Been wanting to travel to Zimbabwe? We’ve got you covered! We are currently planning a 2023 Tour with our friends at Winad Music Trust in Zimbabwe for June 28-July 19, 2023.
Here’s what 2022 Tour participants are saying!
“I really liked that I didn’t feel like a tourist; I felt fully immersed.”
“There was deep transformation and processing of emotions that came out of the experience for me, and that felt hugely meaningful.“
“I really liked having a constant group of Zimbabweans around us so we could get to know them and the culture more deeply.”
“This Tour blew me wide open in a wonderful way. Not only do I have a new understanding of how privileged I am, but I feel like I’m walking in the world differently with this new knowledge.”
“I loved the reactions to our performances!”
“I can’t thank you enough for what an incredibly rich experience this was. It was truly the trip of a lifetime.”
“The Tour leaders were absolutely incredible!”
“This was a magical, life changing experience that will stick with me forever.”
Arrive and Orient: Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Depart Denver on Monday, June 26, 2023, and arrive at It’s a Small World Backpacker’s Lodge outside of Harare. Settle in and enjoy a group dinner and orientation together. In the morning, participate in a guided trip to Avondale Shopping Centre. Stop for an espresso at Cafe Nush, and then browse the traditional African Market next door. Eat dinner at Gava’s, a local sadza restaurant and performance venue. See some live music with our Zimbabwean friends and guides.
Part 1: Rural and City Life (7 days): Thursday, June 29-Wednesday, July 5, 2023
Submerge yourself into rural life! Slow down and connect with our tour group, our hosts, and the land on which we will be hosted. Stay in a traditional sleeping hut and eat your meals in a traditional kitchen hut with fresh, local food. Meet the villagers, including Cosmas Magaya’s huge extended family, and honor the 3rd anniversary of Cosmas Magaya’s death (July 10, 2020) with a visit to his grave. Take a guided tour of the rural area, including a visit to Nhimbe Preschool to meet the teachers, staff, and children, and complete a service project. Mix with the Humwe Marimba/Mbira Club, and do a workshop exchange. Study mbira with Cosmas Magaya’s son, Mudavanhu Magaya, each day. Learn how to sweep the yard with a traditional broom, do laundry without running water, chop wood, make a fire for cooking, and cook sadza over an open flame. Participate in a mini bira, the Shona people’s traditional ceremony.
Spend the first morning back from the rural area enjoying:
- The Central Business District, including the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the Harare Gardens, and the National Botanic Gardens in a guided visit to Harare City Centre plus a guided afternoon trip to Mbare Musika, the oldest market in the city of Harare. Shop for a deze, mbira, hosho, Zimbabwean art, cultural souvenirs, and more –OR-
- The natural landscape and animals nearby, including an early morning mini walking “safari” at the nearby Mukuvisi Woodlands plus an afternoon visit to the Balancing Rocks National Monument in Epworth on the outskirts of Harare, -OR-
- Making art with local artists, including a morning with fabric artist Naomi Majakwara at her home art studio learning to salt-dye fabric plus an afternoon with local painter Tatenda Thumba and his beadwork artist mother MaiTatenda –OR-
- A day resting and relaxing by the pool at Small World Lodge, practicing mbira and getting ready for our Performance Tour!
Finish the day with an evening out to see more live music with our Zimbabwean guides.
On day two, travel to the nearby, high density township of Dvizaresekwa. Teach and learn in a workshop exchange with Tsoro Arts Center students, see a Tsoro Arts performance, and share a traditional meal of sadza with friends and neighbors.
Part 2: Performance Tour (10 days): Thursday July 6-Saturday, July 15, 2023
Spend our first day in the nearby, low density township of Borrowdale with our friends at Winad in a joint rehearsal. Participants in the 2019 Summer Winad US Tour and 2022 Summer PauShamwari Hwedu Zimbabwe Tour will remember the thrill of learning the choreography, the arrangements, and the songs in order to present a collaborative show. We will bring our own music to add to theirs, and stitch them together with shared material finalized on-site in Zimbabwe.
Together with Winad, the whole team will move around presenting our show at both schools and other performance venues. Our goals are twofold – 1: to fight racism by forging friendships across cultures and colors, and 2: presenting Zimbabweans with the message that Zimbabwean music, culture, and languages are worth preserving and showcasing. Our Performance Tour will include visits with marimba bands such as CFA from Mt. Darwin, Eaglesvale Private School from Harare, and others. We will mix, mingle, and perform for one another, increasing our opportunities for friendship.
Part 3: Victoria Falls (4 days): Sunday, July 16-Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Finish your time in Zimbabwe with the ultimate tourist destination: Victoria Falls, home to one of the seven wonders of the world. Our time in Vic Falls will include a Sunset Dinner Cruise on the Zambezi River, lounging by the lodge’s pool (including spa treatments!), walking in the cute downtown Vic Falls shopping area, and either:
2) a guided overnight safari at Chobe National Park.
Fly back to Harare for one final day of shopping, packing, and saying your goodbyes, staying overnight one last time at Small World Lodge.
Depart: Thursday, July 20, 2023
Transfer to the airport to head back to Denver. You will arrive home on Friday, July 21, 2023.
Estimated cost per person*
Part 1: Rural and City Life – $2,500
Part 2: Performance Tour – $3,300
Part 3: Victoria Falls: – $1,700
*Does not include roundtrip airfare DEN to HRE, or HRE to VFA, or travel insurance (recommended). These costs can fluctuate, but currently are $2,000+ and $500+ respectively for flights, and 5-10% of your fees for travel insurance.
“I’d recommend this trip to anyone interested in Zimbabwean culture, music, and meeting local people. It was wonderful to have Zimbabwean friends guide us and welcome us into their homes, rural villages, and world. What a treat for us to sit back knowing all was handled! Amy was always there to answer questions and at no stage did I feel uncomfortable…all signs of good leadership!” – Pam C., Canberra, Australia
“The 2018 Zimbabwe Tour was inspirational and life changing! We were pretty nervous about traveling to Africa but Amy melted away all our concerns, provided excellent logistics while still allowing for lots of spontaneous events, and provided opportunities for participating in Zimbabwean culture and music. This was the best tour I could ever imagine!” – Jim L, Homer, AK
Amy Stewart McIntosh
Amy is Kutandara’s Executive Director and Co-Founder. Amy began studying African music in 1994 with master instructors both from Zimbabwe and the United States. Amy is adept at many African instruments, but especially loves marimba and hosho, and plays both with style and grace. Amy’s focus is community, and the richness that comes from deepening our relationships with one another. Amy reminds us that music is not only about notes and rhythms, but about relationships among people working together toward a common goal.
Amy’s specialty in teaching at Kutandara is group marimba classes for children, teens, and adults at introductory – intermediate levels. She also teaches private lessons in mbira, hosho, and singing, and incorporates these themes, along with Shona culture and language, into her group marimba classes. In addition to her teaching at Kutandara, Amy has also taught at the Zimbabwean Music Festival (US), Camp Tumbuka (US), Nhemamusasa North (Canada), Zimba Marimba Camp (Sweden), and Watershed College (Zimbabwe).
Amy visited Zimbabwe in 2001-2002 for six weeks and co-led the 2017 Culture & Music Immersion Tours over the course of four weeks with Dana Moffett of Rubatano Center in Washington. She also led the 2018 tour of Zimbabwe, staying on for the summer afterward. After a personal visit in March 2022, she looks forward to helping the 2022 Zim Tour members gel into a community of learners and performers, and to introducing a new group of westerners to friends, teachers, and artists in Zimbabwe.
We can accommodate up to 15 participants, in addition to trip staff. We are looking for outgoing, curious, kind, easy-going people with whom to experience a hands-on culture and music immersion in Zimbabwe. Participants will meet weekly with trip leaders April – June 2023 for culture and language orientation, to learn and rehearse music for sharing/performance, and to build a spirit of teamwork for our shared experience.
“This experience was super in depth and something that would be hard to create on one’s own. It was definitely worth while! The opportunity to give back in a meaningful way and connect with music, culture, new friends, and nature was amazing.” – Kristin S., Boulder, CO