All About Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe . Officially the Republic of Zimbabwe (in English: Republic of Zimbabwe) and former Southern Rhodesia, it is a landlocked country, located in the southern part of the continent of Africa , between the two great rivers Zambezi and Limpopo.


It borders South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east. The official language of Zimbabwe is English, however, the majority of the population speak Shona, which is the native language of the Shona people, a Bantu language, the country’s other native language is Sindebele , which is spoken by the Matabele.


The country is governed by President Robert Mugabe , who is accused by rights groups of massive human rights violations . Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a hard currency shortage , leading to hyperinflation and chronic shortages of imported fuel and consumer goods. President Mugabe blames critics of his land reform program . However, Mugabe claims that massive financial isolation through American, British, and European Union legislation , and the 2001 Economic Reform Act as the real cause of hyperinflation. Under ZDERA ,The United States has prohibited any supportive efforts by the International Monetary Fund and other financial institutions, including the granting of loans, credit or the cancellation of debt for the government of Zimbabwe.


The current economic situation and the food crisis in the country has been described by some observers as the worst humanitarian crisis since independence. It has been attributed, to varying degrees, to economic mismanagement by the government, bans on relief activities by foreign non-governmental organizations, a region-wide drought, and the HIV / AIDS epidemic .

The history of Zimbabwe began with the end of Bush’s war and the transition to majority rule in 1980 . The United Kingdom solemnly grants Zimbabwe independence on April 18 , 1980, in accordance with the Lancaster House Agreement . In the early 1990s the economy of Zimbabwe began to deteriorate due to mismanagement and corruption. Economic instability led various members of the armed forces to try to overthrow the government in a coup. The most powerful reason seems to have been the expulsion of the citizens of racewhite, farm owners until Mugabe came to power. These deprived of land nationalized by the government, had to leave the country for the most part.


Traces of ancient African civilizations were found in the region that is now occupied by Zimbabwe: mines, terraces and irrigation canals; about 300 archaeological sites are found among the ruins. The most important are Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe (with its characteristic walled enclosure). The ancestors of the current Shona – Bantu blacksmiths installed before the 5th century – built this wall centuries later.

The Shona discovered gold, copper, and tin, and developed refined techniques for working them. The Arabized commercial centers of the coast – such as Sofala, in what is now known as Mozambique – promoted an exchange that facilitated the expansion of their culture. The mutapas, or kings, spread their influence over most of the region.

The rise of Great Zimbabwe took place between the 14th and 16th centuries. Civilization established trade connections that reached Asia . When Portugal conquered coastal settlements in the 16th century , Great Zimbabwe was in decline, and the center of gravity of a more evolved Zimbabwean culture shifted north under the Rozyi reign. Khami , in the south, became an important center after the fall of Great Zimbabwe.

XIX century

Shona society was deeply destabilized in the 1830s, following the invasion of the Ndebele from Zululand (in present-day South Africa ), who were fleeing the military power of the Zulu King Shaka.

The Zulu-speaking Ndebele established a kingdom in the southeast through the conquest and assimilation of local, mostly Shona, settlers. In the first half of the 19th century the territory was divided between the Shona people in the northeast and the Ndebele. When the white settlers arrived in the late 19th century, they negotiated with Lobenguela , the Ndebele king, who guaranteed the imperial businessman Cecil Rhodes of the British South Africa Co. (BSA) exclusive rights to exploit land and mineral resources in exchange. of money.

The British government gave the BSA control of the territory and opened it up to settlers; a pioneer column moved to a fortified camp called Salisbury . In 1893 the Ndebele rebelled. The Rhodes ‘police’ attacked and destroyed Bulawayo , their capital. From 1896-1897 a great Shona uprising was brutally suppressed. The country (Southern Rhodesia) became governed by the BSA.

Twentieth century

In 1923 , Zimbabwe became a settler-run state, similar to South Africa in aspects such as racial segregation. Its intensive agriculture and gold mines made it the second richest country in Africa .

In 1953 Southern Rhodesia formed the Central African Federation with neighboring Northern Rhodesia (present-day Zambia) and Nyassaland (present-day Malawi ). Through the Federation the British hoped to create a counterweight to apartheid in Afrikaaner-dominated South Africa.

When decolonization in Africa began in the late 1950s, Europeans (5% of the population) owned about half of the land. Zambia and Malawi became independent in 1964 . In Southern Rhodesia the African National Congress (ANC) also intensified the struggle for self-determination. The settler government of Ian Smith refused to approve an indigenous government and resisted British pressure for a gradual transfer of power to the local majority and in 1965 announced the unilateral declaration of independence. This determined the return to armed struggle by the African liberation movements ZAPU ( Zimbabwe People’s Union ), led by Joshua Nkomoand ZANU ( Zimbabwe African National Union ), led by Robert Mugabe in 1975.

Smith’s Rhodesian Front regime was punished with a United Nations- imposed trade boycott , systematically circumvented with the cooperation of the South African government. After the independence of Mozambique in 1975 , the guerrillas grew stronger. The guerrilla movements entered from camps located outside the country. Smith bombed Zambia and Mozambique, countries that, along with Angola , Botswana and Tanzania , had suffered a strong political and economic destabilization for having formed a common front against the racist regimes in the region.

Faced with increasing international pressure, in 1978 Smith signed with black leaders an internal agreement rejected by the liberation movements, the success of which forced the government to negotiate. London oversaw the February 1980 free elections, which Robert Mugabe won . Under the Lancaster House Accords of April 1980, Great Britain handed over power to ZANU. Whites retained some privileges, such as their land and seats in Parliament.

Robert Gabriel Mugabe

Mugabe began by abolishing racist legislation and rebuilding the economy plagued by seven years of war, with livestock reduced by a third, roads disabled and the scourge of diseases like malaria. Mugabe advocated for national reconciliation and included ZAPU leaders and whites in the government, seeking support for an ambitious Development Plan. In the early years, economic growth was rapid, especially in agriculture. But Mugabe had to face the South African boycott at the exit of production and the division between ZANU and ZAPU (of Nkomo), whose mainly Ndebele guerrillas were dissatisfied with ZANU and the dominance of the Shona. A major drought in 1983 added to the setbacks.

Black peasant hopes for land reform clashed with the limitations imposed in the Lancaster House Accords, which called for the purchase and not the expropriation of white estates.

In late June 1985, Mugabe’s ZANU won parliamentary elections widely throughout the country, except in the Ndebele area of ​​Matabele; the majority of whites voted for the Rhodesian Front.

In 1986 , 4,500 farmers (almost all white) owned 50% of the country’s productive land, and employed black laborers who lived on their farms. More than 4,500,000 lived in poor, communally-owned rural areas called “tribal lands” located in dry regions, lacking in infrastructure and communications.

The Union of Commercial Farmers, made up of whites, generated 90% of agricultural production, paid a third of wages, and accounted for 40% of the country’s exports. The organization blocked many government initiatives for land reform and redistribution.

Through two constitutional reforms, in September 1987 the 30 parliamentary seats reserved for whites were abolished and executive authority was transferred to the president, elected by Parliament every six years.

In December 1987 Mugabe and Nkomo reached a merger agreement (ratified in April 1988) that created the Patriotic Front of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU-PF).

The victory of the ZANU-PF in the March 1990 elections , in which it won 116 out of 119 seats, was interpreted by Mugabe as popular support for its one-party idea. However, the newly organized Movement for Zimbabwe Unity (ZUM) obtained 15% of the vote and there was an abstention of 46%.

In 1990, Parliament passed an agrarian reform law that authorized the expropriation of land from white owners at a price set by the state, for redistribution among the black population. ZANU-PF abandoned Marxism-Leninism , and maintained a mixed and social democratic economy in which whites played a prominent role.

In 1992 the Mozambican conflict ended, eliminating the threat of destabilization for Zimbabwe. In the April 1996 elections (with 68% abstention), Mugabe obtained 93% of the votes.

The government had great difficulties in providing basic services due to structural adjustment programs imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which cut public spending, coupled with economic stagnation. Although 30% of the lands owned by whites had been redistributed, war veterans believed to be forgotten since independence lobbied the government. In June 1996 they seized six farms east of Harare. In July, the government announced a new plan to establish 100,000 families on 5 million hectares to be purchased from white farmers. The IMF and the EU rejected the plan as too ambitious, instead supporting a two-year pilot project. Mugabe changed his mind in November and expropriated 841 farms.

In October 1999, a 3% tax on salaries was implemented, intended, according to the government, to care for people with HIV / AIDS (25% of the country’s adults). The move was interpreted by many as a move to finance the 11,000 soldiers Mugabe sent in support of Laurent Kabila’s regime in the Democratic Republic of the Congo . The media denounced official corruption.

XXI century

Mugabe suffered a surprise defeat to a new opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in the 2000 constitutional referendum that sought to strengthen presidential powers and allow the expropriation without compensation of estates held by whites.

In March of 2000 , 420 farms of white landowners were occupied by former black guerrillas. The Union of Commercial Farmers accused Mugabe of orchestrating the takeovers to hide the failure of the land reform, as the government owned nearly two million acres of untapped fertile land. Mugabe responded that the country had no way to pay for the subdivision of these lands or provide the minimum infrastructure, such as pipes and roads.

In May, as a platform for the June parliamentary elections, Mugabe announced that he would not give in to international pressure and would not reverse or prevent land occupations. To avoid international supervision, the government reduced the number of election observers. Despite having forged the elections, the ZANU won only five more seats than the MDC, which had the support of the union movement and mainly urban. Mugabe faced serious opposition for the first time since 1980 , and he was determined to eliminate it.

In 2001, the Mugabe regime was accused of human rights violations, including the right to information. British media and NGOs noted that many judges and journalists had to leave Zimbabwe and several opposition leaders were killed.

New international pressure led Mugabe to reduce illegal land occupations in September 2001 in exchange for English financial aid to compensate expropriated white farmers. The reluctance of companies to invest in the country increased unemployment and inflation reached 70% at the end of the year.

The government, which had censored the (state-controlled) media, introduced a bill called Access to Information and Protection of Privacy in January 2002 , in an attempt to silence the independent press and foreign journalists before the next presidential elections. National and international pressure caused the government to withdraw the project.

The presidential elections of March 2002 gave Mugabe the winner with 56.2% of the votes against Morgan Tsvangirai , of the MDC, who reached 41.9%. The opposition, independent observers and the international community denounced fraud. Weeks later, the British Commonwealth expelled the country for a year, based on the recommendations of the poll watchers group report, which concluded that the elections had been hampered by government-encouraged violence. The European Union and the United States announced severe sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2002.

Denmark closed its embassy in Harare and Switzerland blocked the accounts of various members of the government and denied them entry into Swiss territory. In August 2002, 3,000 white settlers were notified that they had to abandon their lands and in September Parliament passed laws to speed up the expropriation processes, which were to be completed in a month. Two thousand five hundred settlers decided to resist, a challenge to the government that led to violent incidents. Inflation soared. Tsvangirai was charged with treason, allegedly for trying to overthrow the president.

In March 2003, observers denounced an unprecedented crackdown on widespread clashes over land expropriation. The government also severely cracked down on massive strikes and other measures demanding Mugabe’s retirement, supported by the trade union movement and the MDC.

Mugabe intensified his speech against the countries of the North. The Daily News, the only independent newspaper, was shut down in October. Many journalists were jailed and tortured. In December 2003, the British Commonwealth indefinitely extended the expulsion from Zimbabwe.

In March 2004, the EU renewed the sanctions and expanded the list of government members prohibited from entering its territory. In June, the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) condemned Zimbabwe’s laws against the press.

That same month, several civil rights organizations expressed their disagreement with a resolution of the African Union (AU) that, during its summit in Ethiopia , suspended the publication of a report that denounced human rights violations (such as torture, arbitrary arrest of parliamentarians opponents, among others) in the country. African leaders stated that the suspension was intended to give the country time to respond to the accusations.

In October, Tsvangirai was found not guilty of treason charges relating to an alleged assassination attempt on Mugabe, although he should face other treason charges. Joyce Mujuru became vice president of the republic in December.

In January 2005 Mugabe carried out a purge at ZANU-PF, dismissing several high-ranking members. He also jailed Philip Chiyangwa, one of the richest people in the country, on charges of espionage. That same month, reports of systematic attacks and torture against MDC supporters came to light on the eve of the March elections.

In March, ZANU-PF obtained two-thirds of the votes in the legislative elections. Tsvangirai denounced “massive fraud” once again.

Between May and June, tens of thousands of substandard homes and illegal street stalls were demolished in an “urban cleansing” operation that offered no alternative solutions to its occupants. According to UN estimates, some 700,000 people were left homeless. In August, the treason charges still pending against Tsvangirai were dropped. In November, ZANU-PF won an overwhelming majority in the elections called to form the new Senate, reestablished after six years of unicameral rule.

After visiting the country in December, Jan Egeland, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said that Zimbabwe was “disintegrating”.

The Famine Early Warning System (FEWSNET), an organization based in the United States, warned in February 2006 that domestic access to basic food products had dropped considerably in the region and that large numbers of people needed food assistance. According to FEWSNET, food insecurity in Zimbabwe would worsen over the months due to the deficit (1,200 tonnes) in 2005 cereal production.

In March, the IMF presented its latest assessment of Zimbabwe’s overdue financial obligations to the agency, as well as possible sanctions against this country. The Executive Board of the IMF decided not to restore Zimbabwe’s voting rights within it, nor the possibility of using the general resources of the Fund.

In May, after seven years of economic recession, inflation surpassed 1,000% – with a record in April, 1,043% – the highest in the world at that time. On the other hand, that month unemployment rates stood at more than 70%.

Due to the severity of the crisis, by August 2007 thousands of people were crossing the borders – mainly to South Africa – every day. The opposition Democratic Alliance asked the government to create refugee camps near the border. The idea was rejected by Pretoria as making it difficult for refugees to integrate into South African society.


Geographic location

Zambezi River in Zimbabwe
Zambezi River in Zimbabwe

It is bordered to the north by Zambia and Mozambique , to the south by Botswana and the Republic of South Africa , to the east by Mozambique and to the west by Botswana. The capital is Harare . The territory of Zimbabwe stretches between the Zambezi rivers to the northeast, the Sabi to the east and southeast, and the Limpopo to the southeast, which form one of the most important water reserves in Africa . A quarter of its relief is dominated by the 640 km long Veld mountain range, which crosses the country from the southwest to the Inyanga Mountains in the northeast.

The higher lands of the Upper Veld occupy the center of the country around Bulawayo, Gweru and Harare; a medium Veld, between 700 and 1,400 m, comprises intermediate plateaus and extends through the northwestern and southeastern regions. The lower Veld, below 700 m altitude, is situated in the Zambezi and Limpopo valleys. The main rivers of Zimbabwe are the Zambezi, on the border with Zambia, the Limpopo, the Sabi, the Lundi, the Shangani, the Bembezi and the Angwa. Also noteworthy is Lake Kariba, formed when the Zambezi Dam was built.


Zimbabwe’s climate is subtropical. While in the river valleys it is warm and humid, when increasing in altitude greater thermal oscillations appear. There is a dry season, from June to September, which coexists with winter, and a rainy season, from October to March, which coincides with the warm season. Average annual rainfall varies by region. While in the southwest the rainfall does not exceed 400 mm per year, in the highlands it usually exceeds 900 mm per year. The most common vegetation in the country is the savanna, with acacias or baobabs in the drier regions of the west and south-west, as well as the tall meadows.


From the northeast to the southwest and towards the center of the country, connecting its two largest cities, this low mountain range is the most inhabited area in Zimbabwe.


Formerly Salisbury, with a population of over 1.6 million, the capital is the usual gateway to Zimbabwe and the industrial center of the country. It is a clean and sophisticated city, characterized by its flowering trees, the variety of colors and contemporary architecture. Local tourism includes the modern museum and National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the Robert McIlwaine Recreational Parck which has a Lions and Onza lake and preserve, and the Botanical Garden.


Zimbabwe’s second city is an industrial and tourist center. The city is rich in samples of the history of the country that are displayed in the National Museum. Nearby is the Khami and Rhodes Matopos Park, known for its exotic granite rock formations. You can also enjoy reservoirs with excellent fishing, caves with rock paintings, the tomb of Cecil Rhodes and an interesting sample of native fauna.

Eastern mountainous regions

The Inyanga, Vumba and the Chimanimani mountain range are the main mountainous and recreational and rest areas for Zimbabweans. Mount Inyangani, the highest in the country (2592m), is in this area.


From the forested mountains of the eastern mountainous regions to the grasslands of Hwange National Park, from the hot Mopani Forest to the shores of Lake Kariba , there is more than 11% of the land of Zimbabwe; 44,688 square km dedicated to parks and wildlife properties in the wild. There are ten national parks and ten natural parks in addition to several botanical gardens and 14 hunting areas (strictly controlled and whose income helps fund conservation programs).

National Parks

Hwange National Park

It is located in western Zimbabwe, 500 southwest of Harare, 200 km northwest of Bulawayo and sharing a 200 km border with Botswana. The Park is part of an immense protected area of ​​18,525 km² composed of the Park itself, Deka Safari Area, Matetsi Safari Area (2,920 km²), Kazumu National Park (313 Km²) and the National Parks, adjacent to Matetsi, Zambezi (563 Km² ) and Victoria Falls (79 km²).

It is one of the most internationally known ecotourism destinations. It has inside bungalows and camping areas, as well as the surrounding hotels. It is accessed by road, train and plane. It has a large network of tracks and platforms to observe wildlife.

Chimanimani National Park

The Chimanimani National Park is located in eastern Zimbabwe, 300 km southeast of Harare, sharing a 50 km border with Mozambique. It was established in 1950. It has an area of ​​171 km². It consists of mountainous terrain and includes the Bridalveil Falls, many spectacular gorges, and mountains that rise up to 2,436 meters.

It has lodging facilities and camping areas. Near the entrance is the village of Chikukwa. Some of the attractions of the Park are the Muhohwa waterfalls and Mukurupiri waterfalls, the natural pools of the Muhohwa River where bathing is allowed, contemplate rare trees such as the barrosus palm and the unique rock formation of Mount Mawenje or walk through the Nyakwaha Botanical Reserves and Haroni.

Chizarira National Park

Chizarira National Park is located in the northwest of Zimbabwe, 330 km west of Harare and 200 km northeast of the great Hwange National Park. It was established in 1975. It has an area of ​​1,910 km².

It is difficult to access. There is an airstrip in Manzituba. Authorization from the provincial authorities is required to visit the Park.

Gonarezhou National Park

The Gonarezhou National Park is located in the extreme southeast of Zimbabwe, adjacent to Mozambique, in the Chiredzi district of Masvingo Province, forming part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park together with the Kruger (South Africa) and Limpopo (Mozambique) National Parks . It was established in 1968 as a Nature Reserve and declared a National Park in 1975. It has an area of ​​5,053 km². The Park is open during the dry season, from May to October. It is well conditioned with camping areas and a hotel establishment in Chinguli.

Kazuma National Park

Kazuma National Park is located in the extreme west of Zimbabwe, bordering on the west with Botswana. It was established in 1949. It has an area of ​​313 km² and is located at an altitude of between 900 and 1,200 meters above sea level. The Park is part of an immense protected area of ​​18,525 km² made up of the Park itself, Hwange National Park (14,651 km²), Deka Safari Area, Matetsi Safari Area (2,920 Km²) and the National Parks, contiguous to Matetsi, Zambezi (563 Km² ) and Victoria Falls (79 km²). It is made up of flat grassland plains on basalt clay soils and with large depressions in the southwest that flood during the rainy season.

Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park is located on the southern shore of Lake Kariba, 280 km northwest of Harare, 120 km southwest of Mana Pools National Park and 50 km northeast of Cizarira National Park.

Most of the park is inaccessible by road and only a third of the park is open to the public. There are accommodations in Muwu and on the Ume River and an airstrip in Tashinga. Tours can be made on foot, in and by boat.

Mosi Oa Tunya National Park

In 1989 the Mosi Oa Tunya National Parks in Zambia and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe were recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

It is one of the parks in Africa most visited by nationals and foreign tourists. It has very extensive tourist infrastructures, more in Zimbabwe than in Zambia. In Livingstone, 11 kms from the falls there are agencies for all kinds of excursions and sports and a museum where a number of artifacts found in archaeological excavations are exhibited.

Hwange National Park

Formerly Wankie, it is the largest national park in Zimbabwe, both for its size (14,620 square km) and for the variety of animals and birds that can be seen. From the three existing camps in its interior there are paths that lead visitors to areas with concentrations of animals, to ponds where from prepared viewpoints an innumerable number and variety of animals can be seen that congregate, especially at sunset. Hwange is one of the last great elephant sanctuaries in Africa and herds of more than 100 elephants can be seen drinking and bathing in the ponds, particularly at the end of the dry season in September.

Victoria Falls

120km from Hwange National Park are the Victoria Falls, the largest in the world: 1.7km wide, 550,000 cubic meters of liters of water every minute in its 100m of fall that reach 5 million per minute during the rainy season; the steam they give off can be seen from 30km away.

Matobo National Park

Some hidden niches still house clay furnaces that were used as iron foundries making spears to be used against the colonial hordes. Some ridges, such as Shumba and Shaba, are considered sacred and locals believe that approaching them can bring misfortune. Hidden in a cleft in the stone is the sacred urn of the Ndebele rain, where people still pray to Mwali and pray for rain. Even during the drought of the early 1990s, government officials came here to intercede for the rain.

Mana Pools National Park

It is one of the most beautiful national parks in Zimbabwe and occupies 2,196 square km of forest along the banks of the Zambezi River. The animal population includes the hippopotamus, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, and many types of antelope. It also has the incentive of being allowed to visit on foot. The birds along the river and among the trees are particularly prolific. It is possible to fish for tiger fish, bream and giant voodoo.

Nyanga National Park

Located in the mountain range that covers the eastern part of Zimbabwe. It is an area of ​​tall meadows, evergreen forests, waterfalls, cliffs and chalets.

A visit to Zimbabwe would be incomplete without touring Great Zimbabwe . It is the largest complex of ruins in Africa south of the Egyptian pyramids.

Economic development

Harare, the capital, located in the gold region, is an important commercial center and a large agricultural market. It is also the main administrative and university center in the country. Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe. It is one of the main industrial and commercial centers of the country that, in recent years, has become a nerve center for the transport of products from South Africa.

Tobacco farming in Zimbabwe
Tobacco farming in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is fortunate in its agricultural production: tobacco , sugar , coffee , cotton and cornthey are products of which it exports in significant quantities. Furthermore, Zimbabwe is an exporter of high quality meat to the European Union. The mining industry is also important with gold and nickel as well as smaller amounts of other minerals. It has coal reserves and hydroelectric plants. Other minerals are processed before being exported: ferro-chromium and refined gold for example. The most important industries are: food processing, metals, chemicals and textiles. Zimbabwe remains highly dependent on trade with South Africa. Zimbabwe is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADCC) and accepted in 1993 the formation of a Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. South Africa Germany, Japan, the UK and the US are Zimbabwe’s main trading partners.


The culinary art of Zimbabwe is primarily mushy British heritage combined with African dishes. The dietary base is sadza – the white corn porridge with which most local foods are made. The second component is nyama – the meat, usually chicken, but also the crocodile, kudu, and impala.

The fruit is not very varied but a pumpkin with a delicious type of marrow deserves to stand out. The national drink is chibuku, the palm beer. Served in cubes that are passed among the customers, it has the appearance of hot cocoa, the consistency of a soft porridge and an exciting appearance of coconut punch. It is not at all tasty for European taste. Chibuku is drunk mainly in places like breweries in a mainly masculine environment. Despite the fact that there is not a negligible coffee production in the eastern mountainous regions, it is mainly for export and it is almost impossible to have a good coffee.

Zimbabwe is a cosmopolitan society and enjoys local and “international culinary arts. Eating out is popular and quite cheap. A traditional dish is sadza (a stiff corn meal) eaten with meat and / or sauce and a condiment. Table service. It is the norm in restaurants.

Beer is average and good. It is normally found both national wines and those of the excellent South African wineries. Bars are almost always part of a hotel. The authorized hours are 10.30-15.00 and 16.30-23.00. Older hotels have 24-hour bar and room service.


The majority of the population belongs to the black race. The main ethnolinguistic groups are the Shona and the Ndebele. Whites represent a small percentage of the country’s total population and less than 1% are of Asian descent. The highest densities are found in the upper Veld, around the capital and the cities of Bulawayo and Gweru. Although the official language is English, most of the population speaks Chishona and Sinbedele. Although many of the Africans practice traditional and animistic beliefs, there are also Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Hindu minorities.


Mbende Jerusarema Dance

In 2008 the Mbende Jerusarema dance was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List .

Mbende / Jerusarema is a folk dance practiced by the Zezuru Shona people, who live in eastern Zimbabwe, particularly in the Murewa (map) and Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe districts.

UNESCO to safeguard the transmission of this cultural asset will promote:

the organization of workshops for the training of teachers and professors,
promoting opportunities for young people to learn dance, its history and meaning,
conducting research and audiovisual documentation of traditional dance forms and the repertoire of movements, accompanied by interviews,
promoting dance among young people inside and outside the Murewa and Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe communities, by requesting the participation of youth dance groups in local schools in Jukinya and in the National Festival of Schools.

Traditional holidays

January 1 – New Years
April 18 – Independence Day
May 1 – Labor Day
May 25 – Africa Day
August 11 – Heroes’ Day
April 12 – Armed Forces Day
December 25 and 26 – Christmas


Night life

Quite limited outside the cities except for restaurants and clubs, but larger cities have nightclubs, cinemas and theaters. The three main tourist areas have casinos.


Soccer and kriket are the national sports, although tennis, horse riding, rugby are also very popular. For the more adventurous there are clubs for bungee jumping, water skiing, windsurfing and paragliding.

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