Zimbabwe is a landlocked country at the base of the African continent. Its neighbours are Mozambique to the east, South Africa and Botswana to the south and west and Zambia to the north. It lies on a high plateau, and its terrain consists primarily of grasslands bordered on the east by mountains.
A tourist destination is once again increasing in popularity with lots of overseas tourists as well as thousands of African tourists flocking there each year. Its a very popular stop off point for over Landers doing trips through Africa in safari type trucks. The capital, Harare, is modern, bright and bustling, but my favourite city is Bulawayo, where the people are particularly friendly and the atmosphere is typically laid back African.
Zimbabwe boasts some amazing natural sites. The Victoria Falls are without a doubt one of the worlds grandest natural spectacles and every viewpoint reveals something new. Running from northeast to southwest down the centre of the country, and connecting its two largest cities, is the Highveld, a chain of low mountains and Zimbabwes most populous area.
The best wildlife parks in southern Africa. From the forested mountains of the Eastern highlands to the sun washed grasslands of Hwange National Park, from the hot Mopani Forest to the shores of Lake Kariba, more than 11 percent of Zimbabwes land 44,688 sq km has been set aside as parks and wildlife estates.
There are also several botanical gardens, sanctuaries and more than a dozen national safari areas for hunting.
Present day Zimbabwe was the site of a large and complex African civilisation in the 13th and 14th centuries. It was populated by descendants of the Bantu tribes, who had migrated from the north around the 10th century. Evidence of their mainly pastoral lifestyle may still be seen in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, near the present day town of Masvingo.
Modern Zimbabwe is in a terrible state. The economy has all but collapsed. There is widespread famine, which has been cynically manipulated by the government so opposition strongholds suffer the most.
The government lacks the resources or machinery to deal with the ravages of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which affects an estimated one quarter of the population. With all this and the forced and violent removal of white farmers in a brutal land redistribution programme, President Mugabe has earned himself widespread scorn from the international arena.
Although located in the tropics, temperate conditions prevail all year, as the climate is moderated by altitude and the inland position of the country. The hot and dry season is from August to October, and the rainy season from November to March. The best months to visit are April to May and August to September. Night-time temperatures can fall below freezing.