Excellent natural features including a river with a waterfall, a dam and balancing rocks.
Commonly known as Buxton Farm, the official name for this Harare venue is Buxton Park. Compared to other Harare wedding and functions venues this is a fairly new venue. I had an exciting experience visiting this venue in response to numerous requests from ZimBridal members to review this venue. Here it is finally. I hope you like what you see in the following paragraphs of candid review.
I asked the venue management as many questions as was possible in line with what I thought you as a wedding or functions planner would want to exhaustively know about this venue. I also identified some blind corners which I have since learned you will never see in any promotional material of venues. You only find these things in independent reviews.
Buxton Park is located some five or so Kms after the roundabout along Simon Mazorodze Road on your way to Masvingo. Even though it is far away from the commotion that usually happens around this roundabout area, you will still have to contend with the confusion that sometimes grips this area due to public transportation going to South Africa picking up passengers.
From the Masvingo highway to the Park is some 3 kms of a nicely tarred farm style narrow road to the Park. This road is in a very good condition.
Buxton Park is well endowed when it comes to natural features. It has granite balancing rock features that they have harnessed and successfully made to become part of the natural environment. You may have a look at some of them in the slide show below. I took different shots of these natural features.
The venue also has a river that flows into the property feeding into a dam at the venue. When I visited they were just getting to clear the dam removing some serious weeds that had filled it. At some point the river has a small waterfall which am told is a favorite for pictures by many couples.
This part of the river is indeed very nice and will present a unique opportunity for your pictures. I last saw this kind of thing on a venue at Raintree in Umwinsindale. I was however disappointed to discover a blind corner associated with this river, especially this nicer part of the river.
When the lady took me around and we went to the waterfall I was surprised to see a religious group gathered there in a baptism session. This is the group that’s commonly known as mapositori. I asked the lady how things would work on a wedding day when this same place is in use for this religious purpose.
She was open to let me know that the people using this river had actually been trespassing into private property and all efforts to keep them out had failed. They even went to the extent of pulling down a security fence each time it would be put up. It appeared as if Buxton Park had given up the fight and reached an understanding with the mapositori to clear the waterfall/river each time there was a wedding to allow venue clients to take photos privately.
This put a dent on my bubble about this particular feature at the venue.
Buxton Park has a maximum capacity of 500 guests.
Wedding Ceremony Options
I would say there are two main ceremony areas available at the venue. There is the traditional one that has been in use since the venue started which is closer to the entrance and next to the reception area where your tent will be pitched.
The other option is still in development and almost ready for use (perhaps in a month or two from November 2011), This is a lawn area next to the dam mentioned above. This is also another reception area in development. When used for a ceremony of relatively small numbers it gives very nice views of the dam.
Wedding Reception Options
There are also two reception options with the second one next to the dam still in development and almost completed. The main reception area that was in use when I arrived was the one next to the main ceremony area mentioned above. This is essentially a slab on top of which a tent or marquee can be pitched.
It is well positioned giving your guests beautiful views of the venue’s well maintained garden.
The venue as a single block of ablutions which is located next to the main wedding reception area. I would say the facilities for both male and female can handle the maximum number of 500 people. Inside they looked decent but not out of this world. No wow factor to them. In fact these were quite basic.
I wasn’t impressed by the ablutions. Even though they looked to be work in progress they somewhat went off the mark compared to everything else I had seen at the venue. To give the standard the venue is aiming at as seen on fliers these have to have a far much better finishing.
This is absolutely a great place for photos. You have unlimited options. Your photographer will have so many options to work with. There is a dilapidated collapsed building on the venue. This also has become a centre of attraction for photos so much that venue management was forced to delay its total removal due to its love affair with photographers.
No need to worry about your photos at Buxton Park. You are covered.
Your venue fees will really depend on how many people you have. I asked for a 350 people quotation which came up to US$4380.00 for 2012 all inclusive save for catering (more on this below). A wedding for 300 people would cost US$3816.90.
Terms and Conditions
Buxton Park does everything for you. The only items allowed from outside will be your catering as well as your photography and videography services, sound system and so on. The following items are covered in the same quotation you can download above
- Bridal – e.g platform, chairs, platform carpet etc
- Guest – Oval tables, table cloths, tie backs etc
- Food – tent, frill, trestle tables (no food)
- Ceremony area – gazebo, carpet, runner, pillars
- Cutlery – knives, forks, spoons, wine glasses etc
A set up fee will also be charged and a refundable deposit of $150.00 needed. In order to secure your date, you will be required to pay $500.00. The balance is to come in installments before your wedding date.
There is a section at the venue that is a self contained entertainment area for kids. It has swings, slides etc. I was told this area would be ideal to keep kids engaged at a wedding. A jumping castle is also available for hire for kids to have fun.
There is also a back-up generator and you will be required to bring in 25ltrs of petrol which is refundable in case power doesn’t go out during your function.
I found the team at Buxton Park forthcoming and geared to make you understand everything you would want to about the venue. I however didn’t find them to have a professional finishing in their interaction at the time of my visit. It all appeared casual relative to my experience at many other venues I have been to and my own expectation of a venue with this kind pitch. For sure the team has a zeal for their work but lacking an important professional impression! I propose this can be changed overnight through training. If you have had a different experience in this regard please let us know.
You may contact Buxton Park Functions Venue by phone on +263 772 357 049, 0775 539 348, 0775 354 203