Zimbabwe

Blessed with abundant sunshine, striking scenery and one of the most stunning waterfalls on earth, Zimbabwe's natural beauty is world-famous. Home to determined locals full of creativity, enthusiasm and hope, expect a warm welcome and generous hospitality. Overlook Zimbabwe and you'll miss an important piece of Africa's ancient heart.

Zimbabwe Tours & Travel

All our Zimbabwe trips

DAYS
18
FROM
USD $2,085
CAD $2,530
AUD $2,670
EUR €1,735
GBP £1,365
NZD $2,870
ZAR R30,640
CHF FR1,920
Travel to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and uncover their natural wonders. From the Okavango Delta and Victoria...
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22
FROM
USD $2,535
CAD $3,070
AUD $3,245
EUR €2,110
GBP £1,660
NZD $3,490
ZAR R37,240
CHF FR2,330
Travel to Africa and discover the unique, contrasting lands of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Visit...
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9
FROM
USD $1,060
CAD $1,285
AUD $1,355
EUR €880
GBP £695
NZD $1,455
ZAR R15,550
CHF FR975
Travel from Zimbabwe to Botswana and South Africa on a real African adventure. Visit Victoria Falls and enjoy safaris...
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9
FROM
USD $2,160
CAD $2,620
AUD $2,765
EUR €1,795
GBP £1,415
NZD $2,970
ZAR R31,730
CHF FR1,985
Stay in a tree house, search for the Big Five in the Chobe National Park, meet Xwe Bushmen and paddle through the...
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22
 
 
Take a wild African adventure from South Africa to Zimbabwe. Travel north from Cape Town into Namibia, cross over to...
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10
FROM
USD $1,090
CAD $1,320
AUD $1,395
EUR €905
GBP £715
NZD $1,500
ZAR R16,010
CHF FR1,000
Tour through Johannesburg, Maun and Victoria Falls on this trip through South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Visit...
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22
FROM
USD $2,535
CAD $3,070
AUD $3,245
EUR €2,110
GBP £1,660
NZD $3,490
ZAR R37,240
CHF FR2,330
Take a wild African adventure from South Africa to Zimbabwe. Travel north from Cape Town into Namibia, cross over to...
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27
FROM
USD $3,660
CAD $4,437
AUD $4,689
EUR €3,047
GBP £2,397
NZD $5,042
ZAR R53,816
CHF FR3,369
Explore the wilds of Africa on this action-packed adventure from the busy streets of Nairobi to the sweeping plains...
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19
FROM
USD $1,840
CAD $2,237
AUD $2,364
EUR €1,535
GBP £1,207
NZD $2,543
ZAR R27,133
CHF FR1,699
Travel from thundering Victoria Falls to the fragrant spice plantations of Zanzibar through the wilds of Africa.
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48
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USD $6,110
CAD $7,412
AUD $7,829
EUR €5,087
GBP £4,007
NZD $8,417
ZAR R89,846
CHF FR5,629
Explore Africa as you travel from Kenya to Cape Town through Tanzania, Zanzibar, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namabia...
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16
FROM
USD $2,595
CAD $3,165
AUD $3,345
EUR €2,175
GBP £1,710
NZD $3,595
ZAR R38,385
CHF FR2,395
Visit Africa and travel through southern Africa's beautiful regions. Visit South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and...
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10
FROM
USD $2,730
CAD $3,310
AUD $3,495
EUR €2,270
GBP £1,790
NZD $3,755
ZAR R40,105
CHF FR2,510
Visit Africa and travel through Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe on a tour from Windhoek to Victoria Falls with a...
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18
FROM
USD $1,775
CAD $2,152
AUD $2,274
EUR €1,477
GBP £1,162
NZD $2,447
ZAR R26,101
CHF FR1,634
Explore the best of south and east Africa with this adventure from the spicy beaches of Zanzibar to the unforgettable...
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37
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USD $14,370
CAD $17,420
AUD $18,400
EUR €11,955
GBP £9,415
NZD $19,785
ZAR R211,150
CHF FR13,225
Jump onboard an exhilarating journey from Cape Town to Victoria Falls and then onto Eastern Africa. Journey through...
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22
FROM
USD $5,520
CAD $6,695
AUD $7,070
EUR €4,595
GBP £3,620
NZD $7,600
ZAR R81,130
CHF FR5,080
Jump onboard an exhilarating journey from Cape Town to Victoria Falls through the magnificent nations of South Africa...
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63
FROM
USD $9,105
CAD $11,037
AUD $11,659
EUR €7,572
GBP £5,967
NZD $12,537
ZAR R133,801
CHF FR8,379
See Africa encompassed on a tour through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, and...
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9
FROM
USD $1,445
CAD $1,750
AUD $1,850
EUR €1,195
GBP £945
NZD $1,990
ZAR R21,230
CHF FR1,330
Travel from Zimbabwe to South Africa via Botswana. The Okavango and Beyond trip is the best way to explore the...
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40
FROM
USD $4,295
CAD $5,217
AUD $5,509
EUR €3,580
GBP £2,817
NZD $5,923
ZAR R63,223
CHF FR3,959
See Africa on this incredible overland adventure from South Africa to Tanzania. Soak up cosmopolitan Cape Town, learn...
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49
 
 
Explore Africa as you wind your way up from South Africa, through Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and...
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40
 
 
See Africa on this incredible overland adventure from South Africa to Tanzania. Soak up cosmopolitan Cape Town, learn...
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8
FROM
USD $1,245
CAD $1,495
AUD $1,595
EUR €1,035
GBP £815
NZD $1,715
ZAR R18,305
CHF FR1,145
Travel from South Africa's capital to Botswana and Zimbabwe, visiting two of southern Africa's most famous sites,...
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49
FROM
USD $6,110
CAD $7,417
AUD $7,834
EUR €5,090
GBP £4,007
NZD $8,423
ZAR R89,903
CHF FR5,629
Explore Africa as you wind your way up from South Africa, through Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and...
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64
FROM
USD $9,100
CAD $11,037
AUD $11,659
EUR €7,575
GBP £5,967
NZD $12,533
ZAR R133,798
CHF FR8,379
Jump aboard this epic tour from Cape Town to Nairobi. From safaris in Tanzania and Kenya to gorilla trekking in...
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64
 
 
Jump aboard this epic tour from Cape Town to Nairobi. From safaris in Tanzania and Kenya to gorilla trekking in...
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28
FROM
USD $3,650
CAD $4,432
AUD $4,684
EUR €3,040
GBP £2,397
NZD $5,033
ZAR R53,758
CHF FR3,364
Experience the exhilarating wild of Africa as you travel from Victoria Falls through Harare, Bulawayo, Lake Malawi...
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4
FROM
USD $502
CAD $610
AUD $645
EUR €420
GBP £330
NZD $692
ZAR R7,402
CHF FR462
Situated on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe the Victoria Falls are over a kilometre long and over 100 metres high....
DAYS
42
FROM
USD $6,645
CAD $8,062
AUD $8,514
EUR €5,532
GBP £4,357
NZD $9,152
ZAR R97,711
CHF FR6,119
Take an epic East African adventure from Kenya to Zimbabwe. Safari in the Serengeti, go gorilla trekking, visit Lake...
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15
FROM
USD $1,425
CAD $1,732
AUD $1,829
EUR €1,187
GBP £937
NZD $1,967
ZAR R20,996
CHF FR1,314
Embrace the sights, sounds and culture of Africa on this eye-opening adventure from Stone Town in Zanzibar to...
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39
FROM
USD $4,230
CAD $5,132
AUD $5,419
EUR €3,522
GBP £2,772
NZD $5,827
ZAR R62,191
CHF FR3,894
Explore Africa on this wildlife-rich adventure from Tanzania to South Africa. Explore Zanzibar’s Spice Island, wander...
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43
FROM
USD $6,640
CAD $8,057
AUD $8,509
EUR €5,525
GBP £4,352
NZD $9,148
ZAR R97,648
CHF FR6,114
This East Africa adventure tour travels from Zimbabwe to Kenya. Visit Zanzibar beaches, explore the Serengeti and...
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19
FROM
USD $3,030
CAD $3,820
AUD $3,725
EUR €2,545
GBP £1,910
NZD $3,925
ZAR R34,040
CHF FR2,830
Visit Africa and travel from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to Windhoek in Namibia via Botswana's Okavango Delta and...
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16
FROM
USD $1,490
CAD $1,817
AUD $1,919
EUR €1,245
GBP £982
NZD $2,063
ZAR R22,028
CHF FR1,379
Spot a host wildlife at the Luangwa River, gape at the mighty Victoria Falls, explore Matobo and South Luwanga...

Zimbabwe trip reviews

Our Zimbabwe trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Vic Falls to Kenya , June 2016

Adrienne Mason

Vic Falls to Zanzibar , June 2016

Jacqueline Slee

Articles on Zimbabwe

The 15 most beautiful waterfalls in the world

Posted on Tue, 10 May 2016

What makes the perfect waterfall? Height? Water volume? Sheer volume? We put the world's best through their paces.

Read more

About Zimbabwe

At a glance

Capital city: Harare (population 1.6 million)
Population: 12.9 million
Language: English, Shona, Ndebele
Currency: USD
Time zone: (GMT+02:00) Windhoek
Electricity: Type D (Old British 3-pin) Type G (Irish/British 3-pin)
Dialing code: +263

Best time to visit Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is located in a tropical zone but due to its high altitude, the climate remains temperate and comfortable all year, making it a suitable destination to visit all year round. May to October is the dry winter season and if wildlife watching, these months are perfect for easy viewing because animals flock to watering holes seemingly just for you. November to April is wetter and hotter but brings about a stunning, lush landscape that serves as a brilliant backdrop to photos.

Zimbabwe weather chart

Culture and customs

Smiling local woman in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is home to a diverse range of cultures, with the predominant group being the Shona (of which most Zimbabweans belong). The ancient Shona tribal culture is rich in mythology and symbolism. Dance, song and crafts are prevalent in most African cultures but even more so in Zimbabwe where traditional soapstone carving, weaving, painting and beadwork are important features of Shona culture and folklore. The arrival of European settlers changed the face of Zimbabwe, with English cultural influences evident throughout contemporary Zimbabwe. Christianity is practiced by the majority of Zimbabweans, but ancestral worship and traditional beliefs endure, with many locals practicing animist rituals in tandem with church-attending.

Other British influences are evident, with sports like cricket and rugby having a following and the British custom of tea drinking common throughout the country. Even though most Zimbabweans live in poverty and have endured many struggles, generally they still have a huge amount of kindness to bestow upon visitors. Travellers can expect to receive warm hospitality from most locals, who have a humble and somewhat inspiring approach to life.

Eating and drinking

Intrepid believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savouring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world.

Travellers will be able to find a range of dining options in Zimbabwe, from international cuisine to local traditional fare.

Things to try in Zimbabwe

1. Nhedzi Soup

This wild mushroom soup is a national specialty and a good option for vegetarians in a country where game meat prevails in most restaurants and hotels.

2. Kapenta

This dried sardine-like fish is popular throughout Zimbabwe, where refrigeration isn’t available to all. Mainly sourced from Lake Kariba, visitors can order kapenta with a side of sadza (maize meal) in most restaurants.

3. Zambezi Beer

Zimbabwe’s national beer is locally brewed in Harare and widely available throughout most of the country. It's perfect for washing down lunch or dinner on a hot summer's day.

Geography and environment

Rainbow forming over Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is landlocked in southern Africa and bordered by Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique and just meets the corner of Namibia. Although without access to the coast, Zimbabwe has access to water through the presence of the Zambezi and Limpopo river systems. The topography is a mixture of mountains and plateaus, which are home to wide range of flora and fauna. With grasslands and evergreen forests covering the land, Zimbabwe is home to a diverse variety of birds, mammals and plant species. With majestic mountains covered in emerald green forest, serene lakes and epic waterfalls, visitors will be treated to some of the most beautiful, unspoilt landscapes in the world while travelling through the countryside in Zimbabwe.

History and government

Early History

The land of Zimbabwe has been occupied since the 9th century, with tribes first emerging in the Limpopo Valley before starting to occupy the highlands. Zimbabwe's early society developed into a series of kingdoms which traded commodities such as gold and copper with other nations. The Great Zimbabwe ruins are a remnant of this illustrious time in Zimbabwean history and can be visited while travelling in the Masvingo area.

Portuguese settlers arrived in the 16th century, having a devastating effect on the empire. Trade was halted and a series of wars rendered the empire near collapse at the dawn of the 17th century. The British arrived in the late 19th century, by way of Cecil Rhodes' British South Africa Company, which lobbied to colonise the area and control the land (and precious minerals within). By 1898 the area of Zimbabwe was known as Southern Rhodesia (with modern day Zambia known as Northern Rhodesia).

The Shona and Ndebele (along with other indigenous tribes) staged revolts against their colonisers, which were largely unsuccessful and lead to displacement, with land unfairly being allocated to European settlers, rather than local tribal people whose ancestors and families had lived there for centuries. In part, this issue of disproportionate allocation of land would return to haunt modern Zimbabwe many years later.

Recent History

Although controversial, colonial rule endured until Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980, with Canaan Banana serving as the first President. In 1988, changes to the constitution enabled Robert Mugabe to become President. By the 1990s ethnic tensions, confrontation and political instability were changing the face of modern Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans had endured demonstrations, displacement, violence, drought, food shortages and forcible land removal. The unstable economy, wildly fluctuating currency value and drop in tourism revenue translated into widespread poverty for many Zimbabweans. With the highest inflation rate in the world, Zimbabwe still suffers economic difficulties mainly due to the collapse of the once-strong agriculture sector. Despite this, Zimbabwe's people are irrepressible, the landscapes are as beautiful as ever and tourists have begun to return to experience the natural wonders and exotic wildlife of this great land.

Top Picks

Lion in Zimbabwe Black rhino in Zimbabwe

Top 10 Animal Encounters of Zimbabwe

1. Sable Antelope

Zimbabwe’s national animal can be found grazing in herds in the woodlands and savanna of Zimbabwe. Lean, graceful and powerful, the sable antelope is considered one of the most magnificent antelope in the animal kingdom.

2. Lion

Prides of regal lions strut through Zimbabwe’s parks and reserves. Head on safari to find them stalking prey, at play or lazing in the sun – lion-spotting is one of world’s most sought after wildlife experiences for a reason, they are simply breathtaking to behold.

3. Hippopotamus

Hippos are a common sight while cruising on Lake Kariba. Watch them wallowing on the shores and lurking beneath the surface of the water. Although they look quite harmless, hippos are actually quite territorial and can get fierce, so don’t get too close.

4. African Wild Dog

Saved from the brink of extinction, the African wild dog is a recent conservation success story. While not completely out of the woods, population numbers have risen of late and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to encounter some of these highly intelligent canines while travelling in Zimbabwe.

5. Black Rhino

Sadly, black rhinos are on the critically endangered list due to poaching and loss of habitat. Zimbabwe still has pockets of these beautiful beasts and it’s possible to find them in reserves and protected areas.

6. White Rhino

Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park is home to a significant population of rare white rhinos. Track them on foot with a local guide and be mesmerised at the sight of these enormous creatures quietly grazing in the protected valleys.

7. Crocodile

Keep your eyes peeled for these ancient reptiles that are expert at blending in with the scenery. Their menacing presence looms just under the water level – watch out for them while cruising Zimbabwe’s channels and rivers.

8. Kudu

This timid animal scares easily, so you’ll have to remain quiet if you hope to get close to one. With unique corkscrew-like horns, they are easy to spot but harder to capture on camera as they are great at making swift departures.

9. Elephant

Large groups of the mighty African elephant can be found wandering the terrain of Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park. Imposing and inspiring, elephants are one of the most beloved animals in the world – see why for yourself in Zimbabwe.

10. African Fish Eagle

The national bird of Zimbabwe is swift, nimble and majestic. Abundant near bodies of water, witnessing an African fish eagle swoop on the water and capture its prey is an unforgettable travel moment.

Shopping

While Zimbabwe lacks glitzy malls and heaving retail precincts, there are plenty of markets, galleries and workshops full of handicrafts and handmade wonders.

It's also a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in Zimbabwe

1. Shona Stone Carvings

The Shona people have lived in Zimbabwe for thousands of years and have cultivated a rare talent in carving stone. Their craft is widely appreciated by the international art world, so support local artists by picking up a creative carving straight from the source.

2. Local Music

Zimbabwean music is lively, moving and steeped in history. Featuring drumming, marimba, mbira, singing and chanting – pick up a CD and bring the spirit of Zimbabwe home to share with friends.

3. Batik Fabric

Zimbabwe has an impressive array of batik, known as sadza cloth. Featuring wildlife and scenes of daily life, they make great bedspreads, wall hangings and tablecloths.

Festivals and Events in Zimbabwe

Harare International Festival of Arts

Held annually, this festival is jam-packed with exciting things to see and do, like watching energising dance and music performances, browsing eclectic stands at craft markets and indulging in food and festivities at night.

Bulawayo Music Festival

Held every two years, this music festival attracts classical musicians from all over the world, but also features local musicians who give energetic performances using traditional instruments.

Zimbabwe International Film Festival

See the brightest African filmmaking talent shine at this festival that showcases short features and documentary films made by local film-makers - a great way to learn about local culture and what it means to live in contemporary Africa.

FAQs on Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE:

Australia: Yes - visa on arrival
Belgium: Yes - visa on arrival
Canada: Yes - visa on arrival
Germany: Yes - visa on arrival
Ireland: Yes - visa on arrival
Netherlands: Yes - visa on arrival
New Zealand: Yes - visa on arrival
South Africa: Yes - visa on arrival
Switzerland: Yes - visa on arrival
United Kingdom: Yes - visa on arrival
USA: Yes - visa on arrival

Zimbabwe visas are required by most nationalities, including from the EU, US and Australia. All nationalities should check with their nearest Zimbabwe Embassy for more information. For most nationalities, Zimbabwe visas are available at the point of entry. If you plan to purchase your visa on arrival you will need US$ cash. The cost is approximately US$30/45.

Please note: As of January 2016, the KAZA Visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia will be unavailable to purchase. Singular visas for Zimbabwe remain available on arrival at point of entries.
Many Zimbabweans are struggling to make ends meet, so being generous by tipping service workers is a good idea. Generally, a minimum of US$1 should be put aside for porters, waiters, local guides and drivers. Rounding up the bill at restaurants and other establishments is common as small change is hard to come by.
Internet cafes can be found in Zimbabwe's larger cities, however smaller towns and rural areas will have little to no access to the internet.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Zimbabwe's cities and urban centres but less so in rural and remote areas. Ensure global roaming is activated before leaving home.
Visitors can expect to encounter a wide range of toilets while in Zimbabwe. Western-style flushable toilets are available at many high-end hotels, bars, airports and tourist attractions while squat toilets are more common in rural areas and places frequented by locals. Be prepared by carrying your own toilet paper, soap or hand sanitiser, as these may not be provided.
Snack from street vendor = US$1
Espresso coffee in a cafe = US$1
Bottle of beer = US$3
Meal in a mid-range cafe or restaurant = US$10
Tap water isn't safe for tourists to drink in Zimbabwe. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Ask your leader and accommodation provider for local advice on where drinking water can be accessed. Also, avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit before eating.
Zimbabwe's currency and economy is classified as unstable. Credit cards are accepted by some tourist-driven establishments but are generally not a reliable option in Zimbabwe. Be prepared by carrying low denominations of US dollars and South African rand, as the Zimbabwean dollar is no longer an acceptable form of currency.
ATMs can be found in Zimbabwe’s major cities but are less common in rural areas. Be prepared by carrying cash (US dollars and South African rand in small denominations).
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Mar 29 Good Friday
Apr 1 Easter Monday
Apr 18 Independence Day
May 1 Worker’s Day
May 25 Africa Day
Aug 12 Heroes’ Day
Aug 13 Defense Forces Day
Dec 22 Unity Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Zimbabwe/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Zimbabwe Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Zimbabwe

1. Be considerate of Zimbabwe’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

10. Avoid purchasing ivory or other products harvested from endangered animals.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Last ResortDouglas Rogers
Where We Have Hope: A Memoir of ZimbabweAndrew Meldrum
When a Crocodile Eats the SunPeter Godwin
Nervous ConditionsTsitsi Dangarembga
Butterfly BurningYvonne Vera