Destination:
Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique.

Mass settlement ultimately occurred, and the region was renamed Rhodesia in honor of Cecil Rhodes. Formerly the self-governing British Crown, colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1923. In 1965, the conservative white minority government unilaterally declared independence as Rhodesia. Rhodesia evolved into a ” white man’s country” orchestrated by the British. This takeover  prompted national pride and local guerrilla wars that soon became a major civil war and 15-year period of white-dominated minority rule, instituted after the minority regime’s so-called Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965. Zimbabwe achieved majority rule and internationally recognized independence in April 18th 1980.  Once it gained its freedom, it called itself Zimbabwe, a name literally means “House of Stone.” This name comes from the 800-year-old stone ruins left by the Shona people. The descendants of the Shona people make up 77 percent of the Zimbabwean population. Since Independence Day, Robert Mugabe, the nation’s first prime minister, has dominated the country’s political system. At the start of his administration he established a one-party socialist institution. During his long term in office, his reputation as a champion of the anticolonial movement changed (for the worse) to an authoritarian ruler responsible for ruining the country’s economy and for egregious human rights abuses. Mugabe finally resigned in November 2017 in the midst of a dramatic military takeover, Mugabe resigned after 37 years in office and appointed former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his place. He is to serve out Mr. Mugabe’s term until elections scheduled for August 2018.

The mining sector remains very lucrative, with some of the world's largest platinum reserves being mined by Anglo American plc and Impala Platinum

 The Marange diamond fields, discovered in 2006, are considered the biggest diamond find in over a century. The rise in gold prices in the 1970s revived gold as the country’s leading export and led to the reopening in 1979–80 of more than 100 dormant mines. Nickel mining began on a commercial scale in the late 1960s. Zimbabwe’s huge coal reserves are estimated to be about 30 billion tons, much of it desirable low-sulfur bituminous coal. Other minerals such as asbestos and copper have increased. Coal is the country’s primary energy source. A growing percentage of the coal utilized is transformed first into electricity by thermal generating plants fueled by coal. Electric power is also generated at the huge Kariba Dam, which Zimbabwe shares with Zambia, on the Zambezi River. Zimbabwe’s commercial farming sector was traditionally a source of exports and foreign exchange, however, the government’s land reform program badly damaged the sector, turning Zimbabwe into a net importer of food products.

Bantu-speaking ethnic groups make up 98% of the population. More than two-thirds of Zimbabweans speak Shona as their first language, while about one out of six speak Ndebele. Both Shona and Ndebele are Bantu languages. Zimbabwe’s ethnic and linguistic diversity is reflected in the 2013 constitution, which gives official status to 16 languages: Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Khoisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangaan, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa.

Cuisine in Zimbabwe interestingly straightforward and pretty much revolves around staple foods

The most common of which is sadza, a thick porridge made of white maize

Biltong (sun-dried, salted meat cut into strips similar to beef jerky); Sadza ( a cornmeal-based dietary staple of Zimbabwe is also the national dish); Mapopo (Papaya) Candy; Kapenta (tiny dried fish, used as a snack); Dovi (Peanut Butter Stew); Mopane worms (edible caterpillars usually eaten as is or with sadza); Boerewors (a coiled beef sausage).

Zimbabwe’s traditional music is diverse depending on the region of the country. The Mbira, is a musical style synonymous with Chimurenga, which is a Shona word that means a struggle. Zimbabwe’s wars against the settler regime are called Chimurenga. Prior to independence Chimurenga was sung as a morale booster to the liberation fighters. Following independence, Chimurenga music usually delves on the social injustices perpetrated by the government. The music was pioneered by Thomas Mapfumo. other musical styles includes; Sungura (a Zimbabwean adaptation of the Congolese rhumba); Marimba is an instrument popular in larger parts of the country.

Landmarks and major tourist sites

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