Zimbabwe Geography

Zimbabwe Geography

Africa

Its old name of Rhodesia derived from Cecil J. Rhodes, one of the main architects of British imperial expansionism in southern Africa, while the new one, sanctioned with the acquisition of independence, recalls an ancient and powerful African kingdom, of which the grandiose granite constructions known as the ruins of Zimbabwe remain as testimony. Thanks to the support of the neighboring Republic of South Africa, the racist statepar excellence, the logic of the supremacy of the white race that guided the action of colonialists such as Cecil J. Rhodes at the end of the last century managed to perpetuate itself until 1980 (the year of the proclamation of the republic), moreover with less and less international credibility and support. Since 1965, the year of independence, Zimbabwe has become a model country of economic dynamism for the whole of Africa. Starting from the last years of the century. XX, however, the country is going through a heavy humanitarian crisis: the most basic social services are in increasing decline, the school dropout rate has soared, the government no longer finances vaccinations, chronic malnutrition is now widespread, malaria is out check. The origins of this current crisis are to be found in a range of concomitant causes:

HYDROGRAPHY

Almost two thirds of the country’s surface falls within the Zambezi drainage basin, the great river that delimits its northern border; it receives numerous tributaries from the central section, oriented mainly from SE to NW: the two most important are the Gwayi and the Sanyati (formerly Umniati), which contribute to the water supply of the large artificial lake of Kariba (approx. 5300 km²), on the Zambezi, on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Also on the border line at the western edge of the country, the Zambezi forms the famous waterfalls Victoria (Victoria Falls), with a jump of 122 m and a spectacular front of approx. 1600 meters. AW a limited portion of the territory is drained by the Nata / Manzamvyama river, which heads towards the internal depression of the Kalahari, where it disperses its waters in the aforementioned Makgadikgadi swamp. As can be seen, the great rivers of southern Africa affect the country almost marginally; they also do not generally have a significant geographical function, as they flow mainly embedded in the plateaus and are only partially navigable during the rainy season. Visit healthinclude.com for Zimbabwe travel guide.

ENVIRONMENT

Most of the territory is covered by a sparse forest, the so called tree-veld, or by a wooded savannah, with a predominance of acacias and baobabs in the less rainy areas and of deciduous tree species; the xerophilous species are particularly widespread in the western section, while the gallery forest develops on the sides of the main watercourses. The prairies they appear in the most humid areas. The natural landscape has been profoundly modified on the south-eastern side by the intervention of the whites with the creation of plantations; the arrival of the Europeans also had serious repercussions for the fauna, which suffered a significant reduction due to indiscriminate hunting. Only in fairly recent times has adequate legislation been introduced to protect the fauna (for example, the lion has almost disappeared) and large areas have been allocated to national parks, botanical and natural reserves (15.8% of the territory is protected); the largest is Hwange National Park (formerly Wankie; 13,595 km²), on the border with Botswana. Animals living in the country include elephants, buffaloes, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, monkeys and antelopes. Small herds of black and white rhinos still live in Zimbabwe, now rare throughout the African continent. Population growth and over-exploitation of land are the cause of deforestation and soil depletion. In addition, poaching is seriously endangering some species of wild animals. L’ UNESCO has declared two areas as World Heritage Sites: Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (1984) and Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls (1989).

Zimbabwe Geography