Masvingo Stories and Tips

Serima Mission, Masvingo Road

Serima Mission, Masvingo Road  Photo, Masvingo, Zimbabwe

On the way to Masvingo, the Serima Mission (pass through Chatsworth, turn left at the small dam and drive straight for about 25km) is a jewel - it's run as a school and also a sort of adult halfway house. The pretty little Church of Our Lady attached to the mission contains some fantastic carving (font, candlesticks, lecterns) and marquetry, set into the walls, of biblical scenes.

It's quite a trek through the countryside to get there but you'll pass through lovely countryside and pick up the sights and sounds of life going on way outside the cities (and villages).

At the mission, the nuns are welcoming (they don't seem to get many visitors and make the most of you) and well informed about the history of the mission, and can also tell you a great deal about how the local people are faring.

The mission was set up in 1948 under the auspices of a Swiss missionary (Father Grober) who taught local people the techniques of carving as well as spreading the good word.

His legacy can also be found in the curious (both for its name and the set-up) Golden Spiderweb on the Masvingo Road (you can't miss it by car as there's only one road) which has the best kept toilets I have seen anywhere in Zimbabwe, serves magnificent fresh chocolate cake and sells bargain souvenirs. Look out for the Swiss-style St Nicholas figures as part of Father Grober's influence and the dinky "Christmas Shop" (which doesn't sell anything remotely festive these days).

Other sights in the area of Great Zim include the game park on Lake Kyle which is well worth a deviation, as is the Lake itself (for watersports and gentle walking).

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