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A Tribute to Great Zimbabwe

Aug 17, 2007
The Republic of Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in the southern part of the continent of Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It borders South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east.

The name Zimbabwe derives from dzimba Zimbabwe meaning houses of stone. Its use as the countries name is a tribute to Great Zimbabwe, site of the capital of the Munhumutapa Empire.

Present day Zimbabwe was the site of a large and complex African civilization in the 13th and 14th centuries.

It was populated by descendants of the Bantu tribes, who had migrated from the north around the 10th century.

Mainly pastoral, evidence of their lifestyle may be seen in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, near the present day town of Masvingo.

The first contact with Europeans was with the Portuguese at the end of the 15th century. Relations between the two were fairly. Until the 1830s, when the region was thrown into upheaval by the northward migration of the Ndebele people from South Africa.

The Ndebele, who espoused a Zulu warrior tradition, effectively enslaved the indigenous Shona people until the end of the century.

At this point, a new aggressive breed of colonists arrived in the form of British mining interests led by Cecil Rhodes British South Africa Company. The BSAC took control of the country which they called Southern Rhodesia until 1923, when it became, nominally, a British colony.

This followed a referendum for whites only on joining the Union of South Africa.

In 1965, a bitter civil war between the white minority government and fighters for African independence, ending only in 1980, with the granting of independence and the holding of a general election under British auspices, which was won decisively by Robert Mugabes ZANU party.

The main focus of dissent in the early years was from Joshua Nkomos ZAPU opposition party ZANUs former ally in the Patriotic Front that fought the guerrilla war against Rhodesia from their bases in Zambia and Mozambique. From 1985, however, the two parties moved towards a merger, which was peacefully achieved in January 1988. Named ZANU PF, the party assumed undisputed political primacy, unchallenged by any significant opposition until the end of the 1990s.

There are lots to do and see in this area. Some include Bungee Jumping, Chobe National Park, Elephant Ride Entry to Victoria Falls, National Park Flight over the Falls Flying Fox Helicopter over the Falls, Horse Riding Microlight over the Falls, Night Game Drive Rafting and Boarding Combo Rafting on the Zambezi, Swim with Elephants, Gweru Walk with Lions.

The famous runner Zole Budd originated here.

The climate is hot.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Villa Zimbabwe Site
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