Situated within the tropics of southern Africa, Zimbabwe straddles a high inland plateau that drops northwards to the Zambezi valley.
The Inyanga and Udizi Mountains stretch along Zimbabwe's eastern border with Mozambique, and the country's highest and lowest point are both found there. Marked on the physical map above, Mount Inyangani at 8,503 ft. (2,592 m) is Zimbabwe's highest point; its lowest, the intersection of the Runde and Save Rivers at 531 ft. (162 m). The Mafungabusa plateau (or Veld) covers the majority of land, central and east; the average elevation here is near 4,500 ft. (1,371 m) The Matobo Hills and Chizarira Hills anchor that plateau, north and south.
As can be noticed on the physical map of Zimbabwe, major bodies of water like Lake Kariba and Victoria Falls are both located on the western border of the country with Zambia. Victoria Falls, although neither the highest nor widest of waterfalls in the world, lays claim as the largest in the world based on a width of 5,604 ft. (1,708 m) and height of 354 ft. (108 m).
Important river systems of Zimbabwe include the Zambezi, Limpopo, Runde and Save and their numerous tributaries. Additional landforms include escarpments (steep slopes) along the Zambezi River and deep river valleys within the central plateau.
In addition, savanna grasslands cover the southern reaches, while evergreen forests are common central and east, especially in the mountain areas.
Several national parks protect these natural landscapes and the great diversity of wild flora and fauna of the country. Some of the important ones have been marked on the map. The Gonarezhou National Park of Zimbabwe is part of the Great Tranfrontier Park, a peace park that links it to South Africa's Kruger National Park and Mozambique's Limpopo National Park allowing the free movement of wildlife across international boundaries. The Great Zimbabwe National Monument is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Zimbabwe. It is the ruins of a city from the Middle Ages that provides an insight into the culture and way of living of the Bantu/Shona people between the 11th and 15th centuries.
The political map of Zimbabwe shows its 8 provinces with their capitals and 2 cities with provincial status. The 8 provinces are Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and Midlands. The two cities with provincial status include Bulawayo and Harare. The latter serves as the capital city of Zimbabwe. The provinces of the country are divided into districts which are further subdivided into wards.
With an area of 75,025 sq. km, Matabeleland North is the largest province of Zimbabwe by area. Hosting around 16.26% of the country’s total population, Harare is the most populous province in the country.
Zimbabwe is a southern African landlocked nation. It is located in the Southern and Eastern Hemisphere regions of the world. Zimbabwe is bordered by four countries. Zambia and South Africa border Zimbabwe to the north and south respectively. Botswana borders it to the west and southwest while it is bounded by Mozambique to the east and northeast. Zimbabwe’s northwestern corner is only around 150 m from Namibia.
Regional Maps: Map of Africa
|Legal Name||Republic of Zimbabwe|
|17 49 S, 31 02 E|
|Independence||18 April 1980 (from the UK)|
|Total Area||390,757 km2|
|Land Area||386,847 km2|
|Water Area||3,910 km2|
|Total Border||3,229 km|
|Bordering Countries||Botswana 834 km, Mozambique 1402 km, South Africa 230 km, Zambia 763 km|
|Climate||Tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (november to march)|
|Coordinates||20 00 S, 30 00 E|
|Mean Elevation||961 m|
|Lowest Elevation||162 m|
|junction of the Runde and Save Rivers|
|Highest Elevation||2,592 m|
|Ethnic Groups||African 99.4% (predominantly Shona; Ndebele is the second largest ethnic group), other 0.4%, unspecified 0.2% (2012 est.)|
|Languages||Shona (official; most widely spoken), Ndebele (official, second most widely spoken), English (official; traditionally used for official business), 13 minority languages (official; includes Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Shangani, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa)|
|Religions||Protestant 74.8% (includes Apostolic 37.5%, Pentecostal 21.8%, other 15.5%), Roman Catholic 7.3%, other Christian 5.3%, traditional 1.5%, Muslim 0.5%, other 0.1%, none 10.5% (2015 est.)|
|Currency||Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD)|
|GDP Per Capita||$1,463.99|
|Exports||Platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing|
This page was last updated on October 12, 2020