Image © Nyamatusi Camp Sunset/ African Bush Camps
With it’s national parks, wildlife conservation areas & world heritage sites, including the awe inspiring Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and Mana Pools – Zimbabwe holds the ingredients for an exciting and adventurous experience, away from large scale tourism.
Our travel information section aims to provide you with useful information and resources for your Zimbabwe safari.
- Contact us for more information or to discuss your travel plans with one of our dedicated travel consultants.
Zimbabwe has two international airports:
Harare (HRE) and Victoria Falls (VFA)
There are (as yet) no direct flights from UK or US into Zimbabwe, most routes involve flying via South Africa into Johannesburg or via East Africa into Nairobi.
You can check your best flight route here
Security & General Travel Safety
Our head office is based in Nairobi and we work with reputable safari companies who are located on the ground in Zimbabwe. These companies are the eyes and ears on the ground and can inform our head office in Nairobi of any security situation as it may happen, ensuring that we can act and respond swiftly.
Other general travel safety advice:
– In the cities and main tourist areas, be on the alert for handbag snatchers and pick pockets.
– Do not travel with any precious jewellery items.
– Make copies of your travel documents and keep these in a safe place – separate from the original documents.
-Split out cash into separate bundles of small amounts and keep separately.
– Ensure that luggage can be locked.
– Always wear sear belts whilst traveling in vehicles and ensure doors are locked.
US$ is the currency used in Zimbabwe.
Ensure to travel with lower denomination notes, as change given from high tender notes may not be easily available.
When tipping, do so in US$.
Many camps/lodges will be pre-paid before your safari, with tips needing to be settled upon departure. If you do need to settle something to a bill, please be aware that some camps/lodges in remote areas may not accept credit/bank cards, so it is advised to have enough US$ in cash to cover any additional costs.
Always inform your bank that you are travelling outside of the country as they might block any attempt to withdraw cash or use card machines if they have not been informed beforehand.
Please note that ATMs do NOT dispense US$, therefore bringing US$ in small tender notes is preferable.
Tips & Gratuities
Tipping is entirely at your discretion and although it is not a requirement it is customary to tip for good service. There is not a set amount to tip, so please take the following information as a guideline:
Guides – US$15 cash per person /per day
Camp Staff Team – US$20 per person / per day
Camp Host – US$10 per person / per day
Tips should be given in US$ cash and it is usual to tip at the end of your stay.
Some camps/lodges will have a tip box for the camp staff team.
It is advised that visitors take malaria precautions when travelling to Zimbabwe. It is recommended that you contact your Doctor or Travel Health Clinic at least 6-8 weeks prior to travel.
You can reduce the risk of malaria by using prophylactics (which should be started before arriving in Zimbabwe and under your doctor’s guidance) and by following these simple procedures:
– Wear long sleeves and long trousers to avoid bites from mosquitos, insects and ticks.
– Apply mosquito repellents on a regular basis to exposed skin.
– Where possible sleep under a mosquito net.
– Burn an insect/mosquito repellent candle or coil.
Should any of the symptoms of malaria, such as fever, rigours (shaking), headaches, backache, diarrhoea and/or vomiting be experienced, it is extremely important to obtain professional help as soon as possible for proper diagnosis (a blood test) and prompt treatment. Symptoms can surface as soon as ten days and as long as eight weeks after being bitten. If any flu like symptoms are experienced once you return home seek immediate medical attention and advise your doctor that you have recently visited a malaria area.
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection, where Schistosoma larvae are released from infected freshwater snails and can penetrate intact human skin following contact with contaminated freshwater. Travellers may be exposed during activities such as wading, swimming, bathing or washing clothes in freshwater streams, rivers or lakes.
Schistosomiasis infection may cause no symptoms, but early symptoms can include a rash and itchy skin (‘swimmer’s itch’), fever, chills, cough, or muscle aches. If not treated, it can cause serious long term health problems such as intestinal or bladder disease.
– All travellers should avoid wading, swimming, or bathing in fresh water. Swimming in adequately chlorinated water or sea water is not a risk for schistosomiasis
– Drink water that is boiled, filtered or bottled.
– Application of insect repellent before exposure to fresh water, or towel drying after possible exposure to schistosomiasis are not reliable in preventing infection.
– All travellers who may have been exposed to schistosomiasis should have a health check to test for schistosomiasis infection
The recommendations regarding vaccinations & anti-malaria tablets need to be discussed with a professional, therefore it is advised that you contact your Doctor/medical centre/ travel health clinic for up-to-date details, this should ideally be done at least 8 weeks before you travel.
There are currently no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Zimbabwe, but please check this before you travel.
For more information see the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
Drinking Water & De-Hydration
- Drinking Water:
Do not drink water straight from the tap, always drink from bottled water or a specific ‘Drinking Water’ labelled bottle/jug at your safari camp/lodge.
Brush teeth with drinking water.
Always take a bottle of drinking water in your day bag on any activity or excursions – even if it’s a short one – and take regular, small drinks of water.
Wear a hat and sunscreen at all times and cover up/take shade from the heat of the sun, especially during the hottest times of the day.
Bites & Stings
Bugs and small creatures are all a part of being in the wilds of Africa. It is of course important to take precautions against any opportunity for bites or stings, so being aware is important.
When walking in the bush always wear long trousers and enclosed shoes or walking boots , with thick socks covering the ankles for protection. When walking in long grass, check your legs and clothes for grass ticks – especially in the rainy season, even when you are wearing long trousers.
Check & shake out shoes and walking boots before putting them on.
Always look first to see where you are sitting, when picking something up or when putting your hand/foot into something, like a bag or shoe – check first!
If you think you may have been bitten or stung by something, always inform the Camp Manager & Safari Guide as soon as possible.
Internet, Electricity and Plug Standards
Internet availability and wifi can be sporadic whilst on safari in Zimbabwe. It is best to think of this trip as an opportunity to take a break from the world of tech and reconnect to nature. If necessary, we can check each camp individually if there is a wish to know if it has an internet connection.
Zimbabwe operates on a 240V supply voltage and 50Hz. Solar power is also common in safari locations.
Zimbabwe uses plug types D and G. See image below:
Zimbabwe is a year-round travel destination and offers something different throughout the seasons.
There is one main rainy season which happens from December – April, however it can start as early as November. Some locations are not so easily accessed during these months and safari camps can be seasonally closed.
The green season April – May are when the rains have finished but the landscape is still lush and green. This is the time when Victoria Falls is at it’s most spectacular with a mighty cascade of water and spray.
June – October are the dryer months, when safari viewing can be at it’s best but the temperatures are hotter before the rains begin again.
Visa & Passport Requirements
Zimbabwe offers 3 categories for Visa application
Category A: Not required to have a visa to travel to Zimbabwe.
Category B: Required to have a visa to travel to Zimbabwe, but may pay for and obtain your visa on arrival into Zimbabwe.
Category C: Required to pay for and obtain your visa before you travel to Zimbabwe.
Please check here to check which category you apply.
All Categories need:-
• Passport valid for a least 6 months from your date of entry.
• Return ticket to your country (or enough money to buy one)
• Sufficient funds to cover your stay in Zimbabwe
• Enough blank pages (a min of 3) in your passport to fit the required entry visa
You can expect to pay:
USD $30 for a 30-day/single-entry visa
USD $45 for a 45-day/double entry visa
USD $160 for a 12 month/ multiple-entry visa
See here for more information from US Government Travel Department
Pack lightly for your safari to include:
– Comfortable, loose fitting cotton clothing in muted and natural tones is recommended.
– Long sleeves and long trousers, shorts and t-shorts with enclosed footware.
– Jacket or fleece for early mornings and evenings, when it can get chilly.
– Hat to keep the sun off and protect from sunburn.
– Small day pack to hold water bottle, binoculars, notebook and pen, sunglasses, face/hand wipes etc
– Please note that camouflage-patterned clothes are illegal, so avoid any item like this.
See here for our clothing packing guide
All travellers must have adequate and comprehensive travel health insurance. Make sure your travel insurance covers all the activities you plan on doing in Zimbabwe and covers your full stay in the country and travel to/from.
- Getting There