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Mutare Unveiled: From Climate to Culture, Everything You Need to Know

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Mutare Unveiled: From Climate to Culture, Everything You Need to Know

Nestled in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe, Mutare stands as a testament to the rich history and vibrant culture of the country. This comprehensive profile aims to provide both Zimbabweans and non-Zimbabweans with a deep understanding of Mutare, covering its weather, location, history, demographics, education, accommodations, and much more.

History of Mutare

Mutare, formerly known as Umtali until 1982, stands as the most populous city in the province of Manicaland and holds the third position in Zimbabwe’s city hierarchy, surpassing Gweru in the 2012 census. The urban population boasts 224,802 residents, with an additional approximately 260,567 in the surrounding districts. This contributes to a broader metropolitan area housing over 500,000 people. Mutare also proudly serves as the capital of Manicaland Province and holds the title of the largest city in eastern Zimbabwe.

Situated near the Mozambique border, Mutare has a rich history as a prominent trade center and a crucial stopover on the route to the port of Beira in Mozambique. With well-established railway links, pipeline transport, and highways connecting the coast to Harare and Zimbabwe’s interior, Mutare serves as a pivotal hub for commerce. The city’s economic landscape includes traditional industries such as timber, papermaking, commerce, food processing, telecommunications, and transportation. Moreover, Mutare serves as a gateway to the picturesque Eastern Highlands, the nearby Gorongosa National Park, and the enchanting Mozambique coast.

Historically, Mutare’s roots trace back to the late nineteenth century, although the region has a much longer history of hosting trading caravans en route to the Indian Ocean. The city was founded in 1897 as a fort, earning the moniker “Zimbabwe’s Gateway to the Sea” due to its proximity to the Mozambican port of Beira. Referred to by locals as ‘Kumakomoyo,’ meaning ‘place of many mountains,’ Mutare has a rich cultural and historical significance.

The area was initially the site of Chief Mutasa’s kraal, and in 1890, Fort Umtali was established, later becoming Mutare. The name Mutare, derived from ‘Utare,’ meaning iron (or possibly gold), reflects the discovery of gold in the Penhalonga valley through which the Mutare River flows. The city underwent several relocations due to factors like the construction of the railway between Beira and Bulawayo, eventually being granted municipality status in 1914 and city status in 1971. The official name change from Umtali to Mutare occurred in 1982.

Despite historical changes and the evolution of the city, Mutare remains a significant cultural and economic hub, embodying a blend of historical charm and modern vitality.

The Weather in Mutare

Mutare boasts a moderate climate, influenced by its highland location. With mild temperatures throughout the year, ranging from 10°C (50°F) in winter to 25°C (77°F) in summer, the town provides a pleasant atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.

Location and GPS Coordinates of Mutare

Situated at approximately 18.9707° S latitude and 32.6709° E longitude, Mutare lies in the eastern part of Zimbabwe. Its strategic location near the border with Mozambique makes it a key hub for trade and travel in the region.

Also Read: Bulawayo: Unveiling the Essence of Zimbabwe’s Second-Largest City

Size & Population of Mutare

The town’s demographic makeup reflects Zimbabwe’s cultural mosaic, creating a unique blend of traditions and lifestyles.

Population (2022 census)
• Urban 224,802
• Urban density 1,200/km2 (3,000/sq mi)
• Metro 500,000

Distance from Mutare City Centre to Harare

Mutare is approximately 262.5 kilometers (164 miles) southeast of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.

Travel Time from Mutare to Harare

The journey from Mutare to Harare typically takes around 3 to 4 hours by road, depending on traffic conditions.

Distance from Mutare to Bulawayo

Situated about 564 kilometers (340 miles) southwest of Mutare, Bulawayo is another major city in Zimbabwe.

Travel Time from Mutare to Bulawayo

The road trip from Mutare to Bulawayo spans approximately 7 to 8 hours, allowing travelers to witness the scenic beauty of Zimbabwe’s landscapes.

Mutare Unveiled: From Climate to Culture, Everything You Need to Know

Mutare Unveiled: From Climate to Culture, Everything You Need to Know | image credit @Mutare City Council facebook

Mutare City Council Contact Details

For inquiries, Mutare City Council can be reached at the following contact details:

  • Address: 1 Queensway P.O 910 Mutare, Zimbabwe
  • Whatsapp: +263775792461
  • Hotline: +263 202060551
  • Email: townclerk@mutare.co
  • Website: https://mutarecity.org/

Schools in Mutare

Mutare boasts a range of educational institutions, catering to the needs of its diverse population.

  • Chancellor Junior School
  • Hope Alive Group of Schools t/a Hope Alive Junior School
  • Princeton Group of Schools ZW – Princeton Institute & Princeton Preparatory
  • St Dominic’s High School Mutare
  • Versatile Academy
  • First Class Academy
  • Ridgeville Junior School
  • Manicaland Christian School
  • Mutare Girls High School
  • Rock of Ages Junior School
  • Eastside Academy – Mutare
  • Mutare Junior Primary School
  • Sakubva 1 High School

Colleges and Universities in or Near Mutare

Higher education options in and around Mutare include:

  • Africa University
  • Mutare Teachers College
  • Mutare Polytechnic

Lodges in Mutare

Whether for business or leisure, Mutare offers a variety of lodges, such as:

  • Green Gardens BnB
  • Murambi East Villa and Spa
  • Anne Bruce’s Guest House
  • Pabanhla Guest House
  • Christmas Pass Hotel
  • The Homestead Guesthouse
  • Eastern Highlands Retreat
  • Madrugada
  • Madrugada Lodge Bvumba – Self catering
  • Ubuntu Backpackers, Eastern Highlands Zimbabwe
  • The Homestead
  • Manica Skyview Hotel Mutare
  • Hotel Eastgate
  • Kwayedza Lodge
  • GORDON’S on 125 First Street
  • Meridian Gaming Zone MtView Hotel
  • Golden Peacock Hotel
  • Inviting 3-Bed Apartment In The City
  • Samango Paradise in the Vumba Mountains
  • Elliot Hotel
  • King’s Courtyard Boutique Hotel & Suites Vumba
  • Holiday Inn Mutare
  • White Horse Inn

Things to Do in Mutare

Mutare provides an array of activities for locals and tourists alike. From exploring the Mutare Museum and hiking the Vumba Mountains to shopping at the bustling Sakubva Market, there’s something for everyone.


Did you know that Mutare is known as the “City of Kings” due to its rich historical significance and royal connections?


  1. “Mutare Climate.”
  2. “Mutare, Zimbabwe – Latitude and Longitude.”
  3. “Mutare History and Development.”
  4. “Zimbabwe Census Data.”

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