Destination Information Zimbabwe

Your stay abroad in Zimbabwe

Country information

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is unfairly underestimated as a travel destination. This hospitable nation has an outstanding natural landscape with an abundance of waterfalls, such as the world-famous Victoria Falls. In addition to the beautiful natural environment and wildlife, you can also visit mediaeval ruined cities for a cultural education.



Geography

Geography Zimbabwe

The landlocked country of Zimbabwe lies to the south of the equator and is part of the African continent. It borders Zambia to the north-west, Mozambique to the north-east, South Africa and Botswana to the south. It covers 390,757 km², of which 3910 km² are covered by water. The Zambezi River is the northern border of Zimbabwe. The landscape can be divided into three geographical regions: the inland plateau, the Highveld and the Escarpment. The 1,200 m high inland plateau takes up the majority of the country. The peneplains extend between the cities of Harare and Bulawayo. The landscape sinks to the west into the Kalahari basin. The plateau falls away in the north and south towards the Lowveld.

Geomorphology/Geology

The landlocked Zimbabwe is located on the north east of the Kalahari basin. In the north east many lava rocks of relatively young age can be found and also the mountain Inyangani as the country´s highest point (2,592 m) is located in the east. Especially for tourists, the Victoria Falls that are fed by the Zambezi River are a popular destination to visit. Mainly Karoo-Basalt can be found in the region of the falls, which shows a system of orthogonal joints that are filled with sediment. As the filling is less resistant than the basalt, the water found its way into the joints and due to erosion of numerous joints the falls developed over time


Flora & fauna

Flora and Fauna in Zimbabwe

Dry savanna with grass of up to 2 m height makes up a major part of Zimbabwe's landscape. Also Miombo and Mopane forests as well as baobab and sausage trees are very characteristic for Zimbabwe's landscape. In higher altitudes also mountain forests and large grass fields are common and in south western regions the remaining teak forests can be found. The country's national flower is the tiger lily.

Zimbabwe has established several Nationalparks to give animals a retreat and a safe and undisturbed habitat. Besides numerous reptiles like chameleon, Nile crocodiles and snakes, also mammals like buffalos, elephants and hippopotamuses are at home in Zimbabwe. Moreover also lions and cheetahs live in this country.


Climate

Climate in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe the climate is subtropical to tropical and temperatures vary with the season. The summer is generally hot and humid in Zimbabwe with temperatures around 35°C and the winter is dryer with around 25°C, whereas the temperatures depend on the altitude of the region. In the capital city Harare the mean temperature is 20°C.


Social geography

Social Geography

Population

About 13 million inhabitants live in Zimbabwe of which more than 70% are Shona, 20% Ndebele and the rest belongs to the Tonga as the smallest section.

Language

As official languages Shona, Ndebele and English are spoken and taught in school. In remote areas mostly dialects of the ethnic groups are spoken.

Economy

Mainly agriculture and mining are the driving economic forces in this African country. Zimbabwe exports gold, diamonds, platinum and ore in countries like South Africa, China and Zambia.

Political situation and safety

Ever since the establishment of the constitution Zimbabwe is a presidential republic in which the head of state is directly elected every five years. The president names the cabinet which chooses the parliament and can only be reelected once.

Religion

About 25% of the inhabitants are Christians with influences of traditional religions and 25% believe only in traditional religions. Minorities are Muslims, Jews and Hindus.


Tipps

Travel Tipps and Trivia

Time zone

MESZ: +/- 00:00

There is no daylight saving.

Currency

In Zimbabwe the currency is called Zimbabwe-Dollar (1ZWL=100 Cents). For the current exchange rate see www.währungsrechner.de.

Units

Zimbabwe uses metric units.

Electricity

The electricity standard in Zimbabwe is with 220/240 volt and 50 hertz alternating voltage the same than in Germany.

Transportation

Plane: The international airports are located in Harare and Bulawayo.

Train: Zimbabwe has several rail way lines that can be used e.g. to go from Bulawayo to the Victoria Falls, even though trains may only leave irregularly.

Bus: In Zimbabwe you can use the so called “Chickenbusses” or the more reliable but also the slightly more expensive Express busses that connect bigger cities. For more information see www.citylinkcoaches.co.zw and www.intercape.co.za.

National holidays

  • January 1: New Year's Day
  • April 18: Independence Day
  • May 1: Labour Day (Workers' Day)
  • May 25: Africa Day
  • August 10: Heroes' Day
  • August 11: Defense Forces
  • December 22: Unity Day
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: Boxing Day
  • Movable holidays: Good Friday, Easter Monday

Dos and Don’ts

Do

  • Take enough time for the meals.
  • It is common practice to bring a little something for guest.
  • Dress fashionable if you want, Zimbabweans like to dress in style as well.

Don’t

  • Do not be offended by the openness of the Zimbabweans.
  • Do not feed animals.
  • Do not dress too revealingly as it is not appreciated.
  • Do not expect very good internet connections.

Highlights Must-see places in Zimbabwe

Our top recommendations for you

Highlights

Highlights

On your trip to Zimbabwe you should definitely consider visiting one of its 26 national parks and reserves to explore its unique nature and see animals like lions, elephants and giraffes in their natural habitat. For more information see www.zimparks.org. Also the formerly mentioned Victoria Falls are worth the trip. Moreover here you can visit the national parks Victoria Falls and Zambezi, go on a Safari or explore the river Zambezi on a canoe ride. If you are looking for more cultural free time activities, the capital city Harare offers you plenty alternatives. If you have the chance you should consider going to the six-day Festival of Arts which takes place once a year and offers amazing music, dance performances and art.

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