Tag Archives: Khami River

The Torwa Dynasty

Just 22km West of the City of Kings and Queens stands the majestic Khami Ruins. The Khami Ruins were founded around 1450 after the disappearance of the state at the Great Zimbabwe.  The ruins were the capital of Butua State founded by the Torwa Dynasty.


I recently visited the Ruins to assist with an engagement photoshoot. The Khami Ruins were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.


Khami is made up of a number of terraced decorated stone ruins. The largest was the home of the King and his family comprising of three, tiered platforms with open areas in the valley occupied by the commoners.

The Cross Ruin which is nearby has a mysterious stone Dominican Cross believed to have been placed there by missionaries.


The Northern Platform was used to process gold.


The Precipice Ruin was a ritual centre that has the longest stonewall, decorated in chequer, herringbone, cord, as well as variegated stone blocks.

The nearby Passage Ruin consists of two adjoining semicircular platforms accessed by a narrow passageway. Like many of the other smaller platforms, it is likely that it was once occupied by one of the elite officials of the state.


The Ruins offer majestic views of the surrounding areas. From the Hill Complex one can catch a glimpse of the other ruins on the Eastern side of the Khami River.

The Torwa Dynasty is believed to have fallen around 1644 with power slipping to the Rozvi State located in the northeast.

The short drive from Bulawayo is well worth it as the Khami Ruins are not only a symbol of our Zimbabwean heritage but also a beautiful and scenic place.

The area also offers a recreational area where visitors can sit and relax and enjoy an outdoor braai while there.


“Every ruin gives you a clear message: Even your most durable things will turn into ruins!” -Mehmet Murat ildan