Harare is the seat of government, the industrial hub and commercial center for the nation. It is quite close to the center of landlocked Zimbabwe, although it lies to the north-east, towards the border with Mozambique. The city has an estimated population of 1.5 million with up to 3 million if you include its metropolitan area. Population growth in Harare is a concern for authorities in relation to infrastructure, water supply and public services, and satellite cities are being considered.
Black Africans make up 98% of Zimbabwe's population, Asian 1%, with whites representing a tiny minority of less than 1%. Religion is dominated by a mixture of Christianity and indigenous beliefs. The population of Harare is slightly more demographically varied than the rest of Zimbabwe, although diversity is not nearly as great as in other African or world cities.
Harare is situated at an elevation of 1,483 meters and as such enjoys a subtropical highland climate. The average annual temperature is 17.95°C (64.3°F) which is quite low for the tropics, due to the city's high altitude and the prevalence of a cool south-easterly airflow.
There are three main seasons: a warm, wet season from November to March/April; a cool, dry season from May to August and a hot, dry season in September and October. July is the coldest month and October the hottest. The average annual rainfall is about 825 to 855 mm, depending on which part of the city. There is very little rain from May to September.
Hotel prices are comparable with the west, while expats looking at long term relocation to Harare can choose between apartments and large family homes. An apartment will cost from 400 USD to 1,500 USD per month, while a detached or semi-detached family home can range from 800 USD to 3,000 USD or more.
Close to the CBD, apartments are more commonly the form of accommodation used, and again prices range from 400 to 1500 USD per month. Further out from the CBD, desirable residential areas include Borrowdale, Chisipite, Mount Pleasant and Avondale. Property.co.zw is a good place to start for Harare listings advice.