Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in the south of the African continent. The democratically elected president Robert Mugabe, 40 years ago put an end to oligarchy regime to impose a … “democratic dictatorship” with broad violation of human rights. In the 2000s the country began to be driven to an economic collapse, its currency after repeating devaluations, repealed
The Zimbabweans are “numb” people. The country’s adventures have greatly destroyed the investments of white people and despite the fact that the Apartheid regime has expired long ago, like in neighboring South Africa the living standards have not improved and there is lack of growth. Despite the similarities with the neighboring country, residents mostly are peaceful, polite and do not make you feel in danger.
The capital Harare is a modern, contemporary city with suburbs that testify the wealth of the upper class but also includes the classic African slums. But the beauty of the country is revealed outside the big cities. Hwange National Park, with intense tropical vegetation contrasting with the savannah environment of the rest of the country, homes many wild animals and is one of the largest elephant sanctuaries in Africa. Unfortunately poaching here is a bitter reality. The Kariba lake created by a hydroelectric dam, is a holiday destination for locals and the few tourists visiting the country, where you can observe closely the African fauna. The Mana pools national park on the banks of the Zambezi, the only one in Africa where you can wander around on foot, unaccompanied, on your own responsibility and with fatalities happening. (Update: the regulation unfortunately changed on 2015 https://www.zamsoc.org/?p=2023). And of course the majestic Victoria Falls, one of the most spectacular in the world, on the border with Zambia. Finally, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, monuments of the largest African culture after the Pharaohs.
Taming the wild beasts…
We arrived in Harare with a flight of the famous airline based in Dubai, with a dirty, most obsolete aircraft of the fleet and having the last row seats that are not reclining, in front of the toilets. The country was still under the 35-year leadership of the controversial president Robert Mugabe, just after its bankruptcy and the abolition of the national currency. We were quite curious to see the house we had booked at a very cheap price, since we skipped the known booking websites and found the accommodation on the country’s yellow pages. It was a two-storey villa with spacious rooms, luxury bathrooms and huge, comfortable beds that accommodated the 5 of us comfortably for two days. Harare is a capital city that follows the modern South African standards, with many upper class neighborhoods, wide streets beneath relieving tree shades, with large super markets and gourmet restaurants. Of course there are slum areas, but not to the extent of the South African townships. Regarding the security level, I felt it was much better than the neighboring country.
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