Harare, once known as Salisbury until 1982, is Zimbabwe’s capital and most populated city.
It is located in the north-east of the nation, in the heart of old Mashonaland, and has a population of over two million people, the most of whom live in downtown Harare, but another 500,000 in the neighboring districts of Rural Harare, Chintungwiza, and Epworth.
Once a metropolis of contemporary buildings, broad thoroughfares, and several parks and gardens, it has fallen into growing disrepair as a result of Zimbabwe’s economic downturn. However, there have been some indications of recovery lately, as the country’s decision to adopt the US dollar as its currency has started to allow certain investments.
The city’s cultural and historical history is highly valued, and many of its older structures have been maintained. Many examples can be seen along Robert Mugabe Road between Second Street and Julius Nyerere Way, including the Mining Pension Fund Building between Central Avenue and Second Street.
The Book Cafe has a variety of live music throughout the week, and there is an Afro-jazz club immediately next door.
All purchases at bigger shops are done in US dollars, the country’s currency.
Everything created locally is cheap. Zimbabwe smokes cost $0.50 per pack (as of April 2010). In comparison to South Africa, everything imported is relatively pricey. Coca-Cola cans, for example, often cost $1.