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Is it safe to visit Zimbabwe?

edited January 2011 in - Southern Africa
I am wondering how safe it is to visit Zimbabwe on vacation. I have heard from some people that the cholera, poverty and simmering political violence makes visiting Zim a big mistake, while others say it is still an amazing place to visit.

Is it safe to go to Zim?

On another note, how expensive is it, when compared to visiting south africa. Do they stil use the local currency are have they switched to US or South aFricabn currency. Once again I am getting mixed information in that regard. Thanks for any input!


  • edited July 2012
    In short yes it is safe to visit Zimbabwe. Hundreds of thousand of tourists visit annually and almost all have an absolutely fantastic time. But as with all African countries it depends on where you go and how you get there, and in some cases you need to be somewhat cautious. If you stay in the main tourist destinations like Victoria Falls you will hardly even notice that the country has problems.

    On the whole it is slightly more expensive than South Africa and no they do not use the local Zimbabwe dollar any more and everything is priced in US$. You can find some more information on that here Zimbabwe Currency
  • edited 10:33AM
    Thanks guys! Would you be able to tell me how much a tourist entry visa costs at the moment?
  • edited 10:33AM
    It depends on you nationality. What passport are you travelling on?
  • edited 10:33AM
    Hi, I am researching this for general tourists, mostly of US/Canada origin and Europeans as well. I have read that the current visa fee is USD 119 but I don't back the reliability of that.

    Do you have any more current, first hand information?
  • edited July 2012
    Have a look at this web page it will give you all the current prices Zimbabwe Visa. Canadians are the most expensive at US$75 per single entry and US citizens are US$30 per single entry. UK nationals pay US$55 per single entry
  • edited 10:33AM
    Thanks! Great site you have there.
  • edited 10:33AM
    where would be considered unsafe now? i would like to take overnight trains from rsa to bulawayo,then vic falls,and back to rsa via plumtree
  • edited 10:33AM
    There was unfortunately an unfavorable incident reported recently on the Beitbridge Road, where the occupants of a vehicle, that had stopped to change drivers, were beaten up badly and had their items stolen. This road is notorious for these kind of attacks and the advice is to not necessarily stop travelling on this road but just don't stop to do anything.

    As for your route by train, I have heard of tourists doing this and having no problems at all. My son did the Byo to Vic Falls train route about a month ago and he said it was great.
  • edited 10:33AM
    I see that tour operators are starting to organise tours to Zimbabwe again - there are some really good deals available. Is it fairly saft their now?
  • edited 10:33AM
    I want to know all the dangerous places there are in zimbabwe and I would also like to know if im allowed to take pictures off the armed forces?? My aim is to take pictures off the forces and security!! It's a hobby of mine I loved Zimbabwe before it became corrupt. So yeh is it a bad idea to travel alone to take pictures???
  • Secuirty issue is the biggest issue if you are going anywhere, but dont make it a big threat and visit and explore Zimbabwe as it is beautiful place. Take US$ with you.
  • I have a job offer for Zimbabwe as engineer . Its a guy Billy Mukasa and is located in Harare . I have seriously doubt about that . What do you thing ? Thanks a lot
  • adi_passs, how can you expect anyone to give an opinion when you give absolutely zero information?

    Surely you can research the company on the Internet then contact them directly to confirm that Billy Mukasa is a real person who works for them and did indeed offer you a job?

  • edited March 2015
    In Zimbabwe the poverty rate is 80% and unemployment is the worlds largest at 95%.The Zimbabwean econmomy is shrinking and there is hyper-inflation. Water water shortages are common and power cuts are regular from 8 to 24 hours The Zimbawean dollar is worthless and foreign investment is nil.
    All of this informtion is on the internet.
    Ask yourself, with thousands of unemployed people in Zimbabwe and a worth less currency why would someone offer you a job?
  • The reality in Zim is a bit different to that reported. Sure there are massive issues, but to a large extent life continues as normal as is so often the case. The Zimbabwe dollar is hardly used - everything is priced in US Dollars or South African Rand. I know people with thriving businesses in Zimbabwe, who are employing skilled foreigners, but of course you need to check this out to make sure it's not a scam. There should be info on the company, check it out and contact them. Regarding safety, Zimbabwe is actually relatively safe, safer in fact than neighbouring South Africa, and now probably safer than Kenya with its recent terrorism issue. People go about their daily business in Harare as usual.
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  • edited March 2015
    Mathieu I have at the present time two cases of clients in Zimbabwe and I cannot agree that life goes on as normal. People have no option to live as they do that is not normal. I have also lived and worked in Zimbabwe and I agree it is relatively safe, it is also a beautiful country. However a once impressive health and education system is in tatters, prosperous farming and food production has been destroyed. The bread basket of this land is broken
    Many Zimbabweans are severely malnourished, and deaths from starvation occur even in the cities. The country has not yet suffered nationwide famine only because international donors have stepped in. Not even Chinese investors who are happily investing throughout Africa can be tempted to Zimbabwe.
    Your wealthy friends Mathieu with their foreign bank accounts prosper, making them complicit in the perpetuation of devastating economic policies.
  • Foreign investment is negligible because it's high risk, but by investing in the country, sometimes with the help of foreign development banks, entrepreneurs are employing thousands of locals, which in a country of high unemployment I'd suggest is a good thing. Its better than all the best people leaving, which they have in droves. The businesses I am thinking of are chicken and fish farms and they are taking on the big importers (at present most fish and chicken gets imported frozen from China and Brazil). How can that be a bad thing?

    Anyway, this thread is meant to be about safety in Zimbabwe, and I think we agree on that.
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  • edited June 2015
    To answer the original question, Zimbabwe is absolutely safe to travel to. In 2013, more than 1 million international tourists came to the country and the numbers are going up. Despite the negative headlines and some of the comments above, Zimbabwe is enjoying a steady almost niche-esque cultural boom and with places like Mana Pools, Vic Falls and Eastern Highlands, is it a surprise to anyone? for our affordable tours in this wonderful country.
  • Interesting thread. Zimbabwe is certainly a beautiful country with plenty to offer tourists, but the answer to whether it is safe to travel to is not that simple - it really depends where you want to go. I would say the country is definitely safe for the majority of tourists keen on visiting the tourist hubs like Vic Falls and Kariba, but some solid research on the areas you want to go and the current situation is a good idea as some roads etc can be dangerous and things like medical attention or police response can be hellish hard to find.
  • edited July 2015
    Zimbabwe is beautiful country for tourists . I think you can safely visit Zimbabwe alone or with friends .
  • Popular thread!

    Back in the 90's when I backpacked round Zim & it's neighbours the people in London that I left behind were aghast that I would do something so risky! I'm used to being warned off Zim, it's never stopped me travelling there. I would like up-to-date information on everyday life in Harare if I can find it though.

    I grew up in Harare through the 70's & 80's & I'm planning a trip back in 2016 to introduce my girlfriend to the country I still call home. I haven't been back since 1998 so I'm expecting changes.

    I'm not afraid of changes, or of taking risks when I travel, so I'm not particularly bothered by the more paranoid opinions of Zimbabwe but I would love to hear from anyone who's been to the country, or Harare in particular recently.

    I should be done with my trip within 6 months so I'll come back & give an update when I've survived. If I survive. Only joking! ;)
  • Please do post an update once you have returned @SidRead. The only place I have been in Zimbabwe in the last decade is Vic Falls, which is rumbling along much the same as ever. I would be very interested to hear how you find Harare.
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