Zimbabwe is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa attracting both active adventurers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
It is famous for the majestic Victoria Falls, the giant granite boulders of the Motopo Hills, the green mountains of the Eastern Highlands, the national parks teeming with wildlife, and the Great Zimbabwe ancient ruins. The Victoria Falls -called Mosi-au Tunya-(Smoke that Thunders)is Zimbabwe’s most popular tourist destination and one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Victoria Falls also offers a variety of high adrenaline activities, including whitewater rafting or a 364-foot (111m) bungee jump into the Zambezi River gorge .Alternatively enjoy scenic flights over the Falls or the peaceful Zambezi Sundowner cruises.
Wildlife flourishes in the untamed wilderness of the Zambezi Valley, in national parks, and on the shores of Lake Kariba, where hippo, crocodiles, buffalo, rhino, elephant and lion roam freely. Enjoy some of the finest canoe safaris in Southern Africa at Mana Pools (a UNESCO World Heritage Site ) renowned for its outstanding variety of game.
Lake Kariba is as valuable source of hydro-electricity as well as a marvelous location for Houseboat Holidays.
- Before you go
- The basics
- When to go
- What to pack
- Useful contacts
- Kaza Uni Visa Info
- New Bridge Toll Fee
Passports and visa
Please contact your closest Zimbabwean Consulate
for passport and visa requirements.
NOTE: It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination.
Malaria medication as well as vaccinations against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and typhoid are recommended. Medical insurance is essential. Yellow fever certificate needed if traveling or transitting from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission.
New Years Day 1 Jan
Independence Day 18 Apr
Good Friday 25 Mar
Easter Monday 28 Mar
Workers Day 1 May
Africa Day 25 May
Heroes Day 8 Aug
Defence Forces Day 9 Aug
Unity Day 22 Dec
Christmas Day 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 Dec
Money & duty free
Travellers to Zimbabwe do not have to pay duty on items value of US$200. These include alcohol up to 5 litres which includes 2 litres of spirits.
Refer to http://www.zimra.co.zw. Prohibited items include narcotic and amphetamine drugs, honey, indecent or obscene reading material, toy firearms, and blade knives,Counterfeit or forged currency.
The official currency is the US Dollar (USD). The South African Rand (ZAR) and British Pound (GBP) are also sometimes accepted. Major international credit cards are accepted in most of the larger hotels, restaurants and shops. Only CASH is accepted in smaller towns and rural areas.
Travellers to Zimbabwe do not have to pay duty on items to the value of US$250 . These include goods for personal consumption,tobacco, and alcohol up to 5 litres which includes 2 litres of spirits. Prohibited items include narcotic and amphetamine drugs, honey, indecent or obscene reading material, toy firearms, and blade knives.
As of April 2017,
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a shortage of cash.
This means that ATM users may not be able to withdraw the amount of US dollars they require when needed. Therefore, we strongly advise travellers to Zimbabwe to bring an adequate amount of US$currency with them for payments where a credit card (Visa or Master) is not accepted. Please note that there are facilities like shops and restaurants, as well as craft markets, where card payments are not accepted.
We want our travellers to be prepared for this situation.
While Pounds, Euro, BWP and ZAR are accepted in some places in Zimbabwe, the exchange rates may not be favourable at time of payment.
For any further questions, please feel free to contact our team.
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Three-pin rectangular blade plugs are common.
The international dialling code for Zimbabwe is +263. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). International Direct Dialling is available. City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)4 for Harare. Local operators provide GSM 900 network mobile phone coverage in most cities, towns and tourist areas throughout the country. Internet facilities are available in most towns and cities, but internet cafes are often crowded.
English is the official language in Zimbabwe, although it is only spoken as a first language by a tiny percentage of the population. Several indigenous languages are spoken including Shona and Ndebele.
Immigration & border crossing
Zimbabwe Border Posts
Beitbridge – Open 24 hrs
GPS – 22.2243°S 29.9865°E
- Valid passport of the driver
- Certified copy of vehicle registration papers in the name of the driver
- Letter of authority from the registered owner if the vehicle is not owned by the driver
- If vehicle is still being financed, carry a letter of authority from the bank (must include dates of travel) together with the vehicle license papers.
- Police Clearance Certificate: May be required if travelling through the Chirundu Border Post, for vehicles and trailers.
- When applying for Police Clearance certificate, it is required to have a request for Police Identification/ Clearance (RPC) Form obtainable from the Traffic Department.
- Commercial Vehicle Guarantee (CVG): Private vehicles do not require a CVG ( 4X4 may be require to obtain a CVG ). Only applicable for commercial vehicles. Obtainable from Zimbabwe registered clearing agents and payment of relevant bond – between USD 30 to USD 50.
- Third-Party Insurance: Compulsory – obtained at border post OR alternatively obtain at an AA Accredited Sales Agent store. Please contact your nearest store for prices.
- Road Access Fee: Based on the vehicle’s size paid on entry only. Rates:
R90 for a small sedan
R270 for a large 4×4
Exit Pass: R70 at each exit
Carbon Tax: charges from R50 to R240
- White and Red Reflective Tape: Two small white rectangular size strips on the right and left hand side of the front bumper as well as two small red square strips on the right and left hand side of the rear bumper.
- Ideally, the strips should be honeycombed. If towing a trailer, two small red square strips on the right and left hand side of the rear bumper are required
- Carnet de Passage: Not required. Temporary Import Permit will be issued at the border post upon entry, free of charge
- Warning Triangles: Two warning triangles on a metal plate
- White and Red T-sign: Required if towing a trailer; white must be displayed on front right hand side of trailer / caravan and red on the rear right hand side of the trailer / caravan, when looking forward.
- Fire Extinguisher: Compulsory
- Safety Vests: Recommended
- ZA Sticker: Available at any AA Accredited Sales Agent store
The best game viewing time is during the dry months of August, September and October.The months of September, October and November are the best months for Whitewater rafting.
The climate in Zimbabwe is sub-tropical with a summer season of about eight months (October to April), with hot, sunny days.Areas such as the Zambezi Valley, Kariba and Victoria Falls tend to be hotter. The winter climate (June to August) is pleasant, with warm, dry days and very cold nights. Rain occurs mostly between November and March in Zimbabwe.
Please note camouflage clothing is banned in Zimbabwe. To avoid what could be an embarrassing incident, please do not bring any with you. Dull and/or neutral colours are more suitable for safari – white is not practical.
- Blouses / shirts with long sleeves (they will protect you from the sun and from mosquitoes)
- Towels for swimming
- Shorts or a light skirt
- Jeans or trousers for evenings and cooler days
- Fleece or sweater and a warm jacket for game drives (necessary, even in summer)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sun block, sunglasses, hat.
- Binoculars and a camera are a must
- Light, compact raincoat is a good idea for the summer, particularly for Victoria Falls.
- Elegant casual outfit for dinner and/or cocktails at the hotel – men are generally expected to don collar, jacket (sometimes even a tie) in cocktail bars and restaurants after 18:30, except in the warmer parts of the country and at the game lodges
- Mobile phone
- Camera and phone charger
- Any prescription medicines you may take (plus a copy of your prescription)
- Medicine for diarrhoea (over the counter)
- First aid kit including latex gloves.
- Antibacterial hand wipes
- Mosquito repellent. Should contain pyrethroid.
- Bed net( if camping or back packing)
- Driving license.
Layers are most practical for the fluctuating day/night temperatures of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Tourist Office-Johannesburg
Tel: 011 6155897
Cell: +27 72 801 5199
ZIMBABWE EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Emergencies: 999 (112 from a cell phone)
Please note that Univisa stickers are available at the border for international travelers at both Zimbabwean and Zambian borders as listed below:
Currently, tourists visiting Southern Africa must apply for separate visas for each country, each with its own visa regime. For some, this acts a deterrent for multi-country travel in the region. It is for this reason that the development of a common visa, deemed a UNIVISA, was endorsed by SADC Heads of State in 1998. While there have been some obstacles to implementation, significant momentum is now building towards the UNIVISA. Central to the UNIVISA strategy is taking a phased approach. The first step is the creation of a pilot initiative through which a common visa will be created for Zambia and Zimbabwe. One of the reasons they were selected as pilot countries relates to their role as cohosts of the 2013 UNWTO General Assembly.
This pilot initiative is being developed in close cooperation with the KAZA TFCA and RETOSA and is being supported by the World Bank and the German Development Bank KfW. Assuming that this pilot is successful, a common visa can then be established among all five KAZA TFCA countries. By eliminating the need for tourists to obtain multiple visas, cross-border travel will become easier and less costly. This should provide a major boost to tourism within the world’s largest TFCA. Next, a SADC UNIVISA pilot can be initiated. This will likely involve the additional incorporation of South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland. A successful result will encourage expansion to the full list of 15 SADC countries. By undertaking the UNIVISA initiative, the region will become a more competitive tourism destination. The added convenience and reduced costs will encourage more visitation and longer stays. This will undoubtedly broaden and enrich the tourism experience while providing important economic benefits to the region’s diverse host countries and communities.
WHERE IT IS AVAILABLE?
|Harry Mwaanga Airport (Livingstone)||Victoria Falls Airport|
|Victoria Falls Land Border||Victoria Falls Land Border|
|Kazungula Land Border (border with Botswana)||Kazungula Land Border (border with Botswana)|
|Kenneth Kaunda Airport (Lusaka)||Harare Airport|
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT?
Tourists save time and money because they only have to obtain one visa to visit both countries.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Up to 30 days as long as you remain within Zambia and Zimbabwe. It also covers those who visit Botswana for day trips for the Kazungula borders.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Citizen of 40 countries, which coincide with those who are eligible to receive Visas on arrival in both Zambia and Zimbabwe.
|Czech Republic||New Zealand||Uruguay|
In the future, it is anticipated that the KAZA Visa will be extended to other three KAZA countries of Angola, Botswana and Namibia
Victoria Falls introduces new” Bridge Maintenance Fee”
In February 2018, a new “bridge maintenance fee” was introduced by the relevant authorities for all vehicles crossing over the historic bridge between Victoria Falls and Livingstone. This affects all travel companies operating regular transfers across the bridge as well as all self-drive travellers.
Sadly tourism industry players in Victoria Falls have had no success in lobbying for the fees to be waivered for tourism industry vehicles, and have been forced to pass the charge onto their guests.
Operators Wild Horizons have therefore added a levy of US$2.50 per person to all their new reservations booked from 07 March 2018. The charge will be shown separately as “Victoria Falls Bridge fee” so that it is non-commissionable.
They apologize for the inconvenience this causes.
Source: Wild Zambezi News February 2018
The majestic Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), are located on the Zambezi River, between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Explorer David Livingstone named the falls for Queen Victoria when he first saw them in 1855.
It is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the world and attracts tourist far and wide for adventure, adrenalin and relaxation for decades.Its pounding waters create a mist that can be seen for miles and the sound of the falls, especially in the rainy season (November to April) make it difficult to hear anything else. Both Zimbabwe and Zambia are justifiably proud of this great wonder.
Activities that can be enjoyed at this majestic wall of water is:
- Flight of Angels helicopter tour
- Hiking through the rainforest on the trail adjacent to the falls to the view point
- A Guided Tour of the Falls
- Swimming in the “Devils pool” situated at the edge of the falls on top or even swimming in the “Angels Pool” when water levels are too high and rough
- A variety of Safari options in the National Parks like Walking with Lions, Elephant rides and walking safaris
- Sunset Cruises to relax from the african sun
- From the bridge separating Zim and Zam and that looks over the Falls, one can – Gorge Swing and Bungee Jump
- White Water Rafting options are available down the mighty rapids of the Falls (depending on water levels of the year)
- Photography Safaris
Hwange National Park
Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometers. It is located in the northwest corner of the country about one hour south of the Mighty Victoria Falls. Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species recorded as well as all Zimbabwe’s specially protected animals are to be found in Hwange and it is the only protected area where gemsbok and brown hyena occur in reasonable numbers. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and is one of the largest population in the world. It also offers a variety of camp accommodation.
Activities done in Hwange National Park:
- Game drives can be ventured in Hwange National Park from 6 am to 6 pm. Hwange National park is home to the Big 5 and you are assured to the see at least three, if not all five, of the Big 5.