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Zimbabwe Country Guide

  1. Country Facts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Africa
Full Name: Republic of Zimbabwe
Capital City: Harare
Language Spoken: English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects

Zimbabwe Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

20 00 S, 30 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: junction of the Runde and Save rivers 162 m highest point: Inyangani 2,592 m

Land boundaries

total: 3,066 km border countries: Botswana 813 km, Mozambique 1,231 km, South Africa 225 km, Zambia 797 km

Natural hazards

recurring droughts; floods and severe storms are rare

Natural resources

coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals

Land use

arable land: 8.24% permanent crops: 0.33% other: 91.43% (2005)

Environmental current issues

deforestation; soil erosion; land degradation; air and water pollution; the black rhinoceros herd - once the largest concentration of the species in the world - has been significantly reduced by poaching; poor mining practices have led to toxic waste and heavy metal pollution

Climate

Although located in the tropics, temperate conditions prevail all year, as the climate is moderated by altitude and the inland position of the country. The hot and dry season is from September to October, and the rainy season from November to March. The best months to visit are April to May and August to September. Night-time temperatures can fall below freezing. Required clothing Light- to mediumweights with warmer clothes for evenings and rainwear for the wet season.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+2

Population

12,236,805 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 37.4% (male 2,307,170/female 2,265,298) 15-64 years: 59.1% (male 3,616,528/female 3,621,190) 65 years and over: 3.5% (male 199,468/female 227,151) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 19.9 years male: 19.7 years female: 20 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

0.62% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

28.01 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

21.84 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 39.29 years male: 40.39 years female: 38.16 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

3.13 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Suit and tie should be worn for business meetings, however the atmosphere will generally be less formal than in many European countries. Most businessmen speak English and business cards are usually exchanged. Office hours are 0800-1630 Monday to Friday.

Crime

Muggings, rape, purse snatching, car thefts, and credit card fraud are on the increase and as foreigners are perceived as being wealthy, these groups are frequently being targeted. Thieves often operate in the vicinity of hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and tourist areas. It may be prudent to take the preventive measure of leaving all valuables such as passport, money, jewelry and credit cards in the hotel safe when not being used. Do not carry large sums of money or multiple credit cards while shopping. Make and carry a photocopy of the biographic page of the passport for purposes of identification. Thieves have stolen possessions from automobiles and public transport vehicles stopped in traffic. Car doors should be locked and windows rolled up at all times. Visitors should always be aware of activity around them. A typical mugging in Harare involves a group of young males who surround and overwhelm their victim in a public area. An alert person can often see this developing and take evasive action. Purse snatchers will often work in teams of two with one acting as a diversion. One may engage you in conversation or bump you on the street while the other grabs your valuables. Do not display or carry unnecessary valuables. Keep money in your pockets. Avoid wearing "fanny packs" and money belts. Thieves specifically look or feel for these items when robbing you. There are regular reports of incidents of robberies and car jackings of vehicles using the Harare Airport road. Particular care should be taken at Harare International Airport where there has been an increase in such thefts. You should carry photocopies of your passport, although banks will not accept photocopies for monetary transactions. Take care with baggage in public places, and at reception desks when checking in or out of hotels.

Hotels

Most visiting business people stay at the Monomatapa, Meikles, Sheraton or Holiday Inn hotels in downtown Harare-all are centrally located and provide acceptable internal security. Most business people in terms of comfort and location prefer the Meikles. Non-residents must pay hotel bills in hard currency. Local currency is not acceptable even on presentation of exchange certificates.

Communications

Full telephone IDD service is available. The country code is 263 and the outgoing international code is 110. Fax services are widely available. Zimbabwe's telecommunications system is being upgraded, but is still plagued by problems and does not offer many services (i.e., cellular, paging, packet switching, etc.) common in many countries.

Electricity

is a 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity 220/230 volts AC, 50Hz.

Plug Types

D,G

Food And Dining

Zimbabwe is a cosmopolitan society and enjoys both local and international cuisine. Eating out is popular and comparatively cheap. Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage. Imported wines, spirits and liqueurs are available in hotels.
National specialties:
? Sadza (a stiff maize meal) eaten with meat and/or gravy and a relish.
? Nhedzi soup (wild mushroom).
? Game meat, including ostrich, warthog and crocodile tail. National drinks:
? Whawha (traditional maize beer). Things to know: Table service is the norm in restaurants. Public bars are almost always part of a hotel. Licensing hours in Zimbabwe are 1030-1500 and 1630-2300. Major hotels have 24-hour bars and room service.
Tipping:
A 10 to 15 per cent tip is usual.
Nightlife
Rather limited outside the cities with emphasis on eating and discos, but larger cities have nightclubs, cinemas and repertory theaters. The three main tourist areas have casinos.

Entry departure requirements

* Please see visa section

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months beyond date of departure required by all.

Visas

Required by all except the following:
(a)1. nationals of Cyprus, Ireland and Malta;
(b) nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, Cayman Islands, Congo (DRC), Fiji, Grenada, Hong Kong (SAR), Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Leeward Islands, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Montserrat, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Western Samoa and Zambia;
(c) passengers continuing their journey to a third country within 6 hours by the same or connecting flight, provided holding tickets with reserved seats and documents for onward travel and not leaving the transit area.

Note

2. Nationals of the following countries may obtain visas valid for up to 90 days on arrival in Zimbabwe, provided holding tickets and documents for return or onward travel and sufficient funds for their stay: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Cook Islands, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana (gratis visa; free-of-charge), Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep), Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Palestinian Authority Region (State Of), Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico (USA), Seychelles, South Africa (gratis visa; free-of-charge), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, US Virgin Islands and Vatican City.

Types of visa and cost

Visa at port of entry: cost dependent on nationality, British nationals US$62 ; contact consular section at Embassy or High Commission for further details. Cost of visa from Embassy: single-entry US$69 ; double-entry US$86 Multiple-entry visas only issued when in Zimbabwe.

Validity

Six months from date of issue.

Application to

Consular section at Embassy or High Commission; see Passport/Visa Information. For Multiple-entry visas, travelers must apply direct to the Chief Immigration Officer in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Application requirements

(a) Completed application form. (b) Passport valid for at least six months beyond date of departure. (c) Fee, payable by cash or banker's draft (cheques are not accepted). (d) Two passport photographs. (e) Letter of invitation or an itinerary. (f) Return ticket and proof of sufficient funds (this requirement applies to all visitors, including those who may enter visa-free).

Note

All visitors to Zimbabwe must be in possession of return tickets (or funds in lieu) and sufficient funds to support themselves. The granting of a visa is not a guarantee of entry.

Working days required

Usually seven; minimum of 48 hours from receipt of application.

Temporary residence

Apply to Chief Immigration Officer, Private Bag 77717, Causeway, Harare.

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax

US$20 (non-residents); US$20 or Z$1100 (residents). Children under two years and transit passengers are exempt.

Embassies

Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe in the UK

Zimbabwe House, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR, UK
Tel: (020) 7836 7755.
Website: www.zimlondon.gov.zw
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700; 0900-1230 (visa section).

Embassy of Zimbabwe in the USA

1608 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Tel: (202) 332 7100.
Website: www.zimembassydc.gov.zw
Openign hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1200 (consular section).
There has been an increase in tension in urban areas and a general increase in the level of violent crime. There is a continuing risk of violence at political demonstrations, but main tourist areas have been largely unaffected by political and social unrest.
Most visits to Zimbabwe are trouble free. Travel with organized tour operators to well-established destinations is recommended. Independent travel, particularly backpacking, is strongly advised against.
Travel to the high-density suburbs is advised against; the Government of Zimbabwe's 'clean up' campaign has increased tension in these areas. Travelers should avoid engaging in overtly partisan political activity, or in activities that could be construed as such.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Zimbabwe.html

Currency

Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWD; symbol Z$ ) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of Z$100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2. Coins are in denominations of Z$5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 cents.

Currency restrictions

The import and export of local currency is limited to Z$15,000. The import of foreign currency is unlimited. The export of foreign currency is unlimited as long as supported by the visitor's currency declaration form.

Banking hours

Mon-Tues and Thurs-Fri 0800-1500, Wed 0800-1300 and Sat 0800-1130.

Currency exchange

Major foreign currencies can be exchanged at bureaux de change, banks and major hotels at the official exchange rate.

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club and Visa are widely accepted, whilst MasterCard has more limited use. Some ATMs accept credit cards. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques

Banks and major hotels will exchange these. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Arcturus(0)74+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Banket(0)66+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Beatrice(0)65+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Beitbridge(0)86+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Bindura(0)71+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Binga(0)15+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Birchenough(0)248+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Bulawayo(0)9+ 5/8 digit subscriber nr
Centenary(0)57+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Chakari(0)688+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Chatsworth(0)308+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Checheche(0)317+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Chegutu(0)53+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Chimanimani(0)26+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Chinhoyi(0)67+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Chipangayi(0)24+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Chipinge(0)27+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Chiredzi(0)31+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Chirundu(0)637+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Chitungwiza(0)70+ 5/6 digit subscriber nr
Chivhu(0)56+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Colleen Bawn(0)848+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Concession(0)756+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Darwendale(0)69+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Dete(0)18+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Esigodini(0)88+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Figtree(0)83+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Filabusi(0)17+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Glendale(0)758+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Gokwe(0)59+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Guruve(0)58+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Gutu(0)30+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Gwanda(0)84+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Gweru(0)54+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Harare(0)4+ 5/8 digit subscriber nr
Hauna(0)28+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Headlands(0)2582+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Hwange (Wankie)(0)81+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Jerera(0)34+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Jotsholo(0)89+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Juliasdale(0)29+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Kadoma (Gatooma)(0)68+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Kariba(0)61+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Karoi(0)64+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Kezi(0)82+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Kwekwe(0)55+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Lalapanzi(0)5483+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Macheke(0)798+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Makuti(0)63+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Marondera(0)79+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Mashava(0)35+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Masvingo (Ft. Victoria)(0)39+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Mataga(0)517+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Matopos(0)838+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Mazowe (Mazoe)(0)75+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Mberengwa(0)518+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Mhangura(0)60+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Mount Darwin(0)76+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Munyati(0)557+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Murambinda(0)21+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Murewa(0)78+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Mutare (Umtali)(0)20+ 5/6 digit subscriber nr
Mutoku(0)72+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Mutorashanga(0)668+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Mvuma(0)32+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Mvurwi(0)77+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Mwenezi(0)147+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Ngundu(0)36+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Nkayi(0)558+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Norton(0)62+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Nyamandhlovu(0)87+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Nyanga(0)298+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Nyazura(0)2583+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Nyika(0)38+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Odzi(0)204+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Penhalonga(0)205+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Plumtree(0)19+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Raffingora(0)667+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Rusape(0)25+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Rutenga(0)14+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Ruwa(0)73+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Sanyati(0)687+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Selous(0)628+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Shamva(0)718+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Shangani(0)50+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Shurugwi(0)52+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Trelawney(0)698+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Triangle(0)33+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Tsholotsho(0)878+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Turk Mine(0)85+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
Victoria Falls(0)13+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Wedza(0)22+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
West Nicholson(0)16+ 3/6 digit subscriber nr
Zvishavane(0)51+ 4/6 digit subscriber nr
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent DiseaseOutbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

There is some reliable dental care in Harare and Bulawayo. Avoid dental care elsewhere as the standards of care and hygiene cannot be guaranteed

Medication Availability

Some international medication is available from the larger pharmacies and hospitals in the capital - Harare

Blood supplies

Blood supplies in the larger hospitals in Harare and obtained from The National Blood Transfusion Service of Zimbabwe can be considered safe. Avoid blood supplies not marked NBTSZ as these should be considered as unsafe.

Medical facilities

Medical facilities outside of Harare and Bulawayo are limited, and some types of medicine are in short supply.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS/HIV infection is prevalent. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured.

Immunization

Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne diseases: are major causes of illness. Many diseases are endemic, with only scattered cases being reported and, from time to time, more extensive outbreaks. Filariasis - prevalent Leishmaniasis - occurs (both cutaneous and visceral types may be found, particularly in the drier areas) Malaria - common Plague - occurs (cases may occur in the Dakamela area of Nkayi District, Matebeleland North Province, between September and February among humans who come into contact with infected wild rodents or mice) Relapsing fever - occurs Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) - occurs (human type - mainly in small, isolated areas - is reported) Typhus - occurs (louse-, flea-, and tick-borne types occur) Food-borne and water-borne illness: highly endemic. The dysenteries and diarrheal diseases, giardiasis, the typhoid fevers and viral hepatitis are widespread. Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) is widespread in animal-breeding areas. Cholera - occurs Dracunculiasis - occurs Helminthic (parasitic worm) infections - prevalent Schistosomiasis - common Other hazards: AIDS/HIV infection - prevalent Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported. Polio is still considered a possible risk, although no cases have been reported in recent years. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Rabies - occurs Trachoma - prevalent

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers coming from infected areas.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
Avenues ClinicCorner Baines Av & Mazowe Street Harare PO Box 4880
Mater Dei HospitalBurns Drive Malindela Bulawayo
Montagu Clinic135 J. Cinamano Avenue P.O. Box 4880 Harare
St. Anne's HospitalKing George Road P.O. Box A640 Avondale Harare
St. Clements57 Baines Avenue P.O. Box 4880 Harare

Media

All broadcasters transmitting from Zimbabwa and the main newspapers are state-controlled and follow the Government line. The private press has come under severe pressure. The only privately-owned daily, the Daily News, is subject to a publication ban. The paper and the Government had waged war in the courts.
Press: The main English-language newspapers are The Chronicle (website: www.chronicle.co.zw), The Financial Gazette (website: www.fingaz.co.zw), The Herald (website: www.herald.co.zw), The Sunday Mail and The Sunday News. Visitors should note that the carrying of the main independent newspapers (The Financial Gazette, The Independent and The Standard (website) www.thestandard.co.zw)) can provoke a hostile reaction from ZANU (PF) supporters.
TV: Zimbabwe Braodcasting Corporation is state-run.
Radio: Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is state-run and has four networks.

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