Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe:

zimbabwe

Quick Facts

Area:  150 871 sq miles
Capital City:  Harare
Government:  Parliamentary Democracy 
President:  Robert Mugabe,  Prime Minister:  Morgan Tsvangirai
Languages:  English, Shona and isiNdebele
Location:  Southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east.
Population size:  12,619,600  Population density:  57/sq
Telephone code: +263 plus city code and phone number
Time difference:  GMT + 2 hours

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Banks are open as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:00am – 3:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am – 12:30pm
Saturday 8:00am – 11:30pm

The bank agency at Harare Airport is open from 6:30am to 10:00pm daily.

Climate:

H = Average High      L = Average Low  (in Fahrenheit) Rainfall in millimeters

- Summer December to
March
Autumn April to
May
Winter June to
September
Spring September to
November
Temperature at Victoria Falls H 92, L 66 H 93, L 50 H 88, L 46 H 103, L 61
Rainfall Victoria Falls 158 20 0 60
Temperature at Eastern Highlands H 72, L 63 H 68, L 48 H 66, L 45 H 76, L 59
Rainfall at Eastern Highlands 207 34 15 84


Casual, comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year items should include:Clothing:

  • Bush hat
  • T-shirts
  • One long-sleeved cotton shirt (gents)/long-sleeved blouse (ladies)
  • Shorts/skirts, jeans or safari trousers, tracksuit, swimsuit
  • Good walking shoes, sandals, warm jersey, jacket or parka (for game drives) and light rain gear in summer
  • Bright colours are not recommended – Khaki is fine.  NO CAMOUFLAGE CLOTHING IS PERMITTED
  • Jacket and tie are required in the Livingston Dining Room at Victoria Falls Hotel

Other suggested items are: good quality sunglasses, moisturizing cream, lip-salve, UV sunblock, torch, insect repellant, binoculars and camera

Laundry:

A laundry service is available at all camps, but certain camps charge a nominal fee for this facility.

Credit Cards/ Currency:

The use of the Zimbabwe Dollar as a mode of payment for goods and services has been suspended indefinitely.  The country has adopted a multi currency payment system.  Readily accepted foreign currencies are USD, Pounds Sterling, Euro and SA Rand.  Visitors are encouraged to carry their hard currencies in small denominations for ease of trade.

Though credit cards are generally not accepted as a form of payment, there are some hotels that do accept them (please check with your hotel before you travel).
To enable clients to have a stress-free holiday in Zimbabwe, it is best to book and prepay travel services (hotels, transfers, and excursions) in advance of travel.

Please be advised that Zimbabwe regulations require non-Zimbabwean residents to settle extra’s accounts in foreign currency.  Payment can be made in cash (US$) or travellers’ cheques.  If paying by traveller’s cheques, client MUST produce the original bank receipt for cheques purchased. Zimbabwe banks will also NOT exchange traveller’s cheques for cash without this receipt advice. Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted at restaurants or hotels.

Payment of Hotel Accounts:

Foreign visitors are required t settle hotel accounts in foreign currency.

Departure Tax:

Included in air ticket.

Duty Free/ Customs Allowances:

  • Cigarettes, cigars, tobacco – no limit
  • 5 litres of alcoholic beverages, of which no more than 2 litres may be spirits
  • Perfume and toilet water – no limit
  • Limited shopping at Victoria Falls and Harare Airports – in fact nothing much at all

Electrical Current:

220/240 volts AC, 50 Hz. 14 amp plug sockets.

Health Concerns:

Remember malaria prophylactic medication is required if visiting Zimbabwe.

Tap water is generally safe to drink everywhere, but should bottled mineral water be preferred, this is readily available.  Avoid drinking calm stagnant water as this may be infected with bilharzia. It is recommended that guests drink at least 3 litres of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration – this excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages.

No vaccinations are required. However, should you be visiting Zambia or Tanzania on your itinerary, you will be required to have a Yellow Fever vaccination. You will be required to produce your vaccination certificate on arrival in the country as well as on your return to Zimbabwe. Whether you are staying overnight in Zambia / Tanzania or merely passing through, the vaccination is required. These vaccinations should normally be done at least 10 days prior to entering the country. You will be denied entry into Zambia / Tanzania or re-entry into Zimbabwe without the certification proving your vaccination.

Metal Hips, Pins, Knee Replacements, Pacemakers, etc:

Please be aware that if any guests travelling with us have had a knee or hip replacement (usually metal) or have pins, pacemakers, etc., they may set off security alarms at airports which can prevent them from being allowed to board. Our recommendation is that they travel with a doctor’s card / letter stating this information, to show security officials to ensure there are no delays, especially at our regional airports.

Safety Tips:

Zimbabwe is a safe place for international tourists. However, it is sensible to take normal precautions while travelling. Be observant and do not draw attention to yourself by flaunting an expensive camera, jewellery or large amounts of cash. Deposit valuables in the lodge safety deposit box. Do not leave your baggage or lodge key unattended.

Holidays:

2015
1 Jan New Year’s Day
29 March Good Friday
1 April Easter Monday
18 April Independence Day
1 May Workers’ Day
25 May Africa Day
12 Aug Heroes’ Day
13 Aug Defence Forces Day
22 Dec Unity Day
25 Dec Christmas Day
26 Dec Boxing Day

Passport/ Visa Requirements:

International visitors require a valid passport together with onward travel documents. Please ensure that you have all the necessary visas prior to departure (unless available on entry). Neither Trans Africa Safaris, their staff, their agents nor their operators can be held liable for any error.

As visa information can change without notice, please refer to the official Embassy websites for verification of visa requirements and charges. As at July 2012 most countries are able to purchase visas on arrival in the country (exact US$ change is required): “visa” document.

Passports: The situation regarding blank pages in passports, for visits to Southern Africa, changes regularly.  Please see the list of counties with their specific requirements below:

  • Passports must be valid for 6 months after your departure from Southern Africa
  • Please note pages headed “Endorsements, Observations” etc arenot VISA pages.
  • For your visit to Zimbabwe: 3 blank VISA pages

Without the above you could be denied entry.

Photography:

A good SLR (single lens reflex) or digital SLR camera with telephoto zoom lens is recommended for photography of birds and animals, as is colour reversal film (slides) if using film as this will give better quality pictures than regular film. A big memory card / abundant film and spare batteries as recommended as these are often not available at the bush camps/lodges.

Recommended Reading:

  • Africa’s Top Wildlife Countries by N. Nolting
  • Birds of Prey of Southern Africa by Peter Steyn
  • Field guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa by Stuart & Stuart
  • Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa by Ken Newman
  • Safari Companion – a guide to watching African mammals by R. Estes
  • This is Zimbabwe by Gerald Cubitt & Peter Joyce
  • Zambezi by Michael Main
  • Hwange – The Retreat of the Elephants by Nick Greaves
  • Zambezi – The River of the Gods by J & F Teede

Below is a short clip of Devil’s Pool, the ultimate infinity pool at the edge of Victoria Falls. (Courtesy of VictoriaFalls24.com)

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