what to expect
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.
||New Year's Day
||Robert Mugabe National Youth Day (from 2018)
|Easter Sunday -2d
|Easter Sunday +1d
|6 May (Sunday)
||Workers Day (Labour Day)
|Second Monday in August
|Second Monday in August
||Defence Forces 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:
- For the summers, bring clothes that are cool and comfortable, along with an umbrella or rain jacket, as this is when most of the country gets rain. A light jacket or wrap is a good precaution as well as thinner long pants to avoid mosquito bites in the evenings. Don't forget a swimming costume.
- The winters are generally mild, comparing favourably with European summers. But mornings and evenings can plummet to below zero temperatures - pack warm items.
- Always bring a hat - the sun can be strong even in the winter months. Make sunglasses, a hat and sunblock a firm part of your skin care kit.
- Walking shoes are a good idea all year-round, with warm socks in the winter.
- For the evening, if you are dining at an upmarket restaurant or seeing a show, go the smart-casual route. If you are simply going out to get a bite to eat, a general “no shirt, no shoes - no service” rule applies, so as long as you are fully clad, your attire should not be an issue.
- We encourage reasonably sized bags for multi-day tours. Most airlines have a 20kg weight limit (there is a charge for luggage which exceeds this limit).
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:
- Restaurants and Bars - Tipping in restaurants is customarily kept at 10% of the total shown on the bill.
- Hotels - At hotels, you may choose to leave money for housekeeping, this is often done at the end of your stay and is usually between US$7-10 per person per day.
- Guides - safari guides can be tipped between $10-$15 per person per day.