Travel Guide: Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Travel Guide: General Travel Guide Information about Zimbabwe.
As a special service to our valued clients and readers, we at World Interpreting offer you something different aside from our language translation and interpretation services. We continue to strive for excellence in our services but we also want to provide you with country travel guides that can come in handy for you or your business. Our Zimbabwe travel guide contains information and other interesting travel tidbits related to Zimbabwe. This travel guide for Zimbabwe has been written so that you, as a traveler and tourist, will have a better understanding about the country as well as the different places you can visit. Traveling to Zimbabwe can be a wonderful experience, no doubt about it. However, not knowing what to do or spend for can leave you feeling pressured and worried constantly.
Travel Guide Zimbabwe will take you to different fantastic places in Zimbabwe as well as some of the famous landmarks and notable places, so you will already have a general idea about Zimbabwe if and when you decide to actually travel and explore this fascinating country. And other than the places of interest, Travel Guide Zimbabwe will also give you valuable information such as the geography, demographics and the languages spoken in different parts of this country. Don’t forget to check out the travel safety tips in Zimbabwe as well as the other sections in our Travel Guide Zimbabwe! We do hope you will come back often to travel with us to other destinations around the world.
:: Introducing Zimbabwe ::
When you think of Zimbabwe what comes to mind are hordes of wild animals like lions, leopards, rhinos, cheetahs and elephants, big, gentle giants with long ivory tusks and big ears flapping to and fro. This is not far from the truth since a trip to Zimbabwe means going on safari tours to be up close and personal with some wild and some tame animals. However, the wildlife is not the only attraction that you could find in Zimbabwe. It has a varied landscape, with breathtaking sceneries, natural wonders and some of the most gorgeous and spectacular sunrises and sunsets that burst into a myriad of colors. Who would think that instead of a rainbow you could see a moonbow in the vicinity of the world’s largest waterfall? It must be something to look forward to.
The Republic of Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa, whose latitude is 20° 00’ south of the equator and 30° 00’ east of Greenwich. Its boundaries are 3,066 kilometers long, with the longest shared with Mozambique in the east, with 1,231 kilometers. In the southwest Zimbabwe shares borders with Botswana for 813 kilometers and with Zambia and the tip of Namibia in the northwest for 797 kilometers. Its shortest border is shared with South Africa for 225 kilometers.
Zimbabwe has a higher elevation that affects its climate. The majority of the country is elevated in the high veld or central plateau, ranging between 1,200 and 1,600 meters above sea level. Mount Nyangani is the highest peak at 2,592 meters while about 20% of the country is just 900 meters above sea level. The total land area measures 390,757 square kilometers and is home to over 12.6 million inhabitants, according to 2012 estimates, giving a population density of just 26 people per square kilometer.
The county has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world, placed at 34 years for the men and 37 years for the women. Majority of the residents or about 85% are Christians, composed of Roman Catholics, Seventh-day Adventists, Methodists and Anglicans. Islam is a minor religion in Zimbabwe, with about one percent following. Ancestral worship is still widely practiced. Several ethnic groups comprise the inhabitants of Zimbabwe, with the Bantu-speaking group being the largest at 98%, while the balance is composed of the Tonga, Kalanga, Ndau, Sotho, Nambya and Venda ethnic groups. About 20% of the total population are Ndebele while the Shona people comprise about 70% of the population. White Zimbabweans belong to the minority ethnic group. They mostly originate from Great Britain but others Europeans such as Dutch, Portuguese, French and Greek as well as Afrikaner are also present. Asians of Indian and Chinese origin make up the rest of the population.
While English is one of the official languages you would likely encounter a lot of people speaking the country’s other official language, the Shona. Our pocket guide for Zimbabwe includes a section of useful words and phrases in Shona that you can refer to once in a while. Download a copy of our Zimbabwe Travel Guide and other travel guides we have provided for you from our website so you can print them out and take them with you as you travel. These are divided into sections for easy reference and you will find sections on travel safety tips, some things and places that make the country notable, some suggestions on places to see and things to do as well as the general climate in Zimbabwe. You will find the words and phrases quite helpful as 70% of the Zimbabweans speak the Shona language while the third official language, Ndebele, is spoken by about 20% of the inhabitants. It may be quite confusing and difficult as you struggle with pronunciation, but with some practice before you embark on your travel to Zimbabwe, you will have a general feel on how the language is spoken.
Clear evidences of ancient civilizations existing in Zimbabwe long before the European civilizations were born are found in several ruins discovered around Zimbabwe like the Khami Ruins, Zimbabwe, Naletale, Dhlo-Dhlo, with the Great Zimbabwe Ruins in Masvingo being the largest and most impressive. Great Zimbabwe and Khami are both national parks and are already World Cultural Heritage sites.
With a tropical climate, Zimbabwe is a country where the temperature is milder due to its elevation, although it is changing due to global warming. The average temperature in the country is only 24 °C or about 75 °F in the summer and about 12 °C to 13 °C, which is about 54 °F to 55 °F during winter. The temperature in the lower regions are varied and winter temperatures could be about 6 °C or just 11 °F and become increasingly hot during summer, when the temperature averages between 32 °C to 38 °C or between 90 °F to 100 °F. Wet summers occur and the eastern parts of the country receives more rain than the western section while the south and southwestern parts of the country receive little or no rain at all.
Zimbabwe is divided into five regions. The truly majestic Victoria Falls and the city of Bulawayo are located in Matabeleland in the west. Lake Kariba, the only inland sea in the country and the Lower Zambezi are located in the east, where the renowned Mana Pools National Park is situated. The city of Harare are in the midlands in the northern section called Mashonaland while the Eastern Highlands is where you could find the Mutarazi Falls, the country’s tallest mountain, Mount Inyangani and the Vumba Botanical Gardens. The Great Zimbabwe Ruins and the Gonarezhou National Park are located in Southeastern Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is a destination that is suited for those who crave high-adrenalin adventures and those who relish spending time outdoors and exploring places and doing things out of the ordinary. Wildlife safaris, white water rafting, bungee jumping, tandem kayaking, fishing and the feel of walking with some of the wildest and fiercest creatures on earth are some physically-challenging things you can expect to experience in the wilderness of Zimbabwe. These are aside to the spectacular and natural beauty of the country, with is impressive and gravity-defying Balancing Rocks, caves and other natural wonders that you’re bound to find almost each time you turn your head. Equally impressive are the number of bird species that live in several forests in the country, living in trees such as ebony and mahogany and the curious-looking baobabs and their root-like branches. Not to be outdone is the country’s flora. You will be amazed at the myriad of unique and indigenous flowers, the vibrant and dazzling colors of which compete with the full range of colors from an artist’s palette. You could see that in the high contrast of red and yellow with green in the national flower of Zimbabwe, the flame lily and in the various forms, shapes and colors of proteas. It was named after Proteus, a Greek god who had the capability of changing his form. Protea alone has about 90 varieties and comes in a wide range of colors and sizes. If you like flowering plants you will have a heyday when you visit the botanical gardens of Zimbabwe.
The country uses several currencies, including the South African Rand, the United States Dollar, Botswana Pula, the Euro and the British Pound. Agriculture, tourism and mineral exports are Zimbabwe’s foreign currency earners. Zimbabwe has some of the largest platinum reserves in the world and its newly-discovered diamond fields are very promising. Zimbabwe is experiencing an economic rebound due to the improvements in the agricultural sector and the high prices of minerals. Tourism is beginning to rise once again and the economy is showing positive results from the improvement and development efforts exerted by the government. The GDP (PPP) based on 2010 estimates is pegged at US$4,644 billion while the per capita is estimated to be about US$395.
As diverse as the country is, our Zimbabwe Travel Guide aims to provide you with some of the best places to see and things to do, as well as provide you with an overview of the country. We also have some practical safety tips that you might want to consider as you plan your itinerary. With the number of places to see in Zimbabwe, allow our pocket travel guide to be your reference tool in choosing the best place to go and the things to see as you can expect to spend more than a day or two when you go on a safari tour in this wonderful, dazzling, wild and very vibrant land in southern Africa.
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