Mutare, capital of the manic land province is a port city from Zimbabwe. The original name of the city was “Umtali”. Though Mutare was officially found in the late 19th century, history points out to the fact that trading caravans used to pass through the region while going to the Indian Ocean. Zimbabwe is renowned the world over for its soapstone figurines and carvings which bear evidence to these trading routes that are as old as 900 A.D.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a large collection of soapstone figurines and other jewelry were found in the surrounding areas of the city. Mutare is just about 8 kms away from the bordering line of Mozambique and is about 290 kms from the Mozabican port of Beira. This has earned the city the sobriquet “Zimbabwe’s-Gateway to the Sea”. Local Zimbabweans also refer to the city as Kumakomoyo which means place of many mountains.
It was originally a fort between the Mutare and the Tsambe rivers. The name Mutare owes its origin to the word “Utare” meaning “Gold” The name is given due to the heavy gold discoveries in Penhalonga valley near the river Mutare. The name Utmali was officially changed to Mutare in the year 1982.
Though the city is located in the tropical regions, the climate here is temperate. The main reason for this situation is the placement of the mountain ridge named Cecil Kop which brings cool breezes from lower lying altitudes to the south and east. The Mutare museum which is dedicated to Kingsley Fairbridge is housed in the city.
The city is also home to the Murahwa Hill which is known for its Iron Age village and rock paintings. Mutare is one of the few cities in the world which has a larger female population as compared to the males. One of the most notable citizens of Mutare has been Professor Governor Mambo Mupepi.