounded granite mountains. They are known as kopjes (Dutch: little heads) and they are often quite smooth. Mopane trees dominate the savannah landscape. Occasionally, one sees baobab trees.

The town lies near Lake Mutirikwe and is home to a golf course and a freight railway line. It lies on the Mucheke River, with Queen Victoria Gardens in the town centre and Shagashe Game Park and an Italian memorial church built during World War II nearby. It also has an airstrip.

There are a variety of tourist attractions within a thirty mile radius of the town. Within 20 km of Masvingo are the Great Zimbabwe National Monument and the Lake Mutirikwe Recreational Park and Kyle game resort with 12 different species, including the white rhino.