The ancestors of the Shona people began to settle in what is now Zimbabwe in the 9th century AD. They founded the state of Monomotapa, which lasted from the 12th to the 17th centuries. The remains of its ancient capital have survived to this day and are known as Great Zimbabwe. Monomotapa was characterized by a developed culture and extensive trade relations. By the end of the 15th century, the state covered the entire territory of present-day Zimbabwe and part of Mozambique.
In the 16th century, the Portuguese began to penetrate into the interior of Africa. They traded with Monomotapa, while wanting to conquer the lands of the state. At the beginning of the 17th century, the economic influence of Monomotapa began to weaken, and in 1630 the Portuguese succeeded in placing on the throne a pretender who was obedient to their will. Thus, the Portuguese advent in the 16th century ended with the collapse of the state of Monomotapa. At the same time, the warlike Ndebele peoples began to raid these territories. They settled in the area of the Matopo mountains, created their own kingdom, the capital of which was the city of Bulawayo. They captured most of southwestern Zimbabwe and collected tribute from the locals.
In the 19th century, gold was found in these areas, which immediately aroused the interest of European powers. In 1888, one of the rulers of the Ndebele kingdom transferred the rights to develop minerals to the British, which marked the beginning of colonization. The British began to take away land from local residents, engaged in agriculture and built fortifications here. In 1923, what is now Zimbabwe became a British colony called Southern Rhodesia. In 1930, a “white” zone was created in some areas, where only white settlers had the right to buy land, and Africans were simply forbidden to live in the settlements built by the colonialists. Since then, Africans began to protest against their economic and political discrimination and created the first political organizations. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Zimbabwe.
Since 1953, Southern Rhodesia, together with Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi), has been part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which was created by Great Britain. The federation collapsed in 1963 as a result of the growth of the national liberation movement in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Then two independent states were formed – Zambia and Malawi. The “whites” of Southern Rhodesia decided to get ahead of the Africans and create their own state. In 1965 they declared the independence of the country while maintaining racism. But the independence of Rhodesia was not recognized by any country in the world. It took 15 years of war between Africans and “whites” for Rhodesia to be declared an independent state on April 18, 1980 and became known as Zimbabwe.
Today, the main problem of Zimbabwe remains the difficult economic situation, the low standard of living of the population and the high percentage of people infected with AIDS.
The city of Kariba is located on the reservoir of the same name on its northeastern shore. It is located on a 600-meter hill, which rises in steps above the reservoir.
Lake Kariba is an artificial reservoir that was formed as a result of the construction of a 112-meter dam on the Zambezi River. The shores of the lake, whose area is about 7770 square meters. km., are known for their picturesque nature and a variety of recreational opportunities – boat trips on the water, water skiing and fishing.
From the city of Kariba you can get to the Matusadona National Park, which is located on the southern shore of Lake Kariba. The area of the park is 1500 sq. km. Safaris are organized here, both by car and by boats and canoes. The park has a large population of elephants, as well as antelopes, buffaloes, lions, crocodiles and birds such as the screaming eagle, stork, heron and even flamingos. In the reservoirs of the park and on the Zambezi River, you can fish, the weight of some fish sometimes reaches 15 kg.
If you go from the city of Kariba down the Zambezi, then you will find yourself in the Mana Pools National Park. Its area is about 2200 sq. km. It is mainly occupied by a forested area surrounding the banks of the Zambezi River. The word Mana means four, and the park was named so because there are 4 lakes here. Elephants, buffaloes, leopards and cheetahs live in this place. The largest population of Nile crocodiles lives here, as well as many hippos. The park is known for its bird diversity, with the Lesser Flamingo, Malachite Kingfisher and Purple Roller in Mana Pools. During the rainy season, the only way to get around the park is by boat or canoe.
The city of Gweru is located in central Zimbabwe. Antelope Park is located here, where antelopes, lions and elephants live. In the park, you can ride elephants and take a walk in the immediate vicinity of the lions.
Very popular is the Gweru Military Museum, which contains exhibits of military and civilian aircraft, as well as collections of weapons. To the north of Gweru is the city of Kwekwe with the Museum of Gold Mining. The museum tells about the history of the development of the country’s gold mining industry from the earliest times to the present day.