Zimbabwe Highlights


1. Video Compilation                                                                                                                        2. General information

For more detailed information, blogs and pictures. click here; http://www.doubledutchworldsafari.com.au/our-journey/africa-middle-east/africa/zimbabwe/


Zimbabwe from Africa’s Breadbasket to the basket case.

The country that was once dubbed “the breadbasket of Africa” suffered more than $12 billion in lost agriculture revenue since Mugabe came to power and started the land reforms seizing farms from white citizens. One of Africa’s strongest economies shrank to half the size it had been at independence in 1980. Zimbabwe’s transformation from exporter to importer of food is blamed by some analysts on the land reform program, which saw white commercial farmers lose farms to landless blacks who are lacking the skills to farm nor have the capital.  Today (2010), fewer than 300 white farmers remain on portions of their original land holdings in Zimbabwe and many of the seized farms lie dormant, dilapidated and in ruins. What has been Zimbabwe’s loss has been a gain for neighbouring Zambia, where some of these farmers moved bringing with them decades of expertise for farming similar, arable land. Amazing how such a beautiful and rich country can be so mismanaged. All due to President Mr Robert Mugabe and his government hating white man.

According to the institute for security (ISS) it was concluded that due to the deterioration of government and the economy “the government encourages corruption to make up for its inability to fund its own institutions”, with widespread and informal police roadblocks to issue fines to travellers, ripping off tourist. We hear that public servants do not get paid for months on end and people are hungry. Roadblocks are set up for govt officials to obtain an extra income for police, officials and army. Today minerals, gold and agriculture are still the main foreign exports of Zimbabwe. The mining sector remains very lucrative, with some of the world’s largest platinum reserves being mined by Anglo American PLC and Impala Platinum. The Marange diamond fields, discovered in 2006, are considered the biggest diamond find in over a century. They have the potential to improve the fiscal situation of the country considerably, but almost all revenues from the field have disappeared into the pockets of army officers and ZANU-PF politicians. The downward spiral of the economy has been attributed mainly to mismanagement and corruption by the government and the eviction of more than 4,000 white farmers in the controversial land confiscations between 2000 and today. By 2016 there were about 300 farms owned by white farmers left, out of the original 4,500. Inflation rose from an annual rate of 32% in 1998, to an official estimated high of 11,200,000% in August 2008, according to the country’s Central Statistical Office! This represented a state of hyperinflation and the central bank introduced a new 100 trillion dollar note. On 29 January 2009, to counteract runaway inflation, Zimbabweans were permitted to use other, more stable currencies to do business, alongside the Zimbabwe dollar. To combat inflation and foster economic growth the Zimbabwean Dollar was suspended indefinitely on 12 April 2009. In 2016 Zimbabwe allowed trade in USD, EURO, PULA and the pound sterling.  The government’s land reform program badly damaged the sector, turning Zimbabwe into a net importer of food products. Between 2000 and 2016 annual wheat production fell by 75%, Maize was reduced by 75% and cattle slaughtered for beef fell 66%. Coffee production, once a prized export commodity, came to a complete halt after seizure or expropriation of white-owned coffee farms in 2000 and has never recovered. After being charged 90USD dollars at Roberts Camp for entry and 1-night camping (yes 90.00USD!) (these figures were official as they were advertised on the board for Foreign Vehicles and foreigners) we vowed never to return to Zimbabwe. BUT the Zimbabwe people are so unbelievable friendly and so hard done by. It breaks your heart when you hear the hardship they face day to day. Not to mention the white Zimbabweans who lost everything, many of them third and fourth generation Zimbabwe citizens. Why on earth they stay in a country that hates their own people is beyond believe for us. But we have made many friends in Zimbabwe, from truck drivers, camp site managers, rangers, local black people and white Zimbabweans. All afraid of Army, Police and local Politicians.



Zambia or Zimbabwe side?

Unfortunately, we think the town (Victoria Falls) is way overpriced and we would recommend visiting the Zambia side instead. “The Smoke That Thunders”, commonly known as Victoria Falls, is one of the most amazing sights in the world and together with Iguazu Falls one of the most spectacular we have seen.

To cross the border from Zambia to see the falls on the Zimbabwe side, you will need to pay at least US$30 for a Zimbabwe single entry visa (depending on nationality), and if you want to return the Zambian side, you will need to pay an extra US$20 for a multiple entry Zambian visa. To cross the border from the Zimbabwean side to the Zambian side you will need to pay an at least US$20 for a single day Zambian visa, and at least an extra US$15 for a multiple entry Zimbabwean visa. Entry to the falls at the Zimbabwe side was another 30USD pp for foreigners.