Before we begin with some amazing facts about Zimbabwe, make sure you read our blog on “9 Interesting Facts About Greenland” for some wonderful insights.
1. Zimbabwe has two kinds of marriages: customary and civil. Customary marriages usually result in polygamy and it end up when either the man or the woman dies, since divorce is rarely experienced. Civil marriages may, however, end due to divorce or death and the marriages are usually monogamous. Both of these marriages are recognised by Law.
2. Zimbabwe abandoned its currency and is currently using the currency of other nations. This happened after the massive inflation that hit the country in 2008. The country abandoned its currency and has been using the U.S. Dollar, the South African Rand, and the Botswana Pula since April 12, 2009. Therefore, in Zimbabwe, you can buy an item priced in South African rands, pay in euros, and get a change in US dollars.
3. Can you imagine carrying a wheelbarrow load of money to the store only to buy something that only costs one dollar in other countries? Well, in 2008, Zimbabwe experienced a whopping 231 million percent inflation.
4. Zimbabwe is one of the few African countries that is home to the Big 5 animals – namely, the Lion, Buffalo, Rhinoceros, Leopard and the Elephant.
5. Zimbabwe has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. Females can expect to live 58.7 years and males survive for 57.3 years, on an average.
6. Zimbabwe is suffering from an acute shortage of health care professionals as currently, there are only 1.6 physicians and 7.2 nurses for every 10,000 people. Many of the country’s health care professionals have migrated to other places in search of better opportunities. Spiritual healing advice is still used by many people for minor and major ailments. According to WHO, an estimated 564 adults and children become infected with HIV everyday. The total number of adults and children living with HIV/AIDS is between 1.5 million to 2.0 million.
7. We have all heard about mermaids and most of us believe that they are a myth and just characters in children animations and stories. But in Zimbabwe, there is a strong belief that mermaids exist. In fact, these mythical creatures are often blamed for unfortunate events such as kidnapping, torture, and murder.
8. According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe ranks 154th out of 189 countries with a per-capita income of $1,464. 76% of the country’s rural households live on less than $1.25 per day. According to the UNICEF, only 17.3% of Zimbabwean children between the ages of 6 and 23 months receive the recommended minimum diet for adequate nutrition. Many of its citizens are forced to survive on only a meal per day due to food shortage and crises. Surprisingly, with 88.7% of its population being literate, the country has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa.
9. According to the Guinness World Records, with a record number of 16 official languages, Zimbabwe has the most number of officially recognised languages in the world.
Number 10. Victoria Falls, one of the biggest waterfalls in the world, is located in the country’s north-western part of the Zambezi River. It is wider than a kilometre and has a height of more than one hundred meters. The noise of the waterfall can be heard from a distance of 40 kilometres.
11. In western Zimbabwe live a small group of people called the Vadoma people, who are more commonly known as the “ostrich people” or the “two-toed tribe”. The reason being that one fourth of the Vadoma people are born with ectrodactyly, a genetic defect in which the middle three toes are missing and the outer two toes are turned inward, giving the appearance of “ostrich feet”. Since the Vadoma are forbidden to marry outside of the tribe, the defect is passed on from generation to generation.