Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

The schizophrenic city

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Victorian houses, restaurants and markets, busy streets. In Bulawayo, the traveler gets nothing from the autocratic regime of Robert Mugabe, the aged despot of Zimbabwe. Cafés serve fine Swiss pastries, clubs play Lil Wayne, in the cinema Ashton Kutcher beams on the screen. A walk through a scenic city.

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's only acceptable city. This is due to the fact that there are only two metropolises in the Southeast African state and Harare is a juggernaut.

In Bulawayo, the traveler, coming from the north with a rickety minibus, initially notices the abundance of food, which is quite clear relative to the rest of the country's supply. Even in half an hour before the city on the dusty roadside lying Tigerhurst Bottle Store Regulars limited the range of goods, we had sobered, on a few warm bottles of Coca Cola, bland tasting biscuits and packaged toast.

The dubious connection between consumerism and happiness, however, is already clear from the slogan "Open Happiness" on the Coca-Cola advertising sign, which was set up just across the city from the "Welcome to Bulawayo" sign across the street.

Travelers with subordinate claims to a "charming" ambience should visit Berkeley Place on Josaiah Tongogara Road for overnight accommodation. It is cheap, and if the guest asks for a power outlet adapter, it may be that the sprightly owner just blows his own hair.

Not far from the boarding house at Centenary Park, according to the hysterical writer of Lonely Planet , is one of Africa's most dangerous streets ("Do not even think about walking down the street at night!"). We did not check that.

The typical for a police state, on every street corner stupid standing uniformed, although otherwise caring for an uncompromising repression of the civilian population, but mediate the tourist perversely a not to be underestimated sense of security.

Those who benefit directly or indirectly from Robert McCabe's corrupt autocratic regime prefer to drive in front of Haefeli's Swiss Bakery with their SUV off-road vehicles, tucking away in their expensive suits from South Africa to the comfortable chairs of The Café to The Zimbabwean or Zim Observer read and talk about their business. The white-capped waiters of the restaurant serve excellent pastries.

We let the evening come in, parked in front of us a white BMW X3 on the roadside.

Anyone who has become hungry from the arduous overland rides in grubby rust eaters, can in Bulawayo but also in the already mentioned elsewhere team of chicken Inn , Pizza Inn and Creamy Inn with fatty, easy for the Western stomach to handle fast food saturate.

The courtyard of the National Art Gallery at Leopold Takawira Ave is more recommendable. There begins the day, if you want, with optional chocolate or lemon cake, cappuccino and a delicious lemonade. The shady rooms on the first floor recently displayed pictures of children using crayons to depict the infectious disease HIV, which affects one in seven adults in Zimbabwe .

Unless a MDC party rally is being battered down by law enforcement, the traveler in Bulawayo barely realizes he's in a dictatorial ruling country. In the sunny and wide streets, it can comfortably last more than a day. There are internet cafes, restaurants and various shops, a large market, art galleries and bars.

Although the fake couture of the local designer stores leaves much to be desired, we saw a young hipster whose outfit (high-top sneakers, slimfit trousers, vest and baseball cap in black, orange shirt and orange plastic frame) the hard-to-tolerate fashion fascists and fashion bloggers in the pseudo-individualist Mecca Berlin-Kreuzberg would have driven the rage of jealousy in the face.

Presumably, said style visionary was in the hip Baku Club , from the late evenings - the sun had long gone down - even the current US pop music of a T-Pain or Lil Wayne in the otherwise deserted Bulawayo Center rang out.

We watched a Hollywood movie for three euros at the cinema and drove back to the hotel.

Bulawayo

.. Die Trockenzeit zwischen April und Oktober ist am besten für Reisende geeignet, die in Simbabwe auch noch auf Safari gehen wollen. Travel time: .. The dry season between April and October is best for travelers who want to go on safari in Zimbabwe. However, if you want to visit the Victoria Falls, it is worth visiting at the end of the rainy season in January or February: The Zambezi River is particularly rich in water, the falls are therefore impressive.

.. Flüge nach Bulawayo von Deutschland aus gibt es etwas umständlich mit Stops in Amsterdam oder London sowie Johannesburg, etwa von KLM oder South African Airways. Getting there: .. Flights to Bulawayo from Germany are a bit cumbersome with stops in Amsterdam or London as well as Johannesburg, such as KLM or South African Airways. Alternatively with Emirates via Dubai to the capital Harare and from there about 5 to 7 hours further by bus to Bulawayo.

.. Deutsche Reisende erhalten bei der Einreise am Flughafen oder an der Grenze ein Visum. Entry: .. German travelers receive a visa when entering the airport or at the border. The one-time stay costs $ 30 in cash, with re-entry is $ 45.

.. In Bulawayo gibt es Unterkünfte und Hotels verschiedener Preisklassen. Overnight: .. In Bulawayo there are accommodations and hotels of various price ranges.

.. Seit der Hyperinflation wird in Simbabwe landesweit mit US-Dollars oder südafrikanischen Rand gezahlt. Money: .. Since hyperinflation, Zimbabwe has been paying nationwide US Dollars or South African Rand. It is advisable to have enough foreign currency in cash. The banks accept only Visa cards, the exchange of euros in euros is easily possible.

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