Flag of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

The Republic of Zimbabwe (formerly known as the Republic of Rhodesia) is a landlocked country in the southern part of the continent of Africa, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. It is bordered by Mozambique to the east, South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest and Zambia to the northwest.

Zimbabwe's central zone of hills gives rise to many rivers, which drain into the man-made Lake Kariba to the northwest, the marshes of Botswana to the west or into the Zambezi River to the northeast. The Victoria Falls are a principal attraction.

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% of Zimbabwe's land - 44,688 sq km (17,254 sq miles) - has been set aside as parks and wildlife estates.

Formerly Salisbury, the capital, Harare, is Zimbabwe's commercial and industrial centre and also the usual starting point for any visit. It is a clean and sophisticated city, characterised by flowering trees, colourful parks and contemporary architecture. Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, is a major commercial, industrial and tourist centre. The city is home to the National Museum and headquarters of the National Railways of Zimbabwe. Nightlife is rather limited outside the cities with the emphasis on eating and discos.

The name Zimbabwe derives from 'dzimba dzemabwe' meaning 'houses of stone' in the Shona language. Its use as the country's name is a tribute to Great Zimbabwe, site of the capital of the Munhumutapa Empire.

Map of Zimbabwe