General Information

Is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. The capital and largest city is Harare. 

Most of the country is elevated, consisting of a central plateau (high veld) stretching from the southwest northwards. The country's extreme east is mountainous, this area being known as the Eastern Highlands, with Mount Nyangani as the highest point at 2,592 m.

The stone-carved Zimbabwe Bird appears on the national flags and the coats of arms of both Zimbabwe and Rhodesia, as well as on banknotes and coins (first on Rhodesian pound and then Rhodesian dollar). It probably represents the bateleur eagle or the African fish eagle.

These highlands are renowned for their great natural beauty, with famous tourist destinations such as Nyanga, Troutbeck, Chimanimani, Vumba and Chirinda Forest at Mount Selinda.  Victoria Falls, one of the world's biggest and most spectacular waterfalls, is located in the country's extreme northwest and is part of the Zambezi river.

Zimbabwe has a tropical climate with many local variations. The southern areas are known for their heat and aridity, parts of the central plateau receive frost in winter, the Zambezi valley is also known for its extreme heat and the Eastern Highlands usually experience cool temperatures and the highest rainfall in the country.
The country is mostly savannah, although the moist and mountainous eastern highlands support areas of tropical evergreen and hardwood forests. Trees found in these Eastern Highlands include teak, mahogany, enormous specimens of strangling fig, forest newtonia, big leaf, white stinkwood, chirinda stinkwood, knobthorn and many others.

In the low-lying parts of the country fever trees, mopane, combretum and baobabs abound. Much of the country is covered by miombo woodland, dominated by brachystegia species and others. Among the numerous flowers and shrubs are hibiscus, flame lily, snake lily, spider lily, leonotus, cassia, tree wisteria and dombeya.

There are around 350 species of mammals that can be found in Zimbabwe. There are also many snakes and lizards, over 500 bird species, and 131 fish species. Large parts of Zimbabwe were once covered by forests with abundant wildlife.

Minerals, gold, and agriculture are the main foreign exports of Zimbabwe. Tourism also plays a key role in its economy. The mining sector remains very lucrative, with some of the world's largest platinum reserves being mined by Anglo American plc and Impala Platinum. The Marange diamond fields, discovered in 2006, are considered the biggest diamond find in over a century.

Zimbabwe is unusual in Africa in that there are a number of ancient ruined cities built in a unique dry stone style. The most famous of these are the Great Zimbabwe ruins in Masvingo. Other ruins include Khami Ruins, Zimbabwe, Dhlo-Dhlo and Naletale.

The Matobo Hills are an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys commencing some 22 miles south of Bulawayo in southern Zimbabwe. The Hills were formed over 2,000 million years ago with granite being forced to the surface, then erodes to produce smooth "whaleback dwalas" and broken kopjes, strewn with boulders and interspersed with thickets of vegetation. Mzilikazi, founder of the Ndebele nation, gave the area its name, meaning 'Bald Heads'. They have become famous and a tourist attraction due to their ancient shapes and local wildlife. Cecil Rhodes and other early white pioneers like Leander Starr Jameson are buried in these hills at a site named World's View. 

Bantu-speaking ethnic groups make up 98% of the population. The majority people are the Shona then Ndebele are the second most populous.

Zimbabwe has many different cultures which may include beliefs and ceremonies.The Shona people have many sculptures and carvings which are made with the finest materials. 

Zimbabwe also has a national beauty pageant, the Miss Heritage Zimbabwe contest which has been held annually ever since 2012.

Traditional arts in Zimbabwe include pottery, basketry, textiles, jewellery and carving. Among the distinctive qualities are symmetrically patterned woven baskets and stools carved out of a single piece of wood. Shona sculpture has become world-famous in recent years having found popularity in the 1940s. "Reconciliation", a stone sculpture by Amos Supuni

Most subjects of carved figures of stylised birds and human figures among others are made with sedimentary rocks such as soapstone, as well as harder igneous rocks such as serpentine and the rare stone verdite. Zimbabwean artefacts can be found in countries like Singapore, China and Canada. i.e. Dominic Benhura's statue in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Like in many African countries, the majority of Zimbabweans depend on a few staple foods. "Mealie meal", also known as cornmeal, is used to prepare sadza or isitshwala, as well as porridge known as bota or ilambazi. Sadza is made by mixing the cornmeal with water to produce a thick paste/porridge. After the paste has been cooking for several minutes, more cornmeal is added to thicken the paste. The goat's small intestines are wrapped around small pieces of large intestines before cooking.Graduations, weddings, and any other family gatherings will usually be celebrated with the killing of a goat or cow, which will be barbecued or roasted by the family.

Rice, pasta, and potato-based foods (french fries and mashed potato) also make up part of Zimbabwean cuisine. A local favourite is rice cooked with peanut butter, which is taken with thick gravy, mixed vegetables and meat. A potpourri of peanuts known as nzungu, boiled and sundried maize, black-eyed peas known as nyemba, and bambara groundnuts known as nyimo makes a traditional dish called mutakura.