Zimbabwe might seem like an unlikely tourist destination, due to the well publicized political upheavals and land reform policies, but the country has a lot to offer the visitor at probably more reasonable prices compared to other African destinations. The landscape is studded with rocky hills, encounters with the Big Five in many of the national parks and not forgetting the Victoria Falls along the Zambezi river are just some of the attractions this country has to offer. Other attractions include the Great Zimbabwe ruins which is the greatest sub-Saharan structure and easily accessible.
With tourism declining by about 80% from the mid 1990’s to 2001 about 30 000 jobs have been lost since 1999. The economy is anything but stable at the moment and the currency is in desperate need of devaluation, this would however result in higher food prices and the civil unrest would threaten the current government’s power.
Visiting Zimbabwe, you would probably be entering the country either in Harare, Masvingo, Bulawayo or Mutare. Attractions include the Victoria Falls as mentioned before, but others worth a visit is Nyanga, Mana Pools National Park, Gweru, Kariba and the Eastern Highlands where you will find the Great Zimbabwe ruins.
Zimbabwe Quick Facts
Location: Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia
Area: 390,580 sq km
Border countries: Botswana 813 km, Mozambique 1,231 km, South Africa 225 km, Zambia 797 km
Population: 12.7 million
People: Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%
Language: English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects
Religion: syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslim and other 1%
Independence: 18 April 1980 (from UK)
Head of State: Robert Gabriel MUGABE
Currency: Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD) – Exchange Rate(link popup window)
Export Commodities: tobacco, gold, ferro alloys, textiles/clothing
Agriculture – products: corn, cotton, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; sheep, goats, pigs
GDP growth: 13.6 % (2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $1,900 (2003 est.)