Overland Zimbabwe Travel
Currency to display:
- 1 Visiting Zimbabwe
- 2 Entering Zimbabwe with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Zimbabwe
- 4 Gas price in Zimbabwe and Diesel price in Zimbabwe
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Zimbabwe
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Zimbabwe
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Zimbabwe is a stunning country with extremely friendly and positive locals. Despite years of dysfunctional government, the people of Zimbabwe are resilient and happy.
NOTE: ATMS in Zimbabwe don't work - bring in all the cash you will need - large USD bills fetch the highest exchange rate on the black market.
Entering Zimbabwe with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: March 2019
Travel Visa for Zimbabwe
Virtually all nationalities can get the visa on arrival at any border crossing. Paying in USD cash is best. For the vast majority of foreigners the visa costs $30USD, but Canadian and British must pay $75 USD.
(To check if you need a travel Visa for Zimbabwe, application instructions and fees see: Zimbabwe Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)
- Passport of registered owner.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Original vehicle registration (known locally as a log book).
- (OPTIONAL) Carnet de Passage
(no copies are required)
Process at border
- Proceed to immigration, purchase a visa if needed.
- Proceed to Customs to obtain Temporary Import Permit, known as TIP, or get Carnet stamped.
- Get a gate pass and use it to exit the border area.
Cost of entry
- Mandatory $20.00 USD one month carbon tax
- Mandatory third party insurance can be purchased at the border for $30.00 USD for one month - NOT required if you have valid COMESA
- $10.00 USD Entry fee for the Temporary Import Permit.
Permitted length of stay
Normally 30 days
Extension of stay
You visa can be extended for a month in Harare for free. You can do this twice for a total of 90 days for free, then there is a small fee to say 6 months, then a bigger fee to stay one year.
The vehicle paperwork can be extended in 30-day increments at any Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) office easily. With carbon tax and more insurance it costs $40.00 USD for each one month extension.
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Vehicle cannot be stored without express permission and paperwork issued by Zimra, Owner/driver cannot leave country while vehicle is in storage without Zimra's authority, though in reality if you leave and come back before the TIP has expired they probably won't know the difference.
Exiting with a vehicle
- Get yourself stamped out at Immigration.
- Get your Carnet de Passage stamped out if you have one, or cancel your temporary import permit.
All should be free, do not pay for this.
Driving in Zimbabwe
Recommended books for Overlanding in Zimbabwe
Travel insurance for Zimbabwe
Vehicle insurance requirements
Compulsory 3rd party insurance is sold for between $30.00 USD and $45.00 USD for 30 days at all borders.
Zimbabwe accepts COMESA Insurance, so if you have that you don't need to buy more insurance.
Cost of vehicle insurance
See the prices listed on the COMESA Insurance page for more detail than above.
Where to purchase vehicle insurance
3rd party insurance is sold at all borders and is compulsory. Additional insurance can be purchased in most large towns if you want, but it's not needed. Get your COMESA before Template:PAGINATE, it's cheaper elsewhere.
Anything from your home country will be accepted, probably.
Driving side of road
Left hand-drive vehicles can be driven in Zimbabwe. A Left Hand Drive or LHD sticker must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle in reflective red.
Mandatory items in vehicle
- Safety triangles x 2, fire extinguisher, Temporary Import Permit (TIP), drivers' license, vehicle registration, passport.
- ALL vehicles must display red beehive reflectors 3cm x 3cm on the rear of the vehicle on each corner and white beehive reflectors of the same dimension on the front corners.
- It is illegal to have spot lights higher than the level of headlights.
- A trailer must display a reflective T on the rear.
Make sure you have these stickers correct, if you do not it's a sure-fire bribery attempt or ticket.
General Road quality
Mostly poor, broken pavement except the Plumtree to Mutare highway. Driving is erratic and animals are commonly on the highway. Driving at night is risky, but if you must, sit behind a big Freightliner rig and let him clear the way.
Road signs are mainly adequate, though some are faded.
Tolls are found on main highways and cost $2.00 USD
Bribery in Zimbabwe
It's common, but don't be scammed. Instead insist on going to a police station, even if it means a delay. Don't pay on the side of the road if you can at all help it, and make absolutely certain you get a written ticket or receipt if you must pay on the side of the road.. All police wear uniforms and police do not travel in unmarked cars.
Checkpoints, known as road blocks, are quite common but much less corrupt than in previous years. Be polite and they'll be polite. If they're not polite, ask for a senior officer. Don't pay money, and absolutely don't pay unless you are given a receipt.
Traveling with pets
Pets require government documents from the veterinary country you exited before entering Zimbabwe.
Gas price in Zimbabwe and Diesel price in Zimbabwe
Last updated: March 2019
Currency and unit to display:
|Ultra (95)||With USD Cash $1.50 USD per Liter|
|Diesel||With USD Cash $1.40 USD per Liter|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
There are frequent shortages, enter the country with absolutely everything you can carry, and expect it to be hard to find and expensive
When available, stations are usually about 100km apart.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Fuel from genuine fuel stations is generally fine. Diesel is mainly 50 ppm.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Best not to drive at night. Street lighting in cities is poor to non-existent. In the country, pedestrians, wildlife and domestic animals clutter highways. Drunk driving is also common. If you must drive long distances at night, follow a large Freightliner truck and let him clear the road.
Parking at night in the city runs the risk of robbery, but is reasonably safe for a short period of time. There are municipal car parks, but they're no safer at night. Parking in the city even during the day requires a small payment to uniformed officials who issue tickets.
Special driving considerations
Wildlife, domestic animals and pedestrians must be watched for constantly - as well as reckless and drunk drivers, day or night.
There are no areas unsafe due to security considerations, but be aware of scammers - by far the most common type of criminal. Don't drive with windows open in crowded parts of the city and be aware of smash-and-grab merchants. They're not common, but it does happen.
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Zimbabwe - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Zimbabwe
There are a few official campgrounds throughout the country, and plenty of wild camping is possible, especially in the Eastern Highlands. Wild camping is generally considered safe - but ask permission if there are people around or if you feel like you are on someone's property. Paid camping usually costs around $10.00 USD per person, per night.
Camping guide books
List and link to books specifically for camping.
It's not recommended to drink tap water - filter it or buy bottles.
Reise Know-How are among the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Zimbabwe
GPS Maps of Zimbabwe
Tracks4Africa are the undisputed best GPS maps for Africa.
Tracks4Africa is an SD Card for Garmin GPS, and contain Routable turn-by-turn maps with 809,000 kms of roads and over 129,000 points of interest.
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Zimbabwe
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
Special Overland Travel interests
- Mana Pools National Park in the North West
- Victoria Falls
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Zimbabwe
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.