Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in Southern Africa with a population of about 13 million people. Its name Zimbabwe is derived from the mysterious ancient city of Great Zimbabwe which was built from well crafted high mortar-less stone walls between the 11th and 14th centuries. The walls of Great Zimbabwe known as (Dzimba-dza-mabwe) in the Shona language, meaning “large houses of stone” in English still stand today. While Rome has its ancient emporiums and Mexico has its old Aztec towers, Zimbabwe has its ancient Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This is also the home of the great Victoria Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, which is twice as high as the Niagara Falls.
Like many young African countries which were born from pre-colonial liberation movements, Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980, and it has had its fair share of good and troubled times. The country has the highest number of educated people and literacy rates in Africa, with over 70% of students progressing to secondary level education. The good times about Zimbabwe were in the years before the 2000 land reforms when it was then known as the breadbasket of Africa. Since 2000, land reforms coupled with a severe five-year drought had brought a decline in economic fortunes for the country which heavily relies on agriculture but since 2009, the country has been steadily climbing out of its economic woes, registering the lowest inflation rate in Southern Africa since the adoption of multiple international currencies – namely, the US dollar, UK pound, Euro, South African rand and Botswana pula.
So what does the country have to offer to the tourist? Many tourists will be amazed by this beautiful country despite the exaggerated and mostly false stories spread by propaganda mouthpieces, exiled protesters and economic refugees. Not surprisingly, western countries like the United Kingdom have gotten wiser and they are starting to deport many Zimbabweans who live there under false asylum claims.
Unlike its crime-ridden neighbors such as South Africa, Zimbabwe enjoys the lowest crime rates in Southern Africa and it is a safe tourist destination. To witness the beauty of Zimbabwe, you have to be there yourself. It is a destination for a true and unbiased traveler. In recent times, the country has proven to be a magnet for high profile millionaire tourists. In March 2012, Donald Trump’s sons had a safari hunt in Matetsi Game Reserve in Victoria Falls. In 12 November 2009, billionaire Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club visited the Victoria Falls and slept at Elephant Hills hotel. On 16 December 2012, yet another billionaire, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft paid a six-day visit to the exclusive Malilangwe Game Reserve in Zimbabwe with his wife and family. He stayed at the prestigious Pamushana Lodge in one of the premium 5-bedroom luxury suites that can accommodate up to six guests. Mr. Gates’ wife Melinda has a charity project for low-cost housing in the urban areas of Dzivarasekwa in Harare. Other prominent personalities that have visited tourist resorts in Zimbabwe in the past include Michael Jackson, Shakira and Schwarzenegger.
The major must-see tourist attractions in Zimbabwe include the Victoria Falls, Nyanga National Park (Eastern Highlands),Ancient City of Great Zimbabwe,Malilangwe Game Reserve, Mutarazi Falls,Hwange National Park and Kariba Dam also known as Lake Kariba.