Here are just a few things I wish I knew prior to visiting Zimbabwe!
This list was well thought out because there were a lot of hurdles to overcome in the first few days of visiting Zimbabwe! After being in Botswana for a month and booking all of our accommodations nobody mentioned to us some of these really important tips for arrival. Zimbabwe was one of my favourite stops throughout Southern and Eastern Africa for many reasons. Without further wait, here is your list of MUST KNOWS for traveling to beautiful Zimbabwe!
BRING CASH (USD currency is favoured)
The ATMS are empty. The banks don’t accept foreign cards and even if they did you can only take out $100 a day and the queues to get money are nearly two hours long daily.
I wish I was kidding because usually when I arrive to a new country I just pull money out at the airport or at the first ATM I find.
If you don’t know the history of Zimbabwe I’d suggest doing some research prior; USD is the preferred currency. Do not come arrive without all the money you’re going to need during your stay. Most foreign cards won’t work in store, I was declined three times prior to a supermarket accepting my card.
Prepare to spend a pretty penny on your Visa
The first startling moment upon crossing the border was the visa price!
As a Canadian my Visa came out to $100 Canadian Dollars and my partner from the UK’s came out to £45. Card isn’t accepted at the border. These are single entry fees valid for 30 days; to extend you’ll need to visit the immigration office before the 30 days completes to get the extension. There is no additional cost and you can get up to 90 days.
Zimbabwe is easy to get around and affordable
Surprisingly and thankfully.
All you need to do is get a trusted cab or find your local bus routes. Main cities like Bulawayo and Harare are pretty organized but driving is a bit reckless in some areas. Your best bet is to put aside some cash for these rides, they don’t add up to quickly but there is no program like Uber or Lyft.
Know what you want to see and where you want to go
There is a ton more to see other than Victoria Falls
Although the government has ruined the lives of many citizens it cannot take away the beauty of the country or their spirit of their people. Zimbabwe is full of colourful, happy and welcoming people. Everyone I encountered was helpful and hopeful for a brighter future for their country. There are so many things to see here that if you don’t plan accordingly you will miss out! Zimbabwe used to be one of Africas tourism capitals and it was so clear to see why; It’s lush, full of culture and has plenty to see and do.