Zimbabwe has been populated since the Stone-Age, and is actually home to some of the most extensive ruins in sub-saharan Africa. The ruins of Great Zimbabwe (dating back to the ancient African kingdom of Munhumatapa) testify to the advanced level of civilization that existed before European contact. First settled by Shona speakers, Zimbabwe was invaded by the Ndebele in the early 19th century. Then came the British and Cecil Rhodes. Rodes dreamed of linking Cape Town to Cairo. Although his great railroad failed, he colonized the region for Great Britain.
The country’s road to independence was long. It first became the protectorate of Southern Rhodesia in 1923. In 1953, it joined with Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), and Nyasaland (now Malawi) to become part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. In 1964, the Federation was dissolved, with Rhodesia retaining strong ties to Britain. However, relations with Britain soured over the white minority government’s treatment of black citizens. In 1965, Rhodesia’s leaders declared independence from Britain. UN sanctions followed in 1968 and by 1972 sporadic turmoil turned into a full civil war, which lasted eight years. In 1980, blacks were allowed a voice in the government, and the nation attained universally recognized independence.
Today you will find Zimbabwe a delightful mix of exotic scenery, interesting cultures and game parks.
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