Once part of The Empire of Great Zimbabwe, then part of Matabeleland, then Southern Rhodesia, then the Republic of Rhodesia, Zimbabwe took the present form of its name in 1980.
The name Zimbabwe derives from an expression meaning 'big house of stone' in the Shona language.
If you arrange the members of the United Nations in alphabetical order, Zimbabwe comes last.
At the 2004 Olympics, Zimbabwe won one gold, one silver and one bronze medal - all by the swimmer Kirsty Coventry. Apart from that, Zimbabwe's sole Olympic medal was a gold won by the women's hockey team in 1980.
In 2003, the Zimbabwe dollar could be exchanged one-for-one with the US dollar. By 2007, the exchange rate had fallen to 30,000 per US dollar.
In 1994, Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe, was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth II.
In 2009, the city council in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, offered free graves for cholera victims.