TRAVEL TIPS

You are thinking of travelling to Zimbabwe, great idea! Before you even Tweet about it, we want you armed with all the information you need to make your travels headache-free and as safe as possible.

You’ll be leaving the comforts of familiar surroundings so careful planning is imperative. Not to worry though, we have your back and we’ve put together a few ideas to help with your plans. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Travel Insurance

There are things you want when you travel and then there are things you need. Travel insurance is definitely something you can’t do without. We have partnered with one of the best companies in this industry: World Nomads Travel Insurance. Who better to get travel insurance from than Travel addicts who knows what you will need on your adventures? For more information on the World Nomads offering, simply visit their website.

Money

Zimbabwe is for the most part a cash-only country, which means that you should be prepared to carry sufficient hard cash to cover your stay. However, the situation often changes from month-to-month, so we would suggest getting in touch with the team at Tiritose a few weeks before your departure and we'll advise you on the best course of action.

Best Time To Travel

Zimbabwe is blessed with one of the most mild climates on the African continent. Average summer temperatures range between 17°C and 31°C (November - April) while average winter temperatures stretch from 7°C to 29°C (May - October). Summer is the rainy season while the winters are dry and the best time to experience game viewing. Arguable, the best months to visit are April to May and August to September, but trust us when we say, Zimbabwe is enjoyable at any time of the year.

What To Pack

Throughout the year, casual and comfortable clothing is suitable for your trip to Zimbabwe. We suggest packing light- to medium-weight clothes (think shorts, shirts, dresses and skirts) and a few warmer pieces (like jackets, long pants and jerseys) for the cooler winter evenings. In addition, we encourage you to bring along casual open shoes, closed walking shoes, a wide-brimmed hat, plenty of sunscreen and a bathing suit. If you're visiting Zimbabwe in the wet season, feel free to bring along light rainwear to keep sufficiently dry. 

Food

With some of the most nutrient-rich soil on the African continent, as well as a mild climate, Zimbabwe features an abundance of locally-grown fruits and vegetables. From oranges to mangos, carrots to green beans, you'll be treated to farm fresh produce during your stay. Local specialities include sadza - a stiff maize meal porridge eaten with stew, dovi - a traditional peanut butter stew with vegetables, biltong - seasoned and dried strips of meat, and mapopo - basically papaya candy.

Accommodation

Zimbabwe features an array of accommodation options for travellers of all budgets, from backpackers to guesthouses, luxury lodges to business hotels. For internships and volunteer programmes, as well as the multi-day experiences through Tiritose Sustainable Travel, accommodation is pre-arranged, but feel free to get in touch with us for any further tips should you wish to venture out to explore.

Testimonials

We understand that it takes more than words to convince you. Here’s a look at what our past students had to say about their experience with us.

Languages

Zimbabwe has 16 official languages - with Shona and Ndebele being the most commonly spoken languages. English is normally a second or third language but remains the business language. Almost everyone in Zimbabwe speaks English because it is also the language of instruction from kindergarten & fun fact: Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate in Africa.

Electricity

Often the electricity does go off in Zimbabwe due to load shedding. In the last few months, the situation has improved, however, it is common for houses and apartments to go without power for several hours, so be aware of this. Hotels on the other hand often have backup power. Bringing along a headlight or torch is never a bad idea.

Tipping

The general rule for locals is ‘if you can afford to eat out, you can afford to tip a minimum of 10% of the total bill”. As a tourist, surely you can do better than that? A tip definitely goes a long way for the waitrons in these tough economic conditions Zimbabwe finds itself in. Not leaving a tip at all, even for locals is highly frowned upon.

Dress Attire

The dress code in Zimbabwe is fairly conservative and formal relative to the rest of the world. Shorts, cargo pants, safari shirts or t-shirts as well as walking shoes or sandals are useful and helpful. For women, avoid wearing short skirts & very short shorts, while men with earrings should avoid wearing them when visiting villages. For social outings, more casual yet conservative clothing will suffice. It is illegal to wear camouflage in Zimbabwe as it is considered an impersonation of the military.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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Zimbabwe features three international airports: the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare, the Victoria Falls Airport and the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo. These connect the country with various regional and international destinations with most flights entering the country via Johannesburg in South Africa. 

Cars drive on the left hand side of the road in Zimbabwe and car hire is available at the airport or prior to your arrival. International driving permits are required when hiring a car and should be valid for at least 90 days. Within the country there is a good road network which connects urban and rural areas alike. Unfortunately fuel shortages are commonplace, and self-driving travellers should take heed and carefully measure distances. There is a slight advantage if you purchase the fuel in USD$ and not the local Bond currency as there are specially designated fuel stations for “foreign currency” holders, where the queues are usually shorter. Read up about how a jerry can might save your trip. If you do run into issues or further queries, feel free to get in touch with us here at Tiritose.

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Give us a call or a WhatsApp text with your arrival details and we can make sure you have a mobile phone SimCard when you arrive in Zimbabwe. We can also hook you up with an entry level mobile phone, loaded with calling credits should you wish not to use your home phone in Zimbabwe or should you mobile carrier not work in Zimbabwe. However, it is also something you can do on your own for a small fee directly with the mobile cell phone providers.

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