Khami Ruins! The little brother of Great Zimbabwe!

Khami, the forgotten ruins of Zimbabwe.

Khami is an archaeological site 20 km outside of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, it is famous for its stonewalling complexity and designs. The Khami civilization started in the 14th century but rose to power when Great Zimbabwe fell into decline and held the economic power in the area until the 16th century, it was completely abandoned during the Ndebele incursions of the 19th century. They had trade routes that included items from Europe and China where they would have traded gold, ivory and pelts for glass beads, porcelain and cloth.


Above is a useful breakdown of the happenings of Khami as well as a well-illustrated diagram of the various patterns found in the stone walls at Khami. The stonewalling patterns were much more intricate and plentiful than those found at Great Zimbabwe showing more advancement in certain stone working techniques.


Although not as grand in scale as Great Zimbabwe, Khami is still a beautiful and fascinating place with impressive stonewalling techniques. It is like southern Africa’s own Machu Picchu, well not even close, but Khami had some very impressive stonemasons in its day. However, the site is in a terrible condition with the little reconstruction of breaking or collapsed walls, unlike Great Zimbabwe.



Khami is set at the start of the Motopos hills, making it a beautiful landscape to explore the ancient archaeology of this once great and powerful African civilization.


The cross below shows contact with missionaries and the introduction of Christianity in this portion of Africa.



Khami was a great place to visit to see the culmination of centralized Bantu society in southern Africa. Seeing the chronological place that Khami has between Great Zimbabwe and the current Zimbabwe culture is humbling. Today’s Zimbabweans look to these impressive ancient capitals of Great Zimbabwe and Khami for cultural enrichment and an almost a patriotic pride, to such an extent that the country Zimbabwe was named after an archaeological site.


Trent Seiler &

The Nitty Gritty Nomads


Author: The nitty gritty nomads

4 motorcycles, zig zagging through Africa… set out on discovering the continents wondrous archaeology, local cooking secrets as well as educating and engaging with local communities. We will be travelling through 14 countries, including South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rowanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and then back through Madagascar.

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