- Capital: Hararae
- Independence: 1980
- Time: GMT + 2
- Population: 12 293 953 (Official estimate, 1997)
- Cultural Split: Shona 76% Ndebele 18% small Black, European and Asian communities
- Languages: English, Sindebele
- Shona Currency: Zimbabwean Dollar ($Z)
- President: Robert Mugabe
Banking hours: Weekly excluding Wednesday; 0800-1500. Wednesdays and Saturdays; 0800-1130. Banks and main hotels change major currencies and travellers cheques ( preferably dollars or pounds) at the official exchange rate. American Express, Diners Club and Visa are widely accepted. Mastercard is limited. Don't rely on plastic to get you cash but it is useful for paying for safaris, tours, air fares and hotel accommodation. As the Zimbabwe currency has greatly devalued over the past few years, it is common to have to pay in foreign currency for many services.
The rains come in late November and it stays hot and sticky until early March. Winter stretches from May through to August and is rarely colder than your average Mediterranean summer. It never snows. Zimbabwe's varied altitude plays havoc with the weather. July in the Eastern Highlands is covered in a fine mist called 'guti' while the same time finds Kariba and the Zambezi Valley at their balmiest. Best times to visit are April/May and September but there are attractions year-round.
Full IDD and fax facilities are available. Internet cafes can be found in most major centres.
220/240 volts AC, 50HZ. Square, 3-pin, 13 amp plug.
Health insurance is essential. Government services are unreliable and private care costs.
A yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers from infected regions. Malaria is widespread during the rainy season and prevalent all year round in the Zambezi valley and Kariba. Resistance to chloroquin has been reported. Consult your doctor about prophylactics. Rabies, bilharzia, cholera,hepatitis A and E, are risks. Zimbabwe has one of the highest AIDS rates in the world.