Zimbabwe Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Zimbabwe?

Overview:

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers of south-central Africa. Elevations range from below 2,000 feet in the river basins to over 7,000 feet in the Eastern Highlands. Harare and most population centers are located on the highveld, a savanna-covered plateau, some 4,000-5,000 feet above sea level.

Zimbabwe covers 150,000 square miles. The landscape varies from flat and rolling ranges, to farmland and mountains, all marked by granite outcroppings. Points of geographical and scenic interest include the magnificent Victoria Falls and manmade Lake Kariba on the Zambezi River, the mountainous Eastern Highlands along the Mozambique border, and the historically important ruins of Great Zimbabwe, the capital of the ancient civilization of Zimbabwe, located near Masvingo, and several game parks.

Geography - note:

landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zambia; in full flood (February-April) the massive Victoria Falls on the river forms the world's largest curtain of falling water; Lake Kariba on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border forms the world's largest reservoir by volume (180 cu km; 43 cu mi)

Climate:

The climate on the central plateau is moderate in all seasons with warm days and cool nights. Homes do not have central heating or air-conditioning, although room heaters and fireplaces are used on winter nights (May-August). Annual rainfall averages about 28 inches on the highveld (Harare), more in the Eastern Highlands, and much less in the lowveld of the southeast and the Zambezi Valley. The sun shines nearly every day, even at the height of the warm rainy season (November-April). In Harare, the average low temperature in winter is 45°F at night, though frost occasionally occurs. The average daily temperature in summer is 75°F, with temperatures seldom surpassing 90°F.

Zimbabwe Use of Natural Resources

Zimbabwe Environment

Climate:

The climate on the central plateau is moderate in all seasons with warm days and cool nights. Homes do not have central heating or air-conditioning, although room heaters and fireplaces are used on winter nights (May-August). Annual rainfall averages about 28 inches on the highveld (Harare), more in the Eastern Highlands, and much less in the lowveld of the southeast and the Zambezi Valley. The sun shines nearly every day, even at the height of the warm rainy season (November-April). In Harare, the average low temperature in winter is 45°F at night, though frost occasionally occurs. The average daily temperature in summer is 75°F, with temperatures seldom surpassing 90°F.

Terrain:

mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east

Natural Resources:

coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals

Natural Hazards:

recurring droughts; floods and severe storms are rare

Irrigated Land:

670 Square Miles
1,735 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

deforestation; soil erosion; land degradation; air and water pollution; the black rhinoceros herd - once the largest concentration of the species in the world - has been significantly reduced by poaching; poor mining practices have led to toxic waste and heavy metal pollution

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Zimbabwe Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 150,871 Square Miles
390,757 Square Kilometers
Land Area 149,362 Square Miles
386,847 Square Kilometers
Water Area 1,510 Square Miles
3,910 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,905 Miles
3,066 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 670 Square Miles
1,735 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Botswana 813 km, Mozambique 1,231 km, South Africa 225 km, Zambia 797 km
Geographic Coordinates 20 00 S, 30 00 E
Terrain mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east
Highest Point 2,592 Meters
Highest Point Location Inyangani 2,592 m
Lowest Point 162 Meters
Lowest Point Location junction of the Runde and Save rivers 162 m
Natural Resources coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals
Time Zone UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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