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.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Zimbabwe due to the threat of crime and the risk of civil unrest.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Zimbabwe due to the threat of crime and the risk of civil unrest.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
The security situation is volatile. Unemployment is high, the economy is unstable, and there is a high crime rate.
Sometimes there are shortages of medical supplies, basic goods and food.
Essential services such as power, water and transport are unreliable.
In some areas of Zimbabwe, issues causing unrest include:
Demonstrations and protests in Zimbabwe can be unpredictable and may turn violent quickly. Avoid activities that could be considered political including political discussions in public places and online. Stay away from protests and demonstrations. During periods of unrest, monitor local media, avoid affected areas and follow advice from local authorities.
During periods of unrest:
There's a high risk of theft and other crime.
Petty crime is common, especially in urban and tourist areas. Dangers include:
Violent crimes, such as armed robbery and assault, also occur. People known to be storing large sums of cash are sometimes targeted.
The risk of crime increases:
Robberies may happen during the day, particularly in crowded urban areas.
To help protect yourself from violent crime:
Get immediate medical help if you're a victim of violent crime, especially sexual assault. The risk of HIV/AIDS is high, and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) HIV medication needs to be taken within 72 hours of the incident for it to be effective.
Theft from vehicles is common.
Thieves target cars stopped at intersections. In Harare, remain alert on the way to and from 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.
You could be 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:
If travelling by car:
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.
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
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:
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.
If there's a natural disaster:
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 thousands 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:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
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:
Malaria is a risk everywhere except in Harare and Bulawayo.
Mosquitoes also spread other diseases, including filariasis.
To protect yourself from disease:
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.
Parts of Zimbabwe (including Harare) are currently experiencing a cholera outbreak.
In October 2023, the government declared a polio outbreak in Zimbabwe. Ensure you are fully vaccinated and see information on polio.
To protect yourself from illness:
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. Some private medical facilities in the larger cities are of average standard. Outside of Harare and Bulawayo, facilities are even more limited. Some medical supplies and prescription medications may not be available.
Public hospitals in Harare and 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 may need to pay up-front before receiving treatment, even in an emergency.
You may need to be evacuated if you become seriously ill or injured. 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:
Same-sex relationships are illegal.
You need permission from the Ministry of Information to photograph:
By law, you can't take part in political activities, or activities that authorities could interpret as political.
An open hand is the symbol of a main political party in Zimbabwe. Authorities could think a friendly wave is 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 be able to obtain consular help from Australian officials.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
You need a visa to enter Zimbabwe. A 30 day tourist visa is available on arrival. You can apply for 2 consecutive extensions (maximum stay is 90 days) at any Zimbabwean Department of Immigration Office.
Don't overstay a visa. Penalties (including jail) may apply. 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, valid for 30 days from each entry date.
Alternatively, you may be eligible for a KAZA UniVisa that allows multiple entries in 30 days:
You can get a KAZA UniVisa at:
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:
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.
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:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
Zimbabwe's economic situation is unpredictable. The Zimbabwe dollar ($ZWL) and the US dollar are accepted, but this could change without notice. Prices will mainly be listed in $ZWL. Check before making a transaction, as the $ symbol can be used for both currencies. The exchange rate between the ZWL and USD can change quickly.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a cash crisis. Authorities have introduced restrictions. You may not be able to withdraw cash from an ATM with an international debit card.
Take enough cash to cover your stay. Changing money anywhere except at officially licensed banks and bureaux de change is illegal. If possible, carry small denominations. Vendors may be unable to provide change if you pay in $US.
Check if your hotels and other providers (including medical providers) will accept international credit cards. Many businesses only have point-of-sale machines that accept local credit and debit cards.
It's illegal to leave Zimbabwe with more than $US10,000 in cash or the same amount in a different currency. The amount can change with little or no notice.
Disruptions to power and water are common and can last for weeks, including in cities. Mobile phone reception and data can also be unreliable.
Parts of the country have unexploded landmines, mainly in:
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:
Get your IDP before leaving Australia.
Road travel is very dangerous in Zimbabwe. Traffic lights rarely function, leaving drivers to navigate intersections and road crossings by themselves.
Flash flooding during the rainy season can make roads impassable from November to March.
All vehicles must carry the following:
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.
Fuel shortages can occur. Keep your tank topped up and carry sufficient fuel for long journeys.
If you plan to drive:
If you hire a vehicle, make sure it's equipped with all compulsory safety equipment.
By law, all vehicles must stop and pull over 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's 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, as they present safety concerns 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.
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 to 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:
Call 999 or go to a hospital.
Call 999 or Harare Central Police Station on (0242) 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.
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. The Australian Embassy in Harare is open to the public by appointment only.
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:
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