Takudzwa’s conservation journey started in Hwange National Park. Her father worked there, which she says birthed an innate desire to protect wildlife and the environment.
Today, Takudzwa’s experience includes co-authoring a Handbook for Prosecuting Wildlife Crimes and developing the first virtual training on wildlife crime and the law for authorities in Zimbabwe. She has drafted and amended key legislative and policy documents on wildlife at the national, regional, and international levels. Her commitment to conservation and love for Africa led to her appointment as the youngest and only female Board Member of the Nyanga Rhodes Estate in 2021. Here, she takes an advisory role towards the conservation and the development of the prestigious Nyanga National Park and surrounding areas. She was also named a 2022 Women for the Environment fellow.
The Tikki Hywood Foundation is a non-profit, wildlife orientated organisation that has been operating since 1994. It strives to bring recognition, awareness and sustainable conservation action to lesser-known endangered species, such as the highly endangered Pangolin.
An African Insider’s City Guide to Harare
Harare is a laid-back metropolis nicknamed The Sunshine City. Taku shares her favourite museums, bars and markets to visit before setting off to explore the rest of Zimbabwe.
Taku, please express your style in two words so we can suss out your recommendations
Sophisticated and alternative.
Give us your biography in one sentence
A lover of life, nature, animals, and plants, I’m determined to plant seeds literally and figuratively to change the world – i.e., by using the law and farming.
What’s your day job (or jobs!) and how did it bring you to this city?
I am an environmental lawyer, who uses the law to protect wildlife. I am also an urban farmer, committed to using technology to grow food with love from the ground up, for local consumption.
Do you prefer the outdoors or the indoors?
How would you describe Harare in five words? What’s the vibe?
Sunny, bustling, limitless, timeless and authentic.
What brings you joy?
Animals and plants – nature. I love a good hike and fresh air!
Is there a flavour that instantly reminds you of this city?
Ice cold raspberry freezit and maputi (which is Zimbabwe’s own kind of popcorn).
Can you share your favourite brunch spot?
Friends Café, at Chisi Walk.
A favourite place to meet with friends?
Queen of Hearts Cafe and Bakery. It’s set in a two-acre garden in the heart of Highlands along Enterprise Road.
Money is no object. Where’s the first place you take someone?
Victoria 22 restaurant. It’s ranked number one of all Harare eateries on Tripadvisor for its romantic candlelit dinners and fusion foods.
Got anything on your own city bucket list that you’ve been meaning to check out?
Emagumeni Helensvale seems like a vibey place to hang out with friends.
Favourite hidden gem?
Harare Kopje. It sits above the city and has great views. (Did you know? The name Harare is derived from that of the outcast Chief Neharawe, who, with his people, occupied the kopje at the time the Pioneer Column arrived and seized the land).
Be honest. What’s the most overrated stop in your city?
One unmissable museum or gallery that’s worth the queue?
National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe (you can visit on a virtual tour here).
Complete this sentence. Skip the tourist landmarks and…
Drive down Milton Street heading towards King George in autumn and enjoy the view of the beautiful purple Jacaranda trees. My favourite time of the year is Autumn, right after the winter and as things start to warm up, one can enjoy some amazing walks or hikes outside with the Zimbabwean sun shining and smiling on you.
You have to buy a last-minute gift! Where do you go for something unusual?
Artist and Sculpture corner behind Newlands Shopping centre. Shona sculptures are a key part of Zimbabwe’s artisan scene.
Give us the scoop. What’s the Covid-19 reality check on the ground? Any policies to know about? Industry hardships?
There are some lockdown regulations that may impact the opening and closing times of restaurants, cafés and bars, and limit numbers.
Where do you go to unwind?
Raintree or Ballantyne Park.
One piece of advice you’d give to a family visitor coming for the first time?
Have a destination in mind and a map in hand, so you can navigate your travels easily and be prepared for an adventure.
Also read: Top 10 things to know when planning your first African safari
What African destination is on your own bucket list?
Inspired? Plan your trip to Zimbabwe with all the inside advice.