Harare, Zimbabwe © 2013 . All rights reserved.

9 Oct ’13

You know the clichés about certain countries or people. Like “Kiwi-hospitality”, British humour, Swiss precision, La bonne vie Française..” Some of them are very true; others I find are a big joke. Now the cliché about Zimbabwe: the friendliest people of Africa. When arriving in Harare Airport, we can’t help but already believe the saying. Big smiles, good vibe, “welcome in Zimbabwe, happy to see you and have you here!” Unlike other African airports or arrivals, this is a pleasant experience. From the airport to our very comfy and just renovated Meikles Hotel, we only get loads of friendliness and smiles. We know what this country recently has been trough and how it affected the Zimbabwean people. It is amazing to see how positive everybody is and how this “bright, new future” feeling is lingering in the air. Harare looks fantastic from our hotel room (book 1010 if you want this view) with the jacarandas in bloom, music in the air and a clear blue sky announcing summer in this part of the world. During the day I attend a press briefing about tourism in Zimbabwe and I am pleased to hear that the focus is also on domestic travel. How the government and the hotel industry want Zimbabweans to travel in their own country, to see things they never saw before so they know even more how great their homeland is and what the beauty is. In the evening we go out for dinner at Coimbra, a Portuguese “chicken piri piri” joint. On a Wednesday evening the place is packed with locals, white and black Zimbabweans, mostly indulging in a plate of tenderly grilled chicken with hand cut chips and a garlic gravy to die for. The beer is cold and the prices (in dollar, because this is the new currency now) are low. We feel this is a good start for our trip, and I am sure for a better and brighter Zimbabwe too.

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