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Zimbabwe is a land of diversity and where one can experience nature first-hand its greatest asset is its friendly people, always ready to welcome visitors to their country with a smile and good service.
However, when travelling Zimbabwe, please keep the following in mind:Climate
Tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March). Although there are recurring droughts, floods and severe storms are rare.
There are only a small number of countries whose nationals do not require visas and a small number whose nationals are granted visas at the port of entry on payment of the requisite visa fees.
Most people are required to apply for and obtain visas prior to traveling.Flights
Harare International Airport has a number of international flights, mainly to other African countries. When coming from Europe you can fly directly with Air Zimbabwe from London. Air Zimbabwe also operates to Dubai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Kuala Lumpur in Asia.
However, a good option is to fly with South African Airways via Johannesburg. Roads
Zimbabwe is accessible by road from the countries that surround it. Contrary to past scenarios, the fuel situation has improved with prices now being quoted in US dollars. As fuel has to be imported from either Mozambique or South Africa, you can expect to pay more per litre than you would in most other Southern African countries.
It should also be noted that roads in Zimbabwe are now in a very dilapidated state, and due caution should be taken when driving, especially at night, and in particular, during the November to March rainy season. Potholes are a very common occurrence and a serious threat to any vehicle that hits one.Language
The languages spoken are English (official), Shona, Sindebele/Ndebele, and numerous but minor tribal dialects. Shona is the most widely spoken language, even in the capital Harare.Money
The US dollar is now the de facto currency in Zimbabwe, although the South African rand and the Euro are also widely accepted.
The use of credit cards is still very limited, with only a few service providers accepting VISA or MasterCards cards in Zimbabwe. Also, ATM use can be very limited for non-citizens, so please do yourself a favour and come with plenty of cash on hand.
As for costs, non-imported things are very cheap (especially labour intensive things), however for a tourist drinking coke and eating pizza, prices are not that much lower than in South Africa. Petrol (gasoline) supplies are improving, so are food supplies in supermarkets.
Haggling for a better price is common, but keep in mind that most people are very poor so don't try to abuse their desperation.Health
In the current economic situation many medicines are in short supply or cannot be sourced, so you are strongly advised to take all medications with you. Medical attention will be very hard to get: many hospitals even in cities are completely closed or unable to offer substantial care. Your travel insurance is very likely to be invalid if you travel to Zimbabwe and medical evacuations impossible to arrange.
HIV/AIDS infection rate in Zimbabwe is the 4th highest in the world at around 20% or 1 in 5 infected. There is often a cholera outbreak and you need to check.
Malaria is prevalent and anti-malarials are advised.
Bilharzia is present in some lakes. Ask locally before swimming.