Zimbabwe

Once a British colony known as Rhodesia in honour of empire builder Cecil John Rhodes, it won independence to become Zimbabwe and build a seemingly unassailable reputation as ‘the bread basket of Africa’. Its fertile soil and balmy climate is perfect for agriculture - it’s still the centre of Africa’s lucrative raw tobacco trade - but then came political turmoil once again as the government launched land reform programmes. The great draws are Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, Lake Kariba all offering a fantastic safari experience.

THREE things we did not know about Zimbabwe:

  1. Victoria Falls is one of the 7 wonders of the natural world – it is the world’s largest waterfall with a height of approximately 108 metres, and a width of 1700 metres. If you are really lucky and visit Vic Falls when the moon is strong, and the sky is clear, you will get to see the Luna Rainbow! 
  2. Archaeologists believe that the Gokomere people (who are the ancestors of today’s Shona people, among others) were smelting iron in what is today Zimbabwe as long ago as the 1st century AD. Gold mining is estimated to have taken place in Zimbabwe since about 1000 AD.
  3. During the Zimbabwean economic crisis at the end of the last decade, inflation was running at 79.6 million percent a month. An inflation rate this high meant that prices were doubling roughly every day. As a result, Zimbabwe no longer has its own currency, but rather uses other country’s currencies, such as the US dollar, the South African rand, and the Botswana pula. The Zambian kwacha is even used in areas that border Zambia. We have a 5 Trillion Dollar Note!

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