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Zimbabwe Country Guide

Explore Zimbabwe in Africa

Zimbabwe with the capital city Harare is located in Africa (Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia). It covers some 390,581 square kilometres (slightly larger than Montana) with 12,382,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Zimbabwe

The landscape offers mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld) and mountains in east. The average density of population is approximately 32 per km². The notable climate conditions in Zimbabwe can be described as tropical with moderated by altitude, rainy season (November to March). Potential threats by nature are recurring droughts or floods and severe storms are rare.

To reach someone in Zimbabwe dial +263 prior to a number. There are 385,100 installed telephones. And there are 2,991,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".zw". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Zimbabwe

Seven equal horizontal bands of green, yellow, red, black, red, yellow, and green with a white isosceles triangle edged in black with its base on the hoist side; a yellow Zimbabwe bird representing the long history of the country is superimposed on a red five-pointed star in the center of the triangle, which symbolizes peace; green represents agriculture, yellow mineral wealth, red the blood shed to achieve independence, and black stands for the native people.

The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the [British] South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert MUGABE, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system since independence. His chaotic land redistribution campaign, which began in 2000, caused an exodus of white farmers, crippled the economy, and ushered in widespread shortages of basic commodities. Ignoring international condemnation, MUGABE rigged the 2002 presidential election to ensure his reelection. In April 2005, the capital city of Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. President MUGABE in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months. General elections held in March 2008 contained irregularities but still amounted to a censure of the ZANU-PF-led government with the opposition winning a majority of seats in parliament. MDC opposition leader Morgan TSVANGIRAI won the most votes in the presidential polls, but not enough to win outright. In the lead up to a run-off election in late June 2008, considerable violence enacted against opposition party members led to the withdrawal of TSVANGIRAI from the ballot. Extensive evidence of violence and intimidation resulted in international condemnation of the process. Difficult negotiations over a power-sharing government, in which MUGABE remained president and TSVANGIRAI became prime minister, were finally settled in February 2009, although the leaders failed to agree upon many key outstanding governmental issues. MUGABE since 2010 has called for early elections - his term does not expire until June 2013 - but no election has been held.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Neighbours: South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia
Capital: Harare
Size 390,580 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 150,804 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than Montana
Population 12,382,000
Currency Name: Dollar, Currency Code: ZWD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .zw
Telephone Country Prefix +263
Mobile Phone Connections 2,991,000
Landline Phone Connections 385,100

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 390,757 (sq km) 61

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 13,182,908 72
Population growth rate 4.38 (%) 2
Birth rate 32.41 (births/1,000 population) 34
Death rate 11.40 (deaths/1,000 population) 33
Net migration rate 22.76 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 3
Maternal mortality rate 570.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 14
Infant mortality rate 27.25 (deaths/1,000 live births) 71
Life expectancy at birth 53.86 (years) 209
Total fertility rate 3.58 (children born/woman) 45
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 14.30 (%) 5
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 1,200,000 7
HIV/AIDS - deaths 83,000 5
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 7.00 (%) 143
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 10.10 (%) 68
Education expenditures 2.50 (% of GDP) 158
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 7.6 (%) 123


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 7,366,000,000 159
GDP - real growth rate 4.40 (%) 73
GDP - per capita (PPP) 600 227
Labor force 3,909,000 93
Unemployment rate 95.00 (%) 202
Distribution of family income - Gini index 50 23
Investment (gross fixed) 21.90 (% of GDP) 74
Public debt 202.70 (% of GDP) 2
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 8.30 (%) 183
Central bank discount rate 975.00 (%) 1
Commercial bank prime lending rate 34.00 (%) 5
Stock of narrow money 12,280,000,000 73
Stock of broad money 22,710,000,000 82
Stock of domestic credit 9,852,000,000 99
Market value of publicly traded shares 11,480,000,000 70
Industrial production growth rate 5.70 (%) 54
Current account balance -521,900,000 96
Exports 3,314,000,000 129
Imports 4,675,000,000 132
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 422,000,000 149
Debt - external 6,975,000,000 105


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 7,615,000,000 (kWh) 101
Electricity - consumption 12,540,000,000 (kWh) 83
Electricity - exports 53,000,000 (kWh) 77
Electricity - imports 5,497,000,000 (kWh) 37
Electricity - installed generating capacity 2005000 (kW) 101
Electricity - from fossil fuels 66.1 (% of total installed capacity) 121
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 33.9 (% of total installed capacity) 64
Refined petroleum products - consumption 19,030 (bbl/day) 132
Refined petroleum products - imports 13,140 (bbl/day) 125
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 8,493,000 (Mt) 105


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 356,000 109
Telephones - mobile cellular 9,200,000 81
Internet hosts 30,615 108
Internet users 1,423,000 84


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 202 29
Railways 3,427 (km) 50
Roadways 97,267 (km) 43


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 3.80 (% of GDP) 27

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Great Zimbabwe National Monument
The ruins of Great Zimbabwe – the capital of the Queen of Sheba, according to an age-old legend – are a unique testimony to the Bantu civilization of the Shona between the 11th and 15th centuries. The city, which covers an area of nearly 80 ha, w ...
Khami Ruins National Monument
Khami, which developed after the capital of Great Zimbabwe had been abandoned in the mid-16th century, is of great archaeological interest. The discovery of objects from Europe and China shows that Khami was a major centre for trade over a long perio ...
Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas
On the banks of the Zambezi, great cliffs overhang the river and the floodplains. The area is home to a remarkable concentration of wild animals, including elephants, buffalo, leopards and cheetahs. An important concentration of Nile crocodiles is al ...
Matobo Hills
The area exhibits a profusion of distinctive rock landforms rising above the granite shield that covers much of Zimbabwe. The large boulders provide abundant natural shelters and have been associated with human occupation from the early Stone Age rig ...