Zimbabwe Travel Information

Photo The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated to keep whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded voting rights for the black African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert MUGABE, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system since independence. The government of Zimbabwe faces a wide variety of difficult economic problems as it struggles to consolidate earlier progress in developing a market-oriented economy. Its involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, has already drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy. Badly needed support from the IMF suffers delays in part because of the country's failure to meet budgetary goals. Inflation rose from an annual rate of 32% in 1998 to 59% in 1999. The economy is being steadily weakened by AIDS; Zimbabwe has the highest rate of infection in the world. Per capita GDP, which is twice the average of the poorer sub-Saharan nations, will increase little if any in the near-term, and Zimbabwe will suffer continued frustrations in developing its agricultural and mineral resources.

Important: Travel to Zimbabwe may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Zimbabwe visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Republic of Zimbabwe
Capital city: Harare
Area: 390,757 sq km
Population: 12,619,600
Ethnic groups: African 98%
Languages: English
Religions: syncretic
Government: parliamentary democracy
Chief of State: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE
Head of Government: Prime Minister Morgan TSVANGIRAI
GDP: 6.474 billion
GDP per captia: 500
Annual growth rate: 9.4%
Inflation: 5.4%
Agriculture: corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts
Major industries: mining
Natural resources: coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals
Location: Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia
Trade Partners - exports: South Africa 17.3%, China 16.9%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 11.7%, Botswana 10.5%, Italy 6.1%
Trade Partners - imports: South Africa 55.4%, China 9.2%