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Zimbabwe


- Amazing nature -


Zimbabwe has fantastic nature and the country has several national parks in the south. Along the border to Zambia, in the north-western part of Zimbabwe, you will find the famous Victoria Falls, which attracts thousands of visitors each year.
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Capital: Harare
Government: Republic
Size: 390 580 km ²
Population: 12.6 million (2010)
Currency: Zimbabwean Dollar
Official languages: English, Shona and Sindebele
Time difference: UTC +2
Zimbabwe...
…is a landlocked country in southern Africa bordering Botswana to the west, Mozambique to the east, South Africa to the south and Zambia to the north. Officially, Zimbabwe is the Republic of Zimbabwe and it was formerly known as Southern Rhodesia.

Introduction
Zimbabwe was formerly a British colony and the country became an internationally recognised independent state in 1980. Zimbabwe's first Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe, has since become the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system. His chaotic land redistribution, which began in 2000, caused an emigration of white farmers, which crippled the economy and led to widespread shortages of basic goods. Nevertheless, it remains a beautiful place to see.

Zimbabwe was previously one of Africa's richest countries, but after years of economic decline, political instability and poor harvests, more than three million have people left the country, with the majority heading to South Africa in search of work. The situation in Zimbabwe has improved considerably since the politically related violence in 2008, although political tensions remain.

Tourists have never been a target of politically related violence and the primary safety risk for tourists in Zimbabwe is the lack of good medical care. More serious injuries or illnesses will require evacuation to South Africa. Please check the terms and conditions with your health insurance provider.

The basic infrastructure has improved since 2008 but is still substandard. The distribution of electricity, water and efficient communications, such as telephone and internet connections, is very uneven. The roads are certainly better than in many other places in Africa, but deteriorating all the time.


The landscape in Zimbabwe varies vastly. The greater part of the country lies on a plateau that extends from the southwest to the northwest at altitudes between 1 200 and 1 600 meters. The eastern parts of the country consists of mountains with Mount Nyangani as the highest point at 2 592 meters.

Large parts of Zimbabwe used to be covered with forests with a very rich fauna. Unfortunately poverty, population growth and lack of fuel led to extensive deforestation, which, along with poaching, has reduced wildlife numbers. Today, Zimbabwe mostly consists of savannah, but the humid and mountainous eastern parts of the country are covered with tropical evergreen forests.

Zimbabwe has fantastic nature and the country has several national parks in the south. Along the border to Zambia, in the north-western part of Zimbabwe, you willl find the famous Victoria Falls, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Victoria Falls is one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in the world and it really is an amazing sight to see the Zambezi plunging into a 1708m wide canyon. During the rainy season 550 million litres of water is pumped into a free fall of over 100 meters, per minute, forming water vapour that rises 500m into the sky and can be seen from a distance of almost 50km.

Other places that are worth visiting are Hwange National Park which is located about one hour's drive from Victoria Falls. Hwange is Zimbabwe's largest national park and covers an area of almost 1.5 million hectares. Lake Kariba is on many people's destination list, as well as the capital Harare and Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo.

Weather
The climate in Zimbabwe is subtropical and temperatures vary greatly with the change in altitude. Zimbabwe has generally low precipitation and many areas are too dry for farming.

In Zimbabwe the year can be divided into three seasons: the cold season, which lasts from May to August, with July as the coldest month; the hot, dry period from September to November and the rainy season, which normally runs from December to March.


Since large parts of Zimbabwe lies higher than 1 000 meters above sea level, the night temperatures quite often drop below zero during the cold season.

The hot, dry period lasts from September to November and the rainy season normally runs from December to March.

With this in mind, the best months to visit Zimbabwe are April to May and August to September.

Additional Information
You might need a visa to travel to Zimbabwe on holiday and currently you can obtain a visa at most borders. However, it is always better to arrange this in advance through the Zimbabwean Consulate or Embassy in your country

Most tropical diseases are present in Zimbabwe and you should always have good protection through vaccinations and, if you plan to travel outside of Harare, you will also need malaria prophylaxis as a precautionary measure.

There are very few opportunities to use credit cards in Zimbabwe, so always carry cash with you in large and small denominations. Small denominations are useful when bargaining with traders. Rates are usually in USD which is now a common currency in the country. The South African Rand is widely accepted too.
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