As a country starting with letter Z according to COUNTRYAAH, Zimbabwe, is a republic in southern Africa, located between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. The majority of the population belongs to the Bantu peoples (Shona, Ndebele). Zimbabwe is a mountainous country with an altitude of 1,200–1,800 m, which rises to form high mountains in the east (up to 2,596 m). It is mainly covered by savannah and partly by sparse forests. The most important crops are tobacco (an important export good), sugar cane, tea, citrus fruits and corn. Cattle are raised on the plateaus. The rich mineral resources include gold, asbestos, chromium, iron, copper, uranium and hard coal. The industry is well developed.
History: The Shona empire Monomotapa, which its heyday in the 15./16. Century experienced, came under Portuguese suzerainty in the 17th century. In 1889/90, the British South Africa Company under the leadership of Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) occupied the area between Limpopo and Zambezi, later Southern Rhodesia, which in 1923 became a British crown colony with internal self-government by the white settlers. The area north of the Zambezi, Northern Rhodesia, acquired by the same company in 1899/1901, became a British colony in 1923. In 1953 Great Britain united northern and southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland to form the Central African Federation, which, however, broke up in 1963. Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland became known as Zambia and Malawi in 1964 independent, Southern Rhodesia now referred to itself as Rhodesia alone.
The agricultural sector, once a flourishing branch of the economy and the main source of income for foreign exchange, is barely productive after the violent land reform. Many areas are deserted or underutilized; In addition, agriculture suffers from periods of drought. Fertile soils for subsistence agriculture are mainly found in the central highlands. About 10.6% of the land area is used as arable land, 31.3% as pasture land. The most important cultivation product is maize, in addition, wheat, millet, sorghum and cassava are mainly grown for personal use. Export products are next to tobacco(2012: 21.5% of export revenues) Cotton (6.1%), cane sugar, coffee, tea, peanuts and soybeans. Livestock farming is practiced in the tribal areas and on farms, especially cattle and ostrich breeding, but also goats, sheep and pigs.
Forestry: Around 39% of the country’s area is designated as forest. More than 94% of the logs are used as firewood. The commercial use of wood is limited to a few plantations in the east of the country, where precious woods (teak, mahogany, eucalyptus, etc.) are felled.
Fishing: Fishing is carried out to a small extent in inland waters, especially in the Kariba Sea, mainly for personal use.
Mining is of the greatest economic importance. In total, more than 40 different minerals occur, especially in the Great Dyke. The most important mining products are gold, platinum, iron, chromium, copper and nickel ores. The hard coal from Hwange in the west is partly mined in opencast mines and mainly consumed inland. Companies are involved in the extraction of raw materials, among others. from South Africa, Australia, Great Britain and China involved.
The manufacturing industry (including mining and construction) generated (2013) 31.1% of the gross domestic product (GDP). The most important branches of production are ore smelting, the food industry (including sugar factories) and the chemical and textile industries (especially cotton processing). The largest industrial locations are Bulawayo and Harare; regional focus on Gweru and Kwekwe.
Tourism, an important source of foreign exchange until 2000, came to an almost complete standstill due to the unstable political and economic situation. The number of foreign visitors has now risen to 826 100 a year, around half of the guests come from the Republic of South Africa. Tourist attractions are the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi, Lake Kariba, the mountains in the northeast, the numerous national parks and game reserves as well as the ruins of Zimbabwe.
Africa: Victoria Falls
View of Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe / Zambia border; the river Zambezi plunges about 110 m down here. The Victoria Falls have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989.
Bird’s eye view of Victoria Falls, Africa. Aerial view of the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia; The water masses plunge more than 100 m into the gorge.
Conical tower in the ruined city of Zimbabwe
The conical stone tower is located within the largest stone structure south of the Sahara – the ruined city of Zimbabwe. It is more than ten meters high and has a cross-section of 4.80 meters at the base.
As a landlocked country, Zimbabwe is dependent on transit routes, but at the same time it is a hub for traffic from neighboring countries. The most important means of transport is the railroad. The route network (around 3,000 km) merges with the Mozambique routes in the east. In the south there has been a direct connection to the network of the Republic of South Africa to the port of Durban since 1974. There is a northern connection with a connection to the Tansam Railway to Zambia. The road network (over 100,000 km, of which around 15,000 km are paved) connects the population centers and connects them to the road networks of neighboring countries. International airports are located at Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls; Additional airports and landing sites are available for domestic connections.