CLIMATE September – October : Hot and dry November – March : Rainy season The best time to visit is between April and May or August to September, when the weather is mild with little rain. The winter months between May and September have cold, frosty nights Temperature :Average Climate Conditions : Harare (1470m above sea level)
October (hottest month) 15°-30°C
July (coldest month) 6°-22°C
Required clothing :Tropical lightweights with warmer clothing for the evenings. Rainwear is required for the wet season (Oct – Feb). Smart-casual evening wear in top hotels and restaurants and men may be asked to wear a tie.
Month Max Min Ave. Rain Humidity Jan 26 16 80mm 75 Feb 26 16 90mm 75 Mar 26 14 90mm 72 Apr 26 13 30mm 64 May 23 9 7mm 58 Jun 21 7 9mm 54 Jul 21 7 6mm 50 Aug 23 8 4mm 45 Sep 26 12 18mm 42 Oct 28 14 30mm 44 Nov 27 16 60mm 57 Dec 26 16 80mm 68
GENERAL INFO ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES 220-240 Volts AC. Accessible via 14 amp. Square-pinned fused plugs.
FIREARMS If carried, they must be declared at customs.
HEALTH REQUIREMENTS Travellers arriving in Zimbabwe from infected areas are requested to be in possession of valid Cholera and Yellow Fever certificates. Malaria tablets are recommended especially during the summer months of November to May and areas below 1200m It is advisable not to use water in the country’s rivers and dams for swimming and drinking as it may be infected with Bilharzia. Water in towns and hotels is perfectly safe to drink. Immunisation against Tetanus is recommended.
HOTEL ACCOUNTS Non-residents and visitors must settle their accounts in foreign currency.
LANGUAGE The three official languages are Shona, Ndebele and English. English is spoken by most people.
PHOTOGRAPHY Most international film brands are available and same-day or one hour processing can be done in major centres. Film can be quite expensive, so it is advisable to bring ample film with you.Government buildings, including airports, border posts, military and police buildings may NOT be photographed.
POSTAL SERVICES Post Office hours : Monday – Friday 08h30 – 16h00 Saturday 08h30 – 11h00 Zimbabwe has an inexpensive postal service
SHOPPING Hours : 08h00 – 17h00 Monday to Friday. Closed Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Certain pharmacies have day and night service in all the main centres.
MONEYBANKING HOURS Banks in Zimbabwe are open during the following hours: Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri 08h00 – 15h00 Wed 08h00 – 13h00 Sat 08h00 – 11h30 A bank agency is open, for foreign currency exchange transactions only, in the main hall of Harare Airport between 06h30 – 22h00 daily. Most airports, ports of entry and hotels have a small bank and/or foreign exchange bureau. Clients should NOT be advised to change Forex into local Zimbabwe currency, as they will get the official bank rate of exchange, which bears no relation to the reality of the cost of goods in Zim, and they will then find everything that they pay in Zim Dollars VERY expensive!
TIPPING & SERVICES CHARGES Hotels and restaurants do not levy service charges. Banks usually charge 2% on travellers cheques. Tips are around 10% are acceptable in most situations.
Clients should take Forex cash (USD is best, but they can also use Rand, UK pounds and Euro to a lesser extent)
If they insist on taking travellers cheques, they MUST produce the original bank letter that they are given at time of purchasing their travellers cheques in their home country, or the Zim banks will NOT exchange travellers cheques. Travellers cheques are also not accepted widely at restaurants etc, so rather tell your clients to avoid them if possible. So to enable clients to have a stress-free holiday in Zimbabwe, it is best to firstly advise them to book and prepay as much as possible in advance (hotels, transfers, and excursions), so that they do not have to settle as much locally, which saves the need to carry a lot of cash around, and secondly that they must take cash (best is USD) to pay for all extras/optional touring booked locally.
Large USD bills are also not accepted everywhere, so USD 50 or smaller are the best denominations to carry.The fact that the US dollar is now the main trading currency has made a huge difference
Clients should carry cash on them in either U$ or Rand, and in small denominations as they are unable to give change in foreign currency NB. IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TRAVELLERS TO ZIMBABWE.
There have been changes to the Zimbabwe economy with the introduction of the new unity government. There is a very long way to go to rebuild this once wealthy nation but at least there are some positive changes.
The Zimbabwe Dollar as a currency has been shelved at least for the next year until the economy revives. Zimbabwe Currency
Things are no longer priced in Zimbabwe dollars, but rather in US Dollars or Rand.
Credit Cards. Some of the larger tour operators are now accepting Visa Credit Cards for payment of activities and most of the Hotels are now able to accept payment via credit and debit cards. However many of the smaller outfits are not able to accept cards for payment and cash is still required. Travellers Cheques are not accepted. Mastercard, diners and Amex are no longer accepted in Zim. The only credit card that is sometimes still taken is Visa. HOWEVER, please make clients aware that if they pay by visa credit card, again the bank official exchange rate will be used when the bank calculates the rate to be charged to their card in their home currency. It makes everything very expensive indeed... Do not allow anyone to take your credit card out of your sight
ATM - cash machines Barclays Bank and some of the other banks in Victoria Falls have activated their cash machines and you can now get cash US Dollars out of the ATM machine. They accept VISA and MASTERCARD cards with pin numbers. "Even though the stickers say Visa Only, if you check inside the bank, most confirm Mastercards are accepted". Barclays Bank Zimbabwe charges you $1.25 per transaction, but your local bank at home is also likely to charge you a fee and this can be quite high. So it acts as a good back up plan, but still best to get your currency before you go. Maximum withdrawal is $500 per day.
Travellers Cheques Are NOT accepted by most places and I would NOT recommend using them.
South African Rand and BotswanaPula. Please be aware that almost everything is priced in US Dollars. You can pay for things in Rand or Pula but some places when converting will give you shocking exchange rates. For example at the time of writing the bank rate is Rand 7.0 to USD 1. but they will convert at 10 to 1. For example a coke is $1 or R10 or an entry visa is $55 or Rand 550. So my advice is to purchase some US dollars cash before arrival certainly enough to pay for all your entry requirements at the border. Some exceptions to this are the supermarket which is priced in Rand and US dollars and the activity tour operators who use the Bank mid rate of the day.
It is still advisable to:
** TAKE CASH WITH YOU ** ** DON’T RELY COMPLETELY ON CREDIT CARDS ** ** DO NOT USE TRAVELLERS CHEQUES** ** PAY FOR ACCOMMODATION AND ACTIVITIES BEFORE YOU GO **
* Carry mostly small denominations of currency. This makes paying for restaurant bills and curios easier, as change is not always available. Carry larger denominations only for activities and accommodation that are not booked and paid for in advance.