ZIMBABWE

Date of establishment: April 18, 1980

Brief history:

  • Antiquity: The territory of Zimbabwe was already inhabited in prehistoric times. There were various tribes and kingdoms in the area.
  • Colonization: In the 19th century, the territory of Zimbabwe became a territory of the British Empire.
  • 1953: Southern Rhodesia merged with Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Malawi (then known as Nyasaland) to form the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. It lasted until 1963, when it was dissolved.
  • 1965: Southern Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom under the name Rhodesia. This declaration of independence was seen as illegal, and international isolation and sanctions followed.
  • 1970: The Rhodesian government attempted to ease international pressure by adopting a new constitution.
  • 1979-1980: After a long struggle for independence, elections were held. In 1980, Zimbabwe was finally an independent state under the leadership of Robert Mugabe.
  • 2000: Zimbabwe began to face a severe political and economic crisis marked by hyperinflation and loss of agricultural production following land reform that led to the expulsion of most white farmers.
  • 2017: Robert Mugabe resigned after several decades in power, raising hopes for political change.
  • 2018: Zimbabwe’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, took office promising political and economic reform.

 

International abbreviation: ZW

 

Currency: Zimbabwe dollar (RTGS), US dollar (USD)

In the history of the country, there have been significant changes in the monetary system, the monetary situation was characterized by hyperinflation, and the Zimbabwean dollar lost its value.

Banknotes were printed with astronomical denominations, but completely worthless. As a result of this currency crisis, the Zimbabwean dollar was temporarily abandoned in 2009 and foreign currencies, notably the US dollar and the South African rand, were used. In 2019, the Zimbabwe dollar was reinstated and became Zimbabwe’s legal tender again, as part of the country’s attempt to restore its monetary sovereignty.

 

Internet domain: .zw

 

Dialing code: +263

 

Time zone: GMT +2

 

Geography:

The eastern part of Zimbabwe is bordered by the Eastern Highlands, which is part of the Great East Rift of Africa. The mountain range includes magnificent mountain peaks such as Nyanga, Bvumba, and Chimanimani and is known for its beautiful views and waterfalls.

The central part is characterized by extensive plains that are suitable for agriculture. This area is known as the Zimbabwe Basin.

The most important river is the Zambezi, which forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Other important rivers are the Limpopo in the south and the Save in the east.

 

Highest peak: Nyangani 2 592 m (8 504 feet) above sea level.

Mount Nyangani is located in the Eastern Highlands in the east of the country in Nyanga National Park, which is also known for its waterfalls and mountain lakes.

 

Climate:

Most of Zimbabwe has a rainy season from November to March. During this time, there is frequent precipitation, which is influenced by the influence of moist air from the Indian Ocean. The rainy season is characterized by warmer weather and more rainfall.

From April to October, the dry season dominates. Temperatures vary by altitude and season. In mountainous areas to the east, they can be lower and cooler at night.

The eastern part, including the Eastern Highlands, has a milder climate with higher rainfall during the rainy season.

 

Fauna and flora:

Zimbabwe is home to the “Big Five” of African mammals, which include elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, leopards, and buffalo. These iconic species are often the main draw for safaris and wildlife viewing in Zimbabwe’s national parks. The country has a large population of elephants, with the largest herds living in southern Africa in Zimbabwe’s national parks such as Hwange National Park.

Rhinoceroses have become an endangered species, and Zimbabwe is playing a role in their conservation. There are efforts to conserve white and black rhino populations in national parks. In addition to lions and leopards, coyotes, hyenas, wild dogs, and other beasts also live there. The country is a paradise for ornithologists and has more than 670 species of birds. Victoria Falls and national parks are popular places to see them.

Most of the country is covered by savannah, which are mixed areas of grass and trees. Acacias and baobabs are typical savannah trees. In some parts there are tropical forests that are rich in biodiversity.

 

Agriculture:

Agriculture involves growing a variety of crops, including cereals such as corn, wheat, and barley, as well as tobacco, cotton, sugar cane, coffee, and citrus fruits. Maize is one of the main food crops and is the basis of the diet for the majority of the population.

Cattle breeding plays an important role in agriculture. Cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry are raised for meat, milk, and hides.

Agriculture includes large commercial and small family farms. In the past, the country was known for large farms that were often owned by white farmers. However, after land reform, land was redistributed and many of these farms were given to black farmers.

Zimbabwe faces several challenges in agriculture, including drought, which has a negative impact on crops. There is insufficient infrastructure and funding for modernization of agricultural operations.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Zimbabwe is one of the largest gold producers in Africa. It is mined from gold mines such as Muriel Mine and Blanket Mine. Gold mining is one of the main industries in the country and contributes to the economy. It also has significant reserves of platinum, an important element in industry, especially the production of catalytic converters for automobiles. Major platinum mines include Unki Mine and Mimosa Mine.

Diamonds are mined in various parts of the country, including the Marange area, which has become the most famous due to large finds. The country has coal reserves, but its mining is limited.

 

Industry:

Mining of raw materials, particularly gold, platinum, diamonds, and nickel, is one of Zimbabwe’s main industries. Gold mining has long been an important part of the country’s economy. Platinum and diamonds also play a key role in mining and revenue. In addition, coal, tin, tungsten, and other raw materials are mined in the country.

The food industry processes foods such as flour, sugar, meat, dairy products, and beverages.

The textiles industry deals with the production of clothing, fabrics, and textile goods. Although the industry thrived in the past, it now faces competition from abroad. The country is one of the world’s largest producers of tobacco. This has a significant impact on the country’s economy.

Construction projects are underway, which are aimed at the development of infrastructure and industry.

 

Services and other areas of the economy:

 

Natural and historical attractions: Khami, Great Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, the Zambezi River, Hwange and Mana Pools national parks, and Lake Kariba

Victoria Falls, also known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (the smoke that thunders), is one of the most famous natural wonders of the world. This stunning waterfall on the Zambezi River is one of the main tourist destinations. Tourists come here for waterfall viewing, adrenaline-pumping activities like bungee jumping and rafting, and exploring the nearby national parks. The country has several national parks and nature reserves that offer unique safari and animal viewing experiences. Among the most famous are Hwange, Mana Pools and Matobo national parks.

It has a rich cultural and historical heritage. In Matobo National Park you can find rock paintings and tombs from the former Ndebele kingdom. Great Zimbabwe, an ancient city with stone remains, is also an important historical attraction.

A safari is a very popular way to explore Zimbabwe’s wildlife. Many national parks offer safaris with professional guides to help you discover Africa’s diverse fauna, including lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, leopards, and many other species.

 

Waterparks in Zimbabwe:

 

Form of government: republic

Zimbabwe has a presidential system of government, so the president has significant authority and is the head of state and government. He/she is elected by universal suffrage and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

The government has executive power and manages the affairs of the state. The judiciary is independent. The highest court of the country is the Supreme Court, which ensures compliance with the constitution and legal order.

 

Capital city: Harare

It is located in the central western part of Zimbabwe.

The city of Harare was originally established as a settlement in the 19th century during the British colonial period and was named Salisbury. After Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, it was renamed Harare, after the ancient local name.

 

Area: 390 757 km2 (150 872 square miles)

 

Population: 15 180 000 (2022)

Zimbabwe has a diverse ethnic population, the largest group being the Shona. The Ndebele form the second largest group. The main and official language is English. It is used in government institutions, education, and business. About 70-80% of the country’s population is Christian. Traditional African religions here include various beliefs, rituals, and practices.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 5

 

  1. Mana Pools, Sapi, Chewore (1984) – National parks and nature reserves on the banks of the Zambezi River.
  2. Great Zimbabwe (1986) – An archaeological site and complex of stone ruins located in the south-eastern part of Zimbabwe.
  3. Khami (1986) – Khami was an important center and capital of a kingdom that flourished during the 16th and 17th centuries
  4. Victoria Falls (1989) – Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
  5. Matobo Hills (2003) – Rich archaeological finds and rock paintings provide a picture of the life of prehistoric communities.

 

National parks: 11

 

  1. Chimanimani National Park
  2. Chizarira National Park
  3. Gonarezhou National Park
  4. Hwange National Park
  5. Kazuma Pan National Park
  6. Mana Pools National Park
  7. Matobo National Park
  8. Matusadona National Park
  9. Nyanga National Park
  10. Victoria Falls National Park
  11. Zambezi National Park