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In its early history, Zimbabwe was inhabited by Bantu speakers from about the third century AD. Shona speakers arrived from the south, and became a powerful civilization in the region around the 13th century, and the Karanga dialect grew to dominate. The Kingdom of Mapungubwe emerged as a trading power, but starting around 1250, the Kingdom of Zimbabwe began to take over. The Kingdom of Mutapa took control of the region from about 1450, and became an important trade partner with Arabs and the Portuguese. Relations with the Portuguese led to wars in the 17th century, nearly destroyed the Mutapa Empire. The Rowzi Empire then arose, fighting off the Portuguese and ruling until they were conquered by Ndebele invaders around 1838. The next kingdom to take power was Matabeleland in 1840.
Zimbabwe shares borders with Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, and Mozambique.
- Harare (capital)
Zimbabwe is located in southern Africa, in the high plateau and Limpopo and Zambezi basins. Zimbabwe is landlocked, but shares Victoria Falls, which is one of the world's largest waterfalls, with neighboring Zambia in the northwest. Major rivers include the Zambezi River, Limpopo River, Pungwe, and Buzi Rivers. The terrain of Zimbabwe includes savannas, with mountains in the east, with the Eastern Highlands and forests. The highest point in Zimbabwe is Mount Nyangani, which stands 2,592 meters (8,504 feet) above sea level.
Points of Interest
Zimbabwe is home to many natural attractions, including Victoria Falls, which it shares with Zambia, and which is one of the world's biggest. Victoria Falls also offers outdoor recreational activities, from canoeing to rafting, bungee jumping to helicopter rides over the falls. Lake Kariba in the north is a major lake, where vacationers can spend a few days in a houseboat or check out the wildlife. Other sites include Mutoroshanga Ethel Mine and the Chinhoyi Caves. Hwange National Park is home to over 30,000 elephants, as well as many other types of wildlife. A few UNESCO World Heritage sites are located in Zimbabwe, including Matobo Hills National Park near Bulawayo, and Mana Pools National Park in the north.
The Great Zimbabwe Ruins are an archaeological site from the Kingdom of Great Zimbabwe, with ruins dating back to the Iron Age.
The capital, Harare, is a busy city center with a few attractions, like the Chapungu Sculpture Park, an art exhibit with sculptures of black serpentine stone, the National Gallery and the Queen Victoria Museum. Other sites in the city include architectural attractions like the Mining Pension Fund Building, and natural attractions like the Kopje, which is a vista point above the city.
The main airport in Zimbabwe is Harare International, which offers service to destinations from around Africa and Europe, and some flights to Dubai. There is another international airport in Bulawayo, which serves Johannesburg, while domestic flights are available for transport across the country. Roads into Zimbabwe are often found in disrepair, but it is possible to enter the country via car or bus from South Africa and Malawi. Train is an option for travel between the city of Bulawayo to Victoria Falls, and Hwange National Park. Buses are available for transportation within Zimbabwe, though service is not considered very good. In cities, minibuses are a good, inexpensive option, and some major roads have been improved.
Last Updated : July 29 ,2015