Murray MacDougall Drive
Murray drive.JPG

Murray MacDougall Drive is a scenic circular drive connecting Masvingo, the lakeshore of Lake Mutirikwi and the dam wall.

Why Visit

  • The scenic circular drive connecting Masvingo, the lakeshore of Lake Mutirikwi, the dam wall and the Murray McDougall Drive has been called Zimbabwe’s garden route.
  • Good tarred road for the first sixty kilometres, some twenty-five kilometres of dirt road, before joining the tar again on the A9. A full day’s journey with plenty to see and enjoy.

History

Murray McDougall travelled into Zimbabwe in 1906 exploring the Lowveld bush and hunting in the Mutirikwi River area which at that time was inhabited only by Shangaans who lived in this virtually unexplored corner of then Southern Rhodesia. In 1912, he had applied to the administration for rights to 300,000 acres of land between the Mutirikwi, Chiredzi and Runde Rivers and was given an option on the land. In 1923, despite great initial opposition from officialdom, he started to put together the vision that after years of hard labour finally resulted in the vast irrigation systems that water the Lowveld and permit the thousands of hectares of sugarcane that grow today.

According to his official biography “The fact that the Government’s Irrigation Department considered him to be impudent, misguided and high-handed, and the presence of two large granite kopjes directly in the path of his proposed canal from the weir site, did not in any way deter this rugged and resourceful Scot.”

The enterprise and drive of Murray MacDougall was an inspiration for the citizens of Zimbabwe and his memory is continued though the Murray MacDougall Museum, the Murray MacDougall School, Scholarships and the Murray MacDougall drive.


When to visit

All year around

Fee

Entrance free Zimbabwe Scenic Sites