Zimbabwe is Africa’s 26th largest country and it has more official languages than any other African nation. Learn more fun facts about this fascinating country.
1. It’s a landlocked country in southern Africa and it’s the 26th largest country on the continent.
2. It’s capital and largest city is Harare.
3. It has 16 official languages, the most of any African country. English, Shona and Ndbele are the most widely spoken.
4. Major ethnic groups: Shona (70%), Ndebele (20%)
5. Major religions: Christianity (84%), None (10%), Traditional and other religions (6%)
6. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in April 1980.
7. The name “Zimbabwe” comes from the local Shona language meaning “a great house of stone.”
8. It has the world’s 3rd largest platinum reserves and significant other mineral resources, including diamonds, gold, chrome, and lithium.
9. It has 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites: Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls, Ruins of Great Zimbabwe, Khami Ruins, Mana Pools and Matobo Hills.
10. Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls (aka Victoria Falls) are one of the Seven Wonders of the World and are shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe. During the wet season, spray from the falls can be seen as far as 30 miles (50 km) away.
11. Great Ruins of Zimbabwe are the remains of an ancient city which was once the center of a vast empire known as the Munhumutapa Empire.
12. Tourism centers around wildlife, nature, cultural, and historical activities. Zimbabwe is one of the few African nations that is home to the Big 5 wild game.
13. Popular attractions include Chinhoyi Caves, Bulawayo, rock formations of Matobo, ancient cave paintings in Domboshawa, Eastern Highlands, bungee jumping on Victoria Falls bridge, white water rafting or cruising on the Zambezi River, Mutarazi Falls skywalk and zipline, and safari in Hwange National Park.
14. Things to see and do in Harare include: National Art Gallery, National Archives, African Unity Square, National Heroes Acre, Harare Botanical Gardens, Chapangu Sculpture Park, Mukuvisi Woodlands, Mbare market, and Jason Moyo Avenue.
5. Major religions: Christianity (97%), Baha’i (1.5%), Islam (1%)
6. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964.
7. Its name is derived from the Zambezi River, which flows through western Zambia and forms its southern border with Zimbabwe.
8. It is home to Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls (Victoria Falls) – the world’s largest curtain of falling water – which it shares with Zimbabwe. Mosi-ao-Tunya means “the smoke that thunders”.
9. Its most daring attraction is the Devil’s Pool, a natural pool at the edge of Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls, where visitors can swim during the dry season from mid-August to mid-January.
10. It has 20 national parks and reserves, 34 Game Management Areas and protects over 30% of its land.
11. Tourism centers around wildlife, nature, cultural and adventure activities.
12. Popular attractions include: Siavonga, Blue Lagoon National Park, Kalambo Falls, walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park, white water rafting or cruising on the Zambezi River, high tea at the Royal Livingstone Hotel, hot air ballooning over Kafue National Park, taking a microflight or bungee jumping over Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls, hiking at Mafinga Hills, swimming in the Monkey Pools, and watching the annual bat migration at Kasanka National Park.
13. Things to see and do in Lusaka include: Lusaka National Museum, Livingstone Museum, Railway Museum, Lusaka City Market, Kabwata Cultural Village, Lilayi Elephant Nursery, Kalimba Reptile Park, Nembo Scenic Park, Pakati Sunday Market, and Cathedral of the Holy Cross.