Great Zimbabwe. The “Machu Picchu of southern Africa”.

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If there’s a UNESCO Heritage site that is as spectacular as the Macchu Picchu. It would be none other than the Great Zimbabwe. An ancient city located in the southern hills of Zimbabwe. This historical site is surrounded by many large rocks. A vestige of a Kingdom that once flourished in the southern Africa between 11th-15th century.

The Great Zimbabwe is an important part of national identity that the country itself was named for this ancient city. Nowadays, it is the source of considerable pride for Zimbabweans. It makes me wonder why this place hasn’t attract more global recognition. After all, it has the largest ancient structure in the sub-Sahara Africa. When the site was discovered by Europeans, it caused controversy in the archeological world which refused to believe it was constructed by the African people. There has been much speculation & debate regarding the origins of these ruins. But the general consensus is that the Great Zimbabwe was built by the forefathers of the Shona people. The cause of decline & abandonment of this civilazation is still shrouded in mystery. It is widely suggested that climatic change, political instability & overpopulation contributed to its downfall.

Our exploration began with a hike on the ancient trail to the top of the hill complex. Followed by a visit to a replica of a Shona village. There we were entertained by musicians. We moved on to the Great Enclosure afterwards. A small museum nearby (that holds the archaeological artefacts that have been recovered) was our last stop before the end of the tour.



On our way to the Hill Complex.


The Hill Complex










Granite slab of the amphitheatre.


A view of the Great Enclosure and the remains of the valley complex.




A replica of ancient Shona village.





The exterior wall of the Great Enclosure.



Passageway in the Great Enclosure.



A conicle tower in the Great Enclosure.



5 thoughts on “Great Zimbabwe. The “Machu Picchu of southern Africa”.

  1. The magical words Machu Pichu pulled me to this post… enjoyed reading and the pictures are awesome too… Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. I visited Great Zimbabwe a few years ago and was absolutely amazed by how empty the site was. I saw very few other tourists other than South Africans. If Great Zimbabwe were anywhere else in the world, I think it would be a lot more well-known. I agree…this is definitely the Macchu Picchu of Africa!

  3. Hung Thai says:

    I’ve been to Machu PIcchu and this site does have some of the flavors of Machu Picchu – the biggest differences here being the crowds and climates. Machu Picchu is surrounded by thick forest and river whereas this place is more out in the open. Machu Picchu was also very crowded. I would love to see this to compare though.

  4. I visited Zimbabwe twice as part of a tour and sadly, this place wasn’t on the agenda! I think that is a real shame as it should be – especially if it is similair to Machu Picchu! It is thanks to people like you that can bring such an interesting place to people’s attention (but at the same time, you almost want to say shhhhhh! and keep it a secret for preservation lol). Thanks for this interesting insight!

  5. I love reading about ancient civilizations and also great photos to go along with it too

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