Travel Tips for Zimbabwe

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

All visitors require valid passports. U.S. citizens entering Zimbabwe for tourism only can expect to pay USD30 for a single-entry, 30-day duration of stay permit upon entering the country. USD75 for Canadian citizens.

Passport must be valid for a least 6 months from your date of entry. You must have a return ticket to your country (or enough money to buy one); sufficient funds to cover your stay in Zimbabwe; enough blank pages in your passport to fit the required entry visa.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

With the exception of children less than one year of age, all visitors coming to Zimbabwe from infected areas are requested to possess vaccination certificates against cholera and yellow fever. It is not advisable to swim in the country’s rivers and dams as they may be infected with bilharzia. It is however worth noting that all tap water is very safe to drink and water in swimming pools is purified hence very safe. If you are intending to visit low-lying areas such as Victoria Falls, Hwange, Kariba, Gonarezhou and Zambezi Valley, It is advisable to take a course of anti-malaria tablets as a precaution. Prophylaxis is 100% effective. However, it is always advisable to check with your doctor or pharmacist before travelling to such areas. Most establishments in the country do have mosquito nets and repellents.

CURRENCY

There are no restrictions on foreign currency to be imported into Zimbabwe. However, a maximum of $ 10 000 or its equivalent can be exported out of the country. Tourists are entitled to duty-free importation of their goods which they intend to take out of the country, for instance laptops, cameras, vehicles, binoculars, fishery rods and trailers; as well as duty-free importation of goods for personal use (not commercial) worth US$200.00 for consumption in Zimbabwe. A CDI form is required for exports whose value exceeds US$1000.00. The use of (Zimbabwean dollar) as local currency was temporarily suspended until a time to be advised. Meanwhile the country has resorted to the use of multiple currencies as legal tender which comprise of US dollar, British pound, European euros, South African rand and Botswana Pula. However, all these currencies are easily convertible in most banks using the inter-bank rate which gives access to use of the common and mostly used currency the US dollar and South African rand as method of payment.

The most acceptable means of payment in most establishments is US $ based or its equivalent. Travelers Cheques and International credit cards are widely accepted. Avoid street/border money changers. Instead it is advisable to change all your money or travelers cheques at Commercial banks, hotels or registered bureau de change.

BANK HOURS

Banks in Zimbabwe are open for business during the following hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday ……….08:00 – 15:00 hrs
Wednesdays ………………………………………..08:00 – 13:00 hrs
Saturday ……………………………………………..08:00 – 11:30 hrs

CULTURE

Zimbabwe is a multi-racial society where people of all nationalists live in harmony. People living in urban areas have a westernized lifestyle, while in the country areas many African traditions have been preserved.

SECURITY

Zimbabweans are known for their hospitality and friendliness towards each other and visitors alike. Although all Zimbabweans are very helpful it is always advisable to be cautious when dealing with strangers. Police officers are very helpful and are easily identified by their uniforms although some may be plainclothes police. Like everywhere in the world valuables should always be safeguarded or left in the hotel safe box. Do not pack valuables (cameras, laptops, jewelry etc) in your checked baggage. Keep valuable in your carry-on luggage.

WEATHER AND WHAT TO PACK

Zimbabwe enjoys pleasant temperate climate with 365 days of sunshine and 10 sunshine hours per day on average. 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 temperature average 25-30 degrees Celsius, October being the hottest month where temperatures exceed 32 degrees Celsius. In low-lying areas it is much warmer all year than Harare and other Highveld centres. The temperatures given are those for the main centres and it must be realized that it is considerably warmer all year round in low-lying areas such as Kariba, Victoria Falls, Hwange, Gonarezhou and the Zambezi valley. During the rainy season (November to March), a light jacket may be needed in the evenings.

Electricity

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 adaptor that can take both is useful. The socket/plug types are Type C, D and G. They look like this:

C Type socket/plug D type socket/plug and G type socket/plug