Altitude and relief greatly
affect both temperature and rainfall in Zimbabwe. The higher areas in
the east and the highveld receive more rainfall and are cooler than the
lower areas. Temperatures on the highveld vary from 12 13 C in
winter to 24 C in summer. On the lowveld the temperatures are usually 6
C higher, and summer temperatures in the Zambezi and Limpopo valleys
average between 32 and 38 C. Rainfall decreases from east to west.
Shona, Ndebele and English
are the principal languages of Zimbabwe. Despite English being the
official language, less than 2.5%, mainly the white and Coloured (mixed
race) minorities, consider it their native language.
The use of the Zimbabwean
dollar as an official currency was effectively abandoned on 12 April
2009. This was a result of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe legalizing the
use of foreign currencies for transactions in January 2009.
The population of Zimbabwe in 2003 was estimated by the
United Nations at 12, 891, 000, which placed it as number 67 in
population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year
approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with
another 44% of the population under 15 years of age.
Harare is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe. It has
an estimated population of 1, 600, 000, with 2, 800, 000 in its
metropolitan area (2006).