Mtshabezi Dam


Is in Matabeleland, about 40km from the Gwanda Rd. Its been on my to do list for sometime and was well worth the visit. We had a survey a short distance from here,a nd couldn’t resist a short detour.

Its low now, the water level marked on the rocks is down about two metre.


The dam was built in 1994 and is meant to supplement the  Bulawayo water supply. The views around there are dramatic, the Matopos domes towering.P1160130

The road in is a little rough! But one part of it winds along the edge of the spillway gorge and looks almost as if it has been planted, with aloes and tiny flowering succulents.





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pacificnorthwestkate - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Love these photos Frankie – beautiful ❤️❤️

frankiekay - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply


Mike Canter - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Far from the madding crowd.

frankiekay - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

That is foreshuwa! Its very hard to get close to the water from the dam wall end, and so only people who own four wheel drives or are prepared to walk kilometers will go there. We intend to find a way through from the Shilo school – much cheaper than the $5.00 per person the council want. I object to paying that when I dont fish!

nomusa2 - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Absolutely picture perfect – love the shades, shadows, everything!

frankiekay - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Thanks – I also like that photo (the first one) very much. I couldnt resist so many of the garden alongside the road – hope they were not too boring

joanfrankham - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Awesome. Hope some rains come or is it too late now?

frankiekay - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

They would be very welcome – several fields we saw had maize tasseling – any rain would give those people some hope of a few cobs. Grass grows no matter the time of year. If the rain settled in now and rained for a month…oopps, Im dreaming out loud!

dendymactoodle - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

In the late 1950’s my husband bought Sub-Section D of Florencedale Farm which had the Mtshabezi river flowing through it. The dam site was downstream in the Tribal Trust Land and the water backed onto the farm. The farm afforded the beautiful backdrop of the Matopos Hills.

frankiekay - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Wonderful – off the old Gwanda Rd, I guess? On this blog, I have pics taken from Shumbashaba, which is further towards Bulawayo

dendymactoodle - 22. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Yes off the old Gwanda Road.

dendymactoodle - 22. Feb, 2016 - Reply

We would access Florencedale from Bulawayo through Burnside and onto the Criterion Road, passing Mzilikazi’s Old Bulawayo, where there were the ruins of the Jesuit Chapel and a waggon shed built by the Jesuits for Mzilikazi. We would sometimes have access from the Old Gwanda Road when rain made the Criterion Road impassable.

frankiekay - 22. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Yes, that is the route I know – but the Mtshabezi Dam rd does finally meet the Old Gwanda Rd – we would turn right and then your place would be a short distance. Did you pass the Matobo Mission?

Greg Shaw - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Beautiful! Is there camping there?

frankiekay - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Yes, but no ablutions, no water! Only a designated place where one can set up a camp. The problem is the rate is $5.00 per day, per person, which is ridiculous if you are not fishing! So we plan to drive from Lumeni, and ask a homesteader if we can stay with them near the waters edge

Greg Shaw - 21. Feb, 2016 - Reply

Thanks – I look forward to seeing more photographs.

Nkosilathi - 22. Feb, 2016 - Reply

That looks amazing, peaceful and tranquil.

frankiekay - 22. Feb, 2016 - Reply

It is – its lovely – the colours were very vibrant too