The Bulawayo Club was established in 1895, a year after modern Bulawayo itself was founded; as a Gentlemen’s Club along the lines of the London Clubs, the Kimberley Club and the Rand Club. Continually supported and nurtured its Members since then, it remains today an extraordinarily preserved window into Zimbabwe’s long and varied history.
Hanging above the period, mahogany paneled walls of the lobby of this once Gentlemen’s Only Club, are hunting trophies from a multitude of African beasts and, along with the historic paintings, lithographs, prints and other artefacts, visitors are instantly reminded of the building’s past in what many have described as a living museum of a bygone age.
The foundation stone of the current building was laid by Prince George on the 28th March 1934. A younger son of King George V, Prince George later met his death in a flying accident in 1942. Although the Building has been tastefully kept up to date over the years, its original features and integrity remain.
As with similar establishments worldwide, the Club was originally established as a social hub for Bulawayo’s (male) elite. The presence of Ladies at that time was only tolerated once or twice a year, on special occasions, and provided that they entered through a side entrance and staircase. This has, of course, long since changed and moved with the times; we now unreservedly welcome all genders.
Still owned and operated by its Members, since 2008 the Club has opened its doors to discerning non-Members, who appreciate the splendour and grace of a bye-gone era, and who can take time off to appreciate one of the great architectural and cultural gems of Zimbabwe and Bulawayo.