Zimbabwe :: Zimbabwe
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Zimbabwe is a Southern African country. The name Zimbabwe was derived from the Shona phrase 'Dzimba-Dzemabwe' meaning 'House of Stones', referring to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This is a landlocked country situated to the South of South Africa, South West of Botswana, to the North west of Zambia and East of Mozambique. Harare is the capital city of the country, with other major cities scattered all over the country's various provinces.
The country works on a GMT+2 time zone.
Health: Some travellers need a yellow fever vaccination certificate. There is a high risk of Malaria in areas around the Zambezi valley, Eastern highlands and Hwange NP.
The country was formerly known as Rhodesia during the colonial period named after Cecil John Rhodes. There are 10 administrative provinces and various districts. English in the business, education, judiciary and official language in the country, while Shona and Ndebele dominates as common languages of communication between the local population. In total there are 16 official languages.
Formerly known as the bread basket of Africa, as they produced maize in abundance during the 1980s. However, due to the land reform programme which was widely critisized, many sectors of the economy went down including the farming sector. Agriculture is still widely practised and the main economic backbone of the country.
At one time there was high inflation rates and Zimbabwean dollar continued to fall beyond control. It was finally scratched from use and the US dollar and South Africa Rand were introduced and are now used as the official currency in the country since 2011 till date. (Dec 2014).
Tourism also dominates as the country's economic sector with Victoria Falls, as one of the seven wonders of the worlds, being one of the major attractions, which the country also shares with Zambia as it is situated on the border with Zambia. Traditional arts like pottery, carvings and jewellery forms part of the country's tourism sector, with colourful markets in places like Victoria Falls and the Great Zimbabwean ruins.
Accommodation options are scattered in all the parts of the country with camping mainly in major game parks. Delicious traditional local cuisine includes the staple food 'Sadza' made from mealie meal.
The country's rainfall patters fall into four agricultural regions. Region 1 has a broad farming activity that includes fruits, livestock and forestry. Region 11 includes farming of maize, sorghum, wheat can be grown through irrigation, cotton sugar beans. Region 111 is a semi intensive farming region with beef ranching characterised by periodic seasonal droughts, prolonged mid-season dry spells and unreliable starts of the rainy season. Irrigation sustains farming in this area. Region IV and V are too dry and cannot sustain farming activities. Millet and Sorghum are grown in this region.
|Contact :||Zimbabwe Tourism Authority|
|Game Viewing, Game Drives, Night Drives, Quad Bikes, 4WD Trails, Tours and Excursions, Picnics, Hiking Trails, Guided Walks, Mountain Biking, Horse Trails, Golf, Fishing, Swimming, Diving, Snorkelling, Surfing, Water Skiing, Canoeing, Sea_Kayaking, Sailing, Boat Trips, White Water Rafting, Bird Watching, Scenic Flights, Stargazing, Photography|
ATMS & BANKS:
Banking proved to be a bit of a nightmare in Zim as most of the local ATMs won’t accept VISA or MasterCard. Only bigger towns have Barclays or Standard Chartered banks that accept these cards. (June 2015).
You can withdraw US dollars at most ZIM ATMS.
Subtropical with long summer season from October to April, hot, sunny and rain. Winter climate is pleasant, with warm, dry days from June to August. For best game viewing, visit in August, September and October during dry season when animals congregate at the waterholes.
The best time of the year for white water rafting on the Zambezi is September, October and November when rainfalls begin. (Dec-14)
Diesel prices are around 1.20USD per litre. (Jul-12).
Fuel price: Diesel price: USD1.40 p/litre. (19-Jul-13).
Fuel is also generally available in most places and the prices compare well to South Africa. (Jan-14).
In Zimbabwe they do not have the same petrol as in RSA, 93 and 95. They import petrol, and blend it with Sugarcane ethanol, which they produce in their country. It helps them import less and cuts costs. The name, Blend, is to not have any confusion. In the rest of Africa petrol is not blended. The 'Blend' petrol is fine to use and is internationally recognised. (Nov-14).
Reported to be expensive, coming to ZAR16.50 per litre. (May 2015).
Zimbabwe does not accept South African car insurance unless if bought through the AA. (2014).
Main mobile phone providers are Econet, Telecel and Netone, with a telecommunication booster in some of the remotest parts of the country continuing to benefit all. (Dec -14)
US Dollar is now the ruling currency. (June 2015).
When travelling to Zimbabwe, always make sure you have enough 1USD notes for road blocks (they 'don't have change' if you for instance pay with a 5USD note).
Take at least 100 one dollar notes - you can order them from your local bank. At some places, like shops, lollipops may be issued as change instead of money. (August 2011).
Expect to see a lot of filthy money as the one and two dollar notes, because the local Reserve Bank cannot replace them with new bills. It seems that nearly all roadside produce in Zim costs one dollar, from a loaf of bread to a bunch of tomatoes. (June 2015).
Both the South African Rand and the Botswana Pula are accepted in the south of the country and the government has recently minted Bond Coins to be used as change. (June 2015).
Travelling the top of Zimbabwe, there are many road blocks; make sure you have all the necessary documentation and all your lights etc. on your vehicle are working - you should not have any problems with the police then.
Also expect police road blocks before bigger towns.
Please confirm this information with the AA before embarking on your trip: Make sure you have the following in your car: a fire extinguisher, a reflective emergency jacket and 2 warning triangles, ZA sticker, tape reflectors which are white upfront, and red at the back, so 2 white reflective stickers on your cars front bumper and 2 red reflective stickers on the rear bumper.
The only additional requirements Zimbabwe have are additional reflectors on the front and rear of vehicles, and T-signage on the front and rear of the vehicle, and these must be on the right hands side of the trailer clearly visible. You are advised to display a 'ZA' sticker on both car and trailer. (Nov-14).
Sometimes motorbikes are allowed to just pass through road blocks, with a quick passport check. If police try to hassle you, just be polite but firm. Stick to speed limits. Max fine you can get is 20USD. (Mar-14).
If you are towing, you may need an additional T sticker on your vehicle and trailer. (Jun-12).
If wanting to use 2 way radios with large antenna's on the car roof: you are required to get a temporary guest license by going through the country's beauracratic process, but that can be cumbersome. If caught without a license for this, you can get fined. A traveller reported going through over 20 road blocks, without any questions asked. They were only questioned at one stop, and after explaining the radios were for private use between their own vehicles, it was fine. (Dec-2012).
If you don't follow vehicle regulations, Zimbabwe police will try to stop and fine you. You may end up paying the same fine at a few road blocks, so it is not worth it. (Nov-14).
When travelling in Zimbabwe, be prepared to be stopped at many roadblocks. If your vehicle and trailers comply with South African law you should be ok. Be friendly and respectful, if you are impatient or rude, they will find any reason to fine you, like driving a 'dirty car' that is full of mud. (Nov-14).
Travellers reported encountering many police road blocks, but never once had any problems or were asked for a bribe. (May 2015).
Don't take chances with regards to vehicle and travel regulations, just stick to the rules - compliance costs little! Shona greetings and smiles will work wonders when passing through road blocks! In Zimbabwe it is also against the law to photograph public, government, police or military buildings. Civilians are not allowed to wear camouflaged clothing.
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