Fire and rescue services
Call 999 or go to a hospital.
Call 999 or Harare Central Police Station on 777 777 or visit the nearest police station.
There are shortages of food, water, medicine and fuel. Basic services, such as electricity supply, are unreliable. The security situation is volatile. Violent protests are common. Avoid large public gatherings.
Petty crime, such as mugging and bag snatching, is common. Don't carry bags that are easy to snatch.
Violent crime, such as assault and armed robbery, occurs. The risk increases at night, in city centres and in open areas such as parks and fields. Keep your accommodation locked, even when you're in it. Don't walk at night.
Land confiscation, wildlife poaching and violence against farmers has caused unrest. Get up-to-date security advice before you visit national parks, game farms, lodges or hunting areas.
Theft from vehicles is common. Thieves target cars stopped at intersections, especially on the way to Harare Airport. Minimise the amount of time you have to stop. Approach red lights slowly. Keep vehicle doors locked and windows up.
Flooding can occur during the rainy season (November to April). Eastern Zimbabwe is still recovering from Cyclone Idai, which hit in March 2019. Infrastructure remains damaged. If you're travelling to this area, take extra care.
Full travel advice: Safety
Malaria is a risk everywhere except Harare and Bulawayo. Consider taking anti-malarial medication.
Other parasitic and insect-borne diseases occur include filariasis and schistosomiasis. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is very high. Take precautions if you're engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
Outbreaks of foodborne, waterborne, and other infectious diseases also occur. These include typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis and cholera. Drink only boiled or bottled water. Avoid raw or undercooked food. Ensure your vaccinations are up-to-date.
Don't swim in lakes and rivers, due to the risk of waterborne diseases.
Medical facilities are generally poor to average standard. Outside of Harare and Bulawayo facilities are even more limited. Public hospitals, including in Harare, suffer from serious shortages. If you're seriously ill or injured, you may need medical evacuation out of Zimbabwe. Ensure your travel insurance covers this.
Full travel advice: Health
Always carry ID, such as a copy of your passport. Police and immigration officials may ask to see it.
Understand and follow local laws. It's illegal to kill, capture or trade a protected animal or its parts without a licence. It's also illegal to wear camouflage clothing. Don't possess or trade counterfeit or pirated goods, or pornographic material. You must have paperwork to possess precious or semi-precious stones.
Same-sex relations are illegal in Zimbabwe, and can attract criminal penalties.
Be careful when taking photos. It's illegal to photograph airports, military establishments, government offices, the President's residence and security forces.
Avoid political activity and any activities that officials could view as political. These include discussions, commentary and protests. It's illegal to criticise or insult the President or be in possession of material considered offensive to the President's office.
Full travel advice: Local laws
You need a visa to enter Zimbabwe. Most travellers, including tourists, can get either a 30-day visa-on-arrival or a KAZA UniVisa. A KAZA UniVisa allows you to travel between Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. Make sure the entry stamp in your passport is legible. Officials will ask to see it when you leave. Contact an embassy or consulate of Zimbabwe for details.
The only legal tender in Zimbabwe is the 'Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWL)'. A limited number of vendors will accept payments using international credit cards. Zimbabwe is experiencing a cash crisis. You can't withdraw money from ATMs using an international card. Take enough cash to cover your stay.
Check with hotels and other providers whether they accept card payments, especially outside of Harare. It is illegal to exchange foreign currency anywhere other than at officially licensed banks and bureaux de change.
It is illegal to leave Zimbabwe with more than USD2,000 (or equivalent) in cash. This amount is subject to change with little prior notice.
Parts of the country have unexploded landmines. If you're driving in these areas, stick to main roads.
Flight options into and out of Zimbabwe are limited. Air Zimbabwe is banned from flying into the EU due to safety concerns. Australian Embassy staff are not permitted to travel on Air Zimbabwe flights.
Full travel advice: Travel
The security situation is volatile. Unemployment is high and the economy is unstable.
Sometimes there are shortages of medical supplies, basic goods and food.
Services such as power, water and transport are unreliable.
The worsening economy has caused:
violent protests, including in Harare and Bulawayo
In some areas of Zimbabwe, issues causing unrest include:
people forced off their land
violence against farmers, their families and workers
Avoid political activity and any activities that could be seen as political, such as:
political discussion or commentary in public places
large public gatherings
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
During periods of unrest:
monitor the media for planned or possible unrest
avoid affected areas
follow advice from local authorities
There's a high risk of theft and other crime.
Petty crime is common, especially in urban and tourist areas. Dangers include:
Violent crime, such as armed robbery and assault, also occurs.
The risk of crime increases:
on city streets and in city centres
in open fields
Robberies may happen during the day, particularly in crowded urban areas.
To protect yourself from violent crime:
avoid carrying bags that are easy to snatch
always lock doors, windows and gates at your accommodation
travel with other people, or preferably a tour group
avoid walking around after dark
Get immediate medical help if you're a victim of violent crime, especially sexual assault. The risk of HIV/AIDS is high.
Theft from vehicles is common.
Thieves target cars stopped at intersections. In Harare, remain alert on the way to the airport and along Churchill, Borrowdale, and Masvingo-Beitbridge roads.
Thieves also slash the tyres of cars parked or stopped in traffic. When someone stops to change their tyre, thieves rob them.
Travellers have been robbed while visiting national parks. Safari operators may ask you to show proof of indemnity insurance.
Get updates on the security situation before you visit:
farms, game farms, lodges and hunting areas
If travelling by car:
keep your doors locked, windows up and valuables hidden, even when moving
be aware of people near your vehicle
stop as little as possible — approach red lights slowly and plan ahead when you approach residential gates
leave road space in front of your car, in case you need to move away quickly
Commercial fraud, money transfer and employment scams are increasing.
Police have limited resources, including vehicles and fuel. They may ask to be driven from a police station to a crime scene.
Police processes can be slow and complicated when recovering property or prosecuting offenders.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This is important for adventure activities, such as rafting, bungee jumping and other adventure sports.
If you plan to do an adventure activity:
check if your travel insurance policy covers it
see if your operator is registered
ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
If you visit Victoria Falls, carry your passport in a waterproof bag. Authorities may not accept a damaged passport.
Zimbabwe experiences severe weather.
The rainy season is from November to April. Flooding can occur.
In March 2019, Cyclone Idai caused flooding and mudslides in eastern Zimbabwe.
Many roads and bridges in these areas still can't be used.
The cyclone has affected electricity, water and telecommunications.
If you're travelling to affected areas, take extra care. Monitor weather updates.
If there's a natural disaster:
secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location
monitor local media and other sources
register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts
do what local authorities say
keep in touch with your friends and family
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
what activities and care your policy covers
that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
have a basic health check-up
ask if your travel plans may affect your health
plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Zimbabwe. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
what the medicine is
how much you'll take
that it's for personal use
Malaria is a risk everywhere except in Harare and Bulawayo.
Mosquitoes also spread other diseases, including filariasis.
To protect yourself from disease:
make sure your accommodation is insect-proof
use insect repellent
wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
consider taking medicine to prevent malaria
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is high.
Take precautions if you engage in activities that put you at risk of infection.
Serious outbreaks of other waterborne, foodborne and infectious diseases sometimes occur, including:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
In September 2018, people died from a cholera outbreak in Harare.
To protect yourself from illness:
keep your vaccinations up to date
drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids
avoid ice cubes
avoid raw and undercooked food, such as salads
avoid contact with dogs and other mammals
If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, get medical help straight away.
Don't swim in fresh water to avoid waterborne diseases.
Get medical help if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Health services are poor.
Medical facilities are generally of a poor standard. Outside of Harare and Bulawayo facilities are even more limited. Some medical supplies and prescription medicine may not be available.
Public hospitals in Harare and in other towns have shortages of:
They may not treat patients with certain illnesses. They may not be able to help in an accident or emergency.
You will need to pay up-front before receiving treatment, even in an emergency.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties are severe for carrying, making or dealing in illegal drugs, including marijuana.
You may face lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.
By law, you must always carry ID, such as a copy of your passport.
You may have to show these documents if you're stopped by police or immigration officials.
You face the death penalty for:
Juvenile offenders may get corporal punishment.
In Zimbabwe, it's illegal to:
kill, capture or trade a protected animal, or its parts, without a licence
wear clothing with camouflage designs if you're a civilian
have or trade counterfeit or pirated goods, or pornographic material
have precious or semi-precious stones without paperwork
Same-sex relationships are illegal.
You need permission from the Ministry of Information to photograph:
the President's residence
By law, you can't take part in political activities, or activities that authorities could interpret as political.
discuss politics in public places
make derogatory or insulting comments about the President
carry material that attacks the President's office
display or distribute banned books
display political loyalty such as slogans or images from Zimbabwean political parties
continue driving when the President's motorcade goes past. See Travel
An open hand is the symbol of a main political party in Zimbabwe. Authorities could think a friendly wave is a deliberate political activity.
The President's official residence is at State House, Chancellor Avenue, The Avenues, Harare. The roads around the residence are closed between 6pm and 6am. Security is strict. Don't look through the gates or hang around outside the walls.
If you plan to do business in Zimbabwe, research local laws and regulations, including for land and business ownership.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Zimbabwe doesn't have a clear policy regarding dual nationals.
Australian-Zimbabwean dual citizens who are arrested or detained may not get consular help from Australian officials.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
You need a visa to enter Zimbabwe.
Most travellers, including tourists, can get either a 30-day visa on arrival or a KAZA UniVisa.
To extend a visa on arrival, apply online through the Department of Immigration or in person at its office. Allow enough time for an extension review.
You can also apply for a double-entry tourist visa, which is valid for 30 days from each date of entry.
A KAZA UniVisa allows multiple entries in a 30-day period:
between Zimbabwe and Zambia
to Botswana for day trips
You can get a KAZA UniVisa at:
Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls airports
Victoria Falls land border (Zambia)
Kazungula land border (Zambia/Botswana)
A KAZA UniVisa can't be extended. Its availability can change at short notice.
You must apply for a permit, before arriving in Zimbabwe, to:
The Zimbabwe Chief Immigration Officer must approve the permit.
Be careful using local migration agents. It's better to get visas and work permits yourself.
To arrange a visa or work permit, apply:
on the Department of Immigration website
through your sponsor
at your nearest Zimbabwean Department of Immigration office
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact an embassy or consulate of Zimbabwe for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
You could be jailed if you overstay your visa.
Your options for leaving Zimbabwe may be limited if security deteriorates quickly. Keep your documents up to date. You'll need a valid passport, visa, and vehicle police clearance if leaving via a land border.
You need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate if you're arriving from a country with yellow fever.
When you arrive, check you get a legible entry stamp in your passport. Immigration officials will ask to see it when you leave.
If you're using an emergency travel document, you may need to show a police report to prove your passport was lost or stolen.
You must have proper accreditation to work as a journalist. Without this, you can be arrested and detained, or even deported.
Strict rules apply to a child aged under 18 years travelling through South Africa. Check our travel advice for South Africa.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport isn't valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
With effect from June 24, 2019, the only legal tender in Zimbabwe is the 'Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWL)'. This refers to government-issued ‘bond’ notes, bond coins and electronic money known as the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) dollar. These have no monetary value outside of Zimbabwe. US Dollars will only be accepted in specific circumstances.
Before you pay for anything, check what currency a price is quoted in and the exchange rate. US dollars and RTGS dollars both use the same currency sign ($).
Zimbabwe is experiencing a cash crisis. Authorities have introduced restrictions. You can't withdraw cash from an ATM with an international debit card.
Take enough cash to cover your stay. It is illegal to change money anywhere other than officially licensed banks and bureaux de change.
Check if your hotels and other providers will accept cards, especially outside of Harare.
It's illegal to leave Zimbabwe with more than USD2,000 in cash or the same amount in a different currency. The amount can change with little or no notice.
Cuts to power and water are common and can last for weeks. These disruptions also happen in cities. Mobile phone reception is also unreliable.
Parts of the country have unexploded landmines, mainly in:
the border area with Mozambique
the Lupane District in Matabeleland North Province
The Zimbabwe Government has a national program to locate and remove landmines.
Stick to main roads and paths in areas where landmines could exist.
To drive in Zimbabwe , you need both:
a valid Australian driver licence
an International Driving Permit (IDP)
Get your IDP before leaving Australia.
You're 6 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in Zimbabwe than in Australia. Traffic lights rarely function, leaving drivers to navigate intersections and road crossings by themselves.
dangerous driving habits
poorly maintained urban and rural roads full of potholes
poor street lighting
unlit vehicles at night
animals on roads
Flash flooding during the rainy season, from November to March, can make roads impassable.
All vehicles must carry:
a fire extinguisher
2 metallic emergency triangles with white reflective stickers on the front, and red reflective stickers on the back
a spare wheel
If your vehicle isn't fully equipped, authorities could fine you.
It's illegal to use a phone without a hands-free device when driving.
Short-term foreign drivers must pay a vehicle charge. It includes a carbon tax, parking fees, road tolls and increased border tolls.
Fuel shortages can occur. Keep your tank topped up and carry sufficient fuel for long journeys.
If you plan to drive:
check your insurance covers you and your vehicle
learn local traffic laws and practices
ask about fuel availability and road conditions, such as security risks and road closures
If you hire a vehicle, make sure it's equipped with all compulsory safety equipment.
take a mobile phone or another communication device with you
always be alert to possible hazards
avoid travelling on roads outside of major centres at night, due to limited lighting and poor road conditions
avoid rural roads at night
do what local authorities say, including at roadblocks
If you plan to drive to Mozambique:
read our travel advice for Mozambique
ask locally about the security situation in provinces close to Zimbabwe
By law, all vehicles must stop when the President's motorcade goes past. You must stop even if you're on the opposite side of the road on a dual carriageway.
Motorcades usually begin with a single police motorcycle with flashing lights. Security forces sometimes intimidate or assault motorists who don't stop in time.
Police roadblocks can appear with little warning. If asked, you must show police your identification documents, car registration and ownership papers.
Police may also ask to see your car safety equipment.
Police may ask drivers to pay on-the-spot fines or a bribe. If you pay a bribe, they could demand more.
Check if your travel insurance policy covers you for the vehicle you intend to ride. You might need extra cover for an accident on a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Use only registered taxis and limousines. If possible, book them through your accommodation.
Avoid using public transport, including trains and buses.
It can be dangerous due to overcrowding, poor maintenance and reckless driving.
Accidents have occurred on passenger ferries and boats.
Use transport providers with a good reputation.
Always wear a life jacket, even if others don't.
You must pay a departure tax for domestic flights. Pay in cash to the Civil Aviation Authority at the airport. Keep your receipt.
Airlines can change or cancel flights at short notice. You can book charter flights through private companies.
The European Union (EU) has banned Air Zimbabwe flights to the EU. Australian Embassy staff are not permitted use Air Zimbabwe for official travel except in exceptional circumstances.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Zimbabwe's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Zimbabwe has hunting rules.
Risks include landmines in some areas.
If you plan to do guided hunting, engage an operator with a good reputation and a valid hunting licence.
Before you hunt, research the rules and requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Depending on what you need, contact your:
family and friends
Call 999 or go to a hospital.
Call 999 or Harare Central Police Station on 777 777 or visit the nearest police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Harare.
1 Green Close
Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: (+263 024) 2 853 235 55
Fax: (+263 024) 2 870 566
Facebook: Australian Embassy, Zimbabwe
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 in Australia
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.