Eastern Region, Mutare





The spectacular cultural and natural heritage of the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe has always been popular with many visitors.

Located in the city of Mutare is a charming museum housing a variety of displays covering a wide range of themes such as archaeology, ethnography, transport and natural history.

The most spectacular exhibitions are of the collection of vintage cars, motorbikes and colonial era drawn wagons and coaches, thereby leading to the Mutare Museum being commonly known as the Museum of Antiquities.

The Museum opened its doors to the in public 1957, and is located in the heart of the sprawling Mutare site along Aerodrome Road.

The Mutare museum continues to offer visitors delight and enjoyment of eastern region’s cultural and natural heritage through an exciting research, conservation and exhibition programme with particular emphasis on science and technology carried out by a highly motivated and enthusiastic workforce of Zimbabwe and the borders beyond.


Eastern Region Departments

Archaeology & Monuments
The Department of Archaeology is in charge of the preservation, research and dissemination of archaeological heritage found in the Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe. The Department has collaborative research projects with University of Zimbabwe and University of Bergen (NUFU) on Rock Art in the Manica Province, Heritage institutions in Mozambique (management of shrines in Mozambique), and many other institutions in Zimbabwe.

Botany & Zoology
The Botany Department carries out research, documentation and dissemination of botanical resources found in Zimbabwe. Field collection and preservation of specimens is of paramount in this department. Collaborative research projects with other departments and institutions focusing on biodiversity research and conservation are considered essential in the framework of integrated researches.

Education department

The Education department is responsible for developing and marketing the services and products of the museum. Activities include outreach programmes to the Region’s rural and urban areas. These will be in form of heritage quiz competitions for primary schools, schools adopt site programmes workshops with teachers, and museum based events and activities for community members, young and old viz. painting contests, debates, talk shows, workshops and friends of museum and fellowship programmes.

Antiquities Department

The Department of Antiquities has a wide variety of objects that are manufactured al over the world from the earliest times to the present day. Antiquities are man-made objects of material culture that entered Zimbabwe through trade or any other means or had been produced in Zimbabwe through foreign methods. The objects range from numismatics arms and rile, tools and equipment for scientific, production and recreational purposes, swords, social ceremonies and ethnography. The department is mainly responsible for documentation, conservation and preservation, research publications of discoveries and researches, permanent and temporary exhibitions relating to antiquities.

The Antiquities department has objects in the four galleries that are Beit Gallery, the Eastern gallery district, and the Boultbee gallery and the Transport gallery. The Transport gallery has one of the oldest and most expensive Ivel tractor, which was manufactured in 1903. The Boultbee gallery has a wide collection of old guns and pistons, swords and bayonets used over centuries.

Focus Of Exhibitions

Mutare Museum specialises in Transport and Antiquities. The transport Gallery has permanent display of vintage cars, model ships, and tractors for agriculture, petrol pumps and wagons that were used during the early days of European settlement. The Transport gallery focuses on different forms of transport and related equipment. The museum has one of the oldest tractors in Zimbabwe; the Ivel tractor that was used for farming.

It came in Zimbabwe around 1904. The Eastern District, Boultbee, and the Beit Galleries have a wide range of antiquities. These include tools from mining, farming and traditional handcrafts. The museum boasts of over eleven thousand artefacts related to Transport and Antiquities. The Archaeology has a permanent display in the Beit Gallery focusing on the Early Farming Communities of the Eastern Districts, especially stone walls.

The Botany-Zoology Department has a spacious aviary where a number of birds and tortoise kept. Specimens of snakes, fish and mammals are permanently displayed in the Mezzene Gallery. The Museum contacts temporary exhibitions highlighting contemporary issues affecting the soceity.

Monuments & sites

Ziwa Monument

Ziwa Monument,Nyanga

The archaeological property on the estate consists of terraces, enclosures, pit enclosures, hill forts, and passages smelting furnaces, grinding places, clearance cairn and other important remains. Terraces and enclosures are the most dominant in the landscape. The Ziwa estate is the largest protected piece of the agricultural landscape in Nyanga.

Ziwa monument has the potential to answer various research questions on the archaeology and agricultural history of Nyanga. The site is also under consideration to be on the World Heritage List.

The Sanyangare community residing in Nyangare village have local religious shrine referred to as Rutumba (hut), located to the west of the estate towards Nyangombe River. Ziwa is a living cultural site that the local community wishes to preserve. Besides this some of the community around Ziwa regard Ziwa and Hamba mountains as sacred. Ziwa estate has also become a sanctuary for various types of wild animals that are escaping deforested communal areas.

Nyanga Estate Monument
There are rebuilt pit structures, Nyangwe and Chawomera forts. The landscape is connected to the Nyanga agricultural complex. The reconstructed pit structures are representative of the Nyanga upland tradition on the Nyanga plateau.

Nyahokwe Monument
The monument at present has religious activities undertaken by the local Nyahokwe clan before every rain season. The Nyahokwe community performs these religious ceremonies but do not claim to have built the monument. As such rainmaking ceremonies are part of this monument contemporary use value. It has been noted that there is no continuity in terms of occupiers and as anticipated the social value to different occupiers is different. Nyahokwe's architecture is splendid and rare in the Nyanga tradition.

Matendera Monument
This is an extensive, impressive and spectacular Zimbabwe style enclosure located on an extensive low lying dwala in Buhera South, 50km south-south of Murambinda Growth Point. The site is famous for its herringbone and dentelle decorations plus two monoliths at the top on the perimeter wall. The site an excellent example of the country’s heritage.

Kagumbudzi Monument
This Great Zimbabwe type-site is located on a low hill 1km north of Gudo Business centre along the Murambinda-Birchnough road, 47km from Murambinda Growth Point. The site crowns the summit of a steep little kopje that rises to give a commanding view over a huge expanse of the surrounding countryside.

Harleigh Farm. Monument, relics
This is an important Zimbabwe type-site located north east of Rusape in a farm. The site contains two types of stone walling that is the Zimbabwe type known as Zvipadze Ruin 1 and a Nyanga architectural style known as Chitekete (Crawford). Whitty has dated the site to 1300AD to 1500AD. At the end of the 19th century Zvipadze became a burial site for earliest Makoni ancestors and it is still viewed as a sacred place by the locals in the area.

Diana’s Vow Rock Paintings

Diana's vow paintings,Rusape

This is one of the two Rock Art National Monuments in Eastern region. The remaining portion of this complex but detailed painting is one of the finest and unique examples of Zimbabwean Rock Art. The main scene depicts two long friezes of human figures embellished with white pigment dots and stripe details. Several are masked and surrounding these is a wealth of detail depicting domestic artefacts, edible fruits, and items such as baskets with handles, skins bows, quivers and so on. There are two main traditions represented at Diana’s Vow hill. There is the early Iron Age pottery of Ziwa and the Inyanga terrace tradition. This is a unique site, which should be preserved for future generations. The rock art site and stonewalls on the hill are well preserved.

Cross Kopje, memorial
A memorial built in memory of 269 Africans from Rhodesia, Nyasaland, and the Portuguese East Africa who had lost their lives in the German East African Campaign. The memorial took the form of a massive Cross constructed of granite and reinforced concrete and it stands nearly ten metres high, and is over a meter thick, has cross arms of nearly five metres and weighs over fifty tonnes. The memorial was once illuminated by 400 watt high pressure sodium floodlights giving the cross an impressive silhouette which was unique in the country and perhaps in Africa.

Settler Tree, Memorial
A tree, indicated by a near by inscribed plaque, commonly known as the ‘Settler Tree’ (Rauvolfia sp.), planted by his Royal Highness Don Luize Filipe, Duke of Brag Anza and the Crown Prince of Portugal, to commemorate his visit to the city of Umtali on the 12th of August, 1907; situated in the grounds of the Magistrate’s Court.

Utopia House, historic building
Utopia’ House was the home of Rhys and Rosalie Fairbridge. Rhys Fairbridge arrived in Manicaland in the early 1890’s. He worked as a government surveyor and was responsible for surveying the present town of Mutare. In 1887 he had his home “Utopia” built on one of the prime sites that he had surveyed earlier. The building was constructed mainly of local materials but the corrugated iron roofing, doors and windows were brought up from Sooth Africa. The interior of the house has been restored to the 1910-20 period. Many of the original items of furniture and other possessions belonging to the Fairbridge family have been preserved and are on display.

Kopje House, historic building
The Kopje House is a complex of buildings, which are a historical landmark in the City of Mutare constructed in 1897 to serve as a hospital.


Contact Us

Mutare Museum
Regional Director

Aerodrome Road, Mutare
  P.O. Box 920; Mutare; Zimbabwe

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+263 (0) 20 63630/63005/63672
Fax:+263 (0) 20 61100