Birchenough Bridge

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Birchenough Bridge
Birchneough bridge.JPG
Coordinates19⁰57′39.91″S 32⁰20′38.66″E

Birchenough Bridge is in Buhera District, Manicaland Province. It is the third longest single-arch span in the world, and as built in 1934. The bridge is about eight kilometers south of the junction of the Save River with the Odzi River and provides direct communication by the main road between Masvingo on the west and Chimanimani, Chipinge and Mutare to the east of the two rivers. The bridge was built to facilitate crossing the Sabi River for local residents, and aid in trade and improve communications with neighbouring countries.

See Lakes, Rivers, Bridges and Waterfalls in Zimbabwe.

Visitors Guide

  • When to visit: All year around
  • Fee: An entrance fee is chargeable

Birchenough Bridge is 118 KM from Mutare and 181 KM from Masvingo on the A9 which connects Masvingo to Mutare. There is also a community there.

See Devuli Secondary School.


The Birchenough Bridge was designed by Ralph Freeman, consulting engineer to the Beit Trust, who also designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Beit Bridge over the Limpopo River. [1] It was named after Sir Henry Birchenough who was the then Chairman of the Beit Railway Trust and President of the British South Africa Company who financially facilitated the construction.


The sinking of foundations began in April 1934 and they were ready for steelwork in November 1934. Material was delivered to the west bank of the river by road and the steelwork for the east side was carried across the river by a cableway. The arch span was completed on 17 June 1935, and the concrete roadway was completed at the end of September 1935. The bridge was opened to traffic on 20 December 1935. The bridge was built over a period of 20 months, the contractors were Dorman Long & Company, Limited, of Middlesbrough, England. [1]

The cost of the bridge was approximately £150,000, and the building of the road approaches was undertaken by the Rhodesian Government. The Birchenough Bridge was opened on 20 December 1935, by Sir Herbert Stanley, GCMG, then Governor of Southern Rhodesia. Read More


2023 Threat to National Security

In September 2023, Anywhere Mutambudzi labelled journalist and filmmaker Hopewell Chin'ono a threat to national security after the latter had said the Government had failed to maintain the Birchenough Bridge. [3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Birchenough Bridge, ZFG, Published:26 April 2018, Retrieved:
  2. The birchenough bridge, RH, Published: , Retrieved: 26 April 2018
  3. Anywhere Mutambudzi, X, Published: 24 September 2023, Retrieved: 25 September 2023

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