Africa Tours and Safaris
Zimbabwe - Travel Information

Visas and Passports

International visitors require a valid passport together with onward travel documents. All passport holders should verify with their travel agent or relevant consulate concerning visa entry requirements. If you are extending your journey to other countries, please establish entry requirements for those countries as well.

Climate

As Zimbabwe is south of the Equator, the seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere with mid-summer at Christmas and winter lasting from May to August. Temperatures vary considerably depending on altitude, with it being warmer all year round in low-lying areas such as Kariba, Victoria Falls, Hwange and the Zambezi Valley. In winter the days are generally dry and sunny with temperatures averaging 15 to 20 degrees C. Light to medium weight clothing is generally sufficient with a warm coat or fleece to wear outdoors on overcast or windy days.

In summer temperatures average 25 to 30 degrees C during the day, with the hottest month being October, when temperatures often exceed 32 degrees C. Light clothing is essential at this time of year, as is a hat.  During the rainy season from November to March, a fleece may be needed in the evenings.

Seasonality

Travel during the Christmas or Easter period can be busy. It is wise to book ahead if planning to travel to National Parks and Victoria Falls during this time.

Weather and Clothes

As Zimbabwe is south of the Equator, the seasons are in reverse to those in the northern hemisphere with mid-summer at Christmas and winter lasting from May to August. The temperatures given are those for the main centers and it must be realised that it is considerably warmer ail year round in low-lying areas such as Kariba, Victoria Falls, Hwange, Gona-re-Zhou and the Zambezi Valley. In winter the days are generally dry and sunny with temperatures averaging between i5-2o°C. Light to medium weight clothing is generally sufficient with a warm coat or woolen to wear outdoors on overcast or windy days. Light clothing is essential and it is advisable to wear a hat out of doors. During the rainy season (November to March), a light jacket may be needed in the evenings. Most hotels expect men to wear a collar, jacket and tie in bars and restaurants after 18.30, except in the warmer parts of the country.

Health Requirements

With the exception of children less than one year of age, all visitors coming to Zimbabwe from infected areas are requested to possess vaccination certificates against cholera and yellow fever. It is not advisable to swim in the country's rivers and dams as they may be infected with bilharzias. It is however worth noting that all tap water is very safe to drink and water in swimming pools is purified hence very safe. If you are intending to visit low-lying areas such as Victoria Falls, Hwange, Kariba, Gonarezhou and Zambezi Valley, it is advisable to take a course of anti-malaria tablets as a precaution. Prophylaxis is 100 percent effective. However it is always advisable to check with your doctor or pharmacist before traveling to such areas. Most establish­ments in the country do have mosquito nets and repellents.

Currency

The local currency is known as Zimbabwe dollar (ZW$). Most international hard currencies are easily convertible in Zimbabwe. For convenience it is recommended to have travelers’ cheques or United States Dollars, which in most cases are acceptable as a means of payment. Some hotels accept some other convertible currencies as a medium of exchange. However the norm in most establishments is US$ based or its equivalent. Travellers Cheques and International credit cards are widely accepted and international credit cards can be used at ATMs. Barclays and Standard Chartered Banks are on the Cirrus System. Avoid street/boarder moneychangers. Instead it is advisable to change all your money or travelers’ cheques at commercial banks, hotels or registered bureaux de change.

Security

Zimbabweans are known for their hospitality and friendliness towards each other and visitors alike. Although all Zimbabweans are very helpful it is always advisable to be cautious when dealing with strangers. Police officers are very helpful and are easily identified by their uniforms although some may be plainclothes police. Like everywhere in the world valuables should always be safeguarded or left in the hotel safe box. If you do not know where to obtain a certain service or you are not sure always contact The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Publicity Association, Police Post, or the hotel information desk.

National Holidays

Date    Description
10 Aug 09       Heroes' Day
11 Aug 09       Defence Forces Day
22 Dec 09        Unity Day
25 Dec 09        Christmas Day
26 Dec 09        Boxing Day
01 Jan 10        New Year's Day
02 Apr 10        Good Friday
03 Apr 10        Holy Saturday
05 Apr 10        Easter Monday
18 Apr 10        Independence Day
01 May 10      Labour Day
25 May 10      Africa Day
09 Aug 10       Hero's Day
10 Aug 10       Defence Forces Day
22 Dec 10        Unity Day
25 Dec 10        Christmas Day
26 Dec 10        Boxing Day

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