Before 1982, Harare was known as Salisbury. Founded in 1890, Salisbury was the capital of Southern Rhodesia until 1980, when the country became internationally recognized as the independent Republic of Zimbabwe. The capital city retained the name Salisbury until 1982, when the city’s name was changed to Harare
There are a number of popular tourist attractions in Harare. The National Gallery houses a collection of interesting and valuable pieces of art and sculpture, with a number of superb Shona soft-stone carvings. It also hosts several temporary international exhibitions. The National Archives have a rare collection of historic diaries, note-books and reports of various origins regarding famous missionaries and explorers. Some of the original works of some of the greatest names in African exploration can be viewed. Other institutions of Harare which are well worth visiting include the Queen Victoria Museum and the Queen Victoria National Library, both at the Civic Centre; in Rotten Row.
Shopping in Harare is highly recommended. This city has an array of shops catering for every budget, including malls with fast-food, clothing, shoes and accessories. More interestingly, Harare offers the huge traditional open market at Mbare, where visitors can find a colourful array of baskets, food, clothing and various other items. By supporting the local craftsmen who sell their hand-made artwork, stone and wooden sculptures, and wicker goods, visitors can take home a unique piece of Africa that will be treasured for years to come.
Just outside of Harare to the east, there are the Chivero Mukuvisi Woodlands. This natural woodland of 227 hectares provides a home to a wide range of game species (such as giraffe, zebra, impala, tsessebe, wildebeest, bushbuck, steenbuck, reedbuck and eland) and over 230 bird species (including the shy narina trogon, African finfoot and Ayres hawk eagle). Botanists will enjoy the Chivero Mukuvisi Woodlands as well, with no less than 300 species of trees and shrubs that naturally occur in the area.