Zimbabwe

Travel Information – Zimbabwe

By October 29, 2016 No Comments

Zimbabwe is generally a very easy, safe African destination with excellent infrastructure, generous people and a lovely mild climate. We’ve collected up all the information you need to make your stay an enjoyable one…but please do get in contact so we can personally advise you.

ACCESS AND ENTRY 

Visas:

  •  Citizens of most Southern African (SADC) countries (including South Africa) do not require visas to enter Zimbabwe. 
  • Other passport holders do require visas. Be patient when dealing with officialdom at entry points. Expect delays.
  • Please note all visa requirements and valid travel documents, including passports, are the responsibility of the traveller

Current rulings and costing:

  • Canadian passports: Single entry US$ 75 – only option available. Available at port of entry
  • British and Irish passports: Single entry: US$55. Double entry: US$$70.Available at port of entry
  • Other passports (USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand).  Single entry US$30; Double entry US$45. Available at point of entry.
  • Citizens of some countries (e.g. Angola) need to apply for visas in advance from the nearest Zimbabwean Embassy. Please check for the latest information
  • A uni-visa has been proposed for the region which will cover entry into Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. U$ 50 single entry. Please confirm at time of booking.

TRAVEL TO AND AROUND ZIMBABWE 

  1. Domestic scheduled flights link Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. These schedules are either on set days or daily, dependant on the airline
  2. Scheduled daily charter flights  link all the major tourist destinations including Victoria Falls, Hwange, Kariba and Mana Pools
  3. International and regional flights service Harare and Victoria Falls on a daily basis. The port of entry is dependent on the airlines schedule
  4. International car hire are available at all main cities including Victoria Falls
  5. Chauffeur drive options are available for touring around Zimbabwe
  6. Recognized transfer and touring companies are available at Victoria Falls, Harare and Bulawayo

HEALTH
There are surprisingly good medical facilities, doctors and emergency evacuation services in Zimbabwe, as long as you have proper medical insurance which covers private facilities and services. 

Medical Insurance.

All travellers to Zimbabwe are advised to take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy that will cover medical emergencies and evacuation to a hospital in South Africa, should critical care be required, plus insurance to cover repatriation back home. However, it is also important to have a pre-hospital emergency policy to cover evacuation to the nearest hospital from remote areas (like the Zambezi valley) by road or air ambulance. Zimbabwe has an efficient private Medical Air Rescue Service, which will assist with ambulance or air rescue even in remote areas of the country, and can sell short term policies to cover your stay.

Malaria
Kariba and the Zambezi valley, being low-lying areas, do harbor malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquitoes.  Take sensible precautions.  Please contact your doctor for advice.

CLIMATE

The climate is moderate with winter days (May-August) being generally dry and sunny with day temperatures averaging 59-68 degrees-F (15-20 degrees-C). Summer daytime temperatures average 77-86 degrees-F (25-30 degrees-C), with September and October being the hottest month; in some areas such as Hwange and Mana Pools reaching temperatures of 40 – 45 degrees C. The rainy season is during the months of December-March. Hwange National Park is known to be very cold in winter with night temperatures dropping to 0 centigrade or below, so please bring very warm clothes for early morning and the evenings.

LANGUAGE

English is the official language in Zimbabwe, and most urban Zimbabweans speak it fluently. A number of other languages are also spoken, the most common being Shona and Ndebele. 

MONEY

US dollars and South African Rands are acceptable currency throughout the country, and all prices are quoted in US$. Cash is the preferred method for transactions in shops and restaurants, although International Credit Cards are now accepted for some payments. VISA and Master Card are the main credit cards currently accepted at banks and most large hotel groups. Please note cash is either restricted or not available out of ATM’s

TIME

Time is GMT +2 hours. On average, daylight is roughly 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. slightly shorter in mid-winter (June) or longer in mid-summer (December).

PHONES AND INTERNET

Zimbabwe has a landline phone system and several mobile networks.  Service can be erratic, especially in more remote areas and calls are expensive.  However, international roaming does work where signal is available.  The International Dialing code for Zimbabwe is +263.  When not using this international prefix code, an extra 0 is required before area codes or mobile numbers within the country. 

Dial-up and wireless Internet access is available only in the main city centers.  In more remote areas, internet access is only possible where there is good mobile network coverage or a satellite system is in operation. 

 ELECTRICITY

Electricity is 220 volts. Plug sockets are mostly 3-pin square (13 amp), but 2-pin round shaver/charger sockets are common and 3-pin round (15 amp) sockets can be found in older establishments. Note that the electricity grid in Zimbabwe can be erratic. Camps and lodges in remote Zambezi valley areas usually operate without electricity, and use generators which are switched on only at set times of the day.