- A number of natural shelters, occupied since early times, can be found in the Matobo Hills. The area also has
a high concentration of rock art which provides a view of life in the Stone Age.
- The name Zimbabwe was derived from the stone structures of Great Zimbabwe or Dzimbahwe, inscribed on the
World Heritage List in 1986.
- Crazy Amazing Facts About Zimbabwe is that Great Zimbabwe was built by Shona (Bantu) people between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries.
- Eight birds carved in soapstone have been found during excavations in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe.
- During the fourteenth and fifteen centuries, Great Zimbabwe controlled much of the ivory and gold trade in
- Stone structures were built in other areas of Zimbabwe such as Khami and Nalatale.
- Crazy Amazing Facts About Zimbabwe is that Artifacts from Europe and China have been found at Khami. Khami, like Great Zimbabwe, became a World
Heritage sites in 1986.
- The ancient kingdom of Mapungubwe spanned the borders of present-day South Africa, Zimbabwe and
Botswana. Mapungubwe, added to the World Heritage List in 2003, was the largest kingdom in the sub-continent before it was abandoned in the fourteenth century.
- Portuguese traders visited Zimbabwe in the sixteenth century and were the first Europeans to make contact
with the region.
- In 1888 the British South African Company gained mineral rights for the area.
- In November 1855 Dr. David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer, and missionary, saw the Victoria Falls for
the first time. Livingstone named the Falls after the British queen, Victoria.
- The local name for the Victoria Falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders”.
- The Victoria Falls became a World Heritage site in 1986.
- Crazy Amazing Facts About Zimbabwe is that Mana Pools National Park on the banks of the Zambezi is the habitat of a large number of wild animals
including the Nile crocodile.
- At the end of the 1950s, the Zambezi was dammed at Kariba to provide hydroelectric power to Zimbabwe and
- Lake Kariba on the River Zambezi is one of the world’s largest manmade lakes.
- The Gold Mining Museum, in KweKwe, in the Central Region of Zimbabwe, provides information about
Zimbabwe’s gold mining industry.
- Between 1953 and 1963 Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi) were members of the Federation of Central Africa.
- African nationalist organizations that campaigned for democracy were banned in Rhodesia (ANC –
banned 1959, ZAPU – banned 1962, ZANU – banned 1964).
- On 18 April 1980, Zimbabwe became an independent state.
- Crazy Amazing Facts About Zimbabwe is that after independence, Zimbabwe kept ties with Britain through the Commonwealth. Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003.
- In 2002 millions of people in Southern Africa faced food shortages. Countries particularly affected included
Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia.
- Crazy Amazing Facts About Zimbabwe is that Zimbabwe has a high rate of infection of HIV and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
- The country is facing economic ruin with inflation spiralling out of control, currently topping 100,000%.
- Zimbabwe’s economy is in crisis.
- Poor management, combined with political violence and the impact of Mr. Mugabe’s land reform programme
contributed to the downturn.
- In recent years, the size of the national economy, or Gross Domestic Product, has fallen while inflation has
- Official figures for February 2008 calculate the annual inflation rate at 100,580%, up from 7,600% in July
- In 1980, US$1 bought 80 Zimbabwean cents, in early March that figure is about Z$50m. A loaf of bread
- By contrast, GDP in neighbouring Zambia grew by 6% in 2007 and inflation was running at 9.5% in
February 2008, according to Zambian government figures.
- Wages are not keeping pace with inflation and barter has become an increasingly common form of trade.
- Agricultural and mineral exports have fallen and much trade is done on the black market.
- The government has taken steps to try to revive the economy, like revaluing the Zimbabwean dollar and imposing strict price controls, but to no avail.
- The price controls have led to shortages, as businesses say they cannot afford to sell goods for less than the
cost of making them.
- Badly-needed support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been suspended because the government has fallen behind with loan repayments.
- Zimbabwe has a population of 12.3m – with an estimated 1.8m living with HIV/Aids. Largely as a result of
this, the country has the lowest life expectancy in the world.
- According to WHO figures, men can expect to live to 37 years, and women only 34.
- One of President Mugabe’s biggest achievements has been education. Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate
in Africa at 90% of the population.
- However, unemployment is running at about 80%
- In May 2005, the Zimbabwean government began a campaign of forced evictions and demolitions resulting in
the internal displacement of an estimated 570,000 people, many of whom remain in transit camps and have limited access to assistance.
- Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order) initially targetted high-density shanty towns and moved onto
settlements on farms in rural areas and urban fringes.
- The ongoing economic crisis has also contributed to the movement of people from their homes in search of a
- Figures of the number who have fled are unreliable, but the International Organisation of Migration (IOM)
estimates about 3.4m Zimbabweans have left their home country, most of them
heading for South Africa.
- Under colonial laws, much of the country’s best land was reserved for white farmers and anger at this was a
key factor in the 1970s war of independence, led by Mr. Mugabe.
- In 2000, some 70% of the best land was owned by 4,000 white farmers and Mr. Mugabe speeded up the process of seizing it and redistributing it to blacks.
- But many of the new farmers had little or no experience and no assets to buy seed or fertilizer.
- Some farms were allocated to government ministers or other leading figures in Mr. Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
- Since the redistribution, agricultural production has fallen.
- Government figures show the amount of land planted with key crops like maize, soya and tobacco has fallen.
- The Drought has also contributed to what have been significant shortfalls in food production since 2001.
- Many Zimbabweans survive on just one meal a day. Relief agencies say 25% of Zimbabweans require food aid.