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About Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is best known for its current economic crisis, however Zimbabwe backpacking tours still have a lot to offer visitors seeking to witness the wonders of the Victoria Falls.

Zimbabwe Budget Travel

Below is a list of Zimbabwe's top destinations, click on the link to view all details and tours.

Bulawayo, Chimanimani National Park, Gweru, Hwange National Park, Matopos National Park, Victoria Falls

Fast Facts

Currency
Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWD)

Dialing Code
263

AIDS

Zimbabwe HIV/AIDS basic precautions include the following:
• Don't ever share needles or syringes
• Practice safe sex at all times
• Equipment should be sterilized
• If you require self-administered injections, take an adequate supply of your own needles
• Avoid tattoos, acupuncture treatment or body piercing from suspect or unsterile operators

Airports

Zimbabwe airports include:
• Harare International Airport
• Bulawayo International Airport
• Victoria Falls International Airport

Birdlife

Zimbabwe birdlife is rich and diverse, with a large number of endemic and near-endemic species to be found, as well as migratory species from Southern Africa. Key birding areas include the Victoria Falls, Matopas, Larvon Bird Gardens and the Zambezi River.

Conservation

With an increasingly falling economy, and major shortages of food, water and resources, Zimbabwe conservation is a major challenge. Many reserves and parks have not been able to support the number of game within their grounds, and there is a wealth of environmental issues to address.

Culture

Zimbabwe cultures include the following:
• Food and drink plays a key role in social gatherings
• Crafts are an important cultural heritage and income provider
• Museums record history of the town and its people and cultures
• Music and dance is an important social heritage
• Traditional healing is very prevalent in villages

Customs

Zimbabwe customs allows free import of the following for travelers of 18 years and over:
• 200 cigarettes or 450g of tobacco
• 1 opened bottle of alcoholic beverages

Health

Zimbabwe health facilities are in dire straits, and with almost no supplies and very poor hospital supplies, healhcare may not be available. It is best to take out comprehensive travel insurance and to pack a basic first aid box containing essentials such as malaria medication, vitamins, headache pills, nausea pills, diarrhea pills, bandages and anti-septic creams.

Innoculations

Zimbabwe inoculations include the following:
• Hepatitis A & B
• Typhoid
• Polio
• Rabies
• Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
• Tetanus-diphtheria

Languages

Zimbabwe languages include:
• Shona
• Ndebele
• English
• Silozi

Malaria

Zimbabwe malaria medication includes the following:
• Mefloquine (Lariam)
• Doxycycline
• Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone)

Money

Zimbabwe money and banking info includes the following:
• Banks are generally open Monday to Friday from 08h30-15h00
• It has become almost impossible to exchange money at reasonable prices
• US Dollars are widely accepted across larger towns
• Prices of food and basic items are extremely high
• Many items are not available in the country

People

Zimbabwe people include the following groups:
• Shona
• Ndebele
• Lemba
• Hungwe
• Shangane

Phrase

Zimbabwe local phrases in Silozi include:
• Welcome - Mulumeni
• Thank you - Ni itumezi
• Please - Nangu
• How are you - Muzuhile cwani?
• Fine - Lu zuhile hande

Plants

Harare plant life is surprisingly abundant, and the country is famous for its vibrant jacaranda. There are a number of nature areas including Mukuvisi Woodlands, Kame Ruins, Matopas, Victoria Falls, the beautiful Zambezi River and Ewenrigg Botanical Gardens which has terraces of aloes plus many other spectacular plant displays, as well as the beautifully laid out Harare Gardens and Lake Chivero.

Population

A January 2008 UN estimate puts Zimbabwe’s population at 13,349,000.

Religion

Zimbabwe religion includes the following:
• Christianity
• Traditional beliefs
• Christian Zionists

Safety Tips

Zimbabwe safety tips include the following:
• Zimbabwe crime is on the increase, however it is safe to visit despite a failed economy
• Pickpocketing, muggings and smash and grabs are the most common crime
• Keep valuables safe and out of sight, and keep car windows closed when driving
• Avoid large crowds and street demonstrations which may turn violent
• Be cautious at game reserves and do not attempt to touch or feed wildlife

Transport

Zimbabwe local transport options include:
• Taxi
• Car
• Plane

Travel Books

Zimbabwe recommended travel books include the following:
• Birds of the Botanic Garden, Harare, Zimbabwe by A. J Beasley
• Mugabe: Power, Plunder, and the Struggle for Zimbabwe's Future by Martin Meredith
• Zimbabwe In Pictures by Francesca Di Piazza
• Lonely Planet Zimbabwe by Tione Chinula and Vincent Talbot
• The Rough Guide to Zimbabwe by Barbara McCrea and Tony Pinchuck

Visa Requirements

Zimbabwe visa requirements are as follows:
• Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter the country
• A valid passport of 6 months minimum is required
• 3 blank pages in your passport are required
• Return air tickets are required to obtain visas Visas are valid for 6 months from date of issue

What To Buy

What to buy for Zimbabwe safaris:
• Zimbabwe travel book plus bird and wildlife guide
• Plug adapter for UK and US visitors
• Sleeping bag plus camping mattress if you are on an overlanding tour
• Basic first aid box with supplies and vitamins, plus malaria medication
• Mosquito repellent spray and lotion

What To Pack

What to pack for Zimbabwe safaris:
• Lightweight clothing in neutral colours and long sleeves for mosquito protection
• Warm jacket for cooler months and evenings
• Comfortable walking or hiking shoes, sandals and appropriate shoes for activities such as rafting
• Sunglasses, sunscreen and sunhat
• Camera with spare batteries plus film or memory card, and binoculars

When To Go

When to go to Zimbabwe:
• April through to August is generally cooler
• September through to November is hot and dry
• December until early April is hot, rainy and humid

Wildlife

Zimbabwe wildlife is fairly abundant despite the country's major economic problems, and there are a number of game parks and centers within country, including the Lion and Cheetah Park, Snake Park, Victoria Falls National Park, Matopas and many others. Wildlife species to be seen include Bush Pig, Bushbuck, Black Backed Jackals, Lion, Cheetah, Crocodiles, Duiker, Eland, Giraffe and Impala, as well as Ostrich Tortoise and Zebra Terrapin.

 

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16 Zimbabwe OVERLAND recommended for you
Recent Feedback

Left quoteThe highlight of my trip had to be Gweru in Zimbabwe, it was my idea of paradise. So much to do there with the animals and the location of it was just beautiful!Right quote

Anne B (27) from Ireland

Left quoteThe trip was great! A very relaxed ride in a mokoro, followed by camping in the Okavango Delta and watching the animals on the islands was awesome!Right quote

Michael & Silke from Germany

Left quoteI loved every millisecond of the entire trip... Guess what I did in Swakopmund? I skydived out of a plane - woohoo was that AWESOME :-)Right quote

JoJo E (61) from Switzerland

Left quoteFinally home and had a great time…. I loved the shark diving, Sossusvlei and Himba people. Saw Lions, a Leopard, Elephants, Giraffes, everything really! Thanks for…Right quote

John E from Canada

Left quoteI did not believe in god till i visited Chobe National Park.Right quote

Juca from Uruguay

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