Natural History Museum Of Zimbabwe

Old Bulawayo

King Mzilikazi Khumalo left Zululand in 1822 and by 1840 had established the Ndebele state in southwestern Zimbabwe. While preserving their language and “Zulu-identity”, the Ndebele people expanded through the incorporation of many other peoples.

The state was a multi-ethnic, complex society.


Old Bulawayo was established by King Lobengula as his capital in 1870 after the death of his father King Mzilikazi in 1868. It’s layout to an extent reflects the complex heritage of the Ndebele people.

In 1881, after 11 years of occupation, Lobengula moved his capital to what is now the modern city of Bulawayo. He ordered the destruction of the old settlement by fire.

In 1990, National Museums & Monuments of Zimbabwe identified koBulawayo as suitable as an educational and tourist centre.

In 1998 it was reconstructed as a theme park. Structures such as a wagonshed, the outer palisade, King Lobengula’s palace, 8 beehive huts and cattle kraal, as well as a nearby interpretive centre were constructed.

Unfortunately in August 2010, a serious bush fire sweep through the site, destroying much of what had been rebuilt. Only the Interpretive Centre survived unscathed.

Efforts are currently underway to reconstruct the site.

Your Shopping Cart

  • Your basket is empty.

Please Review Us

Please Review Us

It would mean so much to us if you were to leave us a Google Review. By doing so, you would be telling others how much you like our Museum.

Museum NewsletterPlease sign up ...

Please subscribe and be kept up to date as to what is happening at the museum. We have events that cover the following:

  • environmental talks
  • documentaries
  • movies for children