Chinhoyi, known until 1982 as Sinoia, is a city in Zimbabwe.[1]

Coat of arms of Chinhoyi
Chinhoyi is located in Zimbabwe
Coordinates: 17°20′59″S 30°11′40″E / 17.34972°S 30.19444°E / -17.34972; 30.19444Coordinates: 17°20′59″S 30°11′40″E / 17.34972°S 30.19444°E / -17.34972; 30.19444
ProvinceMashonaland West
DistrictMakonde District
CityChinhoyi Municipality
1,187 m (3,894 ft)
 (2012)ZimStats 2012 Census
 • Total77,929
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)


It is located on the western banks of the Manyame River, in Makonde District, in Mashonaland West Province in central northern Zimbabwe. Its location lies approximately 116 kilometres (72 mi), by road, northwest of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe and the largest city in that country.[2] Chinhoyi lies on the main road, Highway A-1, between Harare and Chirundu, at the International border with Zambia, about 240 kilometres (150 mi), further northwest of Chinhoyi.[3]

The geographical coordinates of Chinhoyi are:17°20'59.0"S, 30°11'40.0"E (Latitude:-17.349722; Longitude:30.194444).[4] Chinhoyi sits at an average elevation of 1,187 metres (3,894 ft), above mean sea level.[5]

There are a number of small towns which are close to Chinhoyi. Banket lies about 25 kilometres (16 mi), southeast of Chinhoyi on the road to Harare, Alaska lies approximately 15 kilometres (9 mi) directly west of town, and Lion's Den, which lies about 25 kilometres (16 mi), northwest of Chinhoyi, on the road to Chirundu.[6]


Chinhoyi is the provincial capital of Mashonaland West Province, one of the ten administrative provinces in Zimbabwe. It is also the district headquarters of Makonde District, one of the six districts in the province.[7]

This is a college town, hosting two of the country's major universities, namely: Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) and Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). The principal secondary schools in Chinhoyi include the three government high schools; Chinhoyi High School, Chemagamba High School and Nemakonde High School, together with the private high school Lomagundi College.[8]

Chinhoyi houses Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital, the largest and most modern referral hospital in Mashonaland West Province. Some of the hotels in town include Chinhoyi Hotel in the center of town, the Orange Grove Motel, about 1 kilometre (1 mi), northwest of town on the road to Karoi and the Caves Motel, located about 8 kilometres (5 mi) northwest of town, next to the Chinhoyi caves. Tourist attractions in Chinhoyi include the Chinhoyi Caves in Chinhoyi Caves National Park. The limestone caves were first described by Frederick Courtney Selous in 1887.[9]


The town was established as Sinoia in 1906, as a group settlement scheme by a wealthy Italian, Lieutenant Margherito Guidotti. He encouraged ten Italian families to settle here. The Second Chimurenga War (War of Liberation) started in this town in the area occupied by the Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital. The name Sinoria derives from Tjinoyi, a Lozwi/Rozwi Chief who is believed to have been a son of Lukuluba (corrupted to Mukuruva by the Zezuru), who was the third son of Emperor Netjasike. The Kalanga (Lozwi/Rozwi name) was changed to Sinoia by the white settlers and later Chinhoyi by the Zezuru.[1]


Transport to and from Chinhoyi is mainly by road. Bus services connect Chinhoyi with Harare, Karoi, Kariba, Mhangura, Bulawayo, and smaller villages in the district. Chinhoyi is on a rail branch from Harare, which ends at Lions Den. There are scheduled passenger trains. Taxis operate within the town area. There is also a local bus service. There is a small airport for private planes, called Chinhoyi Airstrip, located about 16 kilometres (10 mi), south-east of the central business district. The airport is said to be in need of maintenance. Its geographical coordinates are quoted as:17°25'58.8"S, 30°18'00.0"E (Latitude:-17.433000; Longitude:30.300000).[10][11]

Financial servicesEdit

First Capital Bank Zimbabwe Limited, a commercial bank, maintains a branch in the town. ZB Bank Limited, sometimes referred to as Zimbank, another commercial bank, also has a branch in Chinhoyi.Standard Chartered Zimbabwe has a branch here as well. CBZ Bank Limited is also another bank with a branch in Chinhoyi.[12]


The population of Chinhoyi during the 2002 census was 56,794. In 2012, after the 2012 national census, the city population was estimated at 77,292 people. At that time it was the 11th largest urban centre in Zimbabwe.[13]

Recreational SitesEdit

Chinhoyi CavesEdit

Sleeping Pool, Chinhoyi caves

These are a group of limestone and dolomite caves situated about 9 kilometers northwest of Chinhoyi along the A-1 Highway. The main cave contains a pool of cobalt blue water, which is popularly called Sleeping Pool or Chirorodziva ("Pool of the Fallen").[14] They have been designated as a National Park and they are managed by the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority.[9] The caves have an important place in African Traditional Religion, with the caves themselves as a site for rainmaking, surrounded by a sacred forest, from which trees could not be felled.[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Parliament of Zimbabwe (3 December 2013). "Names Alteration Act 10/14: Part II: Municipalities And Municipal Councils: Old–Municipality of Sinoia; New–Municipality of Chinhoyi" (PDF). Harare: Parliament of Zimbabwe. Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 3 December 2013) on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  2. ^ Google (25 May 2020). "Road Distance Between Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe And Harare, Zimbabwe" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  3. ^ Google (25 May 2020). "Road Distance Between Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe And Chirundu, Zambia" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  4. ^ Google (25 May 2020). "Location of Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  5. ^ Flood Map (25 May 2020). "Elevation of Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe". Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  6. ^ Google (25 May 2020). "Distance Between Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe And Lions Den, Zimbabwe" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  7. ^ Conrad Mupesa (4 April 2020). "Chinhoyi isolation centre needs US$1 million". The Zimbabwe Herald. Harare. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  8. ^ Scotty Photography (1 August 2017). "About Lomagundi College". Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  9. ^ a b Zimparks (25 May 2020). "Overview of Chinhoyi Caves Recreational Park". Harare: Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks). Archived from the original on 31 May 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  10. ^ (25 May 2020). "The Airport Strip at Zimbabwe, Mashonalandia Occidental, Chinhoyi". Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  11. ^ Google (25 May 2020). "Location of Chinhoyi Airstrip" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  12. ^ The Zimbabwe Herald (13 November 2007). "Zimbabwe: CBZ Opens Branch in Chinhoyi" (via The Zimbabwe Herald. Harare. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  13. ^ Wolfram Alpha. "Population of Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe". Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  14. ^ Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 345. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.
  15. ^ Kwashirai, Vimbai (2010). "Zimbabwe's Chinhoyi Caves: 1845-1945". Global Environment. 3 (5): 71–110. doi:10.3197/ge.2010.030504.

External linksEdit