Zimbabwe

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A landlocked country in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east and north. The border with Zambezi is formed by the Zambezi River which when in full flood drops as the world's largest curtain of falling water at the mighty Victoria Falls which is a major tourist attraction.

Population: 13,182,908 people
Area: 390,757 km2
Highest point: 2,592 m
Coastline: 0 km
Life expectancy: 53.86 years
GDP per capita: $600
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Cities

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  • Big city 50-100 hotels
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  • Small city 5-20 hotels
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Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

About Zimbabwe

History

Stone cities were built in many locations in present-day Zimbabwe. The most impressive structures and the best known of these, Great Zimbabwe, were built in the 15th century, but people had been living on the site from about 400 AD. The Khami Ruins just outside Bulawayo are also a wonderful example.

The population was overwhelmingly made up of Shona speakers until the 19th century when the Nguni tribe (in 1839-40) of the Ndebele settled in what is now Matabeleland, and then in 1890, the territory came under the control of the British South Africa Company under charter from the British Government.

The United Kingdom annexed Southern Rhodesia from the British South Africa Company in 1923, when the country got its own government and Prime Minister. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favoured whites in power. In 1965, the government unilaterally declared independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority. UN sanctions and a guerilla struggle finally led to both free elections and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert Mugabe became the first black leader of Zimbabwe and still clings on to power since 1980 (1980-1987 as Prime Minister, and thereafter as President).

Climate

Zimbabwe has a tropical climate that is moderated by altitude. The rainy season is in summer from November to March. Although there are recurring droughts floods and severe storms are rare. Winter temperatures can drop below 5° Celsius whilst summers can be very hot, in excess of 35°C (95°F) in some places.

Activities

  • Bungee jumping at Victoria Falls. An incredible experience off the Victoria Falls bridge over the mighty Zambezi - 111 metres of pure adrenaline.
  • Walk with the lions, Swim with the elephants, Ride a horse. and enjoy other game activities at Antelope Park, located by Gweru, between Harare and Bulawayo.
  • An Authentic African Safari. walking, canoeing or on a game drive in Hwange National Park or Mana Pools with African Bush Camps
  • Harare International Festival of Arts. (HIFA), every year in Harare (end of April) with some extension in Bulawayo. Music, Theater, and other shows sponsored by foreign embassies, it features top international and local artists,and also brings in town a great artcraft market.

Food

For a sample of what Zimbabweans eat (in some form, nearly every day), ask for "sadza and stew/relish." The stew part will be familiar, served over a large portion of sadza - a thick ground corn paste (vaguely like polenta and the consistency of thick mashed potatoes) that locals eat at for lunch and supper. It's inexpensive, quite tasty and very filling. There is a plethora of good Zimbabwean food- "Mbambaira" or sweet potatoes, "chibage" corn on the cob, for example. Fruits indigenous to the country like "masawu" for example. For foreigners, especially from the West, Zimbabwean meat is very tasty, especially the beef, because of the great way that animals are raised and fed and not pumped up with hormones etc.

The restaurant and coffee-shop scene in Harare is great, with a wide variety of places to choose from. A visit to "40 Cork Road" restaurant in Avondale is an absolute must for anyone visiting the city, since the place has really become an institution when it comes to dining and meeting places.

Drinks

Mazoe, the local orange squash, is the quintessential Zimbabwean cordial.

A variety of domestic brews are made in Zimbabwe, mainly lagers with a few milk stouts. You may even want to try "Chibuku" a local brew popular among working class men that's based on a traditional beer recipe made from sorghum and/or maize (corn). It is generally sold in a 2 litre plastic bottle called a 'skud'. As with all alcohol, it's definitely an acquired taste! There is also a limited range of local wines, usually found within a much larger variety of imported wines. The South African creamy liqueur, Amarula, is a common delight.

Imported drinks and locally made franchises are available as well as local "soft drinks" (carbonated drinks/sodas). Bottled water is also available. Tap water, as a source of potable water, in general, should be boiled prior to consumption.

Shopping

Zimbabwe legalised the use of foreign currencies as legal tender, thus negating the need for the inflation-ravaged Zimbabwe Dollar, which has now been withdrawn from circulation.

The US dollar is now the de facto currency in Zimbabwe, although the South African rand and the euro are also widely accepted. Do not expect to be given change if the value is less than $1 as there are no coins in circulation (except in Bulawayo). In supermarkets, you may be given change in the form of chewing gum or sweets!

The use of credit cards is limited but continues to improve, with a growing number of service providers accepting especially VISA cards in Zimbabwe. It may be useful to come with lots of smaller bills (USD1, 5, 10) since they are often in shorter supply.

As for costs, non-imported things are very cheap (especially labour intensive things) curios are especially well made. However, for a tourist drinking coke and eating pizza, prices are not that much lower than in South Africa.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Zimbabwe on Wikivoyage.

Cities in Zimbabwe

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Victoria Falls is a town in the western portion of Zimbabwe, across the border from Livingstone, Zambia, and near Botswana. The town lies immediately next to the falls, and they are the major attraction, but this popular tourist destination offers both adventure seekers and sightseers plenty of opportunities ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Victoria Falls National Park
  • Zambezi National Park
  • Kazuma Pan National Park
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Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe. Harare is home to some two million people, with most in central Harare but some 500,000 in the surrounding districts of Rural Harare, Chintungwiza and Epworth. Once a city of modern buildings, wide thoroughfares, numerous parks and gardens, it suffered from increasing ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • African Unity Square
  • Harare Gardens
  • Eastgate Centre
  • Harare Sports Club
  • National Sports Stadium
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Bulawayo is a relaxed, elegant industrial city with wide tree-lined boulevards, in western Zimbabwe. Several World Heritage sites, including historic monuments from the precolonial era and national parks, are within an hour's drive from Bulawayo, making it a great tourist destination.

Interesting places:

  • City Hall
  • Centenary Park
  • Zimbabwe International Trade Fair
  • Khami Ruins National Monument
  • Matobo National Park
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Interesting places:

  • Hwange National Park
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Mutare is the fourth largest city in Zimbabwe.

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Masvingo is a city in Southeastern Zimbabwe and the capital of Masvingo province.

Interesting places:

  • Great Zimbabwe National Monument
  • Kyle Game Park
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Kariba is a town on the shore of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe.

Interesting places:

  • Mana Pools National Park
  • Matusadona National Park
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Interesting places:

  • Nyanga National Park
  • Mount Nyangani
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panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Points of Interest in Zimbabwe

  • Hwange National Park. Located between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, the park boasts more than 100 different animal species and over 400 species of birds. It is one of the few great elephants sanctuaries in Africa with over 30,000 elephants.
  • Matobo Hills National Park. Also known as Matopos, this small park close to Bulawayo was awarded a UNESCO world heritage status in 2003 for its fascinating natural features and wildlife.
  • Mana Pools National Park. Mana Pools National Park, South of the Zambezi river in the North of Zimbabwe, is a UNESCO world heritage site. A remote location, it welcomes happy few safari lovers with an abundance of elephant, hippo, lions, antelope, giraffe and other animals, and over 350 bird species, in stunning landscapes.
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Located in the vicinity of Masvingo, the 3rd Zimbabwean city, Great Zimbabwe ruins are the remains of one of greatest African civilizations after the Pharaohs: the Kingdom of Great Zimbabwe dominated the area from present Zimbabwe, East of Botswana and South East of Mozambique in the late Iron Age (between 11,000 and 14,500 AD). From the impressive granite stone complex that was once built, the ruins span 1,800 acres (7 km2) and cover a radius of 100 to 200 miles (160 to 320 km).

Victoria Falls National Park - Victoria Falls

City Hall - Bulawayo

African Unity Square - Harare

Great Zimbabwe National Monument - Masvingo

Mana Pools National Park - Kariba

Nyanga National Park - Nyanga

Hwange National Park - Dete

Chimanimani National Park - Chimanimani

Gonarezhou National Park - Matibis

Chizarira National Park - Nenyunka

Zambezi National Park - Victoria Falls

Harare Gardens - Harare

Eastgate Centre - Harare

Centenary Park - Bulawayo

Harare Sports Club - Harare

National Sports Stadium - Harare

Zimbabwe International Trade Fair - Bulawayo

Avondale Shops - Harare

National Botanic Gardens - Harare

University of Zimbabwe - Harare

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

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