History of Zimbabwe

The San (Bushman) hunters are believed to have been the earliest inhabitants of the area that is now Zimbabwe. Present day Shona can be traced to the first major civilization that was established between the 11th and 15th centuries and was one of Southern Africa’s wealthiest and most powerful societies. It is assumed Great Zimbabwe was the religious and political centre.

In 1850 the British conquered the country and made it their colony, which they named Rhodesia after Cecil John Rhodes. The white minority, lead by Ian Smith continued to control the government until the country gained its independence in 1980 and changed its name to Zimbabwe. The ZANU party led by Robert Mugabe took power. During his reign, a land redistribution programme was implemented which resulted in the eviction of white farmers.

In recent years we have seen much political unrest which has lead to the collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy and sanctions being imposed from many countries. In 2008, Mugabe signed a power-sharing agreement with Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition party, in a much welcomed step to put conflict behind them. Signs of positive change have continued with the replacement of the Zimbabwe Dollar with foreign currencies, supermarket shelves are once again stocked and there is fuel in the petrol pumps.

Travelling in Zimbabwe is safe and her people are warm and welcoming despite the hardships they have faced. We believe the time is right for tourists to start re-discovering Zimbabwe and all she has to offer. Many accommodation establishments have already been renovated and brand new tourist facilities have been built. There is once again an exciting air of optimism pervading this unforgettable country.

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