The legendary land of Ophir, Zimbabwe was once a highway of trade for the Portuguese and Arabs. This small country houses some of the most magnificent waterfalls, rivers and national parks. The largest waterfall in the world, the Victoria Falls, is located in this beautiful country. Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in Africa, situated between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. Once upon a time, the country was ruled over by Mutapa Empire, renowned for its gold trade routes with Arabs. However, it was destroyed by the Portuguese in the 17th century. In 1834, the Ndebele people arrived in Zimbabwe, making it a new empire, known as Matabeleland. In 1880s, British arrived here and the name Southern Rhodesia was adopted in 1898. Finally, on 18th April 1980, the country attained independence, along with a new name - Zimbabwe, new flag, and new government. To know some more interesting and fun information about Zimbabwe, read on.
Image: By Harvey Barrison from Massapequa, NY, USA (Victoria Falls_2012 05 24_1728 Uploaded by Elitre) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Area: 390,757 km2
Population: 12,754,378 (2011)
Currencies: UK £, South African rand, Euro, Botswana pula, US$
Official Languages: English, Shona, Sindebele
Calling Code: +263
Independence Day: April 18, 1980
Type Of Government: semi-presidential republic
Interesting & Fun Facts About Zimbabwe
- The official name of Zimbabwe is Republic of Zimbabwe.
- Zimbabwe became an independent state on 18 April 1980.
- The country was formerly known as Southern Rhodesia, the Republic of Rhodesia and Zimbabwe Rhodesia
- The name Zimbabwe has been derived from "Dzimba dza mabwe", which means "great houses of stone", in the Shona language. It is based on the stone structures of Great Zimbabwe or Dzimbahwe, which were included in the World Heritage List in 1986.
- The capital city of Zimbabwe is Harare.
- The country has three official languages: English, Shona (a Bantu language), and Ndebele.
- The country is home to some of the largest diamond and platinum reserves in the world.
- ‘Blessed be the Land of Zimbabwe’ is the national anthem of Zimbabwe.
- The two main traditional symbols of Zimbabwe are the Zimbabwe Bird and the Balancing Rocks. Others include the flame lily and the Sable Antelope.
- About 50% of the population in the country comprises of Syncretics (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs), 25% are Christians and the rest follow indigenous beliefs.
- Zimbabwe has a semi-presidential system republic, which has a parliamentary government.
- The armed forces of the country comprise of the Zimbabwe National Army and the Air Force of Zimbabwe.
- Zimbabwe has a centralized government and is divided into eight provinces and two cities with provincial status, for administrative purposes
- Mount Inyangani (2952m) is the highest point in Zimbabwe.
- Agriculture, tourism and foreign trade are some of the major revenue earners of Zimbabwe. Mining has also caught up as a significant sector.
- Mineral exports, agriculture, and tourism are the main foreign currency earners of the country.
- One of World Heritage Sites in Zimbabwe is Khami, where artifacts from Europe and China have been found.
- Mapungubwe was the largest ancient kingdom in the sub-continent, before it was abandoned in the fourteenth century. It was added to the World Heritage List in 2003.
- The Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe are locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, "the smoke that thunders". They were designated as a World Heritage site in 1986.
- Lake Kariba of Zimbabwe, constructed on River Zambezi, is one of the world's largest manmade lakes in the world.
- Football is the most popular of sports in the country, along with rugby union and cricket.
- 98% of the population is constituted of black ethnic groups, the largest one being the Shona Group that comprises of a whopping 85% of the population. Here, you will also find members of the Portuguese, Dutch and Greek communities.
- Zimbabwe’s adult literacy rate is approximately 90%, which is amongst the highest in Africa.
- Zimbabwe is blessed with excellent tropical climate because the country is situated on a raised plateau, which is why this country is relatively cooler than its neighbours.