This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu
Zimbabwe general information

Zimbabwe general information

Is it safe to travel to Zimbabwe? What's the currency in Zimbabwe? Do I need a visa for Zimbabwe? Planning a trip to one of Africa's less commercial countries brings up many important questions. Below we've gathered our knowledge and tried to answer the most frequently asked questions about Zimbabwe for our travellers.

Know before you go

As you plan your trip, and before you travel, we recommend that you check the latest Foreign Office advice on the places that you're going to - regardless of where you are travelling to, or how you are travelling. See FCO's Zimbabwe advice here, or its info on other countries here.
We urge you to do this, as we recommend that all our travellers keep themselves up to date with the current foreign office advice on their destination countries.

Safety in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is generally a safe country to visit. As in any country, you need to be cautious and careful in the cities and major towns like Harare and Bulawayo. Tourist police in Victoria Falls have been a massive help in reducing the nuisance factor from touts and hawkers, and the national parks which most people visit on safari holidays in Zimbabwe experience little crime. In recent years, politics have caused great distress and damage in Zimbabwe, bringing an image of chaos and insecurity to mind. Whilst the situation in the country has vastly improved from the days of white-owned farm invasions and violent urban unrest, some political tensions and troubles prevail and you should always avoid large gatherings. We keep a close eye on developments in Zimbabwe, and always urge all of our potential travellers there to do the same – the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and BBC websites are good resources for current information.

Time in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe doesn't operate daylight saving time, and is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2) during the summer months, as well as during the winter months.

Currency in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe abandoned the now infamous Zimbabwe dollar in 2009 after years of record high levels of inflation. It has been using the US dollar as its currency ever since, the South African rand is also widely accepted. Credit cards are becoming easier to use in tourist and business hubs such as Victoria Falls, Harare and Bulawayo but many visitors will still favour cash over plastic when visiting Zimbabwe’s more remote areas.

Rather bizarrely, due to a lack of dollar and rand coins circulating in Zimbabwe, change in supermarkets and at petrol stations is sometimes given to customers in sweets or pens. As charming as some may find this quirk in Zimbabwe’s economy, it’s hardly a solid base on which to build a solid monetary policy. With that in mind Zimbabwe’s central bank introduced special coins into circulation in mid-December 2014. The coins, which are pegged to the US dollar, come in denominations of one cent, five cent, 10 cent and 25 cent. It’s hoped the introduction of smaller denominations into circulation will help further stabilise Zimbabwe’s economy – which should further help ordinary Zimbabweans return to a degree of normalcy.

Zimbabwe's International Dialling Code

Zimbabwe's International Dialling Code is +263. Calling to Zimbabwe, you need to dial 00 263, followed by an area code (e.g. 4 for Harare); calling from Zimbabwe, you need to dial the relevant country code (e.g. +44 for the United Kingdom, or +1 for the United States of America). Currently (Aug 09), international calls with TelOne cost between US$0.23 and US$1.10 per minute, depending on the destination of the call (which country; fixed/mobile) and the time of the call (peak/off-peak).

Food in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's safari camps and lodges serve high-quality European-style food. Their chefs are adept as coping with shortages, and most visitors will never be aware of any!

The traditional diet of local Zimbabweans is mainly based on a corn-meal dish called sadza - which is powdered maize, mixed with water and cooked to the consistency of thick mashed potatoes. This is supplemented with relishes, or sauces, which might include beans, squash, pumpkins, yams, peanuts, mapopo (papaya), kapenta (a small, dried fish) – and meats from chicken and beef to biltong (dried meat) and game meats (kudu and impala).

Health in Zimbabwe

Travelling to Zimbabwe, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, cholera and rabies vaccines are sometimes advisable, although not required; a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from those travellers coming from areas at yellow fever risk. Malaria occurs in the areas below 1200m and in the Zambezi Valley, so you should take anti-malarials when going there.

Always check the latest requirements with your own doctor before you travel, although for a useful source of supplementary health information, check with the Scottish NHS.

HIV infection rates are high; AIDS is widespread in Zimbabwe. Usually, this isn't an issue for travellers, but they should be aware of this situation, and take sensible precautions to avoid infection. Expert Africa understand that blood supplies used by Zimbabwe's private hospitals have been carefully screened for years.

Language in Zimbabwe

English is the official language in Zimbabwe, although the majority of Zimbabwe's population also speaks Shona or Ndebele. Most guided safaris are usually conducted in English.

Visas for Zimbabwe

Currently (Feb 15), UK and US nationals need visas when travelling to Zimbabwe. These can be obtained on arrival. Please check with your nearest Zimbabwean Embassy or High Commission for the latest regulations, general visa requirements and fees.

For those travellers who may wish to combine a visit to Zimbabwe with one to Zambia it is now possible for travellers to obtain a dual visa, known as the Kaza Univisa. This is still very new to us (only commencing on 28th November 2014) so we are not yet familiar with how effective it is – but it seems to be working so far. It is currently available for purchase at both Victoria Falls and Harare Airports as well as at the Victoria Falls border. The cost is U$50 per person and allows entry into both countries. It is valid for 30 days as long as you stay in Zambia and Zimbabwe during this period. It also allows day trips into Botswana through the Kazungula border crossing too.

Weather and climate in Zimbabwe

The weather and climate in Zimbabwe is similar to Malawi's and Zambia's weather pattern – generally very warm and tropical, split into a wet and a dry season.

Our top picks for holidays to Zimbabwe

We'll always tailor-make your Safari for you. Here are some of our favourites to inspire you.


Itinerary image

Nyala Safari

10 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A superb luxury safari in iconic Hwange and Mana Pools National Parks staying in a pair of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe, with a grand finale at Victoria Falls.

US$8,950 - US$12,070 per person

Itinerary image

Ground Hornbill Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO BULAWAYO AIRPORT

Two authentic wilderness camps in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, renowned for their guiding and excellent walking safari, before some culture, a little luxury and rhino tracking in nearby Matobo.

US$4,890 - US$6,820 per person

Itinerary image

Grysbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

Discover three of Zimbabwe’s most iconic destinations in style, flying between Hwange, Mana Pools and Lake Kariba on this varied safari adventure staying at authentic yet luxurious camps.

US$6,640 - US$9,160 per person

Itinerary image

Buffalo Safari

9 days • 3 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Combining Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools and Hwange National Parks with stays at intimate six-tent safari camps offering excellent walking, canoeing and game drives. Superb wildlife viewing and a real wilderness-focussed experience.

US$5,410 - US$7,220 per person

Itinerary image

Pied Kingfisher Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

A luxury safari combining three of Zimbabwe's top highlights. The trip uses some of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe and is perfect for a family or small group.

US$5,250 - US$7,070 per person

Itinerary image

Klipspringer Safari

8 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO BULAWAYO AIRPORT

An outstanding-value Zimbabwe safari exploring Victoria Falls and two contrasting locations in western Zimbabwe – Hwange and the Matobo Hills – giving you a real feel for Zimbabwe, its people and wildlife.

US$2,820 - US$3,070 per person

Itinerary image

Banded Mongoose Safari

8 days • 2 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

A safari to two beautiful spots in northern Zimbabwe – peaceful Lake Kariba and wild Mana Pools National Park – staying in great value camps with celebrated guiding.

US$6,140 - US$6,950 per person

Itinerary image

Lion Safari

7 days • 2 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

The classic Expert Africa Zimbabwe safari. Combining two of our favourite independent camps, each run by celebrated guides, exciting game drives, world-class walks and canoeing in premier wildlife watching destinations.

US$5,910 - US$7,690 per person

Itinerary image

Bat Hawk Safari

7 days • 2 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO JOHANNESBURG AIRPORT

Explore two areas revered by safari enthusiasts with some of Africa’s best walking and some superb guiding – even by Zimbabwe’s high standards – for a varied and wonderfully immersive wilderness experience.

US$6,820 - US$7,840 per person

Itinerary image

Great Egret Safari

12 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A wonderfully varied adventure to Botswana and Zimbabwe combining three fantastic safari areas, a luxury river cruise and the mighty Victoria Falls.

US$7,170 - US$11,560 per person

View all holidays in Zimbabwe

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team