Zimbabwe Travel Guide: A World Of Wonders!

Be ready for Zimbabwe's off-the-beaten-path wildlife experience and unleash your adventurous side in Victoria Falls!







Zimbabwe Travel Guide

Zimbabwe is an iconic country in Southern Africa that is surrounded by 4 African countries: South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique. With the majestic Victoria Falls as Zimbabwe's number one tourist attraction, it's the adventure capital of the African continent with activities like bungee jumping from Victoria Falls Bridge, zip-lining, micro flights, helicopter flights, and much more.

The Zambezi river forms the natural boundary with Zambia. When the Zambezi is in full flood you can witness the world's largest curtain of falling water at 'Vic Falls', a great experience not to be missed.

Apart from adventure, you can also find amazingly diverse landscapes, lush mountains, and off-the-beaten-path wildlife experiences in amazing national parks where you can spot the Big Five (leopard, lion, rhino, elephant, and buffalo), such as Mana Pools, Hwange National Park, Matusadona, Matobo Hills, and Lake Kariba.

Zimbabwe has a troubled and politically unstable past. It was once the Bread Basket of Africa, and now one of the poorest countries in the world. Despite the situation, the Zimbabweans are very warm, welcoming, and hopeful for what the future might hold. There is no reason to not travel to Zimbabwe, and you should add it to your Africa bucket list. It's the colonial heart of Africa and home to the largest ruins in all of Africa. Zimbabwe has 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites with an abundance of free-roaming wildlife.

Table of contents in this Zimbabwe Travel Guide:

Interesting Facts Zimbabwe

  Flag of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe country flag

  National Animal Zimbabwe

Sable Antelope

  Zimbabwe National Dish


  Currency in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD) 

  Zimbabwe Time Zone
Central African Time Zone or EAT (GMT+2 hours)

Best time to visit Zimbabwe

The best time to visit Zimbabwe depends on what you want to explore, which temperature conditions you like and if you are fine with rain. Zimbabwe is one of the few places in the world that boasts sunshine for more than 320 days per year, and therefore an amazing year-round destination. Hotels and safaris raise their rates from July, the start of Zimbabwe's high season.

  • In general, one of the best months to travel to Zimbabwe is in May. It's the end of the summer rainy season with mild temperatures (mid 20), lush greenery, lesser tourists, and great conditions for wildlife-viewing and experience Vic Falls in full flood.
  • For safaris, the best time to go to Zimbabwe is from May-November, with day temperatures of mid 20 degrees in July-August and 30+ in October/November. Animals congregate around the rivers and waterholes.
  • If you want to visit Victoria Falls, the best time to visit Zimbabwe is from February to May, after the summer rains to experience a dramatic full curtain of falling water. 
  • The rain season in Zimbabwe is from January-March. Roads can be in a bad condition and it's difficult to camp. Some safari camps in Hwange close during the rainy season (December-March), but the wildlife sightings are still good and the storms can be very photogenic and atmospheric bringing incredible sunsets, clear skies, and migratory birds.

Things to know before you travel to Zimbabwe

Safety in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is generally a safe country to travel to however, occasional robberies do occur like in any other nation. Because of the poor economic conditions, some have turned to crime, and tourists can be targets. That being said, crime in Zimbabwe is probably some of the lowest on the African continent. Use your common sense while traveling; stay alert, avoid large gatherings, or demonstrations, and don't travel alone after sunset and you should have a trouble-free and safe trip in Zimbabwe. I was a volunteer in Zimbabwe and I felt safe the entire time

Do I need a visa when traveling to Africa?

Visa requirements for Zimbabwe

Almost all foreign nationals require a visa to travel to Zimbabwe. With the new visa regime, all countries are grouped into three categories (A, B, and C). A few countries don't need a visa (A), some have to apply for a visa before traveling to Zimbabwe (C), others don't and can obtain a visa on arrival (B). Most countries, like the US, UK, and several EU-countries belong to category B. Because these visa regulations are subject to change, always check the Official Government of Zimbabwe eVisa Website, the official place to apply for an online visa, and to check the category your country belongs to. Visas can also be obtained at the Zimbabwean Embassy or Consulate in or near your country. The fees for a visa vary and depend on the applicant's nationality.

Top Tip: Zambia and Zimbabwe offer a universal visa, the KAZA Visa valid for both countries for visits up to 30 days (including trips to Chobe NP in Botswana) and you can cross borders between ZAM and ZIM (for example to visit Vic Falls at both sides) as much as you like for the same price as a single entry visa. Not all countries are eligible, but most countries of America, Europe, and North Asia can apply for this visa.

Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Travel Choices for Traveling to Africa

Responsible Travel in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a poor country and suffered from a collapsed economy. You can support the local economy and individuals by choosing a responsible, reputable local tour operator, local guides, and stay at locally owned eco-hotels or homestays. Use eco-friendly products and try to avoid single-use plastics as recycling isn't a priority in Zim.

Trophy hunting and canned hunting are sadly a big issue in Zimbabwe. The issue went viral when Cecil the lion got killed by a trophy hunter from the US. Don't participate in canned hunting or related unethical activities, such as walking and cuddling with lions that are part of a captive breeding project. Habituating wild animals for tourism is unethical. Please reconsider taking part in these activities.

On game drives, please don't ask your guide to leave the trails to get closer to wildlife as it will distress the animals. How would you feel when a stranger walks into your house because he's curious to see how you live? Also, think before you take a photo of local Zimbabwean as we sometimes forget that our trip to a foreign country is the home and reality of the locals. Ask permission, let them see the photo, and maybe even ask if they want a copy.

Zimbabwe does take part in conservation initiatives. It is part of two transfrontier conservation areas: the Kavango-Zambezi Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (or Ivory Route), a corridor for Elephants to move across country borders, and the Great Limpopo TransFrontier Park.

Don't volunteer in orphanages and don't visit schools when the children are still present, as it is disruptive for the children's education. If you really want to make an impact, ask if the school requires items and donate them to the teacher.

Which vaccinations and antimalarials do I need for Africa?

Vaccinations & anti-Malaria tablets for Zimbabwe

Required vaccinations depend on what you will be doing in Zimbabwe, which places you will be visiting, and how long you will stay. However, most travelers to Zimbabwe require Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Other recommended vaccines are TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis), Hepatitis B (if you're staying 3+ months), Rabies, and Cholera declaration ('not indicated'). Malaria is present in certain areas of Zimbabwe at certain times of the year. Consult a travel clinic to discuss antimalarials, unless you are only staying in Harare or Bulawayo. Note that Bilharzia is present in some lakes. Ask locally before swimming. Yellow Fever is not prevalent, but if you have been or are going to be in transit in a Yellow Fever area for more than 12 hours, a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is mandatory.

What language do they speak in Africa?

Spoken languages in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has 16 official spoken languages. The three main languages spoken are English, Ndebele, and Shona of which Shona is the most widely spoken language. Most Zimbabweans speak English quite well, even children and older people. There are also numerous but minor tribal dialects.

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Zimbabwe Travel: Victoria Falls National Park

Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya ("the smoke that thunders") is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world on the Zambezi River and borders Zimbabwe and Zambia. Victoria Falls is the largest curtain of falling water in the world and the only one with a length of more than a kilometer and 100+ meters high. The falls are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of the Zambezi National Park and Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe as well as the Mosi-oa-tunya National Park in Zambia. The spray from the falls can be seen from miles away. Victoria Falls showcases beautiful rainbows on sunny days, you can have a peek over the edge of the falls and you can jump off the 111 meters high Victoria Falls Bridge.

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Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park is a wild and remote UNESCO World Heritage Site with wonderful wildlife on the southern banks of the Zambezi river where you can go for a canoe safari and watch elephants and hippos from your canoe. The park is also popular for its walking safaris to spot animals like elephant, lion, wild dog, and buffalo. With over 350 bird species, the park is also great for birdwatchers.

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Hwange National Park

Located between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, Hwange National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Africa, and the largest in Zimbabwe. It is one of the few great elephants sanctuaries with over 30,000 elephants. The park boasts more than 100 different animal species and over 400 bird species. A must do in Hwange NP is a walking safari with an experienced guide for up-close animal encounters.

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