Bulawayo, the capital of Matabeleland, the western province of southern Rhodesia, South Africa. White population (1904) 3840. It occupies a central position on the tableland between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers, is 4469 ft. above the sea and 1362 m. north-east of Cape Town by rail. Beira, the nearest port, is 398 m. east in a direct line, but distant 675 m. by railway. Another railway, part of the Cape to Cairo connexion, runs north-west from Bulawayo, crossing the Zambezi just below the Victoria Falls. In the centre of the town is a large market square to which roads lead in regular lines north, south, east and west. Those going east and west are called avenues and are numbered, those running north and south are called streets and are named. Through the centre of Market Square runs Rhodes Street. There are many handsome public and private buildings. In front of the stock exchange is a monument in memory of the 257 settlers killed in the Matabele rebellion of 1896, and at the junction of two of the principal streets is a colossal bronze statue of Cecil Rhodes. East of the town is a large park and botanical gardens, beyond which is a residential suburb. The railway station and water and electric supply works are in the south-west quarter.
An avenue 130 ft. broad and nearly 1&FRAC12; m. long, planted throughout its length with trees, leads from the town to Government House, which is built on the site of Lobengula's royal kraal. The tree under which that chieftain sat when giving judgment has been preserved. A number of gold reefs intersect the surrounding district and in some of the reefs gold is mined. South-south-east of the town are the Matoppo Hills. In a grave in one of these hills, 33 m. from Bulawayo, Rhodes is buried.
The "Place of Slaughter," as the Zulu word Bulawayo is interpreted, was founded about 1838 by Lobengula's father, Mosilikatze, some distance south of the present town, and continued to be the royal residence till its occupation by the British South Africa Company's forces in November 1893, when a new town was founded. Four years later the railway connecting it with Cape Town was completed (see Rhodesia).