When to fly
Spring is a great time to book flights, as Harare hosts a number of festivals, including the Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA) and the Harare Jazz Festival, both held in April. The city comes alive during HIFA, which brings together international acts and Zimbabwean artists for a week jam-packed full of performances, including funk, jazz, classical music, opera, soul, theatre, afrobeat and dance. Harare Jazz Festival is another popular music event. Listen to famous African jazz musicians, while those of you hoping to nurture your own talent can take part in workshops.
Flights to Harare and hotel rates are cheaper between the months of November and March, which is the warm, wet season. The weather is pleasant around this time, although you'll experience a great deal of rainfall, which may affect your holiday activities.
Harare has a laid back vibe and you'll find excellent works of art and crafts there as well as exceptional restaurants serving traditional and international dishes.
Zimbabwe is known for its arts and crafts and the National Gallery, located in Harare Gardens, presents monthly exhibits that feature impressive African and contemporary works. Here you'll see diverse collections of photographic images, wooden carvings, stone sculptures, paintings and much more. The gift shop attached sells a variety of Zimbabwean arts and crafts and books too.
Whilst in Harare, try some authentic Zimbabwean cuisine including Sadza - a traditional maize meal.
Mbare Market attracts adventurous tourists. The many items sold here range from Shona sculptures, masks and weaved baskets, to locally grown vegetables and fresh produce. You can mingle with the Zimbabwean people here and learn more about their various customs, culture and traditions.
The Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) is worth attending, if you are in the city during the month of August. This event runs for 10 days.
There are three main seasons in Harare: a warm, wet (November to March/April), a warm, dry (May to August) and a hot, dry (September/October). This should be taken into account when booking flights.High peak season in Harare occurs between the months of April and October, when the weather is warm to hot and dry. From May to August daily temperatures are on average between 14 to 16 degrees Celsius, although it can reach the low to mid-20s. It should be noted that temperatures can rise quite considerably between September and October, to around the high 20s.
Getting around Harare
There are very few buses available for tourists or locals that travel to the city. Therefore, most people rely on taxis. Private cabs are easy to find outside major hotels. Taxi ranks are stationed around, mainly at First Street, Nelson Mandela Avenue, Union Avenue and Samora Machel Avenue.
Most tourists will arrive at Harare International Airport (HRE) which is around 8 miles (13 km) from Harare city centre. Shuttle bus services are provided at the airport. They stop at most of the large hotels and prominent places located in the city. Selected hotels also offer shuttle services for their guests. You'll find taxi cabs parked outside the Flight Arrivals area. It takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes to drive from the airport to the city centre, depending on traffic.