Archive | April 2014

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

zimbabwe wildlife poaching

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

zimbabwe news

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!