Zimbabwe is rich in natural views and fascinating landscape. One of the must-see destination is the Victoria Falls which is considered as one of the world wonders. Decades ago, the country is popularly known all over the world because of the political violence and economic disasters. Yet, the country was able to bounce back, improving tourism and attracting visitor again from the different places in the world. Zimbabwe is also a place where you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the highland mountains, beautiful forest and lifeblood rivers. Indeed, Zimbabwe shows a promising and abundant future – from a place of ruins to an impressive destination.
Important and Interesting Facts about Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers.
- It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east.
- Victoria Falls, one of the world’s biggest and most spectacular waterfalls, is located in the country’s northwest as part of the Zambezi river.
- The country is mostly savannah, although the moist and mountainous east supports tropical evergreen and hardwood forests. Trees include teak and mahogany, knobthorn, msasa and baobab. Among the numerous flowers and shrubs are hibiscus, spider lily, leonotus, cassia, tree wisteria and dombeya.
- Large parts of Zimbabwe were once covered by forests with abundant wildlife. Deforestation and poaching has reduced the amount of wildlife. Woodland degradation and deforestation, due to population growth, urban expansion and lack of fuel, are major concerns and have led to erosion and land degradation which diminish the amount of fertile soil. Zimbabwe is a country that relies mostly on hydroelectric power. Zimbabwe had once relied heavily on electricity from Mozambique and other neighbouring countries.
- Hwange National Park is home to one of the highest concentration of game, especially elephants. Covering more than 14,600 square kilometers(5,863 square miles) or 1,460,000 hectares it has more animals and a greater variety of species -107- than any other park in the country, and more than 400 species of birds. It is situated at south west of Zimbabwe between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.
- Harare is a cosmopolitan and culturally vibrant place. The National Gallery here has one of the finest displays of African art in the continent and the Queen Victoria Museum houses fine anthropological exhibits from the area. The busy Mbane Musika market and bus terminal is one of the greatest open-air markets in Africa.
- Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe but it has curiously managed to retain a 1960s small-town America ambience. Huge tree-lined boulevards covered in flowers during spring watch over the town’s prime attractions. Places to visit are the National Museum (one of the best and most comprehensive on the continent) and an equally good Railway Museum.
- The Great Zimbabwe Ruins are an impressive set of stone complexes built between the 13th and 15th century when the ancient Kingdom of Munumatapa existed in all its glory.
- Mana Pools National Park is located in the extreme north of Zimbabwe, and is a fragment of Parks and Wildlife Estate, the 10,500-square kilometer domain that extends from the Mozambique River in the east to the Kariba Dam in the west.
- Kwekwe, formerly spelled as Que Que, is located in the Midlands of Zimbabwe. The town of Kwekwe was built during 1898 because of a gold mine that was discovered in the area. It was named after the Kwekwe River, a body of water near the settlement which was named after the croaking sound native frogs made. There are four different mine deposits that have been discovered in Kwekwe. Aside from being known for gold, Kwekwe is also an industrial hub for fertilizer and steel.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Zimbabwe
- According to WHO figures, men can expect to live to 37 years, and women only 34.
- One of President Mugabe’s biggest achievements has been education. Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate in Africa at 90% of the population.
- In 2000, some 70% of the best land was owned by 4,000 white farmers and Mr Mugabe speeded up the process of seizing it and redistributing it to blacks.
- Many Zimbabweans survive on just one meal a day. Relief agencies say 25% of Zimbabweans require food aid.
- Multi-currency – Zimbabwe is the world’s largest Bureau de Change. You can buy a loaf of bread that’s priced at R10 (South African Rands), pay with Euros, and receive your change in US Dollars, Pula, AND Rands. Every Zimbabwean is basically a walking currency converter!
- Air Zimbabwe – some seats have no seat belts, so you just tighten the belt you’re wearing on your pants.
- No doubt Zimbabwe has the best swimmers…if the Olympics took place in the Limpopo River…and the finish line was South Africa
- If a girl asks you to take her out on a date somewhere expensive…you take her to a petrol station.
- The rapper 50cent is known in Zimbabwe as 500 million dollars.
- Zimbabwe is believed to be the location of Ophir, the ancient wealthy country from which King Solomon got ivory, gold, and such other precious items.
- To Zimbabweans, a big stomach among men is a sign of wealth. It implies that they can afford meat daily.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Zimbabwe
- The remains of early humans, dating back 500,000 years, have been discovered in present-day Zimbabwe. The land’s earliest settlers, the Khoisan, date back to 200 B.C. After a period of Bantu domination, the Shona people ruled, followed by the Nguni and Zulu peoples. By the mid-19th century the descendants of the Nguni and Zulu, the Ndebele, had established a powerful warrior kingdom.
- Zimbabwean history can be tracked as far back as perhaps the first Bantu speakers to arrive in present day Zimbabwe were the makers of early Iron Age pottery belonging to the Silver Leaves or Matola tradition, third to fifth centuries A.D., found in southeast Zimbabwe. This tradition was part of the eastern stream of Bantu expansion (sometimes called Kwale) which originated west of the Great Lakes, spreading to the coastal regions of southeastern Kenya and north eastern Tanzania, and then southwards to Mozambique, south eastern Zimbabwe and Natal.
- The first British explorers, colonists, and missionaries arrived in the 1850s, and the massive influx of foreigners led to the establishment of the territory Rhodesia, named after Cecil Rhodes of the British South Africa Company.
- In 1923, European settlers voted to become the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia. After a brief federation with Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Nyasaland (now Malawi) in the post–World War II period, Southern Rhodesia (also known as Rhodesia) chose to remain a colony when its two partners voted for independence in 1963.
- On Nov. 11, 1965, the conservative white-minority government of Rhodesia declared its independence from Britain. The country resisted the demands of black Africans, and Prime Minister Ian Smith withstood British pressure, economic sanctions, and guerrilla attacks in his effort to uphold white supremacy. On March 1, 1970, Rhodesia formally proclaimed itself a republic. Heightened guerrilla war and a withdrawal of South African military aid in 1976 marked the beginning of the collapse of Smith’s 11 years of resistance.
- The major grain for consumption is maize, although in parts of the Zambezi Valley millet and sorghum are the principle grains. After grinding, the flour is cooked into a thick porridge that is eaten with green vegetables or meat. A wide range of green vegetables are grown in kitchen gardens and collected wild. They generally are prepared with onion and tomato and sometimes with groundnut (peanut) sauce. Bread is a staple in the urban diet but not as important in rural areas. Foods that are eaten seasonally include milk, boiled or roasted groundnuts, boiled or roasted maize, fruits, termites, and caterpillars.
- Two types of marriage are recognized under the law. Customary marriages are potentially polygynous and legal for black Zimbabweans only and usually are dissolved only by death (divorce is rare). Civil marriages are monogamous and can be dissolved by death or divorce. Customary marriages are the more common form.
- In traditional religion, the spirit of a deceased person returns to the community and the deceased heads of extended families (the ancestors), have a powerful influence on family life. The spirit ancestors are usually only two or three generations back from the living generation and are the people who passed on the custom of honoring their ancestors and the traditions of the community.
- Customarily, the dead are buried close to home, and people in urban areas may bring the deceased back to rural areas for burial. Graves are prepared close to the family homestead and are both sacred and feared for their association with death and spirits. A diviner may be consulted to determine the cause of death and prescribe a ritual action; this is followed by ceremonies to settle the spirit and mark the end of mourning. After one year a final ceremony is held at which the spirit becomes a spirit guardian of the family. These ceremonies generally combine traditional and Christian practices.
- Shona sculpture is internationally acclaimed and exhibited. Those works fetch thousands of dollars on the international market, particularly in Europe and the United States. Although this art form is referred to as Shona sculpture, it is not specific to the Shona. The themes are derived largely from African folklore and transformed into figurative, semiabstract, and minimalist works that use a variety of stone, including black serpentine.
- Traditionally inspired music is predominant in the arts and represents cultural continuity with the past. Based on the rhythms and melodies of the mbira (finger piano), the instrument associated with the ancestors, traditional music promoted a feeling of solidarity in the struggle for independence.
- The tribal clothes of the people of the country include a headdress that is meant to cover the head. Headdresses are worn by both men and women. The national dress of the country is a wraparound cloth, head wrap, and earrings and necklaces. The traditional Zimbabwe Clothing is worn on some special occasions like the Independence Day or Hero’s Day.