Stories and Traveltips

ID #4945

Travel Tips, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa.

o    Travel Documents

•    Passport. Must be valid for at least 6 months
•    Return ticket (or sufficient funds to buy one),
•    Drivers License (essential for car rentals),
•    Holiday insurance.

o    Entry visas are not required for tourists from the EEC, the USA, Canada or Commonwealth countries, but nationals of other countries 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.
o    Health. Health standards in Zimbabwe are high.  Tap water is safe to drink. However, you do need protection against polio, tetanus and your doctor may advise other inoculations as well. Follow the recommendations as far as taking malaria tablets carefully. If you run short during your holiday, tablets are widely available. Bilharzia is present in many rivers.  Do not swim in rivers or dams that may be contaminated. There is no requirement for travellers arriving in Zimbabwe to be vaccinated against cholera. Yellow Fever vaccinations are only required for visitors arriving from infected areas.
o    Currency. The unit of currency is the Zimbabwe dollar, which is divided into 100 cents.  You can import or export a maximum of ZW$500. Hotel accommodation must be paid for in foreign currencies. You may bring any amount of foreign currency in bank notes or travellers cheques. Visitors no longer need to declare the amount on entry to Zimbabwe
o    Airport Tax. Visitors are required to pay an Airport Departure Tax of US$20 on departure from Zimbabwe on international flights.  You can buy the necessary revenue stamp at a commercial bank beforehand or buy it at Harare Airport (US$ or Pounds Sterling only).
o    Electrical Equipment.  The voltage of electrical appliances in Zimbabwe is 220-230 volts. 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.
o    Driving in Zimbabwe. 5000-km of first class roads and low volumes of traffic means that you can comfortably visit all main attractions by car, minibus or coach.  A valid driving license from your country of origin is sufficient for visits of up to 90 days.  If not in English, it should have an authenticated translation to which the bearer’s photograph is attached.  Drive on the left and give way to traffic from the right at uncontrolled intersections. At controlled intersections, motorists must give way to pedestrians crossing on a green light.  The general speed limit is 100 kph on open roads and 60 kph in urban areas. There is only one grade of petrol – i.e., blend, as well as diesel.
o    Car Rental. Make car rental arrangements through your travel agent in advance. Avis, Europcar, Echo and Hertz have offices in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, with Avis in Kariba, Europcar in Mutare and Hertz in both as well as Masvingo, Hwange and Chiredzi.
o    Border Posts

•    Beit Bridge (South Africa) and Victoria Falls:    06h00-20h00
•    Plumtree, Kariba, Chirundu, Forbes (Mutare), Nyamapanda and Kazungula: 06h00-18h00.

Please check these times as they are subject to change without notice.

o    Air Services. The national airline has scheduled flights between the main centres and major tourist resorts.  Ask your travel agent for details.
o    Inter-City Coach Services. There is a daily luxury service between Harare and Bulawayo, and three times weekly between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.  Book with operators in advance.
o    Rail Services. A good rail network links most centres.  The majority of trains operate at night.  Sleeping accommodation on the Bulawayo-South Africa and on long distance express trains is limited. You are advised to buy a ticket well in advance.  Book accommodation 30 days in advance and book passenger tickets seven days in advance. Ask your travel agent about special steam trains.
o    Climate. The seasons are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere, with midsummer at Christmas and winter between May and August. In winter, the days are generally dry and sunny with cold frosty nights on the highveld.  In summer temperatures average 15-25oC with October being the hottest month.  The temperature in low-lying areas is much higher than it is in Harare and other highveld areas.
o    What to Pack. Pack a hat for the sun. They are required all year round. Include light clothing and rainwear for the wet season. For dawn game drives in winter, you will need a sweater or warm coat.  Wear neutral colours on safari. Pack sunblock, insect repellent and a good telephoto lens for your camera. Smart casual wear is required in hotels and restaurants in the evening. AVTrazim

Contct:            Director General
Zimbabwe Tourist Development Corporation
Box CY286 Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe
+263 70 6511 telephone
+263 79 3669 fax

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Last update: 2014-03-17 02:17
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.1

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