Established: 1965 (As Rhodesia with White minority rule) / 1980 (As Zimbabwe with universal enfranchisement)
Population: 14.4 million (2018 estimate)
Religion: Christian (84.1%)
Language: 16 Languages – most used languages are English, Shona, and Ndebele
Order of Visit: 67
First Visit: 29 December 2017
Last Visit: 01 January 2018
Duration: 4 Days
Must Do: Helicopter Flight over Victoria Falls, Night Game Drive at Stanley Livingstone Private Park, Sunset Cruise On the Zambezi
Cities: Victoria Falls
Zimbabwe Journal Entries
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. Zimbabwe has a tropical climate.
Zimbabwe has been the site of several organised states and kingdoms as well as a major route for migration and trade. The British South Africa Company of Cecil Rhodes created the present territory during the 1890s; it became the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1923. In 1965, the conservative white minority government declared independence as Rhodesia. After a 15 year guerrilla war a peace agreement was reached and Robert Mugabe become Prime Minister and later President from 1987 to 2017.
Robert Mugabe lead an increasingly dictatorial Government and forced land reforms commencing in the 1990s lead to severe economic decline and hyperinflation going from the breadbasket of Southern Africa exporting to their neighbours to starvation like conditions. Zimbabwe effectively abandoned their local currency in 2009 using other currency including the United States of America dollar (which is still widely used) and various other currencies such as the Rand (South Africa), the Pula (Botswana), the Euro (European Union), and the Pound Sterling (United Kingdom).
I didn’t spend a lot of time in Zimbabwe and was only in one small location being Victoria Falls. Visiting in late 2017 and early 2018 the political unrest meant political matters had to be closely monitored. It was also very weird to use the USA dollar in most places instead of a local currency, although local currency was an option in some stores.
Victoria Falls, which can also be visited from Livingstone (Zambia), is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and is stunning. I got to visit over several days and undertake a helicopter ride over the falls (my first and only to date helicopter ride) and take a stunning sunset cruise on the Zambezi river. I also enjoyed a great night game drive at Stanley Livingstone Private Park having my first close up encounter with rhino being the last of the big five game I got to experience up close (the big five are lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and buffalo).