Here is my second post about AFRICA and i chose this country to be the second because of the advice of one of my closest friend who , after graduation, wants to move definitely there ; so i put a particular interest on it this week-end.
Zimbabwe , officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the
northwest and Mozambique to the east. The capital is Harare. Zimbabwe achieved de jure sovereignty from the United Kingdom in April 1980, following 14 years as an unrecognized state under the conservative white minority government of Rhodesia, which unilaterally declared independence in 1965.
Zimbabwe has three official languages: English, Shona and Sindebele. The present territory was first demarcated by Cecil Rhodes of the British South Africa Company, becoming a self-governing colony as Southern Rhodesia in 1923. President Robert Mugabe is head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces; Morgan Tsvangirai is the serving Prime Minister. Once renowned across the continent as a champion for the anti-colonial cause, Mugabe is now viewed as a repressive authoritarian responsible for human rights abuses and severe economic decline. He has held office since Zimbabwe’s internationally recognized independence in 1980. First as Prime Minister and since 1987 as President.
Since the Land Reform program in 2000, tourism in Zimbabwe has steadily declined. After rising during the 1990’s, (1.4 million tourists in 1999) industry figures described a 75% fall in visitors to Zimbabwe in 2000. By December, less than 20% of hotel rooms had been occupied. This has had a huge impact on the Zimbabwean economy. Thousands of jobs have been lost in the industry due to companies closing down or simply being unable to pay staff wages due to the decreasing number of tourists.
Several airlines have also pulled out of Zimbabwe. Australia’s Qantas, Germany’s Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines were
among the first to pull out and most recently British Airways suspended all direct flights to Harare. The country’s flagship airline Air Zimbabwe, which operated flights throughout Africa and a few destinations in Europe and Asia, ceased operations in February 2012. Many light aircraft charter companies operate in Zimbabwe, providing a quick and safe means of travel in the region. The biggest of these companies is Executive Air.
Zimbabwe boasts several major tourist attractions. Victoria Falls on the Zambezi, which are shared with Zambia, are located in the north west of Zimbabwe. Before the economic changes, much of the tourism for these locations came to the Zimbabwe side but now Zambia is the main beneficiary. The Victoria Falls National Park is also in this area and is one of the eight main national parks in Zimbabwe, largest of which is Hwange National Park.
The Eastern Highlands are a series of mountainous areas near the border with Mozambique. The highest peak in Zimbabwe, Mount Nyangani at 2,593 m (8,507 ft) is located here as well as the Bvumba Mountains and the Nyanga National Park. World’s View is in these mountains and it is from here that places as far away as 60–70 km (37–43 mi) are visible and, on clear days, the town of Rusape can be seen.
The Matobo Hills are an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys commencing some 22 miles (35 km) south of Bulawayo in southern Zimbabwe. The Hills were formed over 2,000 million years ago with granite being forced to the surface, then being eroded to produce smooth “whaleback dwalas” and broken kopjes, strewn with boulders and interspersed with thickets of vegetation. Mzilikazi, founder of the Ndebele nation, gave the area its name, meaning ‘Bald Heads’. They have become famous and a tourist attraction due to their ancient shapes and local wildlife. Cecil Rhodes and other early white pioneers like Leander Starr Jameson are buried in these hills at a site named World’s View.