Useful Tips Before You Travel



Zimbabwe is a multi-racial and diverse country where people of different socio-ethnic backgrounds live in harmony. The majority of people of Zimbabwe have managed to preserve their African traditions that include traditional dancing and traditional ceremonies like BIRAs in mainly rural areas whereas the urban lifestyle has a western feel. Zimbabwe has a very good juxtaposition of African and Western lifestyles with a magnificent modern culture. 
Zimbabwe is a peace loving country and Zimbabweans are known for their hospitality but 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 of them may be plainclothes police. There are also tourism police around the major tourist areas like Victoria Falls town.



The country makes 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 mostly 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.


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





Compiled by Thelma R. Muranganwa


Zimbabwe has a number of airports located in the various towns and provinces.

Harare International Airport –The biggest and busiest airport in Zimbabwe situated in Harare. The airport's runway, at 4,725 metres (15,500 ft), is one of the longest in Africa. It compares with OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, whose longest runway measures 4,418 metres (14,490 ft).

Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport situated some 20km out of Bulawayo the city of kings. There are 2 airlines operating out of Bulawayo Airport which are Air Zimbabwe and South African Air link.

Victoria Falls Airport – An International Airport that is located 21 km out of Victoria Falls town the hub for tourism in Zimbabwe. There are 4 International airlines that operate out of Victoria Falls Airport namely British Airways Com Air, South African Airways, Air Namibia and Air Zimbabwe.

Charles Prince Airport - formerly named Mount Hampden and renamed after former airport manager Charles Prince (who was a Royal Air Force officer during World War II), is located approximately 8 km northwest of Harare, Zimbabwe.1973 the airport was converted to civilian use.
Departure taxes - A departure tax of US $35 is levied on all foreign investors (non-residents) at all Zimbabwe airports on International flights and this tax are often incorporated in the ticket fare. When flying within Zimbabwe a departure tax of $10 is charged. The revenue stamp can be bought at the airport or pre-purchased at any commercial bank. A total of US $5 is payable for each domestic ticket. However, this tax is often incorporated in the ticket fare. Always verify with the issuing agent.


If you are not staying for longer than six months, you enter Zimbabwe with a minimum of formalities. All you need is a valid passport with a valid visa depending on which category of the visa regime you fall under, a return ticket to your country (or enough money to buy one), and sufficient funds to cover your stay in Zimbabwe. Entry points are categorized into three groups which comprise of:

AIR –    Harare Airport, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport, Victoria Falls Airport, Kariba Airport, Charles Prince Airport, Masvingo Airport, Buffalo Range.

ROAD – Chirundu, Nyamapanda, Beitbridge, Victoria Falls, Forbes, Kazungula, Plumtree, Kariba, Kanyemba, Mukumbura, Cashel, Mt Selinda, Sango, Pandamatenga, Maitengwe, Mphoengs.

RAIL -    Beitbridge, Plumtree

Compiled by Thelma R. Muranganwa


Your personal possessions which are not intended for disposal or consumption in Zimbabwe are allowed entry duty-free. In addition, other consumable goods which are not merchandise imported for the trade purposes may be imported up to a value of US$ 250 or its equivalent in other currencies per person. Alcoholic beverages may be included within this allowance by persons over the age of 18 years, subject to a limit per person of 5 litres, of which not more than 2 litres may be spirits. Members of a family travelling together may aggregate their allowances.



In general, shops are open from 0800hrs until 1700hrs and closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Most restaurants are also closed on Sundays. Selected pharmacies have day and night service in all the main centres. VAT is charged on everything, except certain basic commodities, and applies to meals served in hotels and restaurants. A 2% tourism development is levied on all tourism products and services.





 Compiled by Thelma R. Muranganwa


roadPrivate motor-vehicles, caravans and trailers may be brought temporarily into Zimbabwe, provided they are licensed in their home countries and bear the appropriate registration plates and a nationality plaque. The international Certificate of Motor vehicles is recognized in Zimbabwe. A vehicle toll fee is levied on all vehicles that pass through the Beitbridge border-post.
Vehicles must be insured against third-party risks arising in Zimbabwe: short-term policies are obtainable at border-posts. Visitors driving hired cars from companies registered outside Zimbabwe should check that customs surety arrangements have been made.



International driving and driving licenses issued in all SADC countries are valid in Zimbabwe. Visitors from other countries not covered by this agreement are able to drive for a period of 90 days using driving licenses issued in their home countries.

If not printed in English, it should have a certificate of authority and validity, or a translation of the text with the bearer’s photograph attached. Renewal after expiry of this period is obtained from the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Drive on the left in Zimbabwe and give way to traffic approaching on the road to your right at uncontrolled intersections. At controlled intersections, motorists are required to yield precedence to pedestrians crossing on a green light. At all intersections, a fire engine, ambulance or police vehicle sounding a siren takes precedence over all other traffic: move out of its course and remain stationary until it has passed. The general speed-limit in Zimbabwe is 120km/h on open roads and 60 km/h in urban areas, but watch for the signs.

Compiled by Thelma R. Muranganwa


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.


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.






If carried, they must be declared at customs


Compiled by Thelma R. Muranganwa


transportTaxis – can be found at taxi ranks in the main centres or on call from hotels and restaurants.
Car Hire – cars with or without chauffeurs can be hired in most tourist areas from internationally recognizable operators.
Buses/Coaches – Zimbabwe has a variety of both mid-range and luxury intercity coach services.
Trains – A commuter rail link exist between Harare – Mutare, Harare – Bulawayo and Bulawayo – Victoria Falls.
Air Services – Air Zimbabwe, the national airline, operates frequent flights between the main centres and major tourist destinations. Other private scheduled and charter flights are also available on these routes. Feeder services are provided to regional capitals. International flights are also available.
Road tours – A selection of road tours are operated at reasonable cost to Zimbabwe’s main tourist attractions by registered tour operators. In addition, sight-seeing and game-viewing tours are offered with couriers who are fluent in the main European languages.


All posts listed below are open on public holidays, weekends as well as weekdays.
Zimbabwe bordering South Africa and Botswana

Beitbridge     Open 24hrs           Daily                                                                                Plumtree      06:00 – 18:00 hrs   Daily                                                                                     
Kazungula    06:00 – 18:00 hrs   Daily   

Zimbabwe bordering Mozambique

Mutare (Forbes)     06:00 – 20:00 hrs   Daily                                                                   
Nyamapanda         06:00 – 18:00 hrs   Daily

Zimbabwe bordering Zambia

Chirundu         06:00 – 18:00 hrs        Daily                                            
Kariba             06:00 – 18:00 hrs       Daily                                       
Victoria Falls     06:00 – 18:00 hrs      Daily

Compiled by Thelma R. Muranganwa


holidayIt sometimes causes inconvenience to arrive in a country on a public holiday and find everything closed or booked up. So book well ahead if you plan to arrive on a holiday weekend or during school holidays. School holidays are between mid April and mid May, mid July and mid September, mid December and mid January.






New Year’s Day            1 January
Good Friday                 April
Easter Saturday           April
Easter Sunday             April
Easter Monday            April
Independence Day       18 April
Workers Day               01 May
Africa Day                  25 May
Heroes Day                11 August
National Unity Day       12 August
Christmas Day             25 December
Public Day                  26 December


Compiled by Thelma R. Muranganwa


Cnr Sandringham & Borrowdale Rd Botanical Gardens PO BOX CY140, Causeway, Harare Telephone: +263-4-706077/8-9 Gen. Enquiries: +263-4-707624-9 +263-4-792786-9 Email: Facsimile: +263-4-793867 Bulawayo Booking Office 15 Avenue,Main & Fort Street P.O.Box 2283, Bulawayo Telephone: +263-9-63646 Facsimile: +263-9-65592 Email: Quick Contacts Problem Animal Control Hotline: Hunting Licenses: +263 734 584 384 Public Relations:+263 772 433901 Toll Free Numbers 0800 3222 344 0800 3222 347

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