Zimbabwe Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Zimbabwe
How Safe is Zimbabwe?
Threat level: Low-Medium
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. The best travel advice for Zimbabwe is to take basic security precautions when in the country to ensure a risk free trip, as foreign tourists are often targeted by petty criminals.
Robert Mugabe was ousted as President of Zimbabwe, after finally agreeing to step down on Tuesday the 21st of November 2017. Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in to replace Mr Mugabe as President and finish his term, and was re-elected in July 2018. 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.
COVID-19 situation in Zimbabwe
Due to the new COVID-19 strain that appeared in the UK, entry to Zimbabwe is restricted for UK travellers.
There have been reported cases of coronavirus in Zimbabwe and as a result of this, the country has imposed a nationwide lockdown and a curfew between 18:00 to 06:00. People must stay at home and must only go out for essentials like purchasing food and seek medical assistance. Further to this, the use of facemasks is compulsory in public and people must maintain social distancing. Commercial flights have been allowed to resume but are limited, and international travellers are allowed entry on the condition that they provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Zimbabwe, taken no more than 48 hours prior to travelling. When leaving Zimbabwe, travellers must present a negative PCR test certificate, issued no more than 48 hours prior to their flight.
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 International Relations
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.
Travelling around Zimbabwe
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.
There is currently a shortage of cash in the country, so the best travel advice for Zimbabwe is recommended to have sufficient amount of cash in US dollars or to check that your hotel or restaurants you go to accept cards.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency Services in Zimbabwe
Police emergency: 999
Fire emergency: 994
Medical emergency: 993
Currency: Zimbabwe dollar
Time now in Harare:
Consular information for Zimbabwe
U.S. Embassy Harare
172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue,
Telephone: +263 4 250 5934
British Embassy Harare
3 Norfolk Rd,
Telephone: +263 4 338 800
Visa requirements for Zimbabwe
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
Healthcare and Immunisations
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 are currently outbreaks of Typhoid fever and Cholera 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.
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.