Zimbabwe Risk Report
Security travel advice for Zimbabwe
Threat level: Low-Medium
Robert Mugabe has now been ousted as President of Zimbabwe after finally agreeing to step down on Tuesday the 21st of November. Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa has been sworn in to replace Mr Mugabe as President and elections will be planned in the near future. Due to the current political situation in Harare, it is recommended to not get involved in large gatherings of crowds due to possible civil unrest.
The current travel advice for Zimbabwe is to stay cautious. There is a low threat of terror in the country however there is a moderate threat globally that western travellers are particularly at risk of. It is advised to take basic security precautions when in the country to ensure a risk free trip, as foreign tourists are often targeted by petty criminals.
Recent security risk events
Zimbabwe has experienced some political unrest in the past. This has included some large demonstrations that have turned violent on occasion, these are isolated incidents and do not represent an immediate risk. Precautions you should take are to avoid large public gatherings when possible, and monitor the local media as often as possible.
It is a criminal offence to make derogatory or insulting comments about the President of Zimbabwe or to carry material considered to be offensive to the government office.
There is a moderate level of petty crime in the Harare region. The most common crimes include pick pocketing, jewellery theft and assaults. Street lighting can be poor so remain extra vigilant after dark and avoid travelling alone if possible.
There has been a recent increase in thefts and smash-and-grab robberies from vehicles, including at the main intersections along the route to Harare International Airport and on the Masvingo Beitbridge road.
Zimbabwe’s closest diplomatic relations lie with the People Republic of China and South Africa. The country also has strong ties with Russia as the two countries have economic interests with one another. Relationships between Zimbabwe and the UK have been shaky in recent years but they do still have embassies in each others countries.
You can drive in Zimbabwe with most national driving licences including EU and UK licences. The roads are notoriously bad and are often riddled with potholes. Roads have little to none lighting and are often used by pedestrians and donkey carts which can cause accidents.
The diamond mining area in Marange is a restricted area.
Currency: US Dollars
Time now in Harare:
Most nationalities will require a visa to enter Zimbabwe, however often this can be issued at the port of entry for fee. This includes British, American and Canadian nationals. A small number of travellers may need to purchase a visa from their local embassy prior to travel to Zimbabwe. If you are still unsure of eligibility, contact your local Zimbabwean Embassy. Alternatively, more information can be found here: Zimbabwe visa requirements
It is advised that visitors to Zimbabwe are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is recommended for most travellers to also get a Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations. Note that there is currently an outbreak of Typhoid fever in Zimbabwe.
Although there is no risk of the disease in Zimbabwe, if you are coming from a country where there is a risk of Yellow Fever, or transiting for longer than 12 hours in an at risk country, you will have to provide a certificate of vaccination. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
Malaria is of high risk during both the wet and dry season in Zimbabwe, particularly in the low lying border areas. As such, precautions should be taken to prevent yourself from contracting the disease.
Dengue is also an issue in Zimbabwe, so you should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Avoid swimming in freshwater streams, rivers or lakes as there is also a risk of contracting Schistosomiasis through a parasite that penetrates human skin when the water is contaminated.
U.S. Embassy Harare
172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue,
Telephone: +263 4 250 5934
British Embassy Harare
3 Norfolk Rd,
Telephone: +263 4 338 800
Other useful info
Police emergency: 999
Fire emergency: 994
Medical emergency: 993