Mashonaland, traditional region in northeastern Zimbabwe, bordering Zambia to the north and Mozambique to the northeast and east. It is the traditional homeland of the Shona, a Bantu-speaking people who are subsistence farmers, live in villages, and raise some cattle.
The area now called Mashonaland today was traditionally occupied by the Shona speaking peoples during the pre-colonial period. In 1890 the British South Africa Company, a mercantile company based in London, established a fort at the spot where the Company’s Pioneer Column halted its march northward into Mashonaland. With the coming of colonisation through the Pioneer Column in 1890, the colonisers commonly referred the Central and Western plateau of the country as the land of the Shona people. The area was eventually named Mashonaland. Mashonaland became home to the first white community in 1892 when Fort Salisbury (now Harare) was established.
Mashonaland consists largely of the northeastern part of Zimbabwe’s Middle Veld, a wide plateau lying at an elevation of between 3,000 and 4,000 feet (900 and 1,200 m) that slopes down northward to the Zambezi River valley. The region is drained by tributaries of the Zambezi River. The northern part of man-made Lake Kariba, on the Zambezi, is located in western Mashonaland. The region is predominantly savanna (tropical grassland) country with some savanna woodland.
In present day Zimbabwe, the Mashonaland region encompasses prominent cities and towns such as the capital city of Harare, Marondera, Chinhoyi, Bindura, Chitungwiza among others. Infact, Mashonaland houses four of the country's ten provinces. It is therefore home to a considerable chunk of the country's 20 million population. The area of Mashonaland is generally viewed as the country's agricultural hub. The towns of Chinhoyi and Kadoma in the Mashonaland West province are home to the production of cereals such as maize and wheat. This is due to the climatic conditions of the region which favour the growth and production of these agricultural products.
- , Mashonaland, retrieved:15 Jul 2014"