Our home is an old "colonial" style residence, in Park Road, Suburbs Bulawayo - with wooden floors, tall ceilings and large windows. The whole property is about about a half acre with a big enough garden for the dogs and children to play on the lawn. We have been fixing up the house slowly as money has permitted, and have increased the size of two of the bedrooms and added an on-suite bathroom to one of them. We have yet to do the kitchen! We have tried to keep the "look" of the original house - but it has been added to (and repaired) many times over its 100 year existence. The house now has 4 bedrooms, a lounge and a separate dining room - a bathroom and one on suite shower/toilet (we have another one under construction). We have closed in what used to be the veranda and we use this room as a play room - table tennis and sometimes our computers. (Junk other times!) The property has a borehole and so we are able to keep the lawn and garden going. (Bulawayo has an endemic water shortage.) The most annoying thing about our home in Suburbs are the power cuts which are common. We have a washing machine and dryer, but not a dishwasher. (We can organise a maid - if you are comfortable with this!) We also have a home on our farm - which you would be able to include in your trip. It is 120km from Bulawayo on a terrible road - but the views and "get away" are worth it. We have a 4 bedroomed farmhouse, which is fairly utilitarian. There is electricity (much more regularly than in Bulawayo). This is a very remote but beautiful place whaihc will give you a taste of the african bush you would not get in our Suburbs home.
Suburbs is one of the oldest in Bulawayo, and there are many examples of old style houses - with wooden floors and windows, and large verhandahs. The suburb is quiet and safe with wide tree-lined roads, set out in a grid pattern. Suburbs is about a 15 minute walk from the city centre, and about a 5 minute walk from the museum. There are numerous art and craft shops within walking distance. Other attractions in the area are the Matopos - a 30 minute drive westwards. This includes the Rhodes Matopos National Park. There are ancient ruins at Kame (about a 30 minute drive) and for longer trips - the Hwange National Park and the Victoria Falls. There are some fairly good golf courses in Bulawayo, and our sports facitlities are reasonable. There are 2 sports clubs close to our home.(5 minute walk) The down side of this holiday would be dealing with the frequent power cuts experienced in the country. We have battery lights- but it does get rather annoying. Some food supplies (maize meal and rice) are in short supply, but others like quality beef are easily available and very reasonable by world standards. There are vegetable markets within walking distance. There is someone who lives on the property - so you dont need to mow the lawn or feed the dogs. If you are the adventurous types - you are welcome to stay on our farm in Fort Rixon. This farm remains one of the only privately owned farms in Zimbabwe. If you would like to be in the "middle of nowhere" this is the place for you! There you can ride horses enjoy the quiet and see how the average Zimbabwean really lives. The house is situated near our mine - and it is an eyeopener to see how these miners live and make money. There are some very beautiful views and lovely walks. There are ancient mines and other ancient sites on the property. Here we have a classic "farm yard" with milking cows, feedlot oxen, chickens pigs etc. Not a place to visit for the faint hearted!
My husband William and I have 2 children, both in senior school. My daughter is in the UK studying at Christs Hospital - my son doing home-school with us. Until about 2000, we were full time farmers, with a farm in Fort Rixon. My husband has always supplemented our income with his work as a geophysicist. However, since we have been unable to farm any more - we have had to diversify into mining and other projects. We only speak English, and love the outdoor life. We have dogs and horses and play sports like cricket. Although we like the outdoors, we are also rather "computer" addicts - so you will find computers in our homes. We have a satellite internet connection on the farm, and satellite TV. We love Zimbabwe, and do not travel very much except to our relatives in South Africa. Now, however, we would like to spend some time with our daughter visiting new places, since some of her holidays are too short to get much out of home in the time available. As most Zimbabweans, we are multi taskers! My husband teaches as well as his other jobs. I am studying at the moment - I used to farm full time. Since we have always lived on the farm, and only spent short periods of time in our Suburbs home, we do not have a "circle" of friends there. Most of our farming friends lost their farms and had to leave the country, or moved into other businesses in towns, but we try to keep in touch with them. I have a large family in Bulawayo - and visit them often. On the farm, we have a wonderful maid/business associate/friend called Madawu. She has been with us through thick and thin. She works in the house as well as maintaining her income through various means. A single mum, she is remarkable, and worth meeting.