Zimbabwe National Park
Entry visas are not required for tourists from the European Union, USA or Canada or Commonwealth Countries, but nationals of some other countries will need to apply for a visa well in advance of their holiday. Since requirements are subject to change, ask your travel agent or nearest Zimbabwe Embassy for the latest information.
Travel documents checklist:
Passport (valid for at least six months)
Return ticket (or enough money to buy one)
Driving license (essential for car rental)
General standards of hygiene in Zimbabwe are high. Tap water in all tourist areas is perfectly safe to drink and swimming pools are supplied from purified central sources. However, you do need protection against polio, tetanus and malaria and your doctor may advise other inoculations too. It is advisable to start taking malaria prevention tablets a week before your holiday and to continue for four weeks afterwards. If you run short during your stay, tablets are available at any chemist.
You are advised not to swim in dams and rivers, particularly in low-lying areas, as the water may be infected with bilharzia.
Yellow fever and cholera: there is no requirement for travelers arriving in Zimbabwe to possess a vaccination certificate against cholera. Yellow Fever Vaccination is only required for visitors coming from infected areas as designated by the World Health Organization.
You may bring in any amount of foreign currency in bank notes and travelers checks. Visitors no longer need to declare the amount on entry to Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's unit of currency is the dollar, worth 100 cents. You can import or export a maximum of ZW$500. Hotel accommodation must be paid for in foreign currency.
For international flights, visitors are required to pay an airport departure tax of US$20. You can buy the necessary revenue stamp at a commercial bank beforehand or buy it at the airport (US dollars or # sterling only). Children under 12 years are exempted.
Electricity in Zimbabwe is 220-230 AC voltage. Most outlets take a 13 amp fused square-pin plug but round pins are still in use so an adapter that can take both is useful.
Driving in ZImbabwe
A 5,000 km network of first-class main roads and very low levels of vehicular traffic means you can comfortably visit all main attractions by car, minibus or coach in a fortnight. A driving license from your home country is sufficient for visits of up to 90 days. If yours is not in English, it should have an authenticated translation with the bearer's photograph attached.
Rules of the road: drive on the left and give way to traffic approaching from your right at uncontrolled intersections. At controlled intersections, motorists must give precedence to pedestrians crossing on a green light. The general speed limit is 100 kmph on open roads and 60 kmph in urban areas, but watch for the signs.
Petrol: inexpensive compared with most European countries. There is just one grade, 'Blend', plus diesel.
You can make car rental arrangements through a travel agent in advance of your holiday. The international companies, Avis, Europcar/Echo and Hertz, all have offices in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, with Avis in Kariba, Europcar in Mutare, and Hertz in both those towns plus Masvingo, Hwange and Chiredzi.
Border Post Hours
Beitbridge and Victoria Falls: 0600 - 2000 hrs.
Others, i.e. Plumtree, Kariba, Chirundu, Forbes (Mutare),
Nyamapanda and Kazungula: 0600 -1800 hrs.
Note: you are advised to check these times since they are subject to change without notice.
The country's national airline has frequent scheduled flights between the main centers and major tourist resorts. Ask your travel agent for details.
Inter-city Coach Services
Express coaches run between major cities. There is a daily luxury service between Harare and Bulawayo, and three times weekly between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. You should book with the operators in advance.
Ajay Motorways - Harare 728492.
Express Motorways - Harare 720392.
Blue Arrow Luxury Coach Service - Harare 726725
Silverbird Luxury Coachlines - Harare 794777
Zimbabwe has a good rail network linking most centers. The majority of trains run at night. Sleeping accommodation on the Bulawayo-South Africa service and on long-distance fast trains is limited, and you are advised to buy your ticket well in advance. You can book accommodation 30 days before you intend to travel and passenger tickets should be bought at least seven days in advance. If this is not possible for whatever reason, please bear in mind that the minimum notice permitted is 24 hours. Passengers traveling on railways adjoining the Zimbabwe network may book up to two months in advance. Ask your travel agent about special steam train safaris.
The seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere, with midsummer at Christmas and winter lasting from May to August. In winter the days are generally dry and sunny with cold frosty nights in the highveld. In summer temperatures average 15 - 20 degrees C, October being the hottest month. In low-lying areas it is much warmer all year than in Harare and other highveld centers.
Average Climate Conditions In Harare (1470 meters above sea level)
MonthMaxMinAve rain (mm)Humidity
What to Pack
Pack a hat for the sun - necessary all year round, light clothing, and rainwear for the wet season. For dawn game drives in winter, you will need a sweater or a warm coat. It is advisable to wear neutral colors on safari. Also pack sun screen, insect repellent and a good telephoto lens for your camera. Smart casual wear is expected in top hotels and restaurants in the evening.
Special thanks to the Zimbabwe Ministry of Enviornment and Tourism for providing this information.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication