Zimbabwe Profiles Guides,Places Exploring Dete: A Comprehensive Profile of Zimbabwe’s Vibrant Town

Exploring Dete: A Comprehensive Profile of Zimbabwe’s Vibrant Town

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Exploring Dete: A Comprehensive Profile of Zimbabwe’s Vibrant Town

Dete, formerly known as Dett, is a small railway re-crewing depot and a burgeoning town located on the Bulawayo-Hwange-Victoria Falls railway line in Zimbabwe. Positioned approximately 300 km (190 mi) northwest of Bulawayo and 67 km (42 mi) southeast of Hwange, Dete lies within the expansive Hwange National Park, adding a unique charm to its character.

The Weather in Dete

Dete, a town nestled in the Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe, experiences a subtropical climate. The weather is characterized by warm temperatures, with the summer months (October to March) being hot and rainy, while winters (May to August) are cooler and drier. Temperatures can range from 15°C (59°F) in winter to 32°C (90°F) in summer, offering residents and visitors a diverse climate throughout the year.

Location and GPS Coordinates of Dete

Situated at approximately 18.5614° S latitude and 26.5272° E longitude, Dete is located in the Hwange District. This strategic location places Dete near the Hwange National Park, one of Zimbabwe’s premier wildlife reserves, making it an attractive destination for nature enthusiasts.

History of Dete

Dete has a rich history dating back to colonial times. Originally a settlement serving the railway industry, the town has evolved into a key hub connecting various regions. The historical context is deeply embedded in the town’s architecture and cultural practices, reflecting its journey from a small railway community to a vibrant town with a diverse population.

Originally serving as a railway re-crewing depot, Dete faced challenges with its relative isolation and limited amenities, making it unpopular among train crews. However, to compensate for these drawbacks, railway workers stationed in Dete received a daily financial allowance and an additional day of paid leave for every month served. Over time, Dete has transformed into a vibrant community, shedding its earlier reputation.

Dete comprises three main suburbs, each with its own distinct character. The largest two, Mtuya and Soweto, stand out for their unique housing. Mtuya, densely populated, consists primarily of mud houses with thatch roofs, while Soweto features brick houses with asbestos roofing. The government’s Rural Electrification Programme (R.E.P) brought electricity to Soweto and the smaller Bote in 2012. The ‘Railways’ suburb, originally built for railway workers, now accommodates a mix of Dete’s wealthier residents.

Residents of Dete are accustomed to wildlife encounters, as the town is situated within the Hwange National Park. Though animals have learned to avoid residential areas to evade poachers, elephants still occasionally venture into the area. For visitors, Dete provides convenient access to Hwange Main Camp, a popular entry point to the national park, as well as Detema Safari Lodge and Hwange Safari Lodge. Notably, Detema Safari Lodge, tragically burned down in 2011 due to a wildfire, now stands as a ruin. Additionally, the New Game Reserve Hotel and Miombo Lodge offer alternative accommodation options.

Educationally, Dete is home to two primary schools: Sir Roy Welensky School and St Francis Xavier School (a Catholic institution). The town also hosts a local day secondary school, Detema Secondary School, and the Marist Brothers Secondary School, established in 1972, located five kilometers from Dete.

Economically, Dete’s fortunes are intertwined with the nearby Kamativi tin mine. The town relies on this mining activity and small grocery shops that cater to the community’s needs. The majority of income earners in Dete are civil servants, while a significant portion of residents sustains themselves through urban agriculture, cultivating small plots.

Historically, Bulawayo-based train crews would book off upon arrival at Dete, with Dete or Hwange train crews taking charge of the journey north to Hwange. However, this system changed with the introduction of diesel locomotives on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls railway line, phasing out the previous arrangement.

Also Read: Get To Know Muzarabani And Its Mystries

Size & Population of Dete

As of the last census in 2012, Dete had a population of approximately 2993 people. This figure has likely experienced growth, reflecting the town’s increasing importance as a commercial and transportation center.

Distance from Dete to Harare

Dete is approximately 382 kilometers away from the capital city, Harare. The journey between the two locations offers breathtaking views of the Zimbabwean landscape and typically takes around 5-6 hours by road.

How Many Hours to Travel from Dete to Harare

The travel time from Dete to Harare largely depends on the mode of transportation. By road, it takes approximately 5-6 hours, while air travel might significantly reduce the commute time.

Exploring Dete: A Comprehensive Profile of Zimbabwe's Vibrant Town

Exploring Dete: A Comprehensive Profile of Zimbabwe’s Vibrant Town

Distance from Dete to Mutare

Dete is situated approximately 613 km (381 miles) from Mutare, another prominent town in Zimbabwe.

Travel Time from Dete to Mutare

The travel time from Dete to Mutare varies, with road travel taking around 8-9 hours. The journey is marked by scenic landscapes and diverse terrains.

Dete Rural District Council Contact Details

For inquiries, residents and visitors can contact the Dete City Council at the following address:

  • Adress: Stand 119 Lukosi Business Centre Box 165 Hwange
  • Tell: +263 (281) 22541/34285
  • Email: hwangeruraldc@gmail.com
  • Website: https://hwangerdc.co.zw/

Schools in Dete

Dete boasts a range of educational institutions, providing quality education to the local population. Notable schools include:

  • Marist Brothers Secondary School
  • Chinengo Primary School
  • Detema Secondary School
  • Dingani Primary School
  • Dopota Primary School

Colleges and Universities in or Near Dete

Higher education options in and around Dete include:

  • National University Of Sciences and Technology
  • Bulawayo Polytechnic

Lodges in Dete

For those seeking accommodation, Dete offers a selection of lodges catering to different preferences and budgets. Some popular choices include:

  • Hwange National Park Guest Lodge
  • Hideaways Elephant’s Eye Tented Camp
  • Ganda Lodge
  • Hwange Safari Lodge
  • Gwango Heritage Reasort
  • Miombo Safari Lodge
  • New Game Reserve Hotel
  • Gwango Elephant House
  • Khulu Bush Camp

Things to Do in Dete

Dete offers a plethora of activities for residents and tourists alike. From exploring the Hwange National Park to experiencing local cuisine, the town provides a vibrant cultural and recreational scene.


Did you know that Dete is known for its annual cultural festival, celebrating the rich diversity of its residents? The festival showcases traditional music, dance, and crafts, attracting visitors from all over Zimbabwe.


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