Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

Use High Level of Caution

The Republic of Zimbabwe (formerly known as the Republic of Rhodesia) is located in the southern part of Africa, between South Africa and Zambia. The population is approximately 12 million people. Although the official language is English, Shona (a Bantu language) and Ndebele (also a Bantu language) are also recognized.

Due to severe inflation, the Zimbabwe dollar was suspended and a new currency has not yet been introduced. The government presently uses the South African Rand, the US dollar, and the British pound.

The government of Zimbabwe is a parliamentary democracy with a president as chief of state elected by popular vote and a prime minister as head of government.

Recently, a power-sharing struggle developed between the current president and the prime minister after disputed elections. This situation led to civil unrest and the collapse of the country's economy with widespread poverty and unemployment. There have been reports of repression and human rights violations. Even though the economy is slowly improving, millions are still dependent on food aid, and disease outbreaks are common.

Zimbabwe's tourism sector has declined since 1999 due to the country's political and economic difficulties, and security for travellers remains uncertain. Nevertheless, Zimbabwe is rich in culture with sites such as the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, wildlife preserves, and the famous Victoria Falls on the border with Zambia.

Currency ZWD: Zimbabwe dollar suspended (see Facts below)
Language English
Capital Harare
Recent Alerts 2
Latest Alert March 23, 2017 - Typhoid fever in Harare, Zimbabwe

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Zimbabwe. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Malaria

Malaria risk exists from November to June inclusive in areas below 1,200 meters and throughout the year in the Zambezi Valley. In Bulawayo and Harare, the risk is negligible.

Sleeping Sickness (Type 2)

African trypanosomiasis (“sleeping sickness”) occurs in rural Zimbabwe. Travellers to urban areas are not at risk.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Zimbabwe through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in this country.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Zimbabwe, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to Zimbabwe are at significant risk for tuberculosis, including multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is found in Zimbabwe. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Cholera

There is an ongoing risk of cholera. Zimbabwe has experienced major outbreaks affecting the capital, Harare, and other areas across the country.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Yellow Fever

Travellers are not at risk for yellow fever in this country. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 9 months of age or older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Dengue Fever

There is a risk of dengue fever in this country.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Zimbabwe.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccination is not recommended for travel to this country. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 9 months of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Zimbabwe.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medication includes atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Zimbabwe

Emergency Numbers

999
995
994
993

Emergency response may be limited or delayed due to lack of resources.

Personal Safety

There is a moderate level of crime in Zimbabwe. Muggings, theft, pickpocketing and other street crimes are very common. With respect to your personal safety, be cautious and always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Ensure all personal belongings are safe and out of sight at all times.

The safety and security situation is unstable, and tourists should travel with reputable organizations or groups. Robberies have occurred at national parks.

Never make any derogatory or insulting comments about the president, a member of his government, or the Zimbabwean government itself, as such statements are a criminal offence.

Avoid travelling alone or after dark. When driving, keep the doors locked and windows closed. Criminals sometimes target stopped cars. Be aware of your surroundings when driving. Try to avoid being caught at a traffic light. Be particularly vigilant along the road to Harare Airport and on the Masvingo-Beitbridge Road.

Driving outside of cities after dark can be hazardous due to problems such as vehicles without lights, lack of adequate marking of roads, or animals that stray onto the road. Anyone driving longer distances should carry supplies and extra fuel.

If possible, avoid public transportation. Vehicles are badly maintained and often overcrowded, and drivers may not follow rules of the road.

Cooperate with the authorities and carry a photo of your passport and travel documents at all times. Both travellers and residents can be randomly detained.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid travel in low income districts in cities like Harare and Bulawayo at any time.

Political Unrest

Political and union-linked protests are increasing in major cities. Avoid public gatherings and demonstrations as the situation can become escalate and become violent with little warning.

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