Zimbabwe Geography and Climate

Zimbabwe is world famous for the Victoria Falls. It is located on the border with Zambia on the Zambezi River. This is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. A wide stream of water (about 1800 m) falls from a height of 120 m, raising water drops resembling thick fog, which is visible 30 km away. The Zambezi River Basin is the most popular tourist destination in the country. It is home to the Kariba Reservoir, famous for its fishing opportunities, many protected areas where safaris are organized, as well as a large number of reserves for hunting. Hiking lovers will appreciate the Eastern Highlands with the highest peak of Zimbabwe – Mount Inyangani (2592 m), and inquisitive tourists will definitely be interested in visiting the ruins of the cities of the ancient Monomotapa civilization, which are located in the central part of the country.

The best time to visit Zimbabwe is April-May and August-September when the weather is comfortable and dry.

The official language of Zimbabwe is English, but only 2% of the country’s population consider it their native language. The rest of the inhabitants speak the local languages of Shona, Ndebele, Kalanga and Tonga.

Geography in Zimbabwe

According to top-engineering-schools, the country is located in southern Africa. Its area is 390.76 thousand square meters. km. Zimbabwe borders South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest and west, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east. It is an inland country that has no access to the sea.

The entire central part of the country is occupied by a plateau with an average height of about 1500 m. In the north it gradually decreases to the valley of the Zambezi River, in the south – to the valley of the Limpopo River. From the east, the plateau is bordered by a mountain range – the Eastern Highlands with the highest point in the country – Mount Inyangani (2592 m). The rest of the country is occupied by plains.

The main rivers of Zimbabwe are the Zambezi, Limpopo, Sabi, Shangani, Sanyati and Lundi. A large reservoir was created on the Zambezi River – Kariba Also on the Zambezi is the famous Victoria Falls. The width of the water flow in it is 1700 m, and the height from which the waterfall brings down its waters is 120 m.

Climate in Zimbabwe

In the northern part of the country, the subequatorial type of climate prevails, in the south – tropical. The driest and hottest region of Zimbabwe is the Limpopo River Valley in the southeast of the country. Here, in October-November, daytime air temperatures reach 38 degrees Celsius, and nighttime temperatures drop to +26 degrees. In winter (in July), during the day the air warms up to +34 degrees, and at night it cools down to +22 degrees.

On the Central Plateau, the climate depends on the height of the terrain, but in general it is characterized as mild. At altitudes above 1500 m, frosts often occur at night in winter. Major cities are located below these marks. Here in the summer daytime air temperatures are +26..+28 degrees, and at night – 16..18 degrees of heat. In winter, during the daytime, the air warms up to 20..22 degrees Celsius, at night it cools down to 6..8 degrees Celsius.

In the north-west of Zimbabwe, in the area of the Kariba reservoir and Victoria Falls, where altitudes reach 500-900 m above sea level, the air temperature is usually 3-4 degrees higher than on the Central Plateau.

The average annual rainfall within the country is 300 mm in the Limpopo River valley, 1000 mm in the plateau and about 2000 mm in the Eastern Highlands. The maximum precipitation falls on the warm months from November to April, it is especially rainy in December-January.

Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit Zimbabwe is April-May and August-September when the weather is comfortable and dry.

What to See in Zimbabwe

RUINS OF ANCIENT CITIES

28 km southeast of Masvingo are the famous ruins of the capital of the ancient civilization of Monomotapa. The city was called Great Zimbabwe , from where the name of the country later appeared. The capital was built in the Stone Age and consisted of more than 400 buildings. Now from Greater Zimbabwe there are three complexes of buildings left – “Acropolis”, “Temple” and “Valley”, which occupy an area of 40 hectares. All structures here are made of stones, which were placed tightly to each other without the use of mortar. The temple is the largest ruins of ancient settlements that are located south of the Sahara. This is a closed elliptical structure 245 m long and 9.8 m high. Its powerful walls are made of raw stone, the thickness of the walls is 4 m. Above the Temple is the Acropolis, with a complex of passages and numerous rooms that have preserved traces of gold smelting and a complex drainage system. The ruins of Hami are located

22 km west of Bulawayo., which are the second largest ruins in the country. This complex was built between the 15th and 17th centuries in honor of King Lobengul and was used as a ceremonial site. Now the ruins are a system of terraces and passages, which are surrounded by powerful walls.

NATURAL ATTRACTIONS

The most popular excursions in Zimbabwe are wildlife safaris. Tourists are offered both traditional car and mini-bus safaris and boat and canoe safaris in the National Parks, which are located along the Zambezi River and on the Kariba reservoir. Safari can last up to 10 days. The best time to visit the parks is between April and November.

The most famous parks are Hwange, Matusadona, Mana Pools, Matobo and Zambezi. All of them belong to the Zambezi river basin. The only large park that does not belong to this region and is located in the southeast of the country is Gonaresor.

Very interesting are flights on small planes over Victoria Falls, which are called “flight of angels”, canoe and boat trips on Lake Kariba and the Zambezi River, as well as walking tours of the Eastern Highlands.

Zimbabwe Geography