Summer Cultural Events in Zimbabwe

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Even though temperatures never get really cold in Zimbabwe, you will be surprised to find that summer is actually the coolest time of year in this part of the year. This is a time of year when you can enjoy all kinds of cultural events as well as see how people south of the equator view the world and the shifts in seasons. No doubt, once you see all the splendor of Zimbabwe during this time of year, you will want to come back and find even more to enjoy.

Summer in Zimbabwe

If you are looking for a wide range of events that draw people from around the word, summertime will not disappoint you. In fact, if you love books, music, or gardening, this time of year truly offers the best venues and the largest number of fascinating events.

No matter whether you are traveling with family, or are on a personal adventure, summer events in Zimbabwe will give you plenty to explore and think about.

Three Events You Must See in the Summer Months

When you visit a foreign country, you should always balance having fun with seeing how that nation’s people blend in with the human world and help shape its direction.

Zimbabwe offers a beautiful setting where you can meet all kinds of fascinating people within an outgoing and friendly society. As an added bonus, you will never feel like a lonely tourist during the summer months because so many people are choosing Zimbabwe as a top travel destination at this time of year.

International Book Fair

This is an annual event that occurs in Harare during the month of July. Book publishers from around the world, plus some of the best in Africa display their books and sponsor all kinds of fascinating events. If you are looking for a place to discuss cutting-edge philosophy, world issues, or just about anything else, this venue will be perfect for you.

Children will also find plenty of activities and workshops to enjoy at the book fair.

Zimbabwe Agricultural Society Show

If you are curious about farming in Zimbabwe and other African countries, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society show will be of immense interest. This is an annual event in Harare that usually kicks off in August.

You will have plenty of chances to learn about changes in farming practices as well as learn more about how food is produced in this country.

Midlands Arts and Cultural Show

This particular music, theater and dance festival takes place in Gweru. If you are visiting Zimbabwe in September, you may just find that this will be a favored festival since you will have plenty of chances to see examples of native performing arts.

Once you land in Zimbabwe, all plans for lying around in the sun will disappear. Summertime is a season where the people of Zimbabwe are always busy and celebrating the best their culture has to offer. From book fairs to marathons, you will never forget all the variety and wonder of summer events in Zimbabwe.

National Holidays in Zimbabwe

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As with every other culture, there are days when the people of Zimbabwe close their businesses and simply enjoy being with family and friends. National holidays are usually a time when the people celebrate a special event and look forward to what the next year will bring.

If you are visiting Zimbabwe during a national holiday, make sure that you know the exact dates and the customs surrounding each event. This will help you get more out of the event as well as make it easier to schedule transportation and access to venues of interest.

Things to Expect During National Holidays in Zimbabwe

Aside from Christmas, Easter, and other religious holidays, most national holidays in Zimbabwe focus on the milestones of the nation and Africa in general. While some holidays have been around for a while, others may be fairly new.

This, in turn, creates a situation where native people will have many different views of the holiday in question. During your visit, you are sure to enjoy seeing how the people of Zimbabwe celebrate and honor the nation they are part of.

Three National Events to Attend in Zimbabwe

If you have ever experienced 4th of July in the United States, then you should be well aware that certain foods and festivities are expected. While the people of Zimbabwe may not choose apple pie or watermelon, they are sure to have plenty of native dishes for you to enjoy.

Depending on the season, these may be elaborate dishes that will have you wishing you could get the recipes and all the secret ingredients. Here are three national holidays that you will find educational and fun to be a part of.

Independence Day – This holiday occurs on April 18th, and celebrates the founding of the nation of Zimbabwe. As with other cultures, the people of Zimbabwe take great pride on this day and always look to enjoy the nation they are building.

Africa Day – Africa day is celebrated on May 25th. It is a special day set aside in observance of all the issues African nations have had in their quest to achieve sovereignty. Even though you may not understand every aspect of the Zimbabwe people or culture, this is a day that marks their desire for self rule and autonomy and its importance to them.

Labor Day- In Zimbabwe, Labor Day is celebrated on May 1. This is a day when business owners and other workers celebrate all the good things that come of their efforts. You can usually catch brilliant parades, special theater performances, and excellent food choices during the celebration.

Aside from routine cultural needs, every society needs special celebrations that unite everyone for a common theme. Once you visit Zimbabwe, you are sure to appreciate many of the themes that this society has chosen to form national holidays around. In fact, if you are proud of your own nation, or the job that you have in society, these may be the perfect dates to visit Zimbabwe and find out how other people celebrate and express similar sentiments.

Special City Events in Zimbabwe

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Many people mistakenly believe that Africa is still filled with tiny rural villages and few cities of importance. That said, in the last few years, international companies and human rights organizations have helped to build some of the finest and most modern cities on Earth.

When you visit Zimbabwe, you will find that Harare and other cities easily rival others that you are more familiar with. If you are interested in city-based events, you will find excellent festivals and other venues to enjoy.

What You Can Expect in Zimbabwe Cities

Even though you may be on the continent of Africa, do not expect Harare or other cities in Zimbabwe to be outdated and run down. While some sections may be better than others, most tourists can access the internet and enjoy good quality hotels.

Therefore, if you are interested in upbeat events, you can find all kinds of interesting celebrations in the cities of Zimbabwe.

Three Perfect City Events for Your Zimbabwe Vacation

During your visit to Zimbabwe, you will truly be amazed at all the cultures that have blended together in the cities. You can always find jazz festivals, fashion shows, and even beer festivals that feature some of the finest brews on Earth. Before you arrive in Zimbabwe, it will be of immense benefit to think about the kinds of events that will be of interest to you, and then see which cities have an appropriate venue.

You may also want to consider the following three festivals that have a good reputation with others.

Harare International Arts Festival – This is a yearly festival that occurs near the end of April or beginning of May. It is meant to highlight the art and culture of Zimbabwe and its finest artisans. You will have a chance to see some of the finest dances, circus acts, and theater performances as well as learn more about the performers.

Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival – If you love beer, then you must plan on being in Zimbabwe sometime in August. The festival is filled with excellent music, an incredible atmosphere, and beer that will stay in your memory for years on end.

Cave Affair Fashion Show – This is an annual festival that usually occurs near the end of October in Domboshava. As with many other venues, you will have a chance to savor the music of Zimbabwe as you learn more about fashions for women, children, and men in this country.

When you visit Africa, it is very important to realize that different countries are evolving at different rates. In this instance, Zimbabwe has some well developed cities that are every bit as filled with technological advances as cities in your home country, for instance.
Since Zimbabwe has also dedicated itself to being a mecca for tourists, you’ll be able to enjoy all the comforts of home even as you make plans to visit more rural areas. Zimbabwe combines the best of old world villages and modern cities in ways that will amaze and delight. If you are interested in a wide range of festival themes, the cities of Zimbabwe will meet your needs and, perhaps, go beyond your expectations.

Wildlife and Environmental Tours in Zimbabwe

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When you think of Africa, giraffes, galloping elephants, lions, and tigers all come to mind. While these animals still exist in Africa, poaching and trophy hunting has taken an enormous toll. During your visit to Zimbabwe, you can certainly visit a range of safari parks where you can take pictures of wild animals in their natural habitat.

Unforgettable Wildlife in Zimbabwe

Once you go on a photographic safari or attend a fishing venue in Zimbabwe, you will understand why so many people want to leave as many areas as possible in their pristine state. No matter whether you visit during the rainy seasons or dry ones, animal migrations and exotic vegetation will captivate your interest for days on end.

In fact, you may just decide to go on as many safaris as possible and learn more about the people and culture on another visit to the country.

Three Wildlife Tours to Take in Zimbabwe

For the most part, you will find that animal related events and sightings are dependent upon the season. For example, if you are interested in seeing elephants, it might be better to visit during a time when they are migrating through one of the parks.

In a similar way, rainy seasons can affect access to various parts of the country and your ability to enjoy them safely. Therefore, if you are planning to visit Zimbabwe for the sake of wildlife and nature oriented events, it may be best to find out how the weather is progressing before buying tickets. That said, here are three venues that you can enjoy all year round and get a good sample of the wilds of Africa in the bargain.

Annual Barbel Competition – This is a fishing event that occurs near the end of March. Anglers of all ages are sure to love seeing how native people use different techniques, and also the equipment they have on hand.

Mana Pools National Park – The park is open all year round and features exquisite vegetation and wild animals. You can make arrangements to go on a safari with a dedicated guide, or simply enjoy hiking trails designed for tourists. Most people that visit the park make it a point to travel along the Zambezi River via canoe so that they can enjoy both the water and land based animal habitats.

Matobo Hills National Park – If you are interested in enchanting stones, rolling hills, and a primitive setting, Matobo Hills National Park will suit your needs. In fact, if you are also interested in native, or Bushman rock at, you will find plenty of samples to enjoy in the park.

It is no secret that many people decide to vacation in Africa because they want to get away from civilization. While Zimbabwe can easily provide you with all kinds of fascinating cultural experiences, it also has some of the most rugged and stunning wildlife settings to explore. When you visit Zimbabwe, you are sure to find the animals every bit as fascinating as the vegetation and geography that make up this particular country.

Special Religious Occasions in Zimbabwe

zimbabwe religiousNo matter where you go in the world, you will find people that believe in beings or other things that cannot be detected with the five senses. While many traditions may look similar, you will also notice the kinds of variance that truly create a stunning array of thoughts, feelings, and outlooks.

When you visit Zimbabwe, you will find that it is a fairly secular country. Therefore, even though most people are Christian, there are special events dedicated to other faiths that you might want to have a look at.

Spiritual Traditions in Zimbabwe

It is very important to realize that Christianity was brought to Zimbabwe by missionaries and others that were determined to break the will of the native people. As with other areas of the world, you are likely to find native deities and traditions hidden within outwardly Christian saints, figureheads, and rituals.

If you take the time to study the ways of the people carefully, you may be surprised at some of the beliefs that arose over the years as well as just how rich and complex the culture was before the advent of Christianity.

Three Religious Events to See in Zimbabwe

It is fair to say that you can experience religious events from just about any culture. If you happen to be Christian, you can easily focus on Christmas, Easter, and other traditional holidays. That said, if you are going to a different country, you may just want to immerse in other religious festivals to see how they differ from your own traditions.

Diwali – This is actually a Hindu celebration of lights that a small number of people observe in Harare. You will find the event beautiful, uplifting, and well worth the effort to attend.

Race Unity Day – A Baha’i event that is celebrated on the second Sunday of June. This event celebrates the unity of our species and is meant to foster harmony among the races. Since there are relatively few people that follow the Baha’i faith in Zimbabwe, you should check with city event planners and others that can tell you which areas are planning on a public celebration.

Local Traditional Events – Indigenous belief systems tend to be very private matters. That said, if you decide to spend more time in local villages, you may hear of a baptism, coming of age ceremony, or some other celebration that will give you some insights into the spiritual paths of the native people.

Visiting other cultures will always expand the boundaries of your mind and give you a chance to see how other cultures make the most of living in this world. There is no question that African nations such as Zimbabwe will provide you with more diverse opinions and lifestyles than you will see anywhere else.
When you visit, make it a point to attend at least a few religious events so that you can learn even more about how the people of Zimbabwe see the world and their place in it.

Zimbabwe Takes Action Against Wildlife Poachers

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In the wake of a major poaching incident that gained international attention, Zimbabwe has launched a campaign against poachers that sends a strong message of Zimbabwean leadership. The country will not stand for the plundering of precious and irreplaceable local fauna or the desecration of majestic wildlife for sport.

International poaching syndicates kill elephants and rhinoceroses to obtain their tusks and horns which are in high demand in east Asia where these animal parts are believed to possess medicinal and magical properties. In this most recent episode in Hwange National Park, poachers poisoned salt licks near watering holes frequented by these majestic beasts, leading to the death of more than 80 elephants and uncounted numbers of buffalo and kudu. The reverberations of these wanton killings are still being felt throughout the park’s ecosystem as predators and scavengers become secondary casualties after consuming the poisoned flesh of the felled herbivores. Deaths have been reported in the park’s lion, leopard and bird populations as the poison works its way up and down the environmental food chain.

Local authorities were alerted to this most recent development earlier this month when they discovered two rotting carcasses of de-tusked elephants. The situation rapidly escalated as more animals were discovered dead. Thus far, eight suspects have been arrested and police have confiscated 51 tusks – valued at more than US$ 360,000. The Zimbabwe government also dispatched a high-level delegation to the park to assess the situation on the ground. The Minister of Environment, Savior Kasukuwere, announced a “war against poaching” while the Tourism and Hospitality minister, Walter Mzembi took to the airwaves, describing the situation as a “murder” of Zimbabwe’s wildlife, and vowing to take the fight to the international level.

Proving the seriousness of the country’s intentions on the matter, a Zimbabwean court has sentenced three of the poachers to 16 years in prison for killing the elephants and convicted them for illegal possession of ivory, contravening a law that prohibits the possession and discharge of hazardous substances into the environment. The men were also ordered to pay fines ranging from $200,000 to $600,000 that must each be paid before the close of the year. According to the police investigating the matter, this was the work of an organized crime syndicate. The remaining accused will be standing trial next month.

The Minister of Environment, Savior Kasukuwere issued a statement, welcoming “the bold stance by the judiciary” in protecting Zimbabwe’s wildlife. Poaching has been on the rise in Zimbabwe in recent years as the state national parks management agency is seriously under-funded as a result of a severely depressed economy over the past decade. In Hwange National Park only 50 rangers patrol the 14,650 square km park, about one tenth of the number of rangers needed.

Africa has lost 75 percent of its elephant population, largely due to poaching, according to a recent United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report, though most of the poaching takes place in Kenya and Tanzania, which account for 70 percent of the global illegal ivory trade. It is reassuring to see the people and government of Zimbabwe taking a leadership role in solving the crisis to secure the natural habitat of many specifics for their own sake and for future generations of humans to explore.

Tourism in Zimbabwe Is On The Upswing Again

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Tourism in Zimbabwe Is On The Upswing Again

Following years of struggle precipitated by the country’s controversial Land Reform Program of 2000, which saw tourism plunge by over 75%, Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is now showing major signs of a recovery. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) reports that there has been a 12% increase in arrivals for the first half of this year compared to last, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization UNWTO held it’s biannual General Assembly recently at Zimbabwe’s breathtaking Victoria Falls.

The successful hosting of UNWTO at the crown jewel of Zimbabwe’s many tourist attractions, sends the signal that Zimbabwe is a ready to become an international tourist destination hot spot. Karikoga Kaseke, the chief executive of the ZTA has said that he anticipates Zimbabwe will be receiving more than three million tourists annually by 2015, which would be more than double the peak of 1.4 million tourists that the country attracted during the 1999 calendar year.

With a collection of five United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Sites in a county that is the roughly the size of the US state of Montana, or the country of Germany, Zimbabwe offers natural treasures that simply cant not be seen or duplicated anywhere else.

The majesty of Victoria Falls, at two kilometers wide, is the world’s widest waterfal, Mana Pools National Park, provides one of Africa’s top wildlife viewing opportunities with unspoiled vistas supporting large herds of elephants, buffalo, hippopotamuses and a large resident population of crocodiles. Other Zimbabwean UNESCO Cultural Sites include the remains of stone age cave settlements in Matobo Hills National Park, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, the capital city of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe which was abandoned in the 14th century, and the ruins of Khami a city that was once the capitol of the Kingdom of Butua dating back to the 16th century.

From an economic perspective tourism is a vital source of hard currency for Zimbabwe. Since enacting reforms in 2009 which retired their national currency to adopt the US Dollar as their primary currency in conjunction with the Pound, the Euro and the South African Rand – the country has seen economic growth rates over 5% year over year fueling a recovery and return to tourist travel lists. In an interview, Mr. Kaseke went on to state that the successful hosting of the UNWTO General Assembly would bear fruit for Zimbabwe, sending a clear message to the international community that Zimbabwe is a safe destination worthy of attention from adventurous travelers which will lead to more than 1.5 billion dollars in tourism receipts for the country by 2015. With the unrivaled collection of wonders, exotic culture and newly-stabilized domestic situation, it’s easy to share optimism about the future of Zimbabwe!

Sporting Events in Zimbabwe

Since Zimbabwe enjoys good weather all year round, it should come as no surprise that sporting events are a major past time in this nation. No matter whether you enjoy golfing or want to enjoy the local variants of ball games, Zimbabwe has something for every sport enthusiasts.

Just be sure to understand the rules of the game and remember that sport events are about having fun and doing your best to display your skills a game player.

Sports are For Everyone in Zimbabwe

As with many other countries, the people of Zimbabwe love sport competitions and other outdoor activities. You can watch marathons from the sidelines, or perhaps take part in smaller ones sponsored by local villages. No matter whether you prefer fishing or cycling, Zimbabwe will provide plenty of interesting events for you to take part in.

Three Sport Events You Will Love in Zimbabwe

When you visit Zimbabwe, be prepared to actually visit marathon sites and other sporting events. You will not want to be left out of the excitement, or sit back in a hotel room and watch sporting events on TV. As you mingle with local people and other tourists, you are sure to find sports in Zimbabwe, both refreshing and enjoyable.

Victoria Falls Marathon

This challenging full and half marathon take place in July. The trail begins around Victoria Falls and continues into Zamibia. If you want to walk along the trail, or try to keep up with athletes in the marathon, you will not be disappointed by the festive air and energy of the event.

That said, if you are a nature lover, packing a picnic lunch and picking a nice spot for the afternoon will also give you plenty of wonderful marathon day memories.

Mountain Bike Challenge

No matter whether you ride a bike to work, or simply love being outdoors on two wheels, Zimbabwe’s June Mountain Bike Challenge will give you plenty to enjoy.

The trail for this event also starts in Victoria Falls and follows the Zambezi River George. If you have a few days to explore nature and sports, this is one venue that should be at the top of your list even if you choose to hike the trail instead of ride a bike.

Today, many sport enthusiasts mistakenly believe they are too old or too untrained to take part in sporting events. On the other hand, when you visit Zimbabwe, you will have a whole new sense of life and your own ability to enjoy sporting events. In this case, cycling events, marathons, and other sport venues will give you hours of entertainment and challenges to enjoy.
As an added bonus, if you are a golfer, swimmer, fisherman, or enjoy some other type of sport, local villages and tourist areas will offer plenty of places for you to show off your skills.

Why get stuck with canned sport events and televised coverage when Zimbabwe sport events allow you to be right at the center of the competition and all its festivities?

Perennial Water Shortages to be Solved Harare Zimbabwe

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After years of intermittent water service brought on by failing equipment and the disruptions of the early 21st century’s political and financial crises, work has begun on a major infrastructure upgrade to the water system of the city of Harare in Zimbabwe. The Morton Jaffray Water Works, a water treatment plant that was built in 1953, has been suffering failures due to the age of its equipment, exacerbated by the constraints of the economic chaos of the previous decade which made keeping the plant running at optimum efficiency and capacity an impossibility. With a $144 million loan secured from Chinese Export and Import Bank, the plant is to be extensively renovated to meet the needs of today and the future.

The upgrade to the water treatment facility will include replacing all to the plant’s pumps and antiquated valves and is anticipated to increase the capacity of the plant to 740 mega-liters a day from it’s current output of approximately 600 mega-liters. More importantly, as the equipment will be all-new, it is expected that the plant will not suffer the service interruptions that have plagued the waterworks over the past decade.

In addition to the upgrading of the waterworks, plans include replacing over 200 km of old and leaky water mains. It is estimated that up to 60% of the clean, treated water produced today is lost due to leaks within the distribution system. New water meters are to be installed throughout the city, replacing the antiquated units currently in place and public pre-pay water dispensers will be installed on the city’s main avenues to provide safe clean water to those without a connection to the water system.

In addition to supply-side upgrades, the City of Harare is planning on repairing nearly 100 km of sewer lines which are also antiquated, damaged and leaking. These investments in the infrastructure underlying Zimbabwe’s capital city looks toward a brighter future for all its citizens and visitors.

European Union Lifts Zimbabwean Sanctions To Restore Diamond Mining

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The European Union recently lifted sanctions against a Zimbabwe firm that controls some of the world’s largest diamond fields. The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), a joint venture of the Zimbabwean government and private enterprise, is the latest, and largest Zimbabwean company to be removed from the EU sanctions list after many of its decade-old restrictions were lifted on other firms and individuals earlier this year. Additionally, the EU lifted the asset-freeze that had been in effect against ZMDC, which had been blacklisted for allegedly funneling funds to President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.

US and EU sanctions were originally imposed against Mugabe and his allies in 2002 on the grounds of political violence, human rights abuses and the failure to hold free and fair elections. The “targeted sanctions” froze the assets of selected institutions and individuals, but did not prohibit trade. In fact, Zimbabwe and the EU did $875 million in business last year, while trade between Zimbabwe and the United States amounted to $110 million. The sanctions were meant to give Brussels and Washington some leverage over Harare and individuals, and companies have been removed from the lists to reward anti-corruption efforts. For example, over the past year, the US removed two banks and the EU removed 81 individuals and eight corporate entities from their black lists to reward the May passage of a new constitution that limited Mugabe’s power Earlier this year, for instance, the U.S. removed two Zimbabwean banks from its sanction list while the EU removed 81 people and eight institutions. The move was meant to commend the May 22 passage of a new constitution limiting presidential powers.

The seeds of this recent ZMDC decision were planted last February, when EU foreign ministers promised to remove the government-allied diamond mining firm from the blacklist in advance of the Zimbabwe’s national elections this past July, should they prove “credible.” The move was intended to encourage a fair and transparent vote, and while there have been widespread accusations of irregularities in the voting process, the reelection of president Mugabe for another five year term has been accepted by the EU as an incontrovertible fact.

The lifting of these sanctions will come as good news to Belgium, which has been one of the strongest proponents of lifting the sanctions against ZMDC. As a hub for diamond processing, the Belgium city of Antwerp is heavily dependent on obtaining raw diamonds or cutting and polishing into high quality gemstones, work it has been increasingly losing out on to lower wage processors in India and China, countries that have less activist positions when it comes to their international trade policies.

Belgian officials estimate that the lifting of these sanctions will increase Zimbabwe’s tax revenues by approximately $400 million annually. ZMDC’s operations on behalf of the government, which include five joint-venture mines in the diamond fields of Marange, yielded exports worth $685 million last year, according to the Zimbabwe Herald, a state-owned newspaper.