VISA AND OTHER PROCEDURES
Portuguese and Brazilian citizens can obtain visas for Zimbabwe upon entry into the country. The single-entry visa costs around €20 and double-entry €35. A passport valid for 6 months after the date of entry into the country must be presented, as well as a return flight ticket or a ticket to another destination outside Zimbabwe.
Yellow fever vaccine is required for passengers from countries at risk of contagion or who have passed through those countries or their airports for more than 12 hours.
Prevention of malaria is also advised. It is also recommended the Typhus and Hepatitis B vaccine. Before leaving, you should contact the Tropical and Traveler Medicine Clinic, Av. da Liberdade, 129, 7th dto, tel. +351 21 322 5622.
TRIP TO ZIMBABWE
A Air Zimbabwe fly from Harare to Bulawayo for around €100 one-way and €190 return. Also flies from Harare to Victoria Falls for around €200 one-way and €300 return.
Zimbabwe's rail network links Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Victoria Falls. The lines are old and urgently need recovery. Trains are slow, they travel preferably at night with sleeping compartments. More information at NRZ e Seat61.
Despite the great degradation of the economy, several main roads remain in acceptable condition and buses continue to circulate between the largest cities, albeit in poor health and safety conditions. Two types of buses operate in Zimbabwe, local and express. Locals travel from village markets to nearby places and depart only when full or nearly full. The Expresso connect more distant destinations and follow pre-established schedules. Both types are in great demand.
You can rent a car on the Internet and pick it up at the counters of the rent-a-car from Harare or Victoria Falls airports. Several roads allow acceptable driving by African standards for a country that has long been in financial collapse. In particular, those linking Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, Bulawayo and Masvingo (Great Zimbabwe) and Masvingo and Mutare allow travel without major problems. Expect to pay from €60 per day for a budget car rental in Harare or Victoria Falls.
Despite being tropical, Zimbabwe has vast mountainous areas that guarantee much milder temperatures than some of its African neighbours. Summer – also the rainy season – runs from November to April. It has average maximum temperatures of around 35ºC.
Winter, when minimum temperatures drop to 6ºC, 7ºC, lasts from May to October. The end of this period is ideal for visiting Zimbabwe. The weather is drier and wildlife easier to see.
The currency of Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwe dollar (ZWD). The country's authorities have legalized the use of foreign currencies and the US Dollar (USD) has been the true currency of Zimbabwe for some time, but the South African Rand (ZAR) and Euro (EUR) are also accepted. The use of ATMs is very limited, as are payments with credit cards. For these reasons, it is advisable to have enough cash for the trip. Zimbabwe is a very accessible country especially when it comes to goods and services that are not imported and consumed by the country's population. Imported goods and services, provided by foreigners or provided exclusively to tourists have, at least, values equivalent to those in neighboring South Africa.
It costs almost nothing per night in guest houses most humble in Harare up to several hundred euros a night at the luxurious and historic Victoria Falls Hotel, the most prestigious hotel for access to the famous Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe has a good number of hotels with international participation. Several are charming for their colonial architecture and decoration. They have prices to match.
When on safaris, the normal practice is to accommodate the participants in camps, some more comfortable and luxurious than others, and in cabins.
Traditional Zimbabwean dishes, sadza (kind of maize puree) with tsunga (stew) it is served at negligible prices – up to €2 per person, in the most popular restaurants in Harare and other main towns. Meals served at the most reputable hotels will not necessarily be better but will certainly have inflated prices, up to €15 – €20 per person.
Internet penetration in Zimbabwe is higher than that of many African neighbors but prices remain high. Outside Harare, access speed decreases substantially. At the famous Victoria Falls Hotel, Internet is available almost everywhere, but the speed is low. In the village of Victoria Falls, there are Internet Cafés with much faster access.