Zimbabwe Guide

Zimbabwe Guide

Country data

Location: South Africa

Time zone: CET + 1 (during summer time: CET)

Total area: 390,757 km²

Land area: 386,847 km²

Water area: 3,910 km²

Length of the state border: 3,066 km

Bordering countries:
Botswana: 813 km
Mozambique: 1,231 km
Zambia: 797 km
South Africa: 225 km

Coastline: 0 km

Capital: Harare

Provinces: 10
Bulawayo, Harare, Manicaland, Central Mashonaland, East Mashonaland, West Mashonaland, Masvingo, North Matabeleland, South Matabeleland, Midlands

Telephone code: 00 263 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Inyangani 2,592 m

Population

Population: approx. 13.8 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 4.4% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 35

Life expectancy: 55 (male), 56 (female)

Official language: English

Religions:

  • 25% Christians
  • 75% other

Climate

The seasons in Zimbabwe are opposite to the European ones.

Zimbabwe

Winter lasts from May to August and brings little rain. During the day, temperatures rise to a maximum of 20 ° C. Even at night it is sometimes very cold with temperatures around freezing point.

The warmest time of the year is from September to the end of November. Then during the day it is often up to 30 ° C.

The rainy season begins at the beginning of December and lasts until the end of March, sometimes until the beginning of April. The rains only last a few hours, but occur almost every day.

Currency / finance

Zimbabwe no longer has an official national currency. The US dollar, South African rand and Chinese renminbi are mainly used.

After the Zimbabwe dollar (ZWL) reached inflation rates of several hundred thousand percent per month in the years 2007-2009 (hyperinflation), its legal tender function was suspended by the government on April 12, 2009.

ATMs: There are very few ATMs available in the capital.

International credit cards: Only accepted in large hotels and a few car rental companies.

Regulations: Most regions of the country rarely accept credit cards. Cash payments are common.

An unlimited amount of foreign currencies can be imported and exported. It is recommended to bring US dollars in banknotes.

The national currency can be imported and exported up to an amount of 2,000 ZWL.

Important: never exchange money at street vendors! Since there is a great shortage of cash in the country, one is almost always cheated in such exchange transactions.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars
  • 2 liters of alcoholic beverages

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Gifts up to a total value of US $ 250 may be carried duty-free.

Valuable items should be declared upon entry so that there are no unnecessarily long waiting times when leaving.

Travel advice

The poor economic and social situation in Zimbabwe results in a high crime rate.

The increased presence of police and security forces in the tourist centers also means that one is never safe from attacks.

Since medical care in the country is very poor, you should bring all the medicines you need and a well-stocked first-aid kit with you when you arrive.

Behavioral advice

Photographing and filming military installations and people, airports and public buildings is strictly prohibited.

After dark, you shouldn’t have to be alone or driving.

As there are often violent attacks and thefts, you should not have any valuable items or large amounts of money with you.

Tip: Always carry 2 purses with you. In the first one (which you carry well hidden) you keep your money for the day. The second should contain a few small bills and coins. So you can give out the second wallet in the event of a robbery and satisfy the perpetrator with it without losing all of your money.

Economy

Mining and agriculture are the country’s main industries.

The industrial boom in the 1970s and 1980s made Zimbabwe more economically independent.

Industries: clothing industry, mining, chemical industry, wood processing, steel processing

Natural resources: asbestos, chromium, iron ore, gold, coal, copper, nickel, platinum, zinc

Land use:

  • Usable land: 7%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 13%
  • Forests: 23%
  • other: 57%

Plants

There is a diverse flora in Zimbabwe. The tree savannah is the most common.

The higher regions mostly still have dense forest areas, while in the lower savannas there are only a few trees.

The baobab tree, a tree species typical of Africa, is very common here.

In the last few decades, however, more and more forests have been cleared to create growing areas for agriculture and areas for industry.

Animals

Due to the heavy clearing of large areas, the animal population was severely decimated. Nevertheless, there is a very high diversity of animals in the air and on land.

In addition to around 650 bird species, there are many animals typical of Africa on land. Monkeys, buffalos, elephants, giraffes, crocodiles, lions, rhinos and snakes are native here.

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