The Republic of Zimbabwe is an African state situated between the Limpopo river and the Zambezi river. It borders Mozambique, the South African Republic, Zambia, and Botswana. The capital city is Harare.
Zimbabwe has two climatic zones: sub-equatorial on the north and tropical on the south. The best time for travelling to Zimbabwe is from May to October. If you want to visit the Victoria Falls come to Zimbabwe in April. The hunting season lasts from May to the end of September.
The official languages are Shona, Northern Ndebele, and English. The dominant religion is the Christianity.
The tourists choose Zimbabwe because of its wonderful nature, its reserves, and national parks. In the Matobo National Park, the tourists can go hiking across the volcanic hills. And the Hwange National Park offers jeep safari and hunting.
Active tourists can go fishing, windsurfing, sailing or water skiing on the Kariba Lake. Besides, there are good places for safari.
The touristic infrastructure is better developed in the capital city of Zimbabwe and in Mutare. The lovers of historical and architectural monuments should take an excursion to Bulawayo and visit an ancient city Great Zimbabwe. If you prefer out-of-town holidays head right to a calm city of Chiredzi erected on the river.
In Zimbabwe, there are high-class golf fields. There are rafting tours for the lovers of extreme tourism. In certain ranchos, the tourists can go hunting. The hunting tourism is under a strict control of the authorities and permission for hunting is limited.
There are no direct flights from CIS and European Union countries to Zimbabwe. The tourists will have to choose the flights with a transfer in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, and Dubai. Emirates, South African Airlink, Air France, Qantas Airways, Austrian, Kenya Airways, and British Airways offer transit flights to Zimbabwe.
There is a regular train between Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana. As the political situation in the republic is not stable the trains can be cancelled. So check the timetable beforehand.
The tourists can get to Zimbabwe from Zambia by ferry.
A regular bus is running to Zimbabwe from all the neighbouring countries. The buses run more frequently from Johannesburg and Windhoek.
The EU and Russian tourists can get a visa on arrival by providing standard documents. The citizens of other CIS countries must obtain a visa beforehand by applying to the Embassy or a Consulate.
It normally takes about 5 working days to get a visa. A visa is valid for 90 days from the date of its issue.
At the Airport Harare, the Victoria Falls Airport, and at the Kazungula Land Border the tourists can get KAZA. This is a union visa for Zambia and Zimbabwe on the territory of which there is the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.
The Customs legislation of Zimbabwe does not limit the import of currency. The sum exceeding 50.000 US dollars must be declared. All the imported goods also must be declared.
The tourists can bring in Zimbabwe the following goods duty-free:
- some alcohol and tobacco;
- personal clothes and shoes;
- pets (with an international vet certificate);
- hunting equipment (if there is a special permission).
It is prohibited to import:
- psychotropic medications and some other medications;
- products of plant origin.
The tourists are not allowed to export from Zimbabwe:
- hunting trophies (without permission);
- non-certified jewellery and copper;
- medicinal plants and herbs (without a certificate);
- non-processed gems;
- sums of money exceeding 10.000 US dollars per person.
The cuisine of Zimbabwe absorbed African and British cooking traditions. The foodies can treat themselves both to substantial meat dishes and light vegetable meals.
The lovers of exotic dishes can try the meat of koodo, crocodile, and impala. There are also more common chicken and pork dishes. The most popular is Nyama, meet kebabs, and short ribs stew.
The locals also like fried river and lake fish.
The main dishes are commonly served with Sazda and white maize. The vegetarians will surely enjoy Dobi made from spinach, tomatoes, pepper, and spices. The locals add Chakalaka to many traditional dishes. This is a hot sauce with beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and curry. Typically, they eat this sauce with bread. Discover an unusual taste of a fermented dairy dish Mukaka wakakora and mashed pumpkin.
The most popular soup in Zimbabwe is a chicken and vegetable soup.
Those who have a sweet tooth can treat themselves to a Tofu Chocolate Cake, cookies, and fruit desserts.
Any meal is usually accompanied by some water, juices, and refreshing drinks. Coffee is quite a rare product in Zimbabwe.
The most popular drink among the locals is beer. The tourists should try cacao-based beer Chibuky and maize-based Whawha beer.
The official currency is the Zimbabwean Dollar which is equal to 100 cents. In circulation are the banknotes from 1 to 100 dollars and 1 to 50 cent coins.
In touristic areas, the tourists can pay with US dollars. However, on out-of-town resorts only the national currency and South African rands are accepted.
There are exchange offices at the airport in the capital city, in hotels, and bank offices. Credit cards are accepted only in large hotels, stores, and malls. The tourists can cash traveller’s checks at banks. To avoid a high commission we recommend checks in US dollars and sterling pounds.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Zimbabwe
Everyone should visit five UNESCO sites located in Zimbabwe.
- In the Masvingo Province, there are the ruins of an ancient city and they are part of the Great Zimbabwe National Monument. Here the tourists can see monolithic altars, wooden walls and buildings which were not typical for old Zimbabwean architecture. Supposedly, the city existed in 1300-1450.
- The lovers of history will also like an excursion to the Khami Ruins National Monument. It was acknowledged that the Monument has both national and global significance. The archaeologist found in this city the objects of the Chinese and European cultures. On the territory of the settlement, there are the remnants of the Royal Palace which occupy 7 quarters.
- During your journey in Zimbabwe, you can go to the Matobo Hills. Granite boulders which resemble the columns or pillars are a place of worship for many tribes. In the National park, there are the examples of Rock Art.
- One of the main natural sights in Zimbabwe and in South Africa is the Victoria Falls which is under UNESCO protection. It is the largest and the most spectacular waterfall on the planet. Part of the Zambezi river starts here and it is a very popular place among the fans of rafting and kayaking.
- A very rich flora and fauna in the Mana Pools National Park attract thousand of ecological tourists. They can see flamingos, zebras, elephants, koodos, and antelopes gnu. Hunting is arranged in the Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas.
The Ziwa National Monument is a UNESCO candidate site and is also of a great touristic interest. The tourists can see the remnants of clay dwellings, terraces, stone buildings, and Rock Art.
Do not miss a chance to see wild nature in the Matobo National Park and the Hwange National Park.
Learn more about Zimbabwe and visit the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the National History Museum in Bulawayo, the National Mining Museum in Kwekwe, and the Zimbabwe Military Museum in Gweru.
Souvenirs in Zimbabwe
- national masks and wooden figurines;
- drums of the Batoka tribe;
- emerald and malachite jewellery;
- wooden sculptures of the Shona tribe;
- leather goods and beads crafts.