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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.
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country situated between two great rivers: the mighty Zambezi cuts along its northern frontier, forming the border with Zambia, while the languid Limpopo forms the southern border with South Africa. In between, the country has a variety of habitats, from the granite hills of the Matopos to the majestic mountains, lush forests and beautiful rivers of the Eastern Highlands.
As such, there is much to attract the traveler, from wildlife viewing and adrenalin adventures to encountering the history of the Zimbabwean people going back thousands of years.Things to look forward to in Zimbabwe:
- Watching enormous herds of elephant gathering at Hwanges numerous waterholes
- Bungee jumping at the stupendous Victoria Falls
- Cruising down the mighty Zambezi River by boat or, for the more adventurous, by canoe
- Game driving through classic safari country in scenic and wildlife-rich National Parks
However, when travelling Zimbabwe, please keep the following in mind:Climate
Generally, the days are bright and sunny and the nights clear and cool. November to April are the summer months, which is also the rainy season, while winter is from May to August, which usually has dry weather. September and October are very hot and very dry. The winter months from May to August inclusive, can bring freezing temperatures (below 0C sometimes) in the early morning and evenings.Passports and Visa:
Visitors to Africa must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended departure date, together with onward travel documents, proof of accommodation and sufficient funds for the duration of your stay. Please also ensure that you have sufficient blank visa pages, not endorsement pages, in your passport, with at least 2 consecutive/side by side blank pages. Our recommendation is 3 pages, or even 4 if you are travelling through more than one country on your journey.
Please speak to your Africa specialist to ensure that you have any appropriate travel documentation before departing on safari.
Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Those nationalities that require visas to enter Zimbabwe may have to apply for these in advance, however, some nationalities are able to obtain these on arrival at the port of entry.
Costs also vary depending on the nationality of your passport so please contact your travel consultant for exact details relevant to you. Zimbabwe has recently launched an online facility that travelers may use to pre-apply for visas.
For further information, refer to the website www.evisa.gov.zw Alternatively, visit the following website for additional information: www.zimbabwe-embassy.us
Please note, agents are not responsible for the content of any external website.NOTE for those travelling through South Africa or Botswana:
All passengers under 18 years of age will need to present an unabridged birth certificate as well as a valid passport when entering, departing or transiting South Africa and Botswana. A sworn translation (certified/authenticated) in English should accompany all documentation that is in a language other than English.
For single parents, or those travelling alone with their child/children, the following must be provided:
- An affidavit (no more than 3 months old on the date of travel) in which the absent parent gives consent for the child to travel, or
- A court order granting full responsibilities or legal guardianship of the child, or
- The death certificate of the absent parent.Banks and Foreign Exchange:
As the country has adopted a multi-currency system for payments, hard currencies such as US Dollars, GBP Sterling, Euros and South African Rand are accepted widely and you are encouraged to carry small denominations for ease of trade. Though credit cards are generally not accepted as a form of payment, there are some hotels that will Visa is most widely accepted, while MasterCard and American Express are less so. Please check with your travel consultant for specifics prior to travel.
Credit card facilities are not available at the most Zimbabwe camps payment can be made in cash only.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.
Getting into Zimbabwe can also be done by air, with international travelers flying first into O.R. Tambo Airport in South Africa before transferring into Zimbabwe. There are flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls or Harare airports.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.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.