By Tendai Sahondo
As the bus ferrying tourism writers pulls up to a modest hotel in the center of Bulawayo, the vibe and thrill of Sanganai/ Hlangani is abundant in the air.
After settling down, we head out with a few pals to discover a city that angels must gaze in wonder under starlight. If Bulawayo is beautiful in the day, it morphs into majestic magnificence at night as its calming tranquility vanquishes all worries that one might bear.
Walking through Bulawayo’s deserted streets; one can feel the city’s salient heartbeat reverberating in the swift night breeze. Historic buildings and figures exude verdant charm, making the Bulawayo night experience truly breathtaking.
In these serene hours do the bevies of Bulawayo come out in their numbers to invade the numerous entertainment night spots doted across the city. A peep into these joints will reveal men shacking their shoulders on the dance floor while women wiggle more appetizing parts of their bodies. One wonders if Bulawayo bevies should be drafted as a touristic attraction in their own right.
Thumping sounds dominate Bulawayo’s ‘pleasure square’ which accommodates most of the exhilarating night spots, accompanied by a related form of tourism that is hard to recognize officially.
Speaking at the sidelines of the Sanganai/Hlanganani tourism expo, Bulawayo city economic development officer, Kholisani Moyo says it is relatively safe to roam and enjoy the city’s streets at night.
“We have a low criminal rate in Bulawayo; it is one of the safest tranquil cities you will ever encounter. We are encouraging night time tourism for the city as roaming the wide quite roads is refreshing and reinvigorating.
“To complement this serenity, the city has various entertainment spots including the ever popular sports bars where one can enjoy traditional meals and beer. Entertainment is also vast ranging from traditional dancing troupes to rendition bands,” he said.
Moyo said Bulawayo is exhibiting at this year’s Sanganai/Hlanganani expo under the theme, ‘Bulawayo @125, a leading gateway to Zimbabwe.’ He said the city has since adopted a new tourism concept of promoting agricultural tourism.
Bulawayo boasts of multiple touristic attractions including the Chipangali Wild Orphanage which is the rehabilitation center for wild animals under distress. Tourism enthusiasts can also learn more about the cultural and historical heritage of the country through the National Railways of Zimbabwe museum and the fascinating art gallery.
As we board the bus once again headed for the restless city, hearts are heavy as the phenomenal Bulawayo night experience has come to its conclusion. Fond memories of the city of kings that is prominent for its queen will be helpful in nursing a number of hangovers along the long road trip.