Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum
4.5
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Since 1964 this four-story museum has been an important homage to the history, culture and people of Africa.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles179 reviews
Excellent
90
Very good
63
Average
22
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Saar G
Tel Aviv, Israel110 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Family
The museum is a mix of natural history and Zimbabwe history. Unfortunately it looks like nothing was updated since it was first established in 1964. The history section was written from a Eurocentric point of view, talking about the “bravery” of the white settlers. When I come to a Zimbabwe museum, I want the local perspective of the establishment of Rhodesia, Cecil Rhodes, the missionaries, etc. we’re they a positive or negative for the indigenous people? This part of the museum was a disappointment. Lighting was also not well maintained so much of the displays were in the dark.
The museum has a good set of exhibits at its core, but needs some serious updating. Nonetheless, worth a visit
Written 5 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GeneralShamu
New York City, NY1 134 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
This museum is far larger than we anticipated and has so much history about the region - we wish we had more time but they kicked us out. You need at least a few hours if you actually want to read into all the stuff they have here. The live snake exhibit is lovely as well.
Written 24 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael F
Winter Haven, FL151 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
This museum does a very good job of presenting the history of Zimbabwe from the Stone Age to Today. It also has an impressive Natural History collection. The butterfly and insect collection is particularly impressive. A+
Written 13 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Balcha M
Harare, Zimbabwe72 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
I visited the Bulawayo Natural History Museum with my family on 13 March 2022. We were the only guests at the museum during our two plus hours’ stay. The museum is very rich in the diversity and variety of mammals, butterflies, birds and geological specimens from numerous geographical areas and habitats within and outside of Zimbabwe. There is a display of live snakes from Zimbabwe and Southern Africa on the ground floor. All the displayed items are appropriately labelled and there are detailed descriptions accompanying some of the displays ( esp the birds and geological specimens) and dioramas. In addition, there are numerous interesting historical artifacts and items from the pre-colonial and colonial era. The whole museum serves as an excellent educational resource. I had read somewhere that this is the best natural history museum in Africa, and it can very well be considering the variety of specimens it hosts, but the museum definitely requires some resources and a modernizing touch. The front desk reception was not manned by a professional, and there were no brochures or fliers handed out to guide us. Even though generally the two floors of the museum were well aired and well lit, the lighting was poor in some areas. There are no audio-visual aides or computerized touch screen catalogues like one sees in more modern and well-resourced museums. There is a small curio shop at the reception which has very few and outdated items, and items were not on sale on the day of our visit, since “the prices of the items had not been recently revised”. This is a Sunday afternoon well spent for me and my family, and I look forward to another visit when in Bulawayo. I long to see this institution getting the attention it deserves.
Written 22 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

N.Chelsea
Ballina, Ireland1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021 • Family
The museum is really beautiful but one thing I didn't like was the fact we weren't allowed to take pictures of the artifacts.
Written 18 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Monty10001
London, UK143 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Although in need of some new investment, it's definitely worth a visit. The ground floor has excellent displays of African wildlife (including some really cool old dioramas), including a big display of living snakes, while the top floor has a big display on Zimbabwean history, spanning from prehistory to independence. Well worth a couple of hours if you want to know more about the history of the region and the wildlife of Zimbabwe.
Written 7 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Xolani N
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
I remember going there the first time as a kid how the mounted elephant scared me, a good place for the kids to gain some knowledge on nature. Good place to go for a lazy inexpensive weekend outing.
Written 6 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tinashe Frank J
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
The place is very amazing it is rich in history.The only letdown is they don't allow cameras for photo shooting.There is the history of the human race with skulls of homo habilis ,homo erectus etc as well as modern history.For history enthusiasts this is the place for you.There are also different varieties of different live snakes as well dummy wild animals like lions,elephant ,leopard etc.Also the place is a 3 minute drive from the Bulawayo CBD.
Written 17 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lola008
Pulborough, UK491 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Solo
Now I am not really a museum visitor, however with time to kill along I went. Very pleased I did, mostly natural history, large section on C J Rhodes, & geological section, it really is very well done & for myself just the right amount of information. Oh also live snakes section have to say not keen on this as I feel they should be free.
Written 9 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard H
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe340 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Overall, I would thoroughly recommend a visit to this museum but I will point out a few things which I hope may prevent others going there in false expectation.

Firstly, be clear that it is far more than just natural history. The sections on the history of this country are excellent and important. The natural history ranges from geology to fungi to insects to stuffed animals (including the second largest mounted elephant in the world) to a display of live snakes. All round, a good variety.

Please do not expect a modern, European type museum with lots of buttons to push with videos or computerised displays. That is not meant to detract from the interest of what there is to see, just to ensure no misunderstandings.

Rightly or wrongly, please also note that the history section deals with the colonial and pre-colonial eras but nothing since independence. If you are seeking information after 1980, this is not the place.

I would also warn that, from my visit anyway, some of the lighting is not what it should be and either labels or exhibits are not as visible as you might want. It may or may not be right to blame the museum authorities but at this stage in Zimbabwe's progress, do not hold it against them! Yes, there are also parts which are quite old and could do with renovation but a lot of it has either stood the test of time or has been smartened up recently. Do not be to judgemental!

The current temporary display is on postcards. There are interesting exhibits but I feel it is not as clearly explained as it could be.

There is a cafe. I doubt it has a great variety but I am sure it is fine if you are not fussy or just want a cup of tea as I did.

The museum does try to host special events as and when it can, so look out for those if you are in Bulawayo.

You could dash round in an hour or spend 2-3 hours trying to absorb everything that there is to see.

The cost is US$10 for non-resident visitors, Z$5 for locals. I do believe it is worth a visit.
Written 8 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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