IT is one of the flashiest car collections you will ever see anywhere in southern Africa, a parking lot that will leave motoring enthusiasts awestruck.
You might imagine that this fun spot is in a plush neighbourhood, surrounded by luxury suburban homes.
Well, it is not.
It is, in fact, located at High Glen Shopping Mall, on the peripheries of Harare’s low-income township of Budiriro.
The Beemers, Benzes, Bentleys and other top-of-the-range marques will catch your attention.
Loud music blaring from the vehicles’ boots, and the delectable aroma of barbeque are the main attractions to revelers and passers-by.
And among the revelers is a cross-section of Harare’s cosmopolitan population – the well-to-do, yuppies, weirdos, groupies, hustlers as well as some hangers-on all in colour.
With the deadly Covid-19 Delta variant wreaking havoc, many people decided to spend the long Heroes and Defence Forces holidays within the confines of Harare, having fun in the soothing sun of Zimbabwean winter.
Zimbabweans are a peaceful people by nature, and merrymaking is one of their specialties. Indeed, High Glen Mall has become the new place of convergence for those seeking a day of fun.
And with Mashwede hangout being closed, itself a stone’s throw away, everyone seems to trek to High Glen Shopping Mall for barbeque and the wise waters.
It is not just the adults who are thronging the place but also children. Some families are finding the place decent enough to bring their children along.
“We love coming here because there are clean toilets and the place is clean and well maintained,” one reveler told The NewsHawks.
Another frequenter said: “We got fed up with other venues where it’s dusty and crowded. Here is more spacious and there are no beggars and vagabonds.”
A newcomer said she was impressed by the hangout, but complained of slow service in the pubs and the long queues by the braai stands.
“The vibe is good and everything, but then the long wait at the bar and braai stands is quite annoying,” she said. “The price of braaied chicken is quite high as it costs US$7 per full chicken while the sausage and pork chops are also expensive.”
One pub, close to the parking lot, is often busy but looks rather shabby. The braai area is teeming with people placing orders. In fact, revelers also have to queue to buy their favourite chops and meat in the butchery. This is when physical distancing gets violated although some people could be seen wearing their face masks.
Located along Willowvale Road, High Glen Shopping Mall is as good as any other sought-after upmarket barbecue place in town.
What with long-distance travellers who return home from South Africa and other neighbouring countries.
The place has breathed life into a shopping centre once dismissed as a white elephant.
The place is open throughout the week, but the roaring business is experienced during weekends.
While Sundays are usually laidback and meant for family outings, this is the day the venue gets packed.
The latest statistics from the ministry of Health and Child Care indicate that as at 9 August 2021, Zimbabwe had 116 853 confirmed cases, including 90 210 recoveries and 3919 deaths.
Surprisingly, people are oblivious of the fact that, to date, a total of 1 897 414 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Sadder still, Zimbabwe is yet to achieve herd immunity so that it can open up or at least move from Level Four lockdown restrictions to Level One to allow entertainment places and eateries to fully function.
According to health experts, without vaccination, the Delta variant is highly transmissible. It is one of the most infectious viruses. Being vaccinated against Covid-19 helps protect against severe illness and hospitalisation.