Overland Zimbabwe Travel

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Visiting Zimbabwe[edit]

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[edit]

Correct as of: March 2019

Travel Visa for Zimbabwe[edit]

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.

Required Paperwork[edit]

(To check if you need a travel Visa for Zimbabwe, application instructions and fees see: Zimbabwe Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)

(no copies are required)

Process at border[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Normally 30 days

Extension of stay[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Recommended books for Overlanding in Zimbabwe[edit]

Lonely Planet Zimbabwe
Lonely Planet Zimbabwe
by Tione Chinula, Vincent Talbot
From $31.59 on Amazon
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $22.49 on Amazon
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $click on Amazon
Zimbabwe Handbook: Travel Guide To Zimbabwe (footprint...
Zimbabwe Handbook: Travel Guide To Zimbabwe (footprint...
by Lizzie Williams
From $11.20 on Amazon

Travel insurance for Zimbabwe[edit]

World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.

Vehicle insurance requirements[edit]

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[edit]

See the prices listed on the COMESA Insurance page for more detail than above.

Where to purchase vehicle insurance[edit]

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.

Driving license[edit]

Anything from your home country will be accepted, probably.

Driving side of road[edit]

Prior to 2010, Left hand-drive vehicles were allowed to be driven in Zimbabwe. A Left Hand Drive or LHD sticker was required be displayed on the rear of the vehicle in reflective red. as of 2011, Left hand drive vehicles are illegal in Zimbabwe.

Mandatory items in vehicle[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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[edit]

Road signs are mainly adequate, though some are faded.

Toll roads[edit]

Tolls are found on main highways and cost $2.00 USD

Bribery in Zimbabwe[edit]

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[edit]

Pets require government documents from the veterinary country you exited before entering Zimbabwe.

Gas price in Zimbabwe and Diesel price in Zimbabwe[edit]

Last updated: March 2019

Currency and unit to display:

Gasoline Grade Price
Ultra (95) With USD Cash $1.50 USD per Liter
Diesel With USD Cash $1.40 USD per Liter

Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency[edit]

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[edit]

Fuel from genuine fuel stations is generally fine. Diesel is mainly 50 ppm.

Safety and Security Considerations[edit]

Driving at night[edit]

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.

Vehicle parking[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Camping in Zimbabwe[edit]

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[edit]

List and link to books specifically for camping.

Drinking water[edit]

It's not recommended to drink tap water - filter it or buy bottles.


Paper maps[edit]

Reise Know-How are among the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe 1:800,000 Travel Map, Waterproof, Gps Compati...
Zimbabwe 1:800,000 Travel Map, Waterproof, Gps Compati...
by Reise Knowhow
From $12.95 on Amazon
History Of Zimbabwe For Kids: A History Series - Child...
History Of Zimbabwe For Kids: A History Series - Child...
by Baby Professor
From $9.42 on Amazon
1. Botswana & Zimbabwe Travel Reference Map 1:1,5m/1:1...
1. Botswana & Zimbabwe Travel Reference Map 1:1,5m/1:1...
by International Travel maps
From $10.36 on Amazon
Lonely Planet Zimbabwe, Botswana And Namibia Travel At...
Lonely Planet Zimbabwe, Botswana And Namibia Travel At...
by Deanna Swaney
From $7.02 on Amazon

GPS Maps of Zimbabwe[edit]

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 Map Of Africa
Gps Map Of Africa
From $click on Amazon

GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Zimbabwe[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • Mana Pools National Park in the North West
  • Victoria Falls

Vehicle Maintenance[edit]


4x4s / Trucks


Local Garages[edit]

Add known good mechanics here.

Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Zimbabwe[edit]

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.

Helpful External links[edit]

Add any helpful external links here.