Zimbabwe is a Southern African country. It borders Zambia to the north, Mozambique to the northeast and east, South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest and west, and Namibia to the west. It has a surface area of 390 580 km2. The country’s main cities are Harare, the capital, with 1,976,400 residents (2004), Bulawayo (1,003,700 residents), Chitungwiza (423,800 residents), Mutare (195,300 residents) and Gweru (157,500 residents).
In the North, the Zambezi River forms the Victoria Falls, more than a kilometer wide, and crosses an artificial lake that is nearly 300 kilometers long. In the south, the Limpopo River borders the border with South Africa. In the east, there are the Inyangani mountain ranges, and in the west, there are forest areas. The whole country is located at an altitude of more than 300 meters.
The climate is tropical, with the dry season increasing from north to south.
As agriculture had already reached a certain development, Zimbabwe became one of the largest exporters of meat and today produces foodstuffs such as corn, tea, coffee and sugar. Currently, tobacco and cotton are the products that generate the highest export earnings, but the production of cotton and also of corn have suffered the effect of droughts, which has reduced exports. The textile industry suffers the effects of South Africa’s industrial and customs policy. The mining sector remains a stronghold of the economy, gaining importance in relation to tobacco. Gold, iron, asbestos and, to a lesser extent, chromium, copper and diamonds form the bulk of the sector. Zimbabwe’s main trading partners are South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Germany.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 1.4.
The population was, in 2006, 12 236 805 residents, of which only 32% live in urban areas. The birth and death rates are, respectively, 28.01% and 21.84%. Average life expectancy is 39.29 years.
The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.496 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.489 (2001). It is estimated that, by 2025, the population will decrease to 9 481 000 residents, largely due to the AIDS epidemic affecting the country.
From an ethnic point of view, this country is less heterogeneous than its neighbors. The majority of the population is divided into two ethnic groups: Shona (71%) and Ndebele (16%). Whites represent 2% of the population. The main religions are Christian (45%), divided between Protestants (18%), African Christians (14%) and Catholics (12%), and Animist (40%).
The history of Zimbabwe is divided into two major periods: before British colonization and after the declaration of independence of Rhodesia. It was the gold that attracted explorer Cecil Rhodes to this territory, baptized, in his honor, with the name of Rhodesia, in 1897. He imposed white colonial rule on the country after a bloody war. Less than 100 years later, a new war devastated the country, but blacks eventually regained control of the country and named it Zimbabwe. There is a geological region called the Great Dike that has deposits of gold, chromium, nickel and other minerals. In 1860 Cecil Rhodes’s emissaries persuaded King Lobengula to grant them mining rights. Rhodes decided that the concession amounted to the entire territory and invaded it by founding the British Company of South Africa. There followed a period of war that the Indians were unable to resist. The whites ended up with the best farmland. The dominance of the English company extended until 1923, when the colony started to be guided directly by the English government. Zimbabwe, formerly of Southern Rhodesia, became independent on April 18, 1980, after a long and painful war of national liberation. Economic difficulties after the war were mainly due to the high number of refugees. For Zimbabwe democracy and rights, please check getzipcodes.
Zimbabwe went to the polls in March 1996 to re-elect President Robert Mugabe for another six years, but the presidential elections were nothing more than formality as Mugabe was the only candidate. In protest, six opposition parties boycotted the elections. Abstention was higher than in the 1990 elections. Only 30% of the nearly 5 million registered voters went to the polls.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Zimbabwe. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Zimbabwe
Browse a collection of city, country, shaded relief and political maps of this Southern African country, between South Africa and Zambia . Check out the map of Harare.
Graphic Maps – Zimbabwe
Use the map to find Victoria Falls, the Midlands Plateau, and Lake Manyam. Offers a rundown of population, government, and economic facts.
Zimbabwe – Merriam-Webster
Altas presents detailed colored map with city locations and geographic features. With country facts, diagrams, and a historical summary.
Zimbabwe – National Geographic
Satellite imaging and political map-making create a zoomable map of this African country, with cities, rivers and topography.
Zimbabwe – Safari Map
Find an interactive map and travel guide for the African nation. See a photo of scenic Victoria Falls.