Are you prepared to learn a few fascinating facts about Zimbabwe?
Whether traveling to Zimbabwe is in your upcoming plans or you simply want to know more about this beautiful country in southern Africa, this article is for you.
Here’s our roundup of the most interesting Zimbabwe facts:
1. Zimbabwe is a medium-sized country in southern Africa. Completely landlocked, Zimbabwe’s neighbors include Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, and South Africa. It comes super close (only 150 meters!) from also bordering Namibia at the town of Kazungula. Officially referred to as the Republic of Zimbabwe, it was previously known as Rhodesia until 1979.
2. Zimbabwe is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. With an area of 150,872 mi2 (390,757 km2), it is a mid-sized country, ranked 60th overall. However, with just about 15.2 million people (2020 estimate), Zimbabwe has a very low population density, coming in at around 170th.
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3. Victoria Falls is located on the Zambezi River in the very west of the country. Victoria Falls is one of the world’s largest waterfalls, and it is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. In the Sotho language, it is known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, which translates to “the smoke that thunders.”
4. Zimbabwe has 16 official languages! These are Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Tsoa, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, “sign language,” Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa. Shona is by far the most-spoken language, with about 70% of the population speaking it, followed by Ndebele (around 20%), though many people use and understand English as a second language.
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5. The capital and largest city of Zimbabwe is Harare. Located in the center-north of the country, Harare is home to over 1.6 million people and is where the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE) is located, the entry and exit point for most tourists. Until 1982, Harare was known as Salisbury, named after former UK Prime Minister Lord Salisbury by the occupying British South Africa Company.
6. Zimbabwe is home to 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of these 5 sites, 3 are cultural, and 2 are natural:
- Great Zimbabwe National Monument (cultural)
- Khami Ruins National Monument (cultural)
- Matobo Hills (cultural)
- Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (natural)
- Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls (natural)
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7. The people of Zimbabwe are officially known as Zimbabweans. Though Zimbabwean is the official demonym of the country, many locals call themselves Zimbo colloquially.
8. One of the staple foods in Zimbabwe is sadza, a cooked maize meal. Sadza, known also as nsima, isitshwala, bogobe, or other names, depending on the language, it is made from ground maize and eaten with any of a number of sides, including red meat, white meat, okra, pumpkin, fish, and even mopane worms (moth caterpillars) and cow hoof. It can be served on individual plates or from a communal bowl, and it is eaten with the right hand without utensils.
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Well, that’s all our Zimbabwe facts for now, and we hope you’ve found this post interesting and informative! Do you have any questions, feedback, or other facts about Zimbabwe we should include on our list? Let us know below in the comments, and thanks for reading!