Tengenenge Art Community


A must for those in interested in Shona sculpture, as well as traditional Zimbabwean culture, the Tengenenge Art Community overall makes for a rewarding trip from Harare. Its large open-air gallery allows you to watch its acclaimed sculptors at work and peruse its expansive collection of exquisite (yet affordable) pieces to purchase. The artists, many who have exhibited overseas, work with the local serpentine and spring stone to produce quality, original sculptures.

The community was established in 1966 by former farmer, Tom Bloefield, and has around 120 sculptors, many from families who span over three generations. It's faced its difficulties over the years in battling authorities and generating funding, however, management is in the process of being taken over by Harare's National Galley, which will likely improve facilities.

Most visitors are day trippers, but it's worth staying overnight in the attractive and well-maintained traditional mud huts to give you a very off-the-beaten track feel. Visitors are also able to help out at Tengenenge's delightful preschool if they wish. Donations such as kids books and crayons are accepted.

The village is located about 150km north of Harare and is around a two-hour drive. Getting here by public transport is more of a challenge, but it can be done. Catch a bus from Mbare station to Guruve (US$5), from where you can get dropped off at Ruyamuro and prearrange a pick-up from the village's pick-up truck (US$5), arrange a taxi (US$20 to US$25) or hitch.