British, Canadian and American passport holders do require a single entry visa for the extension to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. We can get these on arrival. You will need to pay for this in USD – the current rate is USD55 for US&UK passengers and USD75 for Canadian passengers. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months and have 3 blank pages left in it to enable you to enter Zimbabwe. You must enter the address where you will be staying in Zimbabwe on your visa form (Victoria Falls Hotel, 1 Mallet Drive, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, +2631344751)
You must carry some form of photo identification with you at all times whilst in Zimbabwe.
In March we are heading out of the rainy season and the temperatures are between 17°C/63°F and 30°C/86°F. You will still need your raincoat!
What to pack
You won’t need anything not already mentioned in your South Africa useful information list.
Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Unlike in South Africa, the provision of health care in Zimbabwe is unreliable. There is a shortage of drugs and trained medical staff in hospitals, making it difficult for hospitals to treat certain illnesses including accidents and trauma cases. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
If you are on medication, bring sufficient supplies of your medication to cover the period of your stay. Pharmacies may not be able to provide you with the appropriate drug prescribed by your doctor.
Travelling with CPAP or other Medical Machines
Inform The Big Journey Company that you are travelling with such a device as early as possible and well before you travel. This is especially important in places where there may be issues with power supply, such as on safari or small cruise ships. Also,
-Check that you have the correct electrical and voltage adapters for the country and accommodation you are visiting;
-Check with your airline that they allow your device to be carried as additional hand luggage and ensure that your device is easily accessible and properly labelled as medical machinery;
-Always carry a letter from your medical practitioner prescribing its use for you;
-Ensure you have details of your machine separately in case of the need to secure repairs/replacements whilst you are travelling;
-Check with your medical practitioner about the use of tap or bottled water in the event that distilled water cannot be sourced in the country you are travelling to.
Please note, if you require distilled or ionised water, you must inform The Big Journey Company of this at least two weeks ahead of travel so we are able to make preparations with our ground agents. There will be an additional charge for this.
Zimbabwe is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GTM), one hour ahead of Central European Winter Time, 8 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time and 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter Time. There is no daylight saving and no time-zone changes. Zimbabwe is in Central Africa Time Zone (CAT)
Your mobile/cell phone should work in Zimbabwe but is likely to be expensive. You are able to purchase SIM cards locally.
Currency and Money
The Zimbabwean dollar has been taken out of circulation indefinitely. The most widely used currency is the US dollar. Almost all hotels, shops, restaurants and activity operators now accept credits cards; MasterCard and Visa only - NOT American Express. However as with everywhere occasionally a card machine won't work so it's always best to have a reserve of cash in these instances.
All banks have an ATM machine however there is a CRITICAL shortage of hard cash within the country. You must bring enough cash with you, as there is often none available in the ATMs. Carry small denomination US dollar notes as change is rarely available.
Feedback from previous tours with Diamond members has led us to suggest an overall tips package for your journey where we would take care of tipping throughout which would include tips at restaurants where the meal is included, your driver, your guide as well as hotel and support staff. If you would prefer to manage your own tips please speak to your tour escort. The suggested amount for the 4day extension in Zimbabwe is USD$50
Zimbabwe has 16 official languages but English, Shona and Ndebele are the most widely spoken languages.
In general, the water is not safe to drink in Zimbabwe. Please drink bottled water only.
In Zimbabwe the standard voltage is 240 V. The standard frequency is 50 Hz. You will likely need adapters and converters if you are travelling from the US/Canada.
Safety and Security
Zimbabwe is in general a safe country to visit. All the more so if your visit is primarily an escorted one like ours. Zimbabwe's political-economical situation is volatile, and has slightly improved in the last few years, though we monitor the situation constantly as your safety is of paramount importance to us. The political-economic situation in Zimbabwe, however, rarely affect tourists.
As with many developing countries, theft and muggings are relatively common although most incidents are in cities, Harare in particular you should be vigilant and take sensible precautions. We would advise against walking about alone and driving at night.