Travelling to Zimbabwe with Wilderness Safaris

Travel Advice

Zimbabwe is a land-locked country surrounded by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique.Over the past few years the country has once again become a popular destination, boasting as it does scenic landscapes, remnants of ancient civilisations and incredible wildlife. What’s more you will be warmly welcomed and hosted by Zimbabwe’s friendly and hospital people.

Full name: Republic of Zimbabwe
Capital: Harare
Population: 14.2 million (2015)
Geographic coordinates: 20 00 S, 30 00 E
Area: 390 580 sq. km / 150 803 sq. mi
Time: +2 hours GMT

Climate and Seasonality

Generally, the days are bright and sunny and the nights clear and cool. November to April are the summer months (which is also the rainy season) while winter is from May to August (which usually has dry weather). September and October are very hot and very dry. The winter months from May to August inclusive, can bring freezing temperatures (below 0°C sometimes) in the early morning and evenings.

What to pack

  • Sunblock, sun hat and good quality sunglasses
  • Camera with waterproof/dustproof bag/cover
  • Good walking shoes (tennis shoes are fine)
  • Malaria tablets (if applicable)
  • Warm Anorak or Parka and scarf / gloves for winter
Download Packing list in PDF

Health and Safety

It is sensible to take basic precautions whilst travelling anywhere in the world. We advise that you ask Tourist Information Officers, camp/lodge and hotel staff and local residents about areas to avoid.

Wilderness Safaris camps in Zimbabwe are situated in malaria-risk areas; please consult your medical practitioner regarding any anti-malarials. Please check with your health department/travel clinic prior to departure, in the event there have been changes in the health regulations of the country you are visiting.

Passports and Visa

Visitors to Africa must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended departure date, together with onward travel documents, proof of accommodation and sufficient funds for the duration of your stay. 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).

Please speak to your Africa specialist to ensure that you have any appropriate travel documentation before departing on safari.

Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Those nationalities that require visas to enter Zimbabwe may have to apply for these in advance; however, some nationalities are able to obtain these on arrival at the port of entry. Costs also vary depending on the nationality of your passport so please contact your travel consultant for exact details relevant to you. Zimbabwe has recently launched an online facility that travellers may use to pre-apply for visas. For further information, refer to the website Alternatively, visit the following website for additional information: Please note, Wilderness Safaris is not responsible for the content of any external website.

NOTE for those travelling through South Africa or Botswana: All passengers under 18 years of age will need to present an unabridged birth certificate as well as a valid passport when entering, departing or transiting South Africa and Botswana. A sworn translation (certified/authenticated) in English should accompany all documentation that is in a language other than English.

 For single parents, or those travelling alone with their child/ren, the following must be provided:

- An affidavit (no more than 3 months old on the date of travel) in which the absent parent gives consent for the child to travel, or
- A court order granting full responsibilities or legal guardianship of the child, or
- The death certificate of the absent parent.

Banks and Foreign Exchange

As the country has adopted a multi-currency system for payments, 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. Please check with your travel consultant for specifics prior to travel.

Credit card facilities are not available at the Wilderness Zimbabwe camps – payment can be made in cash only.


English is the official language. Other widely spoken languages are Shona and Sindebele, which also have various dialects and other minority languages.

Recommended Reading

We recommend the following books specific to the Zimbabwean region. A further list of recommended books is contained in our main pre tour information.

  • Zimbabwe: The Beautiful; Zimbabwe: Beautiful Land - Peter Joyce
  • African Thunder: The Victoria Falls - Jan & Fiona Teede
  • Butterflies of Southern Africa – Ivor Migdoll
  • Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - Ken Newman
  • Behaviour Guide to African Mammals - Richard Estes
  • A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa - Johan Marais, Graham Alexander
  • Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - Phil Hockey, Ian Sinclair and Warwick Tarboton
  • Victoria Falls: The Insider’s Guide - Ian Michler  Mukiwa - Peter Godwin
  • Zimbabwe - Globetrotter Road Atlas
  • Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals - Jonathan Kingdon
  • The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals - Jonathan Kingdon
  • Field Guide to the larger mammals of Africa - Chris & Tilde Stuart

We also carry reference materials in our camps and vehicles, and highly recommend that you bring your own pair of binoculars in order to get the most out of your safari. The recommended general purpose binocular specifications are 8x40 or 10x42.