Official Name: Republic of Zimbabwe
Population: 13 million
Land Area: 390,757 square km
Currency: Zimbabwe Dollar as a currency has been shelved until the economy revives. United States Dollar is now preferred – small denominations are easier. Visa is more widely accepted than MasterCard. ATM machines dispense US Dollars USD1.00 = AUD 1.33 (calculated 01 September 2016)
Time: 2 hours ahead of GMT
Language: English is traditionally used for official business but there are 16 official languages. The most widely spoken are English, Shona and Ndebele.
Schooling: Zimbabwe has the highest adult literacy rate in Africa. Independent and government run schools are available at a charge and include 2 years preschool, 7 years primary and 6 years tertiary prior to tertiary levels. Zimbabwe has the lowest life expectancy rate in Africa – 44 years for men and 43 years for women.
Agriculture: Commercial farming was traditionally one of the largest sources of exports but due to the government’s land reform program damaging the sector it has declined. On the improvement again with tobacco, sugar, cotton, tea, wheat, barley, millet, peanuts and soya beans commonly grown.
Key Industries: Mineral exports in particular the world’s largest platinum reserves, diamonds, gold, agriculture and tourism are the main sectors.
Health Tips: Routine vaccines are recommended but Hepatitis A, and Typhoid are recommended. You will need to take precautions for Malaria. Outbreaks of cholera have occurred in the past and may break out again with little warning. Only drink sealed bottled water. Yellow fever does not occur in Zambia however a yellow fever certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from or having passed through areas with risk of yellow fever transmission. For up to date travel advice refer to http://www.smartraveller.gov.au Health services in Zimbabwe are poor.
Geography & Climate: Zimbabwe is a land locked country surrounded by Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana. It is made up of a series of plateaus and mountains lies within the tropics but many elevated regions experience subtropical and humid temperatures during summer; in the high 20’s degrees C and in the winter averaging around 14 degrees C. Rain falls generally between November – March. The lower regions are hotter and dryer and particularly in the south are affected by prolonged dry spells. Baobabs grow naturally throughout Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe boasts many national parks and areas of outstanding beauty with several major tourist attractions including the famous Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River. Located in the North West of Zimbabwe the mighty Victoria Falls is shared with Zambia. There are eight main national parks in Zimbabwe, Hwangi National Park, located close to the Kalahari Desert is the largest. It is possible to see all the big Five at Hwangi NP and is home to gemsbok, brown hyena, spotted hyena, African wild dogs, leopard, lions, elephants, baboons, and numerous other African mammals and bird life.
Unique for Africa, a number of ancient ruined dry stone cities can be found. The most famous is the Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo, the royal palace ruins dates back to the 11th century and is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Lake Kariba, the world’s largest artificial lake and reserve is found along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Here, the Mutusadona National Park allows you to experience nature in its element where you cannot help but see a wide variety of birdlife and game. Fish eagles abound the lake alongside storks, kingfisher, ground hornbills and the big five including the black rhino, kudu, warthog, Nile crocodile, tiger fish, giraffe, and many antelope species.
Zimbabwe holds a certain magic that is waiting to be explored.
Traveljoy Safaris that include Zimbabwe: