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A breathtakingly beautiful country in a desperate economic situation

date of entry 05/04/1989
mileage 18,038

capital Harare

area 390.757 km²

population 12.084.304

GDP 10,5 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Shona/English/isiNdebele

Zimbabwe is currently one of the poorest countries in the world and has been through several bouts of hyperinflation, during which the local currency lost its value completely. When Otto was in Zimbabwe for the first time in 1989, the country’s economy was in better shape. Gunther and Christine Holtorf visited Zimbabwe a dozen times over the years, chiefly to view its wildlife. For a while they even toyed with the idea of spending their retirement here.
  • Bantu peoples constructed the cities during the European Middle Ages. They traded with Muslim merchants in East Africa.
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  • In the distance are the mountains, flowing in front of which is the mighty Zambezi. A bull elephant flaps its ears with agitation.
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  • The Holtorfs encountered elephants time and again on their visits
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  • They came across particularly large herds at the few waterholes in the country’s dry savannah
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  • Zebras ...
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  • ...and warthogs also come to the waterholes
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  • It gets dangerous for them if crocodiles are there
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  • Cape buffalo, also called African buffalo, with probably their most striking feature, their sweeping horns
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  • They live in herds and have – apart from humans – very few natural enemies. Only now and again do weak animals fall prey to lions.
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  • By the Zambezi Gunther often climbed onto Otto’s roof to photograph animals
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  • These rocks lie in the savannah landscape like oversized marbles
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  • The Zambezi crashes down at Victoria Falls, which lie on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, the former British colonies of Southern and Northern Rhodesia.
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  • Below Victoria Falls the Victoria Falls Bridge links the border towns of Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia)
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  • With a little imagination these rock formations resemble sculptures of people
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  • Otto in the shade of a mighty and ancient baobab tree, which towers up solitarily from the savannah
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  • Christine und Gunther Holtorf naturally also visited the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, the largest pre-colonial ruined city in southern Africa. The walls, up to ten metres high, were built without the use of mortar.
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  • Video: Zimbabwe – the hyena attack