Capital | Harare
Population | 11,329,629
Area | 390,757 SQ KM
Official Language | English
Holidays | Independence Day, 18 April (1980 – from the UK)
Currency | Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD)
Best Time to Visit | May to October (the dry season)
Connecting with the Culture | The incredible displays of are at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. Joining a pungwe, an all night drinking, dancing and music performance. Taking in the enormous dimensions of the ruins of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe. Spotting lions, giraffes and zebras at Hwange National Park. Watching the full moon rise over majestic Victoria Falls. Hiking through the wonderful landscape of the Mavuradonha Wilderness.
Read | Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing, a critique of race relations in Rhodesia
Listen | to Viva Zimbabwe by various local artists.
Watch | Cry Freedom, by Richard Attenborough or The Power of One by John G. Avildsen, both filmed in Zimbabwe.
Eat | sandza ne nyama, a white maize meal porridge with meat-gravy; grilled trout in the Eastern Highlands.
Drink | chibuku, the beer of the masses.
In a Word | Mhoro (‘hello’ in Shona)
Characteristics | National Parks; incredible wildlife; World Heritage sites; remote villages; the bustle of Harare; mesmerizing music; canoeing down the Zimbabwe River.
Surprises | Being invited to share in a local festivity; the massive bulk of Zimbabwe’s biggest tree in the Chirinda Forest Reserve; white-water rafting at Victoria Falls – where an average of 550,000 cubic meters of water plummet over the edge every minute.
NEWS ABOUT ZIMBABWE
Sources say Zimbabwe's Mugabe battling for life in Singapore
(HN, 4/8/12) - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was flown to Singapore last week after collapsing at his home, but his spokesman said he had gone there to assist his daughter Bona on her application for university postgraduate studies arrangements. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980 since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain; serving as Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987, & as the first executive head of state since 1987. The controversial 88 year-old leader's failing health has forced his ZANU-PF party to press for early elections now scheduled before 2013. While factions within the party are battling to take over, no direct successor has emerged, with some reports saying Mugabe has struck a secret "gentleman's agreement" to hand over power to his feared defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa tho he has 2 VP's - Joyce Mujuru who recently cut short her trip to Asia to come home to perform some Presidential duties since the other VP John Nkomo is also not feeling well. The most recent report on Mugabe's health came from the out-going Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who met him during a visit to Zimbabwe this week & told reporters: "He's on top of things intellectually." A June 2008 US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks last month said Mugabe has prostate cancer that has spread to other organs.