On our way south from Nyanga NP, we came past Mutare, where we visited the museum, which has a fascinating collection of cars and an exhibition of natural history. The natural history section was a little dusty with sad looking staffed animals and many displays in the dark because of broken light bulbs, nevertheless there were many interesting exhibits.
Which cars the British had brought to Rhodesia was just fascinating. What kind of roads had this beautiful Jaguar to tackle? Or was it just used to drive to church on Sunday? Hopefully they were more reliable in these days.
Included in the ticket was the visit to the Utopia House, the home of Rhys and Rosalie Fairbridge. He was a government surveyor and one of the earliest white settlers in Mutare. In 1897 he had his home “Utopia” built, which is the oldest building in town and restored to the state of around 1900 and now crumbling away again.
The lack in funds to maintain this historic building was obvious, but it was fascinating to see how the people lived in Rhodesia during that time. Just how much longer will this house be standing?
From Mutare, we drove up to the Vumba Botanical Garden, which has a campsite. We could walk around the fast grounds exploring the still somehow maintained part and the more overgrown one. The next day, we continued our way to the Savé Valley Conservancy.