Zimbabwe info


  • Full name: Republic of Zimbabwe
  • Population: 12.9 million (UN, 2005)
  • Capital: Harare
  • Area: 390,759 sq km (150,873 sq miles) approx. the size of montana
  • Major language: English (official), Shona, Sindebele
  • Major religions: Syncretic (mix of Christian and indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslim and other 1%
  • Monetary unit: US Dollar
  • Independence: 1980
  • People: Of the approximate 11 million people living in Zimbabwe, the highest percentage is Shona followed by the Ndebele, Tonga and Shangaan. Approximately 2% have European or Asian descent.

Reading Suggestions for Zimbabwe:

Reading good books about the areas you’re visiting tends to make your trip much fuller and more rewarding. As weight on light aircraft is limited, you might consider reading the thickest books before you leave for your trip!

The major country-specific guidebooks (i.e., Lonely Planet, Rough Guide) tend to offer a good overview of the country’s history. One of the best resources for travel books is Longitude Books. They organize books by country/region, which makes it easy to see what is available.

Many books will give you insight into Zimbabwe. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Longitude Site
  • The Elephants and I: Pursing a Dream in Troubled Zimbabwe by Sharon Pincott
  • Mukiwa by Peter Godwin is an excellent book covering the period from 1960 into the 1980s. It is an enjoyable autobiography that mixes wonderful humor with plenty of historical and cultural information.
  • Don’t Let’s Go to The Dogs Tonight by Alexander Fuller
  • Where We Have Hope- A Memoir of Zimbabwe by Andrew Meldrum
  • Doris Lessing has written several books about Zimbabwe, including African Laughter— Four Visits to Zimbabwe.