Zimbabwe Culture (26.05 – 29.05.2012)
In the morning we wanted to see some Zimbabwe culture, but first we had to try to get fuel. We continued on to Binga, to get fuel, but surprise in Binga there was also no fuel, so we did not have enough to reach the city of Kariba. Only possibility to turn back, to hopefully get fuel at on of the Lodges at Hwange National Park. Disappointed we turned. Soon some hours we ran out of fuel, luckily we had a spare jerry can, so we could continue. After one more hour we reached the crossing with the main road and the fuel station, which had no fuel two days ago. But now we were lucky and could get a full tank plus one spare jerry can. As it was already late we stayed at a deserted caravan park (5 US$ per person). We made a campfire but the night was very cold, and we decided to quickly try to reach the coast, but before we wanted to see some Zimbabwe culture at old Zimbabwe historic site. Next morning we left early, reached Bulawayo, stocked up food supply, baught again two camping chairs (terrible quality – last only one month), and stayed at the caravan park in Bulawayo overnight. Nothing special here. Next day we drove to old Zimbabwe and checked in at the sites campsite. It was really cold, so we decided to sleep in the Land Rover, which was pretty ok, not really cold. In the morning we started by foot to the ruins, Tara stayed in the car. Astonishing that these old buildings are still preserved. Stone constructions, stone to stone fits perfectly without any mortar.
Some Facts about culture in Zimbabwe
Great or old Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from approximately 1100 to 1400. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an area of 722 hectares and could have housed up to 18,000 people. Great Zimbabwe acted as a royal palace for the Zimbabwean monarch. One of its most prominent features were its walls, some of which were over five meters high and which were constructed without mortar. Eventually the city was largely abandoned and fell into ruin.
The ruins were first encountered by Europeans in the late 19th century.The monument caused great controversy amongst the archaeological world, with political pressure being put upon archaeologists by the government of Rhodesia to deny its construction by black people. Great Zimbabwe has since been adopted as a national monument by the Zimbabwean government, with the modern state being named after it. The word “Great” distinguishes the site from the many hundreds of small ruins, known as Zimbabwes, spread across the Zimbabwe Highveld.There are 200 such sites in southern Africa with monumental, mortarless walls and Great Zimbabwe is the largest.
The ruins form three distinct architectural groups. They are known as the Hill Complex, the Valley Complex and the Great Enclosure. The Hill Complex is the oldest, and was occupied from the ninth to thirteenth centuries. The Great Enclosure was occupied from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries and the Valley Complex from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. The Great Enclosure is composed of an inner wall, encircling a series of structures and a younger outer wall. The Conical Tower, 18 ft (5.5 m) in diameter and 30 ft (9.1 m) high, was constructed between the two walls.
We walked through the ruins and were really impressed. Unbelievable that such a culture existed here.
Visit our other Site Travel Overland as well.