German tourists keen on Zimbabwe partnerships German tourists play drums at Thabiso Youth centre in Makokoba, Bulawayo, yesterday. ‑ Picture by Eliah Saushoma

Michelle Moyo, [email protected]

A GROUP of German tourists has expressed  interest in exploring inter-cultural and tourism partnerships with Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, a vibrant cultural hub with a rich history. 

The move is part of an effort to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, with Bulawayo remaining a favourable and safe tourism destination that boasts a range of untapped attractions and unique offerings. 

By promoting cultural tourism, Bulawayo can preserve its heritage, boost its economy and share its unique culture with the world.

Known as the “City of Kings,” Bulawayo offers immense potential for cultural tourism as it is steeped in history. It was once the capital of the Ndebele Kingdom and has played a significant role in Zimbabwe’s journey to independence. 

The city is home to numerous historical sites, including the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, the Railway Museum and the Khami Ruins and Matobo National Park, both Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Umguza Nature Reserve, Tshabalala Sanctuary, Silwane Nature Reserve and Chipangali Wildlife Sanctuary are also located in the vicinity of the city, while Makokoba Township is also a place to go for visitors who want a feel of township tourism.

Bulawayo mayor, Councillor David Coltart, said that the partnership with Germany should continue to allow the city to overcome water challenges. 

Tourism remains a potential low-hanging fruit with the potential to generate foreign currency and create employment in the country.

einhold Hemker who led the delegation tries out his mbira skills at the craft market in the city centre. ‑ Picture by Eliah Saushoma

Addressing about 15 German tourists yesterday, Clr Coltart said Bulawayo and surrounding areas have vast heritage sites to tour.

“We have the National Art Gallery, which is one of the best museums in Southern Africa. 

We hope in the future to continue with great future heights of cooperation between the two nations,” he said.

The Zimbabwe German Society 

project coordinator, Reverend Kerstin Hemker, said the idea of returning to Zimbabwe is to further explore the untapped natural wonders and forge partnerships.

“The country has cultural tourism places which essentially motivates us to learn more, especially in Matabeleland. We have toured almost the whole of the region in discovering, experiencing and consuming the tangible and intangible cultural attractions/products in a tourist destination.

“We are yet to go to other cultural places to explore more of the history of Zimbabwe,” said Rev Hemker.

Her husband, Dr Reinhold Hemker, who is president of the German Zimbabwe Society, said they are organising more intercultural programmes and want to have partnerships with schools, citing Msitheli High School in Bulawayo.

“We hope we can start more programmes together, not only in Bulawayo but in other cities in the country,” noted Dr Hemker.

Germany is presently the second-largest source country for tourists to Zimbabwe from Europe after the United Kingdom.

Dr Hemker has been president of the German Zimbabwe Society since 1999.

German tourists facilitated Highlanders Football Club’s tour of their country in 1987 and also bought two buses for the club. – @Lo7246Lovelyn



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