ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country sharing its borders with South Africa in the south, Botswana in the west, Zambia to the north and Mozambique to the east.

Zimbabwe is known for its dramatic landscape and diverse wildlife, much of it within parks, reserves and safari areas. On the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls make a thundering 108m drop into narrow Batoka Gorge, where there’s white-water rafting and bungee-jumping. Downstream are Matusadona and Mana Pools national parks, home to hippos, rhinos and birdlife.

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Culture

Culture, Art and music are highly regarded. Much of the music is still influenced by traditional rhythms and sounds, which are created using local instruments such as the mbira and marimba (a type of wooden xylophone). The mbira is a small hand-held instrument (belonging to a family known as lamellophones). Commonly referred to as a ‘thumb piano’, it is actually played using both thumbs and forefingers.
Mbiras have been played for over a 1,000 years in Zimbabwe. They come in different sizes and normally have between 22 to 28 metal keys. These keys or iron prongs are mounted on a hardwood soundboard which is often placed inside a large gourd/calabash skin. The calabash shell acts as the resonator (or deze).
Shona sculptures are often semi-abstract and minimalist (not detailed). Themes sometimes come from figures in African folklore. Animals also prove popular with foreign buyers. The trademark stone sculptures of Zimbabwe can be found in markets, shops and galleries everywhere. Works are also bought internationally. Though the art form is referred to as Shona, it is not specific to the Shona peoples.

Nature

Victoria Falls
The continent’s most well known natural site, Victoria Falls should be on the top of every traveler’s itinerary. Once famous for being discovered by the great David Livingstone, these billowing falls over 100 m high are a wonder to behold and provide some great photo opportunities. Called the “smoke that thunders,” a wide range of activities can be organized in the area, including white-water rafting and canoeing, but many people visit the falls just to take in the breathtaking views and get rained on by the refreshing spray. If you’re really brave, bungee jumping over the falls is the experience of a lifetime
Devil’s Pool
The main photo spot of Victoria Falls, the Devil’s Pool is a truly unique phenomenon. September through December, the water level is shallow enough that you can literally walk right up to the edge of the falls without getting swept over due to just the right current and a naturally formed rock wall under the surface. Take an amazing picture with your arms and feet hanging over the edge and your friends will think you’re the ultimate daredevil.
Mana Pools National Park
Mana Pools is arguably Zimbabwe’s most beautiful national park, and in a country which has no shortage of nature, this status is quite an honor. Running alongside the great Zambezi River, Mana Pools National Park is home to many animals which frequent the river’s shoreline. Everything from hippo and rhino to elephant and buffalo can be seen here. There are several activities around the area, but the main draw is the literal ‘pools’ of water which are a refreshing break from Zimbabwe’s sweltering summers.

Climate

Although located in the tropics, temperate conditions prevail all year, as the climate is moderated by altitude and the inland position of the country. The hot and dry season is from August to October, and the rainy season from November to March. The best months to visit are April to May and August to September.

Time & Date: GMT +2

Currency:
In January 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe permitted the use of foreign currency in Zimbabwe in response to an economic decline that caused inflation levels of 5 billion percent. By April 2009, the Zimbabwe dollar was suspended indefinitely. The government has adopted a multiple currency framework which includes the Australian Dollar, Botswana Pula, British Sterling Pound, Chinese Yuan, Euro, Japanese Yen, Indian Rupee, South African Rand, and United States Dollar.

Languages:
Zimbabwe has 16 official languages. English, Shona and Ndebele are the most widely spoken languages in the country. Approximately 70{cade3cd6ea44c9e099402f61e95e983e8f83ab951f3ff944c0038bbba399d24f} of the population is Shona speaking and speaks Shona as their first language. Also it is said that around 20{cade3cd6ea44c9e099402f61e95e983e8f83ab951f3ff944c0038bbba399d24f} are Ndebele and speak IsiNdebele as their first language.

Food & Drinks:
British colonisation certainly left its mark on Zimbabwe’s food culture, as is clearly shown by the excellent high teas that you’ll find at many hotels and safari camps.
Meat in Zimbabwe is very good, and interesting game meats such as warthog and crocodile are readily available in most towns and tourist areas. In the major urban areas a variety of international restaurants are also available, while the local diet includes tasty peanut-based stews, wild mushroom soup and starchy staples.
Zimbabwean markets generally have sumptuous fruit, especially papaya, and good locally-grown vegetables. Beer is never far away, whether it’s European-style lager or the opaque maize beer that is a favourite with many locals.

Travel Insurance:
When buying your travel insurance, always check the small print – some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’, which could be anything from scuba diving to horse riding. You should check whether the medical coverage is on a pay first, claim later basis and, more importantly, ensure that your medical coverage includes the cost of medical evacuation.

Visa:
Many nationals can obtain a visa on arrival for Zimbabwe. Please check with your agent regarding the latest visa requirements.

International Airports:
Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport
Harare International Airport
Victoria Falls International Airport.

Capital: Harare
Currency: Zimbabwean Dollar
Population: 16.15 million
Official languages: English, Shona, Ndebele, Tswana, Xhosa, Venda, Chewa, Tsonga, Tonga, Southern Sotho

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2017-12-01T12:55:02+00:00