The district is located in Mashonaland West Province, in north central Zimbabwe. Its main town, Chinhoyi, with an estimated population of 61,739 people in 2004, is located about 125 kilometres (78 mi), by road, northwest of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe and the largest city in that country.
Makonde District is a farming district. Crops grown here include cotton, maize and tobacco. Cattle is also widely raised in the district for dairy products and beef, on a commercial basis. Mining also takes place here, the main mineral being copper.
Chinhoyi, the district headquarters is a college town, hosting two major universities, namely: Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) and Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). There are three major high schools; Chinhoyi High School, Nemakonde High School and Lomagundi College. In addition the district is home to numerous primary schools.
The current population of Makonde District is not publicly known. In 2010, the district population was estimated at 167,436 people. The next national population census in Zimbabwe is scheduled from 18 August 2012 through 28 August 2012.
Urban centers in the district include Chinhoyi, the provincial and district headquarters, Alaska approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) directly west of Chinhoyi, and Lion's Den, which lies about 25 kilometres (16 mi), northwest of Chinhoyi, on the road to Chirundu.