Float along the Zambezi River as the sky is set afire with the setting sun. The first sip, against the golden-hour backdrop as the spray of Falls rises up in the distance, will never taste this good again. Cruise downstream towards the Victoria Falls and venture upstream to catch the sun dip under, rippling reflections of elephant herds enjoying their own afternoon drink.
On the water, pelicans and African fish eagles coast in lazy circles on thermal updrafts and flocks of birds skim the waterline as the sun floods the sky with orange. The grunts of nocturnal animals punctuate the air, crocodiles cruise below the surface and game graze openly at the water’s edge.
On board the pontoon-style boats, glasses chink, Mosi beers are cracked open, snacks are served and cameras whir continuously as the sun goes down.
The mythical Zambezi River is said to house, Nyaminyami, the ancestral spirit or Mudzimu of the Tonga people who inhabited both banks in Zimbabwe and Zambia for centuries. For now the only concern is keeping the glasses topped with ‘spirits’ flowing from the on-board bar.
16 Official Languages Spoken
Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa.
Electricity – Volt & plug
The Zimbabwean electricity supply is 240V/50hz.
Wi-Fi can be found at most accommodations and some restaurants and airports, however, the download speed is often slow and many connections limit your data usage. In short, you’ll be able to stay connected with home, but don't expect a high-speed fibre connection.
When To Go
Zimbabwe is blessed with a mostly mild climate, but different areas will yield different temperatures throughout the year.
May-Aug = Winter time bringing dry days and very cold mornings/evenings.
Nov-Apr = The summer rainy season is beautiful, with sporadic rain and dramatic afternoon electrical storms.
Sep-Oct = Very hot and very dry.
The best time to visit would be from March - August as the falls are at their fullest and it is optimal for spectacular views, whitewater rafting and canoeing the Zambezi.
With the possible exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, most tourist services and attractions are open on Zimbabwe's public holidays. In addition, most city shopping centres, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open.
|1 January||New Year's Day|
|21 February||Robert Mugabe National Youth Day (from 2018)|
|Easter Sunday -2d||Good Friday|
|Easter Sunday +1d||Easter Monday|
|18 April||Independence Day|
|6 May (Sunday)||Mothers' Day|
|25 May||Workers Day (Labour Day)|
|Second Monday in August||Africa Day|
|Second Monday in August||Heroes' Day|
|14 August||Defence Forces Day|
|22 December||Unity Day|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
|26 December||Boxing Day|
Generally, most nationalities do not need a visa to enter Zimbabwe, however this changes regularly, so it is best to contact your local embassy for confirmation before departure. Your passport should be valid for at least SIX months from the date you will leave Zimbabwe and should have at least two blank pages.
What To Pack
Zimbabwe is generally pretty laid back, so no need to haul out your best silks when you head to these shores. Here's some clothing advice when in Zimbabwe:
Health & Safety
The standard vaccinations required for the Southern African region are applicable to Zimbabwe. It's important to see your doctor several months in advance, as some vaccinations take time.
It's highly recommended to get vaccinated for both Cholera and Typhoid - both of which had sporadic breakouts in late 2016, as well as Yellow Fever, Typhoid and Hepatitis A & B among others.
Malaria is present in many parts of the country, so it's recommended to take a course of antimalarials such as Doxycycline or Malarone. However, preventing bites is the ideal solution, so wear long-sleeve clothing in the evenings and bring along repellent containing DEET.
The tap water in Zimbabwe is not safe to drink, so ensure you consume bottled mineral water only, which is widely available.
Zimbabwe may have high crime statistics, but if you conduct yourself wisely, most tourists enjoy the country without any incident at all. Ensure that you lock away your passports and travel documents in a safe, which is usually provided by your accommodation. Don't flash around valuables and keep an eye on your belongings at all time. Majority of Zimbabwe’s crime is opportunistic petty crime, so if you are vigilant about your belongings you should not have any problem.
The currency in Zimbabwe is the American Dollar US$. You can easily convert your currency at a bank or Forex Bureau. The airports and larger towns often have many different Forex options. You can also withdraw from an ATM, banks are available in major cities. Be sure to check what international bank charges you will incur for withdrawals before you arrive. Major credit cards are accepted at some hotels or restaurants, however, there may be a surcharge. It is advisable to have small amounts of cash for curios and tipping.
Gratuities are not compulsory but rather a reward for good service. If you are happy with the service received you are welcome (but not expected to) tip guides or staff. The following is a suggestion for tipping: