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Ruwa, Zimbabwe: Guide To Exploring History, Culture, and Community

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 Ruwa: A Comprehensive Guide to Zimbabwe’s Charming Town

Nestled in the heart of Zimbabwe, Ruwa stands as a testament to the nation’s rich history and vibrant culture. This comprehensive guide offers a detailed exploration of Ruwa, catering to both Zimbabweans and global enthusiasts seeking to delve into the essence of this remarkable town.

The Weather in Ruwa

Ruwa experiences a subtropical climate characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons. During the summer months from October to April, temperatures range from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F), accompanied by occasional rainfall. Winter, from May to September, brings cooler temperatures averaging between 10°C and 25°C (50°F to 77°F), with dry and sunny days prevailing.

Location and GPS Coordinates of Ruwa

Situated approximately 22 kilometers east of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, Ruwa occupies coordinates 17.8833° S latitude and 31.1500° E longitude.


History of Ruwa


The history of Ruwa, Zimbabwe, is relatively young, dating back to the late 20th century. However, its development as a town is intricately linked to the broader story of Zimbabwe’s post-colonial growth and urbanization. Here’s a glimpse into its past:

Following Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, the government implemented a “Growth Point Policy” to decentralize development and establish service centers in rural areas.  In 1986, Ruwa was designated as one such growth point, strategically located about 25 kilometers from the capital, Harare. Initially, Ruwa served as a small administrative and trading center for the surrounding agricultural community.

In 1990, Ruwa gained the status of a “Local Board,” signifying its growing population and importance. Private land developer companies played a significant role in Ruwa’s development, constructing residential areas and fostering commercial activity.  The town’s proximity to Harare attracted an influx of residents seeking a quieter and more affordable alternative to the urban bustle.

This rapid growth led to the establishment of essential amenities like schools, healthcare facilities, and recreational spaces.

Like many Zimbabwean towns, Ruwa has faced challenges like infrastructure limitations and economic instability.  However, its strategic location, vibrant community, and potential for further development offer hope for the future.

Ruwa continues to evolve as a residential and commercial hub, providing a valuable link between Harare and the surrounding rural areas.

Ruwa’s journey, though relatively young, reflects the dynamism and challenges of Zimbabwe’s post-colonial development. From humble beginnings as a growth point to a bustling town with aspirations for the future, Ruwa holds a unique place in the nation’s narrative.

Ruwa, Zimbabwe: Guide To Exploring History, Culture, and Community

Sunset over Ruwa [Image Credit: TripAdvisor]

Size & Population of Ruwa

Ruwa spans across a land area of approximately  40.4 square kilometers (15.6 square miles) and has a population of 94,078 according to the 2022 census.  Ruva was a Density of Roughly 2,329 people per square kilometer (6,000 per square mile).

Suburbs in Ruwa

Ruwa encompasses several vibrant suburbs, each contributing to the town’s unique tapestry of community life. Notable suburbs include:

  • Ruwa Park
  • Damafalls
  • Tafara Extension
  • Ruwa Farm

Distance from Harare City Centre to Ruwa

Ruwa lies approximately 22 kilometers east of Harare’s bustling city center, offering convenient access to urban amenities while retaining its distinct suburban charm.

Travel Time from Harare to Ruwa

The journey from Harare to Ruwa typically spans around 30 to 45 minutes by car, depending on traffic conditions and route preferences.

Distance from Ruwa to Mutare

Ruwa is located approximately 270 kilometers southeast of Mutare, one of Zimbabwe’s major cities renowned for its scenic landscapes and vibrant culture.

Travel Time from Ruwa to Mutare

Traveling from Ruwa to Mutare entails a journey of approximately 4 to 5 hours by road, offering travelers a captivating glimpse into Zimbabwe’s diverse terrain and cultural heritage.

Ruwa Town Local Board

The Ruwa Town Loard Board is a local government authority in Zimbabwe, responsible for the town of Ruwa.

The Ruwa Town Board is responsible for a wide range of functions, including:

  • Providing basic services such as water, sanitation, refuse collection, and roads
  • Planning and development of the town
  • Issuing licenses and permits
  • Enforcing by-laws and regulations
  • Promoting economic development

Ruwa Local Board Contacts

For inquiries and assistance regarding municipal services, residents and visitors can contact the Ruwa Local Board at the following:

  • Address: 885 Chiremba Road, Ruwa, Zimbabwe
  • Phone: 0273 3205
  • E-mail: ruwatown@gmail.com
  • Website: ruwalocalboard.co.zw

Schools in Ruwa

Ruwa boasts a range of educational institutions catering to the academic needs of its residents. Notable schools include:

  • Ruwa Primary School
  • Ruwa Secondary School
  • Ruwa Adventist High School

Colleges and Universities in or near Ruwa

While Ruwa itself doesn’t host tertiary institutions, neighboring areas such as Harare offer a diverse array of colleges and universities, including the University of Zimbabwe and Harare Institute of Technology.

Lodges In or Near Ruwa

Travelers seeking accommodation in Ruwa can explore a variety of lodges and guesthouses, providing comfort and convenience amidst Zimbabwe’s scenic landscapes. Popular options include:

  • Cottage MIAMI
  • Cottage Chicago – Nhaka Savaal

Things to Do in Ruwa

Ruwa offers an array of recreational activities and attractions for visitors to explore, including:

  • Nature walks in Ruwa Dam Recreational Park
  • Exploring local markets and artisanal shops
  • Enjoying outdoor picnics and family gatherings at Ruwa Country Club


  • Ruwa derives its name from the Shona word “ruva,” meaning “brilliant” or “shining,” reflecting the town’s vibrant spirit and promising future.
  • The Ruwa Ruins, located nearby, are archaeological remnants dating back to the Great Zimbabwe era, offering insight into Zimbabwe’s ancient civilizations.


  1. Zimbabwe Meteorological Services Department
  2. Census Data Zimbabwe
  3. Google Maps
  4. Ruwa Town Council Official Website
  5. Local knowledge and community resources.

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