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Zimbabwe Safari Tours & Travel Information

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Zimbabwe Travel Information

About Zimbabwe, Africa

After a difficult decade or so, stability is returning to Zimbabwe and pioneering tourists are gradually trickling back to the country. They are richly rewarded for their endeavors: with its abundance of natural wonders, welcoming locals, fascinating heritage, and good climate, Zimbabwe is one of the most remarkable countries in Africa.The jewel in its glistening crown is Victoria Falls. Straddling the border between Zimbabwe and neighboring Zambia, this waterfall is officially the largest on the planet and hearing the roar of all that cascading water makes for an unforgettable experience.

As well as awe-inspiring natural spectacles, Zimbabwe offers some of the best wildlife in southern Africa. From the forested mountains of the Eastern Highlands to the sun-washed grasslands of Hwange National Park, the country is teeming with flora and fauna, including the Big 5 (elephant, rhino, leopard, buffalo, and lion).

Roughly 11% of Zimbabwe’s land has been set aside for parks and wildlife estates, but it can do big cities too. The two most populous are Harare and Bulawayo, which serve up an impressive selection of cultural attractions, hip bars, and fine dining restaurants. Between these two urban hubs lie the astonishing late Iron Age stone ruins at Great Zimbabwe, which shoot down theories that sub-Saharan Africa had no great civilizations.

It’s not all smooth sailing, though. While Zimbabwe’s fragile economy is slowly improving, there is still widespread poverty and the government lacks the resources to deal with the ravages of the HIV pandemic, which affects an estimated one in four people here. Corruption is rife too, and roadblocks manned by officials looking for any excuse to fleece you can hinder cross-country travel.

But for the most part, Zimbabwe remains a peaceful place full of peaceful people, who desperately need tourism to help build a better future for this incredible corner of Africa.

Zimbabwe weather, climate, and geography

Climate

Best Time To Visit

Although located in the tropics, temperate conditions prevail all year, as the climate is moderated by altitude and the inland position of the country. The hot and dry season is from August to October, and the rainy season from November to March. The best months to visit are April to May and August to September. Night-time temperatures can fall below freezing.

Required Clothing

Light- to medium weight with warmer clothes for evenings and rainwear for the wet season.

Geography

Zimbabwe is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Mozambique to the north and east, South Africa to the south and Botswana to the southwest. The central zone of hills gives rise to many rivers, which drain into the man-made Lake Kariba to the northwest, the marshes of Botswana to the west or into the Zambezi River to the northeast. The highveld landscape is dotted with kopjes (massive granite outcrops). Along the eastern border for some 350km (220 miles) is a high mountainous region of great scenic beauty, rising to 2,592m (8,504ft) at Mount Inyangani, the country’s highest point.

Zimbabwe Passport And Visa Requirements

Passport Required Visa Required Return Ticket Required
Other EU Yes Yes/1 Yes
USA Yes Yes Yes
Canadian Yes Yes Yes
Australian Yes Yes Yes
British Yes Yes Yes

Passport Info

A passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of departure is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above. Two blank pages are needed.

Passport Note

All visitors to Zimbabwe must be in possession of return tickets (or funds in lieu) and sufficient funds to support themselves. The granting of a visa is not a guarantee of entry.

Visa Info

Visas are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above except:

1. Nationals of Cyprus and Malta, who do not require a visa.

All other nationals in the chart may purchase a visa on arrival valid for up to 90 days except nationals of Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania, who must obtain a visa in advance.

A joint visa on arrival, called the Kaza visa, allowing entry into Zambia and Zimbabwe, was trialed from late 2014. As of late 2015, both countries have stopped issuing this visa.

Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.

Types And Costs

Single-entry visa: US$30; double-entry visa: US$45; multiple-entry visa: US$55.

Single-entry visa in advance from the embassy: £40.

Validity

Visas are usually valid for up to 90 days.

Consulate (or consular section at embassy), online (www.evisa.gov.zw) or on arrival (if eligible). For multiple-entry visas, travelers must apply in person on arrival in Zimbabwe.

Working Days

Allow 10 days for visa processing if applying via the embassy. Online applications usually take two days.

Zimbabwe Health Care & Vaccinations

Vaccination identifier Special precautions
Yellow Fever No*
Typhoid Yes
Tetanus Yes
Rabies Sometimes
Malaria Yes
Hepatitis A Yes
Diphtheria Yes
Vaccinations Note

* A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers coming from areas with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Medical facilities are good in the major towns and there are well-equipped clinics in most outlying areas, although medical costs can be high. There may be drugs shortages in public hospitals. Health insurance is essential; adequate medical provision is often only provided privately, especially in urban areas. Private hospitals may require health insurance or a cash payment before admission.

Food Drink

All water should be regarded as being a potential health risk. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilized.

Other Risks

Avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water; swimming pools which are well chlorinated and maintained are safe. HIV/AIDS is a high risk throughout the country and precautions should be taken. Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes advised.