Facts about Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers.


South African businessman Cecil John Rhodes obtained mining rights from Lobengula, king of the Ndebele in 1888. Rhodes’ company, the British South Africa Company, got a royal charter from the British government to administer the vast territory stretching from the Limpopo to Lake Tanganyika. Rhodes used brute force to suppress the revolts against settlers. In 1901, the British South Africa Company merged Mashonaland and Matabeleland to create Southern Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the British South Africa Company in 1923. After years of struggle, Southern Rhodesia achieved independence in 1980 and adopted “Zimbabwe” as its new name.

Zimbabwe was formerly known as Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia and Zimbabwe Rhodesia. The present name Zimbabwe was derived from the 11th century city, The Great Zimbabwe. The name Zimbabwe has been derived from “Dzimba dza mabwe”, which means “great houses of stone”, in the Shona language.

The capital city of Zimbabwe is Harare. It was founded in 1890 as “Salisbury” in honour of British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury. The name was changed to Harare in 1982, after the Shona chieftain Neharawe.

The magnificent Victoria Falls that forms the world’s largest curtain of falling water is on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The local name for the Victoria Falls is “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (the smoke that thunders)

Lake Kariba on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border forms the world’s largest reservoir by volume.

Zimbabwe’s population growth rate (4,4 percent) is the second highest in the world

“Unity, Freedom, Work” is the motto of Zimbabwe.

The highest peak in Zimbabwe, Mount Nyangani (2 593m or 8 507 ft) is located near the border with Mozambique

Zimbabwe’s lowest point is the junction of the Runde and Save Rivers (162m)

Most of Zimbabwe is plateau with three distinct areas: the Highveld with altitudes ranging from 1 200 to 1 675m (4 000 to 5 500 ft), the Middleveld with altitudes ranging from 600 to 1 200m (2 000 to 4 000 ft), and the Lowveld with altitudes below 600m (2 000 ft)

Hwange National Park is the largest of the eight major national parks of Zimbabwe

Cecil Rhodes is buried at World’s View (Malindidzimu Hill), a granite hill in the Matopos National Park.

The stone-carved Zimbabwe Bird is the national emblem of Zimbabwe. The famous bird carvings stood on walls and monoliths of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe. Five of the carved birds were taken to South Africa by Cecil Rhodes. Four of the statues were returned to Zimbabwe by South Africa, while the fifth remains at Groote Schuur, Rhodes’ former home in Cape Town.

The Balancing Rocks are geomorphological features of igneous rocks found in many parts of Zimbabwe. The Balancing Rocks in Matopos National Park are very popular. The Balancing Rocks are considered a national symbol of Zimbabwe

Harare International Airport (code: HRE) is the largest airport and busiest airport in Zimbabwe.

Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (code: BUQ) is located in Bulawayo, the second-largest city of Zimbabwe. Previously called “Bulawayo Airport”, it was renamed in honour of Joshua Nkomo, the former Vice President of Zimbabwe.

About 8 percent of Zimbabwe’s land is arable. Maize is the most cultivated crop in Zimbabwe today.

The President of Zimbabwe is elected to a term of five years.

Zambezi River is the longest river in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s birth rate is 32 births per 1 000 population

Zimbabwe’s infant mortality rate is 32 deaths per 1 000 live births.

Zimbabwe’s total fertility rate is 3,6 children born per woman

Zimbabwe has a tropical climate with a rainy season usually from November to March

About 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s population are Shona. The Ndebele are the second most populous group with about 20 percent of the population.

Zimbabwe’s main exports are platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing. China is Zimbabwe’s biggest export partner.

Zimbabwe’s main imports are machinery and transport equipment, other manufactures, chemicals, fuels, food products. South Africa is Zimbabwe’s biggest import partner.

Top nine cities of Zimbabwe with populations (2012 est.) are:

1. Harare: 1 543 000

2. Bulawayo: 700 000

3. Chitungwiza: 341 000

4. Mutare: 185 000

5. Gweru: 147 000

6. Kwekwe: 100 000

7. Kadoma: 80 000

8. Masvingo: 77 000

9. Chinhoyi: 62 000

History of Zimbabwe

Mapungubwe Kingdom: (c.1075–1220)

Zimbabwe Kingdom: (c.1220–1450)

Mutapa Kingdom: (c.1450–1760)

Torwa dynasty: (c.1450–1683)

Rozwi Empire: (c.1684–1834)

Matabeleland: (1837–1894)

Southern Rhodesia: (1901–1953)

Fed of Rhodesia and Nyasaland: (1953–1963)

Rhodesia: (1964 – 1980)

Zimbabwe: (1980–present) – zimbabwefunfacts

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