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Zimbabwe: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to Zimbabwe. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Domestic flights – weight restrictions

Please note that when packing for your trip to Africa, it is extremely important to note that there are strict weight restrictions enforced by the airlines. This is to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers on board. Light aircraft are designed with a maximum body weight and luggage weight allowance in mind, and are limited to physical space restrictions.

Important:

There are strict luggage allowance restrictions for any light aircraft flights you may have in your itinerary in Zimbabwe. The allowance depends on the carrier; Wilderness has a  maximum allowance of 20kg/44lbs per person (including camera equipment and hand luggage) but Solenta has a maximum allowance of just 15kg/33lbs per person. Luggage must be in soft bags, with no wheels or hard aspects, as needs to pack in to small undercarriages of light aircrafts.

Please inform us in advance if anyone travelling has an individual weight of more than 100kgs (220lbs) as additional weight allowance on the aircraft must be purchased for safety and comfort.

On ALL light aircrafts, only one soft bag per person will be accepted – no hard suitcases, as they cannot physically fit in the aircraft. The most efficient bags are soft, non-rigid bags with no wheels. Some airlines also impose luggage size restrictions – please ask us about this for more information.

These luggage restrictions may sound very limiting, but bear in mind the following:

–  Most safari camps / lodges and hotels provide basic toilet amenities

–  Laundry can be done on a daily basis (and many camps provide this service free of charge but hotels do charge a nominal fee)

If you wish to bring additional luggage with you that exceeds the allotted weight restrictions for one person, you may choose to purchase another seat.

Do I need any vaccinations before I go away to Zimbabwe?

Please seek professional medical advice and recheck close to the date of travel as the situation may change. For those travelling to certain areas you will require yellow fever. It’s also very important that if you have recently travelled to a country where yellow fever is prevalent (or if this forms part of your itinerary with us), you will need to show your yellow fever certificate on arrival in Zimbabwe (otherwise you may be denied entry). What is recommended for all is that you ensure you are up to date with hepatitis A, typhoid and routine immunisations – specifically tetanus-diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella, polio, and varicella.

Do I need to take malaria tablets?

Malaria is prevalent throughout Zimbabwe and therefore we do recommend you bring malaria tablets with you. Check with your medical advisor about the areas you are going to confirm the risk in the area you will be travelling. We recommend you bring some mosquito spray.

Do I need to get a visa?

To enter Zimbabwe visas are currently required by citizens of EU, US, Canada, and the UAE but are not required by citizens of Singapore and Hong Kong. This can always change, and you should check with your local embassy before travel. Some nationalities have to obtain visas prior to arrival in Zimbabwe, and some can obtain them on arrival at the port of entry; please ask us, or check with your local embassy.

If you purchase your visa on arrival, please make sure you have the correct cash available to pay direct, preferably in US Dollars. If you are visiting both the Zimbabwean and Zambian side of Victoria Falls you should purchase a KAZA UNIVISA. The KAZA visa was reinstated on 22 December 2016 and is valid for travel between Zambia and Zimbabwe and day trips into Botswana. It’s available at the international airports in Lusaka and Livingstone and at the land borders at Livingstone (Zimbabwe border) and Kazungula (Botswana border). It costs US $50 and it is valid for 30 days.

Please also ensure that you have sufficient blank visa pages (not endorsement pages) in your passport, with at least 2 consecutive/side by side blank pages. Our recommendation is 3 pages (or even 4 if you are travelling through more than one country on your journey). If there is insufficient space in your passport then entry into a country could be denied. It is also important that your passport if valid for at least six months after your intended departure.

Should I bring travellers cheques?

Travellers’ cheques are not always accepted in hotels. We don’t usually suggest bringing them as they can be troublesome and time consuming to change.  Cash machines are always nearby in big cities and airports. Credit cards are accepted with almost as much frequency as they are at home; all major credit cards are accepted in most places.

Which currency should I bring?

With the removal of the Zimbabwean Dollar in 2009, the country has adopted a multi-currency system, with the US Dollar being the most widely used. Hard currencies such as US Dollars, GBP Sterling, Euros and South African Rand are accepted widely and you are encouraged to carry small denominations for ease of trade. Though credit cards are generally not accepted as a form of payment, there are some hotels that will – Visa is most widely accepted, while MasterCard and American Express are less so.

Banking hours in Zimbabwe are Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 14:30 and Saturday: 08:00 – 11:30.

Travel insurance

It is vital that you take out valid comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical repatriation, cancellation and curtailment for you trip to Africa. This gives you peace of mind that you will not lose money should you be forced to cancel your trip due to illness before you travel or during your vacation.

Please ensure that your insurance covers you for medical evacuation and repatriation both internationally and locally, and we could advise that your policy covers loss and theft of your possessions.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all aspects of your vacation. You must ensure that you will be covered for activities such as walking, rafting, canoeing and horse riding.

Remember to carry your insurance details with you at all times.

Laundry

Most camps and lodges have laundry facilities, provided you have sufficient time to allow for drying and ironing. Some properties charge a nominal fee for this (some include it). As laundry in lodges is generally done by hand, we suggest that you wash your own underwear.

Electrical plugs in Africa

There is a huge variation in the type of plug socket in use in Africa and it is best to be armed with a universal adaptor. Most sockets tend to be in the two pin smaller style but you will also find the larger three-pin socket in South Africa.