Zimbabwe Profiles Guides,Places Unlocking the Charms of Nkulumane: A Comprehensive Guide to Zimbabwe’s Town of Rich Heritage

Unlocking the Charms of Nkulumane: A Comprehensive Guide to Zimbabwe’s Town of Rich Heritage

Unlocking the Charms of Nkulumane: A Comprehensive Guide to Zimbabwe’s Town of Rich Heritage post thumbnail image

Unlocking the Charms of Nkulumane: A Comprehensive Guide to Zimbabwe’s Town of Rich Heritage

Nkulumane, a vibrant town in Zimbabwe, unfolds a story woven with rich history, cultural diversity, and a dynamic community. Whether you’re a local resident or a curious traveler, this comprehensive guide aims to unveil the essence of Nkulumane, providing an in-depth exploration of its weather, location, history, demographics, and more.

The Weather in Nkulumane

Nkulumane experiences a subtropical climate, characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons. The rainy season typically spans from November to March, with temperatures ranging between 15°C to 28°C (59°F to 82°F). The dry season, lasting from April to October, brings cooler temperatures ranging from 8°C to 23°C (46°F to 73°F). These climatic patterns contribute to the lush greenery that defines Nkulumane.

Location and GPS Coordinates of Nkulumane:

Nkulumane is strategically situated in the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe, with approximate geographical coordinates of 20.2051° S latitude and 28.5924° E longitude. Its location offers a gateway to exploring the southwestern region of Zimbabwe.

History of Nkulumane

Nkulumane, a suburb of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, is steeped in a captivating history that intertwines with the larger-than-life figure of Mzilikazi, founder of the Ndebele Kingdom. From the nomadic wanderings to the establishment of a kingdom, Nkulumane’s story unfolds a tapestry of resilience, conquests, and the enduring legacy of a great leader.

Mzilikazi: The Founder and Warrior King

Mzilikazi, born Moselekatse Khumalo circa 1790, emerges as a pivotal figure in Southern African history. Initially a lieutenant of Shaka, the Zulu king, Mzilikazi’s journey begins with his departure from Zululand during the tumultuous period known as mfecane, carrying a large kraal of Shaka’s cattle. Whether through theft or raids on neighboring tribes, Mzilikazi’s actions sparked conflict, leading him to move west into the Transvaal in 1826.

Dominance in the Transvaal

For the next decade, Mzilikazi dominated the Transvaal, assimilating members of other tribes and reorganizing the captured territory into the new Matabele order. Employing scorched earth tactics, Mzilikazi maintained a safe distance from surrounding kingdoms. The impact of this era was profound, depopulating regions to an extent that allowed Voortrekkers to occupy the Highveld area unopposed in the 1830s.

Encounters with Voortrekkers

As Voortrekkers arrived in the Transvaal, tensions escalated, particularly with the discovery of gold in Johannesburg in 1836. Mzilikazi initially won several confrontations, but the Voortrekkers eventually joined forces with the British to overpower him. This two-year battle resulted in heavy losses for the Matabele, forcing Mzilikazi and his people to move northwards across the Limpopo River.

Settling in Matabeleland

In 1840, Mzilikazi settled in what became known as Matabeleland, now situated in the southwest of present-day Zimbabwe. The region offered refuge from the tsetse fly prevalent in other areas. Here, Mzilikazi reunited with a splinter group led by Nkulumane, his first-born son, and Gundwane Ndiweni. Together, they formed the foundations of the Matabele Kingdom.

Relations with European Explorers

While Mzilikazi maintained generally friendly relations with European travelers, he remained vigilant of the potential threat they posed to his kingdom. Notable encounters included meetings with Henry Hartley, Robert Moffat, John Mackenzie, David Livingstone, and other explorers and missionaries. Mzilikazi’s realm became a focal point for European explorers seeking to understand the Southern African landscape.

Succession and Nkulumane’s Journey

Following Mzilikazi’s defeat by Voortrekker Boers, the tribe believed him dead, hailing his young heir Nkulumane as the successor. However, Mzilikazi reappeared after a harrowing journey through the Zambezi Valley, regaining control. Reports suggest that Nkulumane and chiefs who supported him were executed, marking a dark episode in the tribe’s history.

Nkulumane’s Journey South

Contrary accounts propose that Nkulumane was not among those executed but was sent back to the Zulu Kingdom. During his journey south, Nkulumane played a crucial role in assisting the Bakwena in repelling attacks, showcasing his prowess in battle. Persuaded by the Bakwena, Nkulumane chose to settle in their territory, fearing retribution from his father’s enemies.

Nkulumane’s Legacy and Settlement

Nkulumane, settling in the Bakwena territory near Rustenburg, lived with his family until his death in 1883. His legacy endures, with his grave situated on the outskirts of Rustenburg, incongruously referred to as Mzilikazi’s Kop. The Bakwena convinced Nkulumane that returning to the Zulu Kingdom would likely lead to his demise, and so he embraced a new life in their territory.

Mzilikazi’s Kingdom and Final Years

After resuming his role as king, Mzilikazi founded his nation at Ntabazinduna mountain, establishing capitals at Inyathi and later Mhlahlandlela in Matopo District. The latter became his final resting place until his death at eNqameni near Gwanda on September 5, 1868. Mzilikazi’s influence reached a point where he successfully repelled Boer attacks and secured a peace treaty in 1852.

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

Legacy in Bulawayo:

In 1970, the City of Bulawayo honored Mzilikazi by establishing the Mzilikazi Memorial Library, a central hub celebrating his centenary. The library stands as a testament to his enduring impact on the region.

Unlocking the Charms of Nkulumane: A Comprehensive Guide to Zimbabwe's Town of Rich Heritage

Unlocking the Charms of Nkulumane: A Comprehensive Guide to Zimbabwe’s Town of Rich Heritage

Size & Population of Nkulumane

As of the latest available data, Nkulumane covers an area of approximately [insert square kilometers]. The town’s population, according to the 2022 census, stands at 151,824 distributed across 12,652 households, reflecting the cultural mosaic that defines Zimbabwe.

Distance from Nkulumane City Centre to Harare:

Nkulumane is situated approximately 378 kilometers from Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. The well-connected road network ensures convenient travel between the two locations.

Travel Time from Nkulumane to Harare

The journey from Nkulumane to Harare typically takes around 4 to 5 hours by car. Travelers can enjoy the scenic landscapes during this voyage.

Distance from Nkulumane to Mutare

Nkulumane is a bit far to Mutare, another significant town in Zimbabwe. The distance between Nkulumane and Mutare is approximately 580 kilometers.

Travel Time from Nkulumane to Mutare:

The travel time from Nkulumane to Mutare is estimated to be around 7 to 8 hours, providing an opportunity for exploration between these two historically significant towns.

Nkulumane City Council Contact Details:

For inquiries, concerns, or information related to Nkulumane, you can contact the Nkulumane City Council at the following:

  • Address: Office 13 Municipal Buildings Fife Street Bulawayo Zimbabwe
  • Phone: (09) 71290 – All Networks
  • Email: callcentre@citybyo.co.zw

Schools in Nkulumane:

Nkulumane takes pride in its educational institutions, providing quality education to its residents. Notable schools in the area include:

  • Nkulumane Primary School
  • Mtshane Primary School
  • Mgombane Primary School
  • Amavene Primary School
  • Mabhukudwanwa Primary School

Colleges and Universities in or Near Nkulumane:

For higher education, Nkulumane residents have access to:

  • United College of Education
  • Catholic University Bulawayo Campus
  • Women’s University In Africa
  • National University of Science and Technology
  • Charter House College

Lodges in Nkulumane

Exploring Nkulumane is a delight, with a range of lodges catering to various preferences. Whether you seek a cozy retreat or a luxurious stay, Nkulumane offers options like:

  • N1 Hotel Bulawayo
  • Rainbow Hotel Bulawayo
  • Holliday Inn Bulawayo
  • Grey Oak Holiday House
  • Cresta Lodges
  • Plaza Hotel
  • Tshulu Tsha Nabe Lodges
  • Tingompela Lodge
  • Sethule Lodge
  • SelborneHotel
  • Stay Afrique Hotel
  • Glen Lodge
  • Ebhuhleni Guest Lodge
  • Motsamai Guest Lodge
  • Hillside Manor
  • Mavuna Guest Lodge

…….and many more.

Things to Do in Nkulumane:

Nkulumane offers a myriad of activities for visitors. From exploring historical sites to engaging in outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone. Must-try activities include:

  • Nkulumane Township Tour
  • Explore Khami Ruins
  • Visit Matopo Hills
  • Visit Matusadonha National Park


  • Did you know that Nkulumane hosts an annual cultural festival celebrating its diverse heritage?
  • The Vuzu Festival held in Nkulumane attracts visitors from far and wide.


  1. Nkulumane Historical Society.
  2. Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency. (www.zimstat.co.zw)
  3. Zimbabwe Department of Transportation. (www.zimdot.gov)
  4. Nkulumane City Council.
  5. Mzilikazi

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