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Republic of Zimbabwe
Anthem: Simudzai Mureza
Largest UrbanHarare
Official languagesEnglish, Shona Ndebele, Tonga, Kalanga, Venda
Ethnic groupsShona and Ndebele
• President
Emmerson Mnangagwa
• Estimate
14.5 million
ISO 3166 codeZW

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is Harare and the country has 10 Zimbabwe Provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in the South, Botswana in the west and Mozambique in the east). For travel distances, see distances in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean population includes the native Africans, the majoirty indigenous Shona and Ndebele, but also Tonga, Tawara, Venda, Ndau and Kalanga, and others. Besides these major ethnic groups, there are also resident migrants many from sub-Saharan Africa. As at 2012, the population of people in Zimbabwe stood at 13 061 239.[1]

The National Anthem. Click below to play


Zimbabwe has a population of 13 061 239.[1] The capital city of Harare is home to more than 2 million people.[1] According to the 2012 census report, the male population in the country was 6 280 539 whilst the total female population was 6 780 700.[1] The average household size was 4.2.[1] The population density per square kilometre stood at 33.[1]

Government and Ministries

See Constitution of Zimbabwe.
See Government of Zimbabwe.
See Government Ministries of Zimbabwe for 2018 Ministers and Ministries.

Weather and Climate

Zimbabwe is in the Savanna region like most countries the southern African region. Zimbabwe has one of the best climatic environments in the world and this has made it one of the admired tourist resorts in the world. The dry season generally runs from May to October through the southern fall (autumn), winter and into spring. Winter runs from May to August .[2] Between April and May, temperatures are relatively cool, typically around 10 °C/50 °F in the morning and 28 °C/82 °F in the afternoon.[3] Between June and August, the average morning temperature is 6 °C/43 °F. Afternoons will be more pleasant with temperatures around 25 °C/77 °F. Between September and October, temperatures are around 32 °C/90 °F and well above.[3] From November to March, These are the wettest months, characterized by torrential downpours in the afternoon and sometimes continuous rains for a couple of days. Nights and mornings are warm at around 18 °C/64 °F. Afternoon temperatures are around 30 °C/86 °F and the humidity is high, making it feel hotter.[3]

Major Attractions

See National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls

One of the largest sheets of falling water in the world, with a width of 1 708 metres and height of 108 metres. The most intriguing of these is the Victoria Falls located in the Matabeleland North Province. The Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders found in the world. Activities on offer include bungee jumping, white water rafting, horse safaris, tiger fishing, game viewing and elephant rides.[4]

Hwange National Park

A Wildlife Conservancy with hundreds of different wildlife species; birds,trees and animals. It includes the country's "Big Five" animals which are Elephant, Buffalo, Black Rhino, Cheetah, and Lion.

Great Zimbabwe Ruins

is located in Masvingo Province and is another breath-taking classic architectural feat found in the country. It is a gigantic stone wall settlment. It was built by the locals with only carved stones and has been standing firm for centuries. This has attracted academics, travellers, explorers and tourists from all corners of the world to come and see the astounding ancient architectural prowess of the precolonial Zimbabweans.

Vumba Mountains

Vumba is located in Nyanga in the eastern highlands and it borders the country with neighbouring Mozambique. The Mountains are the highest point in the country and they offer a spectacular bird's eye view of most parts of the Manicaland Province and some parts of Mozambique.

Victoria Falls National Park

Located in Victoria Falls town a few kilometres from the Victoria Falls attraction. It also includes the country's "Big Five" animals.

Matopos/ Matobo Hills

Matapos is an ancient site made of granite rocks covering an area of 3100 km². It is located about 35 kilometres south of Bulawayo Zimbabwe's second capital. It is also close to Matopos National Park and Matopos recreational parks which offer a variety of activities for visitors.

Nyanga National Park

The park is located about 268 km from Harare . It is situated in one of the most scenic areas of Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands in Manicaland Province. Rolling green hills and perennial rivers transverse the 47 000 hectare Park.[4]

Gonarezhou National Park

It is situated in the south eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe and covers more than 5 000 square kilometres. " Gonarezhou" in local Shona language means "Place of many Elephants". The Park includes more than 500 bird species, 34 frog species, 49 fish species, 147 mammal species and at least 116 reptile species.[5]



Zimbabwe has ten provinces. A province in Zimbabwe is the largest administrative unit. It is led by a Minister of State for Provincial Affairs. Cities, towns, districts, constituencies and councils fall under a province in Zimbabwe.
See Provinces in Zimbabwe.

Harare Metropolitan Province

It has a population of more than 2.2 million people.[6] Harare Province includes the capital city of Harare. It is home to about half of the country's urban population. The Central Business district houses most of the administrative offices and government departments.

Bulawayo Metropolitan Province

Bulawayo has a population of more than 700 000 people.[6] It is the second largest city after Harare. It was the industrial hub of the Southern African region during the early years of the colonial era. It is referred to as the "City of Kings and Queens" due to its strong links with the Ndebele kingdom leaders such as King Lobengula, King Mzilikazi and Queen Lozikeyi Dhlodhlo.

Matabeleland North Province

It has a population of more than 800 000 people.[6] The province includes the majestic Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and an International tourist resort. Other areas found in the province include, Binga, Hwange, Lupane and Tsholotsho.

Matabeleland South Province

Matabeleland South has a population of more than 700 000 people.[6] The administrative capital is Gwanda. The province covers the south and southern eastern parts of the country and goes as far as the Limpopo river which borders the country from neighbouring South Africa. It includes towns and districts such as Bulilimamangwe, Gwanda, Insiza, Matobo and Umzingwane.

Midlands Province

Midlands Province has a population of more than 1.7 million. It includes areas and and towns such as Gweru which is the administrative city, Kwekwe, Zvishavane, Mberengwa, Kwekwe and Shurugwi.

Mashonaland West Province

The province is home to more than 1.6 million people. Chinhoyi is the capital of the province. Other towns and districts in the province area are Chegutu, Kadoma, Sanyati, Norton, Mhondoro Kariba, and Zvimba.

Mashonaland East Province

Mashonaland East has a population of more than 1.4 million[6] and includes towns such as Mutoko, Murehwa, Chivhu, Hwedza and Goromonzi. The administrative city for the province is Marondera.

Mashonaland Central Province

It has a population of more than 1.2 million people.[6] The province is administered in Bindura. It includes towns such as Mt Darwin, Mazowe, Guruve, Banket, Glendale, Muzarabanai, Mvurwi and Rushinga.

Masvingo Province

Masvingo province covers most towns and communal areas south central Zimbabwe and has a population of more than 1. 5 million people.[6] The administrative city is Masvingo. It includes areas such as Gutu, Chatsworth, Bikita Chiredzi Chivi and Zaka.

Manicaland Province

Manicaland has the second biggest population in Zimbabwe. It is home to more than 1.8 million people in its towns and districts which include Mutare which is the administrative city, Buhera, Rusape, Chipinge, and Nyanga.[6]

Universities and Education

Zimbabwe has a literacy rate of 91% which is the best in Africa.[7] The government of Zimbabwe declared access to education a basic human right in 1980 and this resulted in the construction of school primary schools, secondary schools, technical colleges, vocational training centres and universities in all the provinces.
See High Schools Of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has 13 Universities in 2020 and these are :

University of Zimbabwe

Midlands State University

National University of Science and Technology

Africa University

Women's University in Africa

  • Location: Harare
  • Province: Harare Metropolitan Province. For a more detailed profile of the institution click on this link

Bindura University of Science Education

  • Location: Bindura
  • Province: Mashonaland Central Province. For a detailed profile of the institution click on this link.

Great Zimbabwe University

  • Location: Masvingo
  • Province: Masvingo Province. For a detailed profile of the institution click on this link

Solusi University

  • Location: Bulawayo
  • Province: Bulawayo Metropolitan Province. For a detailed profile of the institution click on this link.

Chinhoyi University of Technology

Catholic University

Lupane State University

Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University

Zimbabwe Open University

  • Location: Harare
  • Province: Harare Metropolitan Province. For a detailed profile of the institution click on this link

Precolonial History

Before the coming of the colonisers, the country was home to a number of kingdoms. These include the Mutapa Kindom the Rozvi on the northern parts, the Great Zimbabwe located on the south-central plateau and the Ndebele Kingdom in the south down to the Limpopo river. These communities were governed by kings and relied on domestic and foreign trade for their livelihoods. [8] Together with other smaller clans these groups of people largely succeeded in forming precolonial states which become the foundation of Zimbabwe.

Naming the Country: Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe Ruins

The name Zimbabwe, in local Shona language, refers means "the Great House of Stone". This was adopted from the Great Zimbabwe Monuments which is generally believed to have been the headquarters of the Great Zimbabwe Kingdom located in Masvingo. Thus the name Zimbabwe was adopted as a symbol of reference to the country's rich and glorious past.[9]

When Great Zimbabwe crumbled, some of the rulers went on to create another state the Munhumutapa. The name means great conquerors. The Great Zimbabwe state dominated and incorporated the areas of Kami, Naletale, Zumbo across the Zambezi River into Tete, Sena, Sofala, Mapungumbwe into the Indian Ocean. The Empire is believed to be the first present day Zimbabwean state that fought colonialism and euro-domination and won against the Portuguese invaders in 1570s.[10] The state was headed by Nyatsimba Mutota and its capital was Dangamombe.

  • Rozvi State

The state was founded by Changamire Dombo between 1684 and 1695 after he broke away from the Mutapa. Dombo and his troops managed to drive away the Portuguese from Mutapa and Manyika between 1684 and 1696 making it the strongest state in the Zambezi Valley.

Colonisation of Zimbabwe

The process of colonisation was set in motion by events at the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 which was convened to facilitate the partition of Africa

Treaties Signed

Individuals such as Thomas Baines, John Smith Moffat and Grobbelar were all interested in getting concessions from Lobengula. Several treaties were entered into by King Lobengula and these concession seekers, some of the treaties include:

  • Lippert Treaty
  • Grobelaar Treaty
  • Moffat Treaty

The treaty that eventually paved the way for effective occupation was the Rudd Concession. The treaty had many loopholes which Cecil Rhodes exploited and Charles Rudd also made a lot of verbal promises to Lobengula that were never fulfilled.

The Rudd Concession

Process of Occupation

The process of occupation was done by a group of hired mercenaries known as the Pioneer Column. The group consisted people gathered from various backgrounds and professions. It consisted of 180 colonists (military engineers, there were no women allowed entry), 200 volunteers and 62 wagons. They were later joined by another group with 110 men, 16 wagons, 130 horses and 250 cattle. June 28, 1890, they hoisted the British flag at Fort Mcloutsie Fort Tuli. The column went on to establish Fort Victoria (Masvingo), Fort Charter (Chivhu), and Fort Salisbury (Harare).[11] The initial process of occupation deliberately circumvented Matabeleland.

Occupation was achieved by a column of military engineers, or sappers, The Pioneer Column, under Frank Johnson, and contracted to build a road to the interior. They were protected by a regiment of cavalry, The British South Africa Company Police (later the BSAP, termed The Regiment) under Col. Pennfather.

Resistance to Colonisation

The colonisation by the British was greatly resisted by the locals and this resulted in military confrontation. This resistance by the locals was known as the First Chimurenga war. It was coordinated by religious figures such as Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi. The Anglo Ndebele War of 1893 eventually led to the occupation by the British on November 4, 1893 and the invaders took control of Matabeleland.[12] Names like Zambezia and Charterland were proposed for the new colony, it was in May 1895 that the name Rhodesia was agreed upon.

The Second Chimurenga and Mass Nationalism

Mass nationalism began to take shape in the 1960s. Between 1960 and 1979, the most active political movements included the Zimbabwe African People's Union, the Zimbabwe African National Union and National Democratic Party. The most influential nationalist of this period include Joshua Nkomo who was later named "Father Zimbabwe", Herbert Chitepo, Josiah Chinamano, Ndabaningi Sithole, Robert Mugabe, Josiah Tongogara and Joseph Msika.

The 1980 Elections and Majority Rule

Although Zanu-PF and ZAPU had made a concerted effort in removing white minority rule and negotiated as a single delegation at the deliberations at the Lancaster House Conference, they contested in the elections of 1980 as separate entities. Although the elections were marred by occasional outbreaks of violence, Zanu-PF emerged victorious. Zimbabwe African National Union party won 57 of the 80 black seats being contested in the country's first election since the end of white-minority rule.[13] The Joshua Nkomo led ZAPU managed to get 20 seats and Robert Mugabe said he would also include Nkomo in his new government.

Inaugural Independence Day celebrations In Pictures

Post Colonial Period

  • Unity Accord 1987- It was a merger of the country's two major political parties to form one union. The agreement was signed between ZAPU under Joshua Nkomo and ZANU under Robert Mugabe to give birth to a new political party, ZANU-PF.
  • Land Reform Program- The land reform program was carried out under the name Third Chimurenga. The program was meant to redistribute land from the minority white commercial farmers to the black indigenous majority who were mainly resident in rural areas. The program attracted international attention due to its violent nature and it was alleged to have violated human rights and this resulted in the country being under sanctions by the United States and the European Union.

Operation Murambatsvina was a government initiative meant to demolish all illegal houses and squatters in the country's towns and cities. It was more devastating in the capital city of Harare's high density suburbs such as Mbare, Kuwadzana and Highfield. It resulted in more than 100 000 families rendered homeless as the government razed down the so-called illegal structures. International institutions and non-governmental organisations condemned the operation saying that it violated human rights.

Interesting Facts

  • Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe forms the world's largest reservoir by volume.[14]
  • "Unity, Freedom, Work" is the motto of Zimbabwe.[14]
  • Zimbabwe hosts the biggest annual schools rugby tournament in the world, the Dairibord Zimbabwe Rugby Festival (formerly Cotco Rugby Schools Tournament).[15]
  • Zimbabwe had the highest inflation rate in the world in 2008 – 14 930 000 000%.[16]
  • Robert Mugabe was head of state for 37 years and was only succeeded by Emmerson Mnangagwa after a millitary intervention dubbed Operation Restore Legacy
  • The Great Dyke is the longest linear mass of mafic and ultramafic rocks in the world.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 , Zim Stat,Zim Stat, published:2012,retrieved:6 Feb 2015"
  2. , Zimbabwe Climate and Weather,Afrizim, retrieved:5 Feb 2015"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 , Zimbabwe- Weather & Climate,Safari Bookings, retrieved:6 Feb 2015"
  4. 4.0 4.1 , ZimParks THE RHODES NYANGA HOTEL,Zim Parks, retrieved:6 Feb 2015"
  5. , GONAREZHOU NATIONAL PARK,Zim Parks, retrieved:6 Feb 2015"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 , Census Results National Report 2012,Zim Stat, published:2012,retrieved:6 Feb 2015"
  7. , Zimbabwe leads literacy rate in Africa,SABC News, published:12 Jun 2014,retrieved:6 Feb 2015"
  8. VFTG, Zimbabwe Culture, Falls Guide, Retrieved: 23 Apr 2014
  9. Outstanding Universal Value,Unesco, Published: ND, Retrieved: 22 Apr 2014
  10. Pre-colonial Mutapa State, Global Black History, Published: 4 May 2012, Retrieved: 23 Apr 2014
  11. , Rhodesiana,Retrieved: 25 Jun 2014"
  12. Matabele-Mashona War 1893, Wars of the World, Published: November 27, 2003, Retrieved: July 3, 2014,
  13. 1980: Mugabe to lead independent Zimbabwe, BBC News, Retrieved: July 4, 2014,
  14. 14.0 14.1 , Interstign facts about Zimbabwe cool Zimbabwe facts,Interesting Country Facts, retrieved:6 Feb 2015"
  15. , Zimbabwe Rugby Article,Kyros Sports, retrieved:6 Feb 2015"
  16. Blessing , Wierd facts about Zimbabwe – by Blessing,Mail Man, published:2012,retrieved:6 Feb 2015"

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