World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Africa

Zimbabwe Travelling Guide
Zimbabwe Travelling Guide

General background: The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert MUGABE, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system since independence.

Area comparative: Slightly larger than Montana.

Climate: Tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March).

Terrain: Mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east
11,376,676

Population: 11,376,676

Ethnic groups: African 98% (Shona 82%, Ndebele 14%, other 2%), mixed and Asian 1%, white less than 1%

Religions: Syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslim and other 1%

Language: English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects.

Government type: Parliamentary democracy

Capital: Harare

Legal system: Mixture of Roman-Dutch and English common law

Economic overview: The government of Zimbabwe faces a wide variety of difficult economic problems as it struggles to consolidate earlier moves to develop a market-oriented economy. Its involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, has already drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy. Badly needed support from the IMF has been suspended because of the country's failure to meet budgetary goals. Inflation rose from an annual rate of 32% in 1998 to 59% in 1999, to 60% in 2000, and to 100% by yearend 2001. The economy is being steadily weakened by excessive government deficits, AIDS, and rampant inflation. The government's land reform program, characterized by chaos and violence, has derailed the commercial sector, the traditional source of exports and foreign exchange and the provider of 400,000 jobs. Distribution of income is extremely unequal.

Communication/Telephone system:
System was once one of the best in Africa, but now suffers from poor maintenance.

Places of interest: It boasts the majestic Victoria Falls, magnificent wildlife preserves and the medieval ruins of Great Zimbabwe.

Travel tips: Zimbabwe is in a state of turmoil. Travelers are not recommended to go to Zimbabwe, first check with your consulate.