You can travel on for ten thousand miles, and still stay where you are
— Harry Chapin, 1942 - 1981
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Zimbabwe

Background

Zimbabwe

The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the [British] 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. His chaotic land redistribution campaign, which began in 2000, caused an exodus of white farmers, crippled the economy, and ushered in widespread shortages of basic commodities. Ignoring international condemnation, MUGABE rigged the 2002 presidential election to ensure his reelection. The ruling ZANU-PF party used fraud and intimidation to win a two-thirds majority in the March 2005 parliamentary election, allowing it to amend the constitution at will and recreate the Senate, which had been abolished in the late 1980s. In April 2005, Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. President MUGABE in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months. General elections held in March 2008 contained irregularities but still amounted to a censure of the ZANU-PF-led government with the opposition winning a majority of seats in parliament. MDC opposition leader Morgan TSVANGIRAI won the most votes in the presidential polls, but not enough to win outright. In the lead up to a run-off election in late June 2008, considerable violence enacted against opposition party members led to the withdrawal of TSVANGIRAI from the ballot. Extensive evidence of vote tampering and ballot-box stuffing resulted in international condemnation of the process. Difficult negotiations over a power-sharing government, in which MUGABE remained president and TSVANGIRAI became prime minister, were finally settled in February 2009, although the leaders have yet failed to agree upon many key outstanding governmental issues.

About

Zimbabwe is a country in Southern Africa. It is landlocked and is surrounded by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east and north.

The Zambezi river forms the natural boundary with Zambia and when in full flood (February-April) the massive Victoria Falls on the river forms the world's largest curtain of falling water. The Victoria Falls are a major tourist attraction.

Once known as the Breadbasket of Africa, since 2000 Zimbabwe has undergone an economic collapse and the rule of law has gradually but largely broken down under the rule of President Robert Mugabe.

Read more about Zimbabwe in our Zimbabwe travel guide »

Featured journals from

Zimbabwe

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Featured hotels in

Zimbabwe

ZimbabweThe Victoria Falls Hotel 

2 Mallet Drive
Victoria Falls
Zimbabwe

Price (US$): $360 - $434 / night

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Location. Located in Victoria Falls, The Victoria Falls Hotel is near the airport and close to Victoria Falls National Park, Victoria Falls Bridge, and Mosi oa Tunya National Park. Additional points of interest include Devil's Pool and Victoria Falls Field Museum. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Victoria Falls Hotel include 2 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool. The… more »

ZimbabweStanley and Livingstone at Victoria Falls 

Old Ursula Road 1
Victoria Falls
Zimbabwe

Price (US$): $600 - $601 / night

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Location. Stanley and Livingstone at Victoria Falls is located in Victoria Falls, close to Victoria Falls National Park, Victoria Falls Bridge, and Mosi oa Tunya National Park. Nearby points of interest also include Devil's Pool and Victoria Falls Field Museum. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool. This Victoria Falls property has event space consisting of a conference center and a meeting/conference room. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. The hotel serves a… more »

ZimbabweRainbow Towers Hotel And Conference Centre 

Pennefather Avenue
Harare
Zimbabwe

Price (US$): $166 - $782 / night

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Location. Rainbow Towers Hotel And Conference Centre is located in central Harare, close to Queen Victoria Museum, National Sports Stadium, and National Museum. Nearby points of interest also include Harare Gardens and National Art Gallery. Hotel Features. Dining options at Rainbow Towers Hotel And Conference Centre include 2 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning… more »

ZimbabweSINGITA PAMUSHANA 

LONE STAR RANCH
Chiredzi
Zimbabwe

Price (US$): $1900 - $1901 / night

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SOLITARY AND DISCREET THE BLACK RHINO THIS RARE ANDPOWERFUL BEAST MAKES OCCASIONAL APPEARANCES THAT ARE A SIGHTTO BEHOLD. AT SINGITA PAMUSHANA GAME DRIVES OFFER YOU THECHANCE TO OBSERVE THIS EXTREMELY ENDANGERED SPECIES IN ITSNATURAL HABITAT. EXPERT GUIDES ARE ON HAND TO HELP YOU SPOTTHE OTHER FOUR MEMBERS OF AFRICAS BIG FIVE OR TO TAKE YOUON A CRUISE ON THE LAKE FOR A NOT TOO CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH AHIPPOPOTAMUS OR TWO OR JUST TO ADVISE YOU OF THE BEST PLACETO ADMIRE SOME OF THE OVER 400… more »

ZimbabweA'Zambezi River Lodge 

308 Parkway Drive
Victoria Falls
Zimbabwe

Price (US$): $260 - $261 / night

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Location. A'Zambezi River Lodge is a business friendly Victoria Falls hotel on a river and close to Victoria Falls National Park and Victoria Falls Bridge. Other area points of interest include Devil's Pool and Mosi oa Tunya National Park. Hotel Features. A'Zambezi River Lodge's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 2 bars/lounges and a poolside bar are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning in the… more »

Browse more hotels in Zimbabwe »

Zimbabwe

Full name
Republic of Zimbabwe
Capital
Harare
Location

Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia

Geographic coordinates

17 50 S, 31 03 E

Area comparative

slightly larger than Montana

Border countries

Botswana 813 km, Mozambique 1,231 km, South Africa 225 km, Zambia 797 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Climate

tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March)

Terrain

mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east

Lowest point

junction of the Runde and Save Rivers 162 m

Highest point

Inyangani 2,592 m

Natural resources

coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals

Population

11,651,858

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%

Languages

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

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Independence

18 April 1980 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 18 April (1980)

Chief of state

Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Vice President John NKOMO (since December 2009) and Vice President Joyce MUJURU (since 6 December 2004)

Head of government

Prime Minister Morgan TSVANGIRAI (since 11 February 2009); Deputy Prime Minister Arthur MUTAMBARA

Internet country code

.zw

Internet users

1.423 million (2009)

Airports

216 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Binga, Kariba

Other countries in the region