Zimbabwe Destinations Travel Guide


Language: English

Currency: US dollar (USD)- currently

Calling Code: +263


Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe (in English: Republic of Zimbabwe, and east of the Shona Dzimba dza mabwe, "stone house"), is a landlocked state located in the south of the African continent, between the Zambezi River, the Victoria Falls and the Limpopo River. It lacks oceanic coasts and limits to the west with Botswana, to the north with Zambia, to the south with South Africa and to the east with Mozambique. Their territories correspond to the ancient Rhodesia of the South. The official languages are English and Shona.

Its Human Development Index (HDI) was the lowest in the world in 2010 at a level of 0.140.6 However, social reforms have been made in recent years that have allowed significant growth in its HDI and according to the 2016 report now has a level of 0.516.


Travel Destinations in Zimbabwe

Chimanimani National Park

Chimanimani National Park is a protected biosphere in a Manicaland province in Zimbabwe. It is one of most popular destinations for hiking pristine African wilderness.

Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe is a historic archaeological site located in Zimbabwe. It was constructed by the Bantu civilization to protect the political elites of their society.

Hwange National Park

Hwange National Pak is a protected area in Matabeleland North Province famous for its numerous herds of elephants that roam these lands.

Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park protect an extensive area in the lower Zambezi River that floods large expanses of African savanna.

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is an impressive waterfall situated on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is one of the most famous natural landmarks on the African continent.



History of Zimbabwe

Initially, the territory of Zimbabwe was inhabited by peoples who spoke Khoisan languages, similar in culture to their modern speakers.

Around the 9th century AD. There is evidence of the settlement of present Zimbabwe by a sufficiently developed culture, which is considered to be owned by the people of Gokomer, the ancestors of the present Shona. They founded the Monomotap Empire, the capital of which was a city whose ruins are now known as Greater Zimbabwe.

By the middle of the 15th century, when the Portuguese appeared on the Indian Ocean, this state covered almost the entire territory of Zimbabwe and part of Mozambique. After clashes with the Portuguese, the empire collapsed, although its fragments in the form of states of the Karanga tribe remained until the beginning of the 20th century. By the 17th century, part of the Shaun tribes again united into the Rosvy empire, which succeeded in ousting the Portuguese from the Zimbabwean plateau.

The Rosvy Empire ceased to exist in the mid-19th century when, as a result of the expansion of the Zulus under the leadership of Chaki, the Ndebele tribes under the rule of King Mzilikazi moved to the territory of present southwestern Zimbabwe. At the same time, gold deposits were discovered in Zimbabwe, and these lands fell into the zone of interest of the British Empire.

In 1888, Cecil Rhodes made an agreement with Lobengula, the heir to Mzilikazi, who allowed the British to intervene in the economy of Matabeleland (southwestern Zimbabwe, inhabited by the Ndebele people). In 1899, the efforts of the same Rhodes, the British South African company received the right to develop vast territories, including the current Zimbabwe and Zambia, since then known as Southern and Northern Rhodesia, respectively. In 1895, the company entered Mashonaland (center and north of Zimbabwe), which marked the beginning of the colonization of these lands.

In 1896-1897, the black population (primarily Shawn and Ndebele) rebelled against British rule, but this rebellion, known as (First) Chimurenga, collapsed completely, primarily due to a catastrophic technological gap. Already from the 20th century, the settlement of Southern Rhodesia with white settlers began.

In 1922, the British South African company ceased to operate Southern Rhodesia. As a result of a referendum held mainly among white settlers, she did not enter the Union of South Africa, but became a self-governing colony within the British Empire.

After the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the destruction of the colonial system, many African countries that gained independence chose the socialist path of development, while in South Africa (South Africa, Angola, Mozambique) power passed exclusively to the white minority. To avoid both of these extremes, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was organized in 1953, including Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (modern Malawi), with the status of a federal territory (no longer a colony, but not yet dominion). However, ten years later, in 1963, the Federation collapsed when independence gained Zambia and Malawi.

The white government of Southern Rhodesia also demanded independence, but London refused to grant it before power in the country was completely given to the black majority (NIBMAR policy: No Independence Before Majority African Rule). In response, on November 11, 1965, the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, Ian Smith, declared independence that was not recognized by Britain. In 1970, Smith proclaimed Rhodesia a republic, which also did not receive international recognition.

The government of the Rhodesian Front party led by Smith pursued a policy of segregation, which is often compared to apartheid, although, strictly speaking, this is not entirely true. So, instead of a “racial” qualification in Southern Rhodesia, a property qualification was often used, the presence of black deputies was preserved in the parliament, there were mixed racial units in the army, and there was no territorial segregation of the South African type in Rhodesia. However, in reality, all power belonged to the white minority, the country had a regime of racial discrimination. Many public institutions served only whites, most of the fertile land was in the hands of white farmers.

The armed guerrilla war against the Rhodesian government was waged by the African National Liberation Army of Zimbabwe (ZANLA) led by Robert Mugabe and the People's Revolutionary Army of Zimbabwe (ZIPRA) led by Joshua Nkomo, leader of the African People's Union of Zimbabwe (ZAPU), which had bases in neighboring South Rhodesian countries (for example, Botswana and Zambia) and enjoyed the support of the USSR. After the socialists from FRELIMO came to power in Mozambique in 1975, this country became the main base for ZANLA attacks. The armed struggle against the power of the white minority, which has been waged since 1964, is called the Second Chimurenga.


Smith, in order to avoid a full-scale civil war, began negotiations with moderate black leaders such as Abel Muzoreva from the United African National Congress or Ndabaningi Sitole from ZANU-Ndong in 1978. The country was called Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, and as a result of the parliamentary elections, a black majority was formed for the first time, although the judiciary or, for example, the army, were still mostly white. Abel Muzoreva became the prime minister, supported by both Smith and the South African government, but he did not receive the full confidence of voters in Zimbabwe.

In accordance with the decisions of the Lancasterhouse Conference on December 12, 1979, power in Rhodesia-Zimbabwe was temporarily transferred to the British governor, Lord Arthur Christopher John Soames, partisan detachments were to cease armed operations and were placed in special isolated camps. In the 1980 general election, a radical victory was won by the radical wing of ZANU - the African National Union of Zimbabwe under the leadership of Robert Mugabe.

In 1982, Nkomo and his members of the same party were removed from the government (due to a discovered party stockpile of weapons), which caused discontent among his fellow Ndebele, resulting in riots. The government sent the Fifth Brigade, consisting mainly of Shawn, to Matabeleland to combat them, during which many crimes were committed: up to 20,000 people died. Only in 1987, negotiations between ZANU and ZAPU resumed, and in 1988 they united in a party called ZANU-PF.

In 1995, the radical opponents of President Mugabe focused on Ndabaningi Sitole formed the rebel organization Chimwenje in neighboring Mozambique. This group set the goal of an armed overthrow of Mugabe. The Chimwenje was supported by the Mozambique opposition party, RENAMO. However, in 1996 Chimwenje was defeated by the Zimbabwean and Mozambique security forces. Its leaders, as well as Sitole, were brought to trial and received convictions.

After the drought of 1992 and the ensuing famine, a state of emergency was imposed; The recovery program developed by the IMF only led to even greater dissatisfaction. The flow of refugees from the country intensified, especially against the background of the ongoing persecution of the Ndebele and the rise to power in South Africa by the ANC. As a result, the government decided to speed up land reform.

Up to 70% of the land suitable for cultivation in the country was in the hands of the white minority, which acquired it mainly after independence. The UK allocated millions of pounds for the voluntary redemption of these lands by the Zimbabwean government, but their transfer to blacks was very slow. As a result, in 1999, forced eviction of white farmers began, with the transfer of their land to blacks (mainly political supporters of Mugabe), which caused sharp criticism from the international community and especially in the UK, which introduced economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.