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Masvingo is a town in south-eastern Zimbabwe and the capital of Masvingo Province. The town is close to Great Zimbabwe, the national monument from which the country takes its name.HistoryThe town was known as Fort Victoria until 1982, when its name was briefly changed to Nyanda. Within a few months its name was again changed to Masvingo when it was discovered that Nyanda did not translate very well between dialects. It is the oldest colonial settlement in Zimbabwe, and grew up around the encampment established in 1890 by the Pioneer Column en route to their eventual destination, Salisbury. The Old Fort national monument is located in the centre of town, and was erected in 1891 as one of a series of fortifications to guard the route from Salisbury to the south. The very first cricket match in Zimbabwe is said to have taken place close by in 1890.DemographicsThe population was approximately 15,000 in 1970; 30,523 in 1982 and rose to 51,743 in 1992. It had a population of approximately 58,000 in 2002 and is said to have passed the 100.000 peg in 2008. Masvingo is located 292km south of Harare. Most of the local population belongs to the Karanga Shona ethnic group. It is divided into suburbs including Mucheke, Rujeko, Rhodene, Target Kopje and Eastvale. The suburbs are divided into high-density, middle-density and low-density suburbs. Mucheke, the oldest township and Rujeko are the most populous high-density suburbs. The middle-density suburbs are Eastvale located close to Zimuto Police Camp and Target Kopje located on the southern part of town on a small hill close to Flamboyant Hotel. Rhodene, a low-density suburb on the northern part of the city centre, is the most affluent suburb in Masvingo. A new suburban development, Zimre Park, is also taking shape to the north east of the town along Bulawayo Road.Plan how to spend your time in Masvingo and other destinations in Zimbabwe using our Zimbabwe driving holiday planner.
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