Two Trips in One: Mabukuwene Nature Reserve & Bulawayo Golf Club

By Professor Ross G. Cooper

Formerly: Department of Physiology, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.


The fresh air, flora and fauna, and spectacular beauty of the Zimbabwean countryside, is unrivalled anywhere in the world. It is a country embedded deep in culture, tradition and history. There is never a dull moment in Bulawayo, the City of Kings and the World Heritage Matopos burial place of Mzilikazi and Cecil John Rhodes, colloquially named Skies, and one can spend some quality time exploring the innumerable treasures and sites on offer in the sprawling city with wide streets originally constructed to allow a 12-span of oxen to complete a 360° circle. Once the capital of The Great King, the Elephant, Lobengula, son of The Great Conquer Mzilikazi, the disobedient and aberrant Chief who fled the wrath of Shaka, King of the Zulus, it is a historical city in South-Eastern Zimbabwe filled with friendly people, large open spaces, fresh air and delightful sunshine.

If one likes the outdoors, for instance, they should not be reluctant to visit a peaceful, xerophytic nature reserve on their way to an impressive game of golf! This site is extremely rich in natural flora and fauna, rock formations and soils, ornithological life, is tranquil and peaceful, and provides a good break from the stresses of city life including work, home, friends and family! Many clubs meet at the reserve including the Aloe Society of Zimbabwe and The Zimbabwe Ornithological Society, and many a famous Zimbabwean golfer has played at the golf course, including Nicky Price, former World Number 1 Golfer for 10 years. Formerly, in the 1950-60s, Gaby Tomlinson was the country’s leading golfer, winning club and national titles for over 20 years. Other players include Nicky Price who won the 1974 World Junior Championship. Other major golf competitors included Dennis Watson, Simon Hobday, Mark McNulty, Teddy Webber, Billy Koen, Anderson Rusike, Lewis Muridzo and Morgan Shumba. Apart from league set-ups for amateurs, there are also inter-provincial tournaments (Filande Cup competed for by Mashonaland, Matabeleland, Midlands and Manicaland) and the national team plays in regional tournaments. Most of the leading golf courses including Elephant Hills, Royal Harare and Bulawayo Golf Club, are of a high standard and several offer exceptionally picturesque settings like Nyanga. There are currently six courses in Bulawayo and the surrounding districts. Below is a delightful, colourful, pictorial exponanzorial, photographic journey and sequential progression of such a memorable trip to these two wonderful Bulawayo locations, and it is sure to evoke interest and many pleasant memories and recollections in readers!


Bulawayo. City of the Kings in Zimbabwe. Tourist Map. Harare: BoldAds.

Cooper, R.G. 2007. Zimbabwean delights. Skyhost Feb-March: 14-15.

Cooper, R.G. and Cooper, R. 2009. Mabukuwene Nature Reserve. Zimbabwe Wildlife Journal Sept.: 4.

Tabex Encyclopedia Zimbabwe. 1987. Harare: Quest Publishing. pp. 431.

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