Interesting Facts

  • Robert Mugabe was the president of Zimbabwe from 1980 until 2017 and was the world's oldest head of state, but was deposed in a coup in December 2017 and replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, former vice president of he same party, the ZANU-PF
  • The Victoria Falls – bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe – is Africa’s largest waterfall.
  • Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world.
  • In 2008, Zimbabwe had the highest inflation rate in history – officially recorded at 231,000,000% in 2008.

Key Market Alerts

  • The US Dollar is predominantly used as the main currency in Zimbabwe since the Zimbabwean Dollar was effectively abandoned in 2009 due to hyperinflation.
  • Communications infrastructure in Zimbabwe is unreliable. Telephone and cell phone outages are common.
  • Malaria is also prevalent throughout Zimbabwe, except in Harare, due to the capital’s high altitude.
  • Due to lack of investment the buildings and homes in Harare have been poorly maintained.

An Overview of Zimbabwe

Harare is Zimbabwe's biggest city with a population of around 2 million. It is the commercial capital of the country, while Lilongwe is the capital. The backbone of Zimbabwe's economy - agriculture - has been crippled by the combined effects of drought, HIV/AIDS and controversial government land reforms. Unemployment is high and many cannot afford basic foodstuffs, fuel, health care and school fees. State health and education systems are near collapse.

On a positive note, Zimbabwe has experienced positive economic growth since 2009.

Living in Harare

There is not always a ready availability of food, toiletries and clothing within Harare and these items can be expensive. Many people living in Harare travel to South Africa for major shopping trips.

In regards to safety foreigners are warned to be vigilant especially whilst driving and avoid driving at night. Be prepared for frequent police roadblocks, in which the police may solicit a bribe.

Housing in Harare

As a result of the country’s economic crisis, it is almost impossible to purchase property because credit is not available. This has a knock on effect where landlords cannot sell their properties and are therefore forced to rent. Because of the stagnant nature of the market, rentals remain low and landlords often can’t afford to maintain their properties.

The North-east suburbs of Harare are favoured by expatriates, especially Borrowdale and Glen Lorne where many large homes, sprawling lawns and tennis courts. Most goods can be found at the Borrowdale Village shopping centre.

Schooling in Harare

Harare has an international school and private boarding schools following the Cambridge British schooling system but private boarding schools in South Africa are a popular option.

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