Thursday, December 8, 2022
Zimbabwe-Travel-S-Helper

Zimbabwe

travel guide

Zimbabwe, formally the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked sovereign state in southern Africa, sandwiched between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bounded to the south by South Africa, to the west by Botswana, to the northwest by Zambia, and to the east and northeast by Mozambique. Although it does not border Namibia, the Zambezi River separates it from that nation by less than 200 metres. Harare is the capital and largest city. Zimbabwe, a country of over 13 million people, has 16 official languages, the most prevalent of which are English, Shona, and Ndebele.

Since the 11th century, modern-day Zimbabwe has been home to many organized governments and kingdoms, as well as a significant migration and commerce route. The current region was initially defined by Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company in the 1890s; it became the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1923. The conservative white minority administration declared unilateral independence as Rhodesia in 1965. The state experienced international isolation and a 15-year guerrilla struggle with black nationalist groups, which ended in a peace accord in April 1980 that granted universal suffrage and de jure statehood. Zimbabwe therefore rejoined the Commonwealth of Nations, from which it had previously withdrawn in 2003. It is a member of the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Eastern and Southern African Common Market (COMESA).

Robert Mugabe became Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister in 1980, when his ZANU-PF party won elections following the end of white minority rule; he has been the country’s President since 1987. The state security system ruled the nation and was responsible for extensive human rights violations throughout Mugabe’s dictatorial government. Mugabe has retained Cold War-era revolutionary socialist rhetoric, blaming Zimbabwe’s economic difficulties on conspiring Western capitalist countries. Contemporary African political figures have been hesitant to criticize Mugabe, despite Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s description of him as “a cartoon caricature of a typical African tyrant.”

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Zimbabwe - Info Card

Population

15,092,171

Currency

Zimbabwean dollar, U.S. dollar

Time zone

UTC+2 (CAT)

Area

390,757 km2 (150,872 sq mi)

Calling code

+263

Official language

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Zimbabwe | Introduction

If you want to travel to Southern Africa, South Africa is a good place to start. Although you can travel to any country in Southern Africa, most flights will pass through South Africa. South Africa is also a good place to get used to travelling in the region (although some will say Namibia is better for this). Of course, South Africa is not only a starting point, but also an excellent destination rich in culture, wildlife and history.

Foreigners’ opinions of South Africa are shaped by the same stereotypes as the rest of Africa. Contrary to popular belief, South Africa is not so poor as to be devastating with an unstable government. Although the rural part of South Africa remains one of the poorest and least developed regions in the world, and township poverty can be appalling, progress is being made. The process of recovery from apartheid, which lasted nearly 46 years, is quite slow. In fact, South Africa’s United Nations Human Development Index, which slowly improved during the final years of apartheid, has been declining since 1996, largely due to the AIDS pandemic, and poverty appears to be on the rise. South Africa has a well-developed infrastructure and has all the modern conveniences and technologies, much of which was developed during the years of white minority rule. The government is stable, though corruption is widespread. The government and major political parties generally have a high level of respect for democratic institutions and human rights.

Despite the problems the country currently faces, South Africa remains the strongest economy in Africa and is the only African country in the elite group of major economies in the G-20.

Tourism In Zimbabwe

Tourism in Zimbabwe has gradually decreased since the land reform program began in 2000. Following a rise in the 1990s (1.4 million tourists in 1999), industry statistics show a 75% drop in visitors to Zimbabwe in 2000. By December, just around 20% of hotel rooms had been filled. The Zimbabwean economy has been severely harmed as a result of this. Thousands of jobs have been lost in the tourism sector as a result of businesses shutting or simply being unable to pay employee salaries owing to dwindling visitor numbers.

Several airlines have also withdrawn from the Zimbabwean market. Qantas of Australia, Lufthansa of Germany, and Austrian Airlines were among the first to withdraw, while British Airways just stopped all direct flights to Harare. Air Zimbabwe, the country’s main airline that flew to locations throughout Africa as well as a handful in Europe and Asia, suspended operations in February 2012.

There are many significant tourist sites in Zimbabwe. The Zambezi Falls, which Zimbabwe shares with Zambia, are situated in the northwestern part of the country. Prior to the economic developments, most tourists to these destinations went to Zimbabwe, but today Zambia is the major benefactor. The Victoria Falls National Park is located in this region, and it is one of Zimbabwe’s eight major national parks, with Hwange National Park being the biggest.

The Eastern Highlands are a collection of hilly regions near the Mozambique border. Mount Nyangani, Zimbabwe’s highest peak at 2,593 meters (8,507 feet), as well as the Bvumba Mountains and the Nyanga National Park, are all situated here. The World’s View is located in these mountains, and it is from here that visitors can view locations as far away as 60–70 km (37–43 mi) and, on clear days, the town of Rusape.

In Africa, Zimbabwe is unique in that it has a number of old ruined towns constructed in a distinct dry stone architecture. The Great Zimbabwe ruins at Masvingo are the most well-known. Khami Remains, Zimbabwe, Dhlo-Dhlo, and Naletale are among the other ruins, but none are as well-known as Great Zimbabwe.

The Matobo Hills are a series of granite kopjes and forested valleys in southern Zimbabwe that begin 22 miles (35 km) south of Bulawayo. Granite was pushed to the surface over 2,000 million years ago, then eroded to create smooth “whaleback dwalas” and fractured kopjes, littered with boulders and mixed with thickets of flora. The region was given its name by Mzilikazi, the founder of the Ndebele people, which means ‘Bald Heads.’ Because of their old forms and local fauna, they have become well-known and a tourist destination. At a location known as World’s View, Cecil Rhodes and other early white pioneers such as Leander Starr Jameson are buried.

Geography

Zimbabwe is a landlocked nation in southern Africa, located between 15° and 23° south latitude and 25° and 34° east longitude. The majority of the nation is elevated, with a central plateau (high veld) extending from the southwest to the north at elevations ranging from 1,000 to 1,600 meters. The Eastern Highlands, in the country’s far east, are mountainous, with Mount Nyangani, at 2,592 meters, being its highest peak.

These highlands are known for their natural beauty, including popular tourist sites like as Nyanga, Troutbeck, Chimanimani, Vumba, and Mount Selinda’s Chirinda Forest. Low-lying regions (the low veld) beneath 900m make up around 20% of the nation. Victoria Falls, one of the world’s largest and most beautiful waterfalls, is part of the Zambezi River and is situated in the country’s far northwest.

Climate

The climate of Zimbabwe is tropical, with numerous regional differences. The southern regions are renowned for their aridity and heat, while parts of the central plateau get frost in the winter, the Zambezi river is known for its severe heat, and the Eastern Highlands are known for their moderate temperatures and the country’s greatest rainfall. The rainy season in the nation lasts from late October to early March, and the hot temperature is tempered by rising altitude. Droughts have been recurrent in Zimbabwe, with the most recent one beginning in early 2015 and continuing into 2016. Storms of this magnitude are uncommon.

Flora and fauna

Although the wet and steep eastern highlands sustain pockets of tropical evergreen and hardwood forests, the nation is mainly savannah. Teak, mahogany, huge examples of strangling fig, forest newtonia, big leaf, white stinkwood, chirinda stinkwood, knobthorn, and many more trees may be found in the Eastern Highlands.

Fever trees, mopane, combretum, and baobabs flourish in the low-lying areas of the nation. Miombo forest, dominated by brachystegia species and others, covers most of the nation. Hibiscus, flame lily, snake lily, spider lily, leonotus, cassia, tree wisteria, and dombeya are among the many blooms and plants. Zimbabwe is home to about 350 different animal species. There are also many snakes and reptiles, as well as more than 500 bird species and 131 fish species.

Environmental issues

Large swaths of Zimbabwe were originally covered in dense woods, teeming with animals. The quantity of animals has decreased due to deforestation and hunting. Woodland degradation and deforestation are significant problems owing to population increase, urban expansion, and a shortage of fuel, and have resulted in erosion and land degradation, reducing the quantity of rich soil available. Environmentalists have also chastised local farmers for burning foliage to heat their tobacco barns.

Zimbabwe’s natural woods is projected to vanish by 2065 if present deforestation rates continue.

Demographics

Zimbabwe has a population of 12.97 million people. According to the United Nations World Health Organization, males have a life expectancy of 56 years and women have a life expectancy of 60 years (2012). President Robert Mugabe has been urged by a group of physicians in Zimbabwe to take steps to help the country’s poor health system. In 2009, Zimbabwe’s HIV infection rate among individuals aged 15 to 49 was estimated to be 14%. According to UNESCO, HIV prevalence among pregnant women has decreased from 26% in 2002 to 21% in 2004.

In Zimbabwe, 85 percent of the population is Christian, and 62 percent of the population regularly attends religious services. Anglican, Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, and Methodist churches are the biggest Christian denominations.

Christianity, like in other African nations, may coexist alongside surviving indigenous beliefs. Aside from Christianity, ancestor worship is the most widely practiced non-Christian religion, including spiritual intercession; the Mbira Dza Vadzimu, which means “Voice of the Ancestors” and is a lamellophone-like instrument found all across Africa, is essential to many ceremonial procedures. Mwari simply means “Creator God” (musika vanhu in Shona). Muslims make up around 1% of the population.

98 percent of the population is made up of Bantu-speaking ethnic groupings. The Shona, who make up 70% of the population, are the majority. With 20% of the population, the Ndebele are the second most numerous.

The Ndebele are descendants of 19th-century Zulu migrations and other tribes with whom they intermarried. Over the past five years, up to one million Ndebele may have fled the nation, mostly to South Africa. Venda, Tonga, Shangaan, Kalanga, Sotho, Ndau, Nambya, Tswana, Xhosa, and Lozi are the third biggest Bantu ethnic groups, accounting for 2 to 5% of the population.

White Zimbabweans are one of the minority ethnic groupings, accounting for less than 1% of the overall population. The majority of white Zimbabweans are of British descent, although there are also groups of Afrikaners, Greeks, Portuguese, French, and Dutch descent. The white population fell from a high of approximately 278,000 people, or 4.3 percent of the population, in 1975 to perhaps 120,000 in 1999, and was believed to be no more than 50,000 people in 2002, if not considerably less.

The entire white population was 28,782 in 2012 (approximately 0.22 percent of the population), one-tenth of the projected size in 1975. The United Kingdom (between 200,000 and 500,000 Britons are of Rhodesian or Zimbabwean ancestry), South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have been the most popular destinations. Coloured people account for 0.5 percent of the population, as do other Asian ethnic groups, mainly of Indian and Chinese ancestry.

According to the 2012 Census, 99.7% of the population is of African descent. Over the past decade, official fertility rates have been 3.6 (2002 Census), 3.8 (2006), and 3.8 (2008). (2012 Census).

Religion

Approximately 80% of the country’s population considers themselves to be Christians. Around 63 percent of the people are Protestants (mainly Pentecostal African Churches). According to 2005 estimates, Zimbabwe has 1,145,000 Roman Catholics. This equates to approximately 9% of the overall population. Ethnic faiths are followed by around 11% of the population. Muslims make up around 1% of the population, mostly from Mozambique and Malawi, Hindus make up 0.1 percent, and Baha’is make up 0.3 percent. Approximately 7% of the population is either religiously unaffiliated or atheist.

Entry Requirements For Zimbabwe

Visa & Passport

Category A (countries/territories whose citizens do not need visas):

For up to a 6-month stay: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Cyprus, Fiji, Grenada, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu and Zambia

Category B (countries whose citizens are given visas upon payment of the required visa costs at the port of entry):

Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana (Gratis), Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau Island, Palestine (State of), Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Seychelles, Seychelles, Seychelles, Seychelles, Seychelles, Seychelles,

Fees for Category B nationalities at the port of entry are as follows: US$30 (single entrance), US$45 (double entry), and US$55 (multiple entry) – a valid passport, travel itinerary, return/onward trip ticket, and cash payment are required. Note that Canadian people may only get single entry visas on arrival for US$75, while British and Irish nationals pay higher costs (US$55 for single entry and US$70 for double entry) for a Zimbabwe visa on arrival.

The USD $50 30-day Univisa, which is valid for both Zimbabwe and Zambia, is recommended for Canadian, British, and Irish passport holders. Only Harare Airport, Victoria Falls Airport, Victoria Falls Border Post, and Kazangula Botswana Border Post provide the Univisa.

Category C (countries whose citizens must apply for and get visas before traveling):

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazzaville, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde Islands, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros Islands, Congo (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Conakry, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Djibouti Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French West Indies, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macao SAR, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Macedonia, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niue, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turk and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen

Visas are available through Zimbabwean embassies/consulates. The cost of a visa ranges between US$30 and US$180, depending on the applicant’s country.

If there is no Zimbabwean diplomatic presence in your nation, you may be able to apply for a Zimbabwean visa through a British embassy, high commission, or consulate. The British consulate in Amman, for example, accepts Zimbabwean visa applications (this list is not exhaustive). British diplomatic missions charge £50 to handle a Zimbabwean visa application, plus an additional £70 if the Zimbabwean authorities need the visa application to be forwarded to them. Zimbabwean authorities may potentially opt to impose an extra fee if they communicate with you directly.

How To Travel To Zimbabwe

Get In - By plane

Harare International Airport serves a variety of international destinations, mostly in Africa. From Europe, flights are available through Johannesburg, Nairobi, Dubai, Addis Ababa, and Cairo. You may travel with South African Airways, Airlink British Airways, or Air Zimbabwe from South Africa.

From Europe, Emirates Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Egypt Air travel to Harare.

SAA flies to a number of European and African destinations, including Harare, Bulawayo, and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, as well as Johannesburg, South Africa. Air Botswana flies to Gaborone from Harare and Victoria Falls. Air Namibia flies to Windhoek from Harare and Victoria Falls. Malawian Airlines flies between Harare and Lilongwe.

Non-stop flights between Harare and Heathrow have been halted by British Airways. However, British Airways currently offers flights from Harare to Heathrow through Johannesburg.

South African Airways, South African Airlink http://www.saairlink.co.za, and British Airways all fly to and from Victoria Falls airport on a regular basis.

Bulawayo also has an international airport, with SAA and Air Zimbabwe operating flights from Johannesburg.

Air Zimbabwe and Fly Africa provide domestic flights inside Zimbabwe, from Harare to Victoria Falls. Harare to Bulawayo and Harare to Kariba are also served by Air Zimbabwe.

Low-cost carrier Fastjet Zimbabwe offers local one-way tickets starting at $20 and international fares starting at $50. Fastjet flies from Harare to Bulawayo’s Victoria Falls. Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lusaka, Nairobi, and Dar es Salaam are all places worth visiting.

There’s also Fly Africa, a low-cost airline that flies from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg. and Johannesburg to Harare. Harare triumphs against Victoria.

Get In - By car

Zimbabwe is connected to the countries that surround it via road. The gasoline situation has improved, contrary to previous predictions, with prices now listed in US dollars. You may expect to spend more per litre than in most other Southern African nations since gasoline must be imported from either Mozambique or South Africa.

It should also be mentioned that Zimbabwe’s roads are currently in a very bad condition, and care should be used while driving, particularly at night and during the rainy season, which runs from November to March. Potholes are a frequent occurrence that pose a significant danger to any vehicle that comes into contact with one.

Get In - By bus

From Johannesburg to Harare, luxury bus services are available on a regular basis. From Johannesburg to Bulawayo, a variety of buses are available. Both destinations are served by Greyhound. Greyhound tickets may be purchased directly from the company or through the Computicket website.

Direct buses run from Harare to Blantyre, Malawi, by a number of bus companies.

There is no direct public transportation from Victoria Falls to Botswana; however, a cab to the border would set you back about USD40, and some hotels in Victoria Falls may arrange transports.

How To Travel Around Zimbabwe

You travel between cities in luxury buses such as Pathfinder and Citilink. You may also take good buses from Harare’s RoadPort to other important cities in Zimbabwe and adjacent countries such as Johannesburg, Lusaka, and Lilongwe.

Intra-city transportation is provided by minibus taxis, which are very cheap by European standards. They provide a low-cost, albeit not always pleasant, method of experiencing the real Zimbabwe.

Hitchhiking is also an option, but visitors should be cautious about who they accept rides from; hitchhiker hijackings and robberies, particularly inside Harare, have been on the rise in recent years. Be careful to have some cash with you, since many drivers demand a charge to be paid up front.

Since the economy has stabilized, the state of Zimbabwe’s roadways seems to have significantly improved. The roads between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, Bulawayo and Masvingo (Great Zimbabwe), and Masvingo and Mutare are all in excellent shape. The motorway between Plumtree and Mutare is presently being resurfaced (passing through Bulawayo and Harare in the process).

It’s worth noting that virtually no gas stations in Zimbabwe accept credit cards right now. Roadblocks are also frequent, although authorities typically just ask to check your driver’s license and Temporary Import Permit (TIP). If you don’t have reflective reflectors on your vehicle, red warning triangles in your boot, a spare tire, or a fire extinguisher, you may face a fine, so make sure you have them.

Get Around - By train

Tourists that are more adventurous may travel throughout Zimbabwe by rail. From Bulawayo to Victoria Falls, there is just one train. The railway travels through Hwange National Park, Africa’s largest national park. Trains run between Bulawayo and Harare, as well as Harare and Mutare.

Destinations in Zimbabwe

Regions in Zimbabwe

  • Matabeleland
    The western portion of the nation is made up of Bulawayo, the second biggest city, the magnificent Victoria Falls, and Hwange National Park.
  • The Lower Zambezi and Lake Kariba
    The eastern edge of Lake Kariba is a favorite holiday destination for Zimbabweans. Many national parks, such as Mana Pools National Park, are located on the Zambezi River’s banks and provide excellent chances for wildlife watching.
  • Mashonaland
    Harare, the capital city, and the surrounding regions, including the northern portion of the Midlands Province, are included.
  • Highlands of the East
    The hilly region of the nation curled up along the eastern border, where the country’s highest point, Mount Inyangani, is situated. Mutare is the major city.
  • Zimbabwe’s southeast
    A diverse region that includes the southern midlands in the north and the Lowveld in the south. Nature is more appealing here, with many national parks and the Great Zimbabwe ruins.

Cities in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has three major cities and a number of smaller ones.

  • Harare — Zimbabwe’s capital and biggest city, Harare is a thriving metropolis inside a bigger metropolitan region.
  • Bulawayo — Bulawayo is the country’s second-largest metropolis in terms of population and economic activity.
  • Chimanimani – Eastern Highlands
  • Gweru – Gweru is the Midlands Province’s capital.
  • Kariba — Kariba is a lakeside vacation destination near Zambia’s border.
  • Masvingo — Masvingo was called after the neighboring Great Zimbabwe National Monument (which means “ruins” in Swahili).
  • Mutare – Mutare is the nearest major city to the beautiful Eastern Highlands.

Other destinations in Zimbabwe

  • Victoria Falls, situated in the country’s westernmost region, is a famous tourist attraction. It is one among the world’s seven natural wonders, and the spray from the waterfall nourishes a rainforest.
  • Great Zimbabwe – the archaeological ruins of an ancient stone metropolis (the biggest in Southern Africa) that served as the capital of the Munhumutapa Empire (also known as the Monomotapa Empire), which included the current nations of Zimbabwe (which got its name from this city) and Mozambique. The term ‘Zimbabwe’ means’stone house.’
  • The Eastern Highlands – Some of Zimbabwe’s finest stunning vistas may be seen in the Eastern Highlands. The boundary with Mozambique is formed by the beautiful, cloud-hung highlands. Mutare is the regional capital, while Chimanimani is a famous tourist and hiking destination.
  • Kariba – The daunting Lake Kariba, located on Zimbabwe’s northern border, is the consequence of a massive damming operation along the Zambezi River. Kariba is a famous tourist attraction that allows tourists to see African animals in its natural habitat. It is Zimbabwe’s primary source of hydroelectric electricity. If you’re traveling with friends or family, try renting a houseboat for a few days to really immerse yourself in the lake and its animals.
  • Matobo (formerly Matopos) – This region in Matabeleland, south-west of Bulawayo, has beautiful rock formations, as if nature had been playing marbles. The eroding winds pushing away the sand between the rocks creates a scenario in which rocks balance in ways that defy sense. The dassie, a tiny rodent-like mammal known more officially as Rock Hyrax, lives in the rocks, and its skins are used to create a blanket prized by the locals. The vividly colored lizards that are typical in Zimbabwe are also abundant. On weekends, the area’s dams, both big and tiny, become the site of family picnics and angling contests. Herds of sable antelope, an animal rarely seen farther south, may be seen at a game park. The National Park has self-catering cabins with spectacular views as well as camping areas.
  • Matobo also has Cecil John Rhodes’ tomb and some beautiful cave drawings.
  • Mutoroshanga Ethel Mine
  • Chinhoyi Caves

Accommodation & Hotels in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe provides a wide range of visitor amenities and lodging choices, including international hotels, guest houses, lodges, backpacker hostels, and safari camps for various budgets.

Most safari regions include tented camps, chalets, and camping spots for those on a safari trip.

Most towns offer a backpacker hostel with rates starting at $10/$15 per night.

Things To See in Zimbabwe

  • Hwange National Park. The park, which is located between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, is home to over 100 distinct animal species and over 400 different bird species. It is one of Africa’s few major elephant sanctuaries, containing approximately 30,000 elephants.
  • Matobo Hills National Park. This tiny park near Bulawayo, often known as Matopos, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 for its unique natural characteristics and fauna.
  • Mana Pools National Park. Mana Pools National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located south of the Zambezi River in northern Zimbabwe. It is a secluded area that welcomes a small number of safari enthusiasts with an abundance of elephant, hippo, lions, antelope, giraffe, and other creatures, as well as over 350 bird species, amid beautiful settings.
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Great Zimbabwe ruins are located in Masvingo, Zimbabwe’s third city, and are the remnants of one of Africa’s largest civilizations after the Pharaohs: the Kingdom of Great Zimbabwe controlled the region from present-day Zimbabwe east to Botswana and south to Mozambique in the late Iron Age (between 1100 and 1450 AD). The remains of the once-impressive granite stone structure stretch 1,800 acres (7 km2) and encompass a radius of 100 to 200 kilometers (160 to 320 km).

Things To Do in Zimbabwe

  • Bungee jumping at Victoria Falls. A thrilling 111-metre drop from the Victoria Falls bridge into the roaring Zambezi.
  • Walk with lions, swim with elephants, and ride a horse. Participants participate in other game activities in Antelope Park, which is situated near Gweru, between Harare and Bulawayo.
  • An Authentic African Safari. Walking, kayaking, or going on a game drive with African Bush Camps at Hwange National Park or Mana Pools
  • Harare International Festival of Arts. (HIFA), held annually in Harare (at the end of April), with occasional extensions in Bulawayo. Music, theater, and other performances are sponsored by foreign embassies, and it includes top international and local performers, as well as a wonderful artcraft market.

Food & Drinks in Zimbabwe

Food in Zimbabwe

Ask for “sadza and stew/relish” to get a taste of what Zimbabweans eat (in some manner, almost every day). The stew will be familiar, served over a big amount of sadza, a thick ground corn paste (vaguely similar to polenta and with the consistency of thick mashed potatoes) that locals consume for lunch and dinner. It’s cheap, delicious, and full. There is a variety of excellent Zimbabwean cuisine, such as “mbambaira” or sweet potatoes and “chibage” corn on the cob. Fruits endemic to the country, such as “masawu.” For foreigners, particularly those from the West, Zimbabwean meat, particularly beef, is extremely delicious, owing to the excellent manner in which animals are reared and nourished, without being pumped up with hormones, antibiotics, and so on.

Drinks in Zimbabwe

Mazoe, the indigenous orange squash, is the classic Zimbabwean cordial.

Zimbabwe produces a wide range of indigenous beers, mostly lagers with a few milk stouts. You could also try “Chibuku,” a popular local brew among working-class males that is based on a traditional beer recipe made from sorghum and/or maize (corn). It is often offered in a 2 litre plastic bottle known as a’skud,’ or in a more popular version known as “Chibuku Super,” which comes in a disposable 1.25 litre plastic container and costs US$1. It is, like with other alcoholic beverages, an acquired taste! There is also a small selection of local wines, which are typically available among a much bigger selection of foreign wines. Amarula, a creamy South African liqueur, is a popular treat.

Imported beverages and locally produced franchises, as well as local “soft drinks” (carbonated drinks/sodas), are available. There is also bottled water available. In general, tap water should be boiled before consumption as a source of drinkable water.

Money & Shopping in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe legalized the use of foreign currencies as legal currency, obviating the necessity for the inflation-ravaged Zimbabwe dollar, which is now out of circulation.

The US dollar is currently Zimbabwe’s de facto currency.

Credit card usage in Zimbabwe is increasing, with an increasing number of service providers accepting Visa or MasterCard. It may be advantageous to bring a large number of smaller notes (USD1, 5, 10) since they are often in limited supply.

There are many ATMs that accept Visa and MasterCard, including those operated by Eco Bank. All ATMs in the United States disburse cash in US dollars.

Zimbabwe now has its own coins in values of 10c, 25c, and 50c.

In terms of pricing, non-imported items are extremely inexpensive (particularly labor-intensive items), while curios are exceptionally well-made. Prices for a visitor sipping Coke and eating pizza, on the other hand, are not much cheaper than in South Africa.

Culture Of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has several distinct cultures, each with its own set of beliefs and rituals, one of which is Shona, Zimbabwe’s biggest ethnic group. The Shona people have a large number of sculptures and carvings that are created from the best materials available.

Zimbabwe declared independence on April 18, 1980. Harare’s celebrations take place at either the National Sports Stadium or Rufaro Stadium. The Zimbabwe Grounds hosted the first independence celebrations in 1980. Doves are released to symbolize peace, fighter aircraft fly above, and the national hymn is played at these festivities. After parades by the president’s family and members of Zimbabwe’s armed forces, the president lights the independence flame. The president also delivers an address to the Zimbabwean people, which is broadcast for those who are unable to attend the stadium. Zimbabwe also hosts a national beauty pageant, Miss Heritage Zimbabwe, which has been conducted every year since 2012.

Arts

Pottery, basketry, textiles, jewelry, and carving are examples of traditional Zimbabwean arts. Asymmetrically patterned woven baskets and stools carved from a single piece of wood are among the distinguishing features. Shona sculpture, which first gained prominence in the 1940s, has recently become world-famous. The majority of carved sculptures, including stylized birds and human figures, are created from sedimentary rocks such as soapstone, as well as harder igneous rocks such as serpentine and the uncommon stone verdite. Zimbabwean artifacts may be discovered in Singapore, China, and Canada, for example, Dominic Benhura’s monument at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Shona sculpture has been passed down through the generations, and the contemporary form is a mix of African mythology and European elements. Sculptors from Zimbabwe who have achieved international acclaim include Nicholas, Nesbert, and Anderson Mukomberanwa, Tapfuma Gutsa, Henry Munyaradzi, and Locardia Ndandarika. Through long apprenticeships with master sculptors in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwean sculptors have managed to inspire a new generation of artists, especially Black Americans, on a global scale. Contemporary artists such as New York sculptor M. Scott Johnson and California sculptor Russel Albans have learnt to combine both African and Afro-diasporic aesthetics in a manner that goes beyond the simple imitation of African Art by certain Black artists in the United States of previous generations.

Several writers are well-known both in Zimbabwe and internationally. In Zimbabwe, Charles Mungoshi is well-known for penning traditional tales in both English and Shona, and his poetry and novels have sold well in both the black and white populations. Catherine Buckle has gained worldwide acclaim for her two novels, African Tears and Beyond Tears, which recount her experience during the 2000 Land Reform. Ian Smith, Rhodesia’s first Prime Minister, authored two novels, The Great Betrayal and Bitter Harvest. Dambudzo Marechera’s book The House of Hunger won an award in the United Kingdom in 1979, and Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing’s first novel The Grass Is Singing, the first four volumes of The Children of Violence sequence, and the collection of short stories African Stories are all set in Rhodesia. NoViolet Bulawayo’s book We Need New Names was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2013. The book depicts the destruction and exodus caused by the violent repression of Zimbabwean citizens during the early 1980s Gukurahundi.

Henry Mudzengerere and Nicolas Mukomberanwa are two internationally renowned painters. The transformation of man into beast is a recurrent subject in Zimbabwean art. International acclaim has been bestowed upon Zimbabwean artists such as Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver Mtukudzi, the Bhundu Boys, Alick Macheso, and Audius Mtawarira. Theatre has a significant following among members of Zimbabwe’s white minority population, with many dramatic groups playing in Zimbabwe’s major regions.

Cuisine

The bulk of Zimbabweans, like many Africans, rely on a few basic foods. “Mealie meal,” sometimes known as cornmeal, is used to make sadza or isitshwala, as well as bota or ilambazi porridge. Sadza is prepared by combining cornmeal and water to form a thick paste/porridge. After the paste has cooked for a few minutes, additional cornmeal is added to thicken it.

This is often served for lunch or supper, with sides of gravy, vegetables (spinach, chomolia, or spring greens/collard greens), beans, and meat (stewed, grilled, roasted, or sundried). Sadza is often served with curdled milk (sour milk), also called as “lacto” (mukaka wakakora), or dried Tanganyika sardine, also known locally as kapenta or matemba. Bota is a thinner porridge that is made without the inclusion of cornmeal and is often flavored with peanut butter, milk, butter, or jam. Bota is often consumed during breakfast.

Graduations, marriages, and other family events are often marked by the slaughter of a goat or cow, which is then grilled or roasted by the family.

Despite the fact that Afrikaners make up a tiny percentage of the white minority group (10%), Afrikaner dishes remain popular. Biltong, a kind of jerky, is a popular snack made by hanging seasoned raw beef pieces to dry in the shade. Sadza is served with boerewors. It is a lengthy, well-seasoned sausage made with beef rather than pig and grilled. Because Zimbabwe was a British colony, some Zimbabweans have inherited colonial-era English eating habits. For example, most individuals will eat porridge in the morning, followed by tea around 10 a.m. (midday tea). They’ll have lunch, which is usually leftovers from the night before, freshly made sadza, or sandwiches (which is more common in the cities). After lunch, 4 o’clock tea (afternoon tea) is typically offered before supper. It is fairly unusual to have tea after supper.

Zimbabwean cuisine also includes rice, spaghetti, and potato-based dishes (french fries and mashed potato). Rice cooked with peanut butter, served with rich gravy, mixed veggies, and meat, is a local favorite. Mutakura is a traditional meal made of peanuts known as nzungu, boiled and sun-dried maize, black-eyed peas known as nyemba, and bambara groundnuts known as nyimo. Mutakura may also be made from the aforementioned components cooked separately. Maputi (roasted/popped maize kernels similar to popcorn), roasted and salted peanuts, sugar cane, sweet potato, pumpkin, and indigenous fruits such as horned melon, gaka, adansonia, mawuyu, uapaca kirkiana, mazhanje (sugar plum), and many more are also available.

Sports

Football is Zimbabwe’s most popular sport. The Warriors qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations twice (in 2004 and 2006), won the Southern Africa title four times (in 2000, 2003, 2005, and 2009), and the Eastern Africa cup once (1985).

Rugby union is a popular sport in Zimbabwe. The national team has competed in two Rugby World Cup competitions, in 1987 and 1991. World Rugby presently has the squad rated 26th in the world. Cricket is also popular among the white minority. Andy Flower, the former coach of the England Cricket Team, is a notable Zimbabwean cricketer.

Zimbabwe has eight Olympic medals, including one in field hockey with the women’s team in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, and seven by swimmer Kirsty Coventry, three at the 2004 Summer Olympics and four at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Zimbabwe has also performed well in swimming in the Commonwealth Games and All-Africa Games, with Kirsty Coventry winning 11 gold medals in various categories. Zimbabwe has also participated in tennis in Wimbledon and the Davis Cup, most notably with the Black family of Wayne Black, Byron Black, and Cara Black. Zimbabwe has also done well in the sport of golf. In the 24-year history of the ranking, Zimbabwean Nick Price maintained the official World Number One position longer than any other African player.

Basketball, volleyball, netball, and water polo are also popular in Zimbabwe, as are squash, motorsport, martial arts, chess, cycling, polocrosse, kayaking, and horse racing. Most of these sports, however, do not have international representation and instead remain at the junior or national level.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Zimbabwe

Stay Safe in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, in general, is a highly secure nation with much less crime risk than neighboring South Africa, and Zimbabweans are widely renowned for their unmatched hospitality. Travelers should take precautions to ensure their own security and safety. It’s really simply a question of common sense, which you should use regardless of where you are.

In April 2009, the United States, Japan, and Germany removed their travel advisories for Zimbabwe, indicating that the security risk for tourists is minimal. While many locals may be interested in you and your nation, keep in mind that most Zimbabweans are still extremely sensitive to outsiders’ views of their country and its leaders. As a result, it is usually a good idea to avoid political conversations or talks about political leaders’ views.

Stay Healthy in Zimbabwe

Do your homework on what’s available. Bring any necessary medicines with you. There are a lot of easily accessible private hospitals in large cities.

Zimbabwe has the world’s fourth highest HIV/AIDS infection rate, at approximately 20%, or one in every five people affected. Obviously, you should never have sex without protection. Before moving forward in a committed relationship, consider having an HIV test for both of you.

Malaria is common, therefore anti-malarials are recommended unless you plan to remain completely in Harare or Bulawayo. Drugs decrease the severity of the illness but do not prevent infection, therefore consider other measures such as:

  • sleeping with a mosquito netting (lightweight travel nets are comparatively cool to use)
  • applying insect repellant to the skin or burning mosquito coils
  • wearing long-sleeved clothes and long pants, especially in the evening

Bilharzia may be found in certain lakes. Before going swimming, check with the locals.

Snake bites are frequent in the wilderness, and the majority of bites occur on the foot or lower leg. Wear appropriate boots and either long, loose pants or thick, concertinaed hiking socks while walking, especially in tall grass. In the morning, shake out your boots and shoes in case you have a visitor. These measures also lessen the possibility of scorpion sting. Stay calm if you are bitten or stung. Try to determine the precise cause, but go to medical help as soon as possible without exerting excessive effort. Many bites and stings are not deadly if left untreated, but it is safer to seek treatment, which is now extremely effective.

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