Photo by Ben Sutherland


A tragic case of autocratic decline, Zimbabwe obtained independence in 1980 under president Robert Mugabe.

Who subsequently stayed on for the next three decades, sacrificing the country’s economy to a mix of populist and brutal economic policies that left the country in tatters throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. After the hundred-trillion Zimbabwe dollar note became worthless, the central bank abandoned the currency in favour of US dollars and the South African rand. Many Zimbabweans subsist off remittances sent back from the diaspora in South Africa (estimated to be up to three million people) and further afield.

Since a power-sharing agreement was established in 2008, the country has stabilised considerably, though it still remains off the radar for most recreational visitors.

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