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About Zimbabwe

Overview

Associated with fascinating history, beautiful landscape and promising economic progression, Zimbabwe is fast becoming a popular place for travel. With tourist arrivals each year on the rise, serviced apartments have become a necessity in Zimbabwe.


About Zimbabwe

Bordered by Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia, Zimbabwe is a landlocked country of southern Africa. A landmass of 150,000 square miles is home to over fourteen million people, with an urban-rural split of 32% to 68% respectively. However, around a tenth of the population live in Zimbabwe’s largest city and capital, Harare. Whilst functioning as the business capital, Harare laid-back atmosphere and embodiments of Zimbabwe lifestyle makes the city an attraction in itself. Therefore, serviced city apartments are most frequent here. Outside the capital, much of Zimbabwe is dominated by the high-rising plateau, particularly the Mafungabusa. The highest point is at Mount Nyangani, at around 8,500 feet, whilst Victoria falls is the largest waterfall by width, stretching around 5,600 feet from side to side.

Popular opinion suggests the San, or Bushmen, the world’s oldest group of people, first inhabited Zimbabwe. Followed came generations of tribal presence until the British colonised the land in 1850. South Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) opted to become a self-governing colony of the British in 1923 and remained this way for another forty years. Ian Smith then became the Rhodesian Prime Minister in 1964, and unilaterally announced a year later independence from the British under white minority rule. Outrage ensued amongst the black population, leading to guerrilla warfare. Eventual peace talks did emerge though, with a black majority government official granting independence in 1980 and changing the countries name to Zimbabwe. Followed came thirty-seven years of leadership from the controversial figure of Robert Magube, who can take credit for highlighting Zimbabwe’s economic capabilities.

ZIMBABWE ECONOMY

Zimbabwe’s economy may not be one of the most prosperous on the planet, but it’s on the rise and has traits of promise and potential. The economy ranking regarding ease of business has improved significantly since 2011, and since 2015, the projected amount of days it takes to open a business in Zimbabwe has halved. The formation of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) in 2014 is also evidence of wanting economic progression.  According to the authority website, ‘the country’s investment promotion body was set up to promote and facilitate both foreign direct investment and local investment.”

Zimbabwe’s government has been clear in its aims to increase foreign investment, recognising its essential role connecting domestic entrepreneurs to the global economy. The government of Zimbabwe also released an investment and opportunities document in early 2018, declaring the government would provide “commitment to companies that invest in Zimbabwe and support its economic development.” Trusting the government stick to their word and continue to introduce fiscal incentives and reforms, overseas financial support will become more likely and foreign investment shall increase. This is already on its way but needs to keep going to interest more investment. This will likely further the construction of more Zimbabwe serviced apartments to accommodate more and more corporate travellers.

LIVING IN ZIMBABWE

The residents of 149 countries can either enter Zimbabwe without a visa for up to three months or obtain a visa upon arrival. This includes almost every European Union, US, Canadian and Australian citizen. Business visas can be issued and valid for thirty days and are non-renewable. To find out exactly what you require, visit www.evisa.gov.zw.

As a result of political instability rumours, Zimbabwe gets a bad rap. However, the only way you could get into trouble in Zimbabwe is through lack of respect. Refrain from photographing government or military buildings, disrespecting religion and culture, and being within close vicinity of the President’s official residence in Harare. Some strange laws all prohibit citizens carrying ‘precious’ stones or wearing camouflage material. It is also worth being aware of attitudes towards sexuality and marriage, and this can be found on the GALZ Association website.

It can be said that to truly fulfil a trip to Zimbabwe, driving is essential for uncovering the country’s hidden secrets. This can come at a cost, and we recommend hiring a four-wheel drive when searching for rural gems. There are specific requirements for an International Driving Permit, but it is worth having one anyway to accompany your national driving license and insurance. Drive on the left-hand side, avoid night driving and stick to the best road conditions, mostly on Highways, and your driving experience could be the key to unlocking a beneficial trip. Alternatively, you could rely on taxis. The city tends to be littered with companies, but we recommend booking one through your serviced apartment if possible. The taxi-booking app GTAXI, the equivalent of Uber, can grant you cheap and quick travel around Harare in particular.

ATTRACTIONS

Harare may be the business centre of Zimbabwe, but the capital also possesses exclusivity regarding its cultural, historic and scenic attractions. The city takes proud from its Balancing Rocks, found in southeast Harare. Tourists and locals are fascinated by this natural occurrence and its perfectly balancing state without any support. Equally satisfying on the eye is the National Botanic Gardens, covering seven square kilometres of woodland. It doubles as both a wonderfully picturesque attraction and stop-off location for a break from Harare’s bustle. For a glimpse into Zimbabwe’s history be sure to visit the National Heroes’ Acre. Acting as the main venue for independence celebrations, the Acre is a shire for liberation war fighters. Deeper exploration grants you access to the museum and ornaments waiting to be uncovered. With so much to do in Harare, it is worth staying in a serviced apartment to ensure you embrace as much as possible.

Outside of Harare is an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife. The National Park has great embodiments of this, showcasing the exclusive natural world of Zimbabwe. Hwange and Mana Pools National Park are particularly popular, allowing visitors to witness so many different groups of animals in their natural habitat and views along the famous Zambezi River. However, for spectacular views, there is no better place to visit than Victoria Falls. Producing the world’s largest mass of falling water, the falls is the pinnacle of Zimbabwe’s tourist attractions. Associated activities include walks through the nearby rainforest, flying over by helicopter and even bungee jumping.

Both Zimbabwe’s lucrative attractions and progressing economy means business travellers must be demanding serviced apartments. If you are one of those expats looking to take advantage of what Zimbabwe has to offer, look no further than SITU’s corporate accommodation.

Transport

Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE)

Named after the president at the helm during Zimbabwe’s independence, this airport is the base of the country’s aviation. It is also the largest airport in the country, located no more than ten miles from the Harare, the capital.

The airport enables easy travel across Africa whilst acting as a significant airport for access to southern Africa. Popular too is Victoria Falls Airport (VFA), ideal for those choosing to stay in serviced accommodation near one of Zimbabwe’s prized attractions.

The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)

Constructed during the British colonial rule, this state-owned railway network covers around 2,000 miles of track across Zimbabwe.

Developments are underway to match the economic progression. It is worth paying extra for better class travel to avoid uncomfortable travel.

By Bus

Companies such as Pioneer, Zupco, Pathfinder and Bravo are known to provide the best bus services in the country. Connecting most cities, these companies also provide ‘luxury’ services.

‘Chicken buses’ are also an alternative if you are looking for even cheaper fares