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Zimbabwe Tourist Information

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Elephants on Waterpond in HwangeZimbabwe is a landlocked country in south-central Africa. It lies between the Zambezi River in the North and the Limpopo River to the south.

The country has land borders with Mozambique to the north and east, South Africa to the South, Botswana to the southwest and Zambia to the northwest and north.

Most of Zimbabwe is rolling plateau, with over 75% of it lying between 610m (2000 ft) and 1,525m (5,000 ft) above sea level, and almost all of it over 305m (1,000 ft).

Zimbabwe SceneryThe area of high plateau, know as the high Veld, is some 400 miles long by 50 miles wide, and stretches northeast to southwest at 1,220m (4,000 ft) to 1,676m (5,500ft)

This culminates in the northeast in the Udizi and Inyanga mountains, reaching the country's highest point at Mt. Inyangani at 2,596m (8,517 ft).

The middle veld is a plateau ranging from 610m (2,000 ft) to 1,220 m (4,000 ft) high. Below 610m (2,000ft) are areas making up the Low Veld, wide and sandy plains in the basins of the Zambezi and the Limpopo.

Hippo in the Limpompo River, ZimbabweThe steep mountain ranges cut Zimbabwe off from the eastern plains that border the India Ocean.

The High Veld is a central ridge forming the country's watershed, with stream flowing southeast to the Limpopo and Sabi rivers and northwest into the Zambezi.

Deep river valleys cut the Middle Veld. Only the larger of the many rivers have an all-year-round flow of water.

Most of rivers have falls and rapids.lion in Zimbabwe

In the news nowadays for all the wrong reasons, Zimbabwe has been, and will be again, among the principal tourist destinations in Southern Africa. A modest sized, landlocked country situated between the tropic of Capricorn and the Equator, gifted with a gorgeous climate, friendly peoples and a wide spectrum of landscapes and features, it can hardly be otherwise.

Zimbabwe was born in 1980 after the obligatory regional rite of political fire, and until 2000 enjoyed not only steady political and social progress, but also a reputation as the darling of the West. Prior to independence the colonial government spared neither time nor money in developing the country’s enviable system of national parks and wildlife conservancies.

Many of these are in private hands, and this network was a among the numerous gifts the black majority inherited upon assuming power.

Most have since suffered terrible depletion, and although the wildlife heritage of the country is not as crippled as was the case in Angola and Mozambique after emergence of those countries from war, much that is irreplaceable has been lost, and it remains to be seen what can be salvaged of this when the current crisis has passed.

Zimbabwe, it is hoped, will be one of the last of the African countries to suffer under the current system of dictatorship that is in the modern age such an anachronism. While most of the old trouble spots in the sub-Saharan region are moving towards a brighter, democratic future, Zimbabwe is still deeply mired in crisis, and moreover, with no end in sight yet of this difficult phase of her history.

Why Travel to Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe began life with one of the best transport and communication infrastructures in Africa, a solid industrial base, and with towns and cities that were ordered, safe and well maintained. While this is manifestly no longer the case, Zimbabwe still has an excellent network of roads, a functional national parks and wildlife preservation infrastructure, and a network of lodges, hotels and hostelries that, even in the midst of the crisis, offer world class standards of accommodation and service.

Alongside this, all the main tourist destinations are still basically functional. These are represented by a handful of highly rated wildlife parks and International Heritage Sites, notably Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, Hwange and Matusadona, as well as others such Nyanga and Chimanimani in the Eastern Highlands of the country. A number of museum sites and monuments, such as the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, showcase the fractured history of the local society, while the urban arts, music and restaurant scenes are proving surprisingly resilient in the face of current difficulties.

When to visit Zimbabwe

The best time to visit Zimbabwe is between May and September. Game viewing is excellent during this time of year and nature is out in its full splendor.

Altitude and relief greatly affect both temperature and rainfall in Zimbabwe. The higher areas in the east and the High Veld receive more rainfall and are cooler than the lower areas. Temperatures on the High Veld vary from 12 - 13°C (55°F) in winter and 24°C (75°F) in summer. On the Low Veld the temperatures are usually 5.5°C (10°F) higher, and summer temperatures in the Zambezi and Limpopo valleys average between 32C - 38°C (90 - 100°F).

Rainfall decreases from east to west. The eastern mountains receive as much as 40 inches annually, while Harare has 32 inches and Bulawayo 23.6 inches. The south and southwest receive little rainfall. Seasonal shortages of water are common. The summer rainy season last from November to March. It is followed by a transitional season, during which both rainfall and temperatures decrease. The cool, dry season follows, lasting from mid-May to mid-August. Finally, there is the warm, dry season, which last until the onset of the rains.

Early History

Archaeologists have found stone-age implements and pebble tools in several areas of Zimbabwe, a suggestion of human habitation for many centuries, and the ruins of stone buildings provide evidence of early civilization. The most impressive of these sites is the "Great Zimbabwe" ruins, after which the country is named, located near Masvingo. Evidence suggests that these stone structures were built between the 9th and 13th centuries A.D. by indigenous Africans who had established trading contacts with commercial centers on Africa's southeastern coast.

In the 16th century, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to attempt colonization of south-central Africa, but the hinterland lay virtually untouched by Europeans until the arrival of explorers, missionaries, ivory hunters, and traders some 300 years later. Meanwhile, mass migrations of indigenous peoples took place. Successive waves of more highly developed Bantu peoples from equatorial regions supplanted the original inhabitants and are the ancestors of the region's Africans today

Feedback From Clients

Faith Derrick

Davies, Just a quick note to let you know we had another wonderful time on our recent holiday through South Africa and on to The Maldives. Everything went as smooth as could be expected. Please forward our thanks to Dick and crew at Travel Company. I would highly recommend Cocoa Island in the Maldives. If you would like I can forward photos of the place. Thanks again!

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