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Residential Area
Image Via Wikimedia
Image Via Wikimedia
Local CouncilUrban Council
Founded byHenry Borrow
Time zoneCAT

Borrowdale is one of the residential and commercial business areas found in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. It is located a few miles from the the city centre on the north east of the capital.


Borrowdale was named after after a pioneer Henry Borrow.[1] Borrow set up the area as an estate which combined residential and farming areas. The estate consisted of 22 275 hectares of land spreading out northwards. The estate was purchased at the price of 17.5 cents per hectare. Borrow worked with his colleagues Heany and Johnson to produce vegetables and other products on the farm.[1]

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About Henry Borrow

Henry Borrow was born in 1865. He came moved to South Africa in 1882 with the hope of taking up farming.[1] He joined the Pioneer Column in 1890.[1] The Pioneer Column was a group of mercenaries hired by Cecil Rhodes's British South Africa Compnay to take part in the colonisation of the then Zimbabwean plateau. He constructed the first man-made dam in Rhodesia on his estate in the area now called Borrowdale.

The dam was used for many years for irrigation but was subsequently destroyed in 1939 after serious flooding. Borrow was in the Matebele War in 1893 in which he fought side by side with the likes of Allan Wilson. He died in the ill-fated Shangani Patrol led by Major Allan Wilson in December 4, 1893.[1]


In 1897, the area was acquired by United Goldfields Company which briefly ventured into livestock production but the enterprise did not live long after it was reported that neighbouring Shona people were stealing the cattle.[1] The area was then developed into residential plots and this resulted in the emergence of residential estates such as Helensvale, Hatcliffe, Greystone Park, Quinnington and Glen Forest.[1]

Over the years, Borrowdale has grown to be one of the most luxurious areas in Zimbabwe. It is known for being a serene home to some of the country's popular politicians, business people, religious figures and socialites. The list includes the president Robert Mugabe whose home is known as the "Blue Roof" and it is an architectural beauty even from miles away.[2] Businessman Philip Chiyangwa who is believed to b one of the richest people in the country also lives in the leafy suburb.[3]

Doing Business in Borrowdale

A Glimpse of Borrowdale's Sam Levy Village Image Via Come To Zimbabwe Website

Besides diverse architectural feats that characterise Borrowdale residential enclaves, there are also a number of commercial centres which include retails shops, boutiques, hardware and electrical gadgets shops, exotic food shops, and clubs for "booze". These areas include Sam Levy Village which is located along the busy Borrowdale road, and the Borrowdale Brooke Shopping Centre which houses a number of commercial enterprises. Most well up people prefer shopping in these two areas due to diversity of products as well as conducive shopping experiences amidst quiet and serene environments.

Sports and Entertainment

Horse Racing at Borrowadale Race Course I mage Via Financial Gazette

The Borrowdale Race Course is a home to a number of sporting and entertainment activities. It is one of the biggest horse races in Zimbabwe and it hosts a number of international competitions such as the OK Grand Challenge run by OK Zimbabwe Limited. The Castle Tankard, which is the oldest horse race competition in Zimbabwe, is one of the major annual events which takes place at race course which is located on the heart of the Borrowdale suburb.[4]

Famous Sites

1.Borrowdale Brooke 2.Pomona 3.Samy Levy's Village 4.Borrowdale Manor 5.Celebration Centre


  • The first man-made dam in the country was constructed in this area. It was eventually destroyed in 1939 due to flooding.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 C. Smith, [Avondale to Zimbabwe],R. C Smith" ,retrieved:1 Jul 2015"
  2. F. Kwaramba, Mugabe shows mansion to world,Daily News, published:2 Mar 2015 ,retrieved:1 Jul 2015"
  3. , Phillip Chiyangwa's luxury mansion in Borrowdale - Zimbabwean business tycoon,African Mansions, published: 17 Jun 2011,retrieved:1 Jul 2015"
  4. P. Gwabanani, 52nd Castle Tankard launched,Zim Mail, published:27 Mar 2014 ,retrieved:1 Jul 2015"