Africa > Zimbabwe

Safaris on horseback in Zimbabwe

From wild savannahs to untouched bushland, Zimbabwe retains the true essence of Africa. From the mythical Victoria Falls to Hwange National Park and the spectacular sunsets of Mana Pools, discover this vast landlocked country and let yourself be blown away by its diversity. This is the country of the great explorers of old, and its unspoiled territory is best explored on horseback. On a riding safari in Zimbabwe, you will have the opportunity to see rhinos roam free and learn about conservation programmes, track down leopard and listen to the sounds of the bush at night.
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  • Riders at sundowners in Zimbabwe
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    Enjoy canters in the African bush

Visa & Health


You’ll need a visa to visit Zimbabwe. You can get a visa from the Zimbabwean Embassy in London or on arrival in Zimbabwe. Most tourists use the visa on arrival service; take enough cash with you in small notes to pay for your visa at the airport. You can also apply for a visa online before travel. Make sure you travel with the correct documentation otherwise you risk arrest and deportation.

Visitors are currently being given entry permission for anything up to 90 days but you should check that the number of days given at the port of entry covers your intended period of stay. You can apply to have this period renewed and extended if required. It’s illegal to give a false statement in support of a visa.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months and have three blank pages left in it to enable you to enter Zimbabwe and exit via one of the neighbouring countries, if leaving at short notice becomes necessary.

From 1st June 2015, South Africa have introduced tough rulings for anyone travelling with children, including passengers transitting South Africa to another destination.
- Two parents travelling with children will need to show the childs Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC)
- One parent travelling with a child will need to show the UBC plus either: a Parental Consent Affidavit (PAC) from the parent not travelling OR a letter of special circumstance.
- Widowed parents will need to show the UBC and a death certificate for the deceased parent
- Children travelling with family friends will need a UBC, PCA, copies of the parents passports and contact details for the parents.
For more information click this link:
Contact South African Immigration for what is required for other circumstances.

Source and more information:

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade du Zimbabwe en France
    10 Rue Jacques Bingen
    75017 Paris
    Tél. : 01 56 88 16 00
    Fax :


Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

• Courses or boosters usually advised: Hepatitis A; Tetanus.
• Other vaccines to consider: Diphtheria; Hepatitis B; Rabies; Typhoid.
• Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Cholera.
• Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Malaria is present throughout the country. You should consider anti-malarial medication, especially if travelling through humid regions (Lake Kariba, Zambeze valley including Victoria Falls).
Schistosomiasis is another health risk in Zimbabwe. It is a parasitic infection (also known as bilharzia) that is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water. The parasite enters humans through the skin and prevention is dependant on avoidance of swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams. Avoid walking barefoot and do not drink tap water.
Following an outbreak first reported in October 2017, there are continuing reports of typhoid fever in a number of areas. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre

Source and for more information:
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It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.


In Zimbabwe the standard voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz.

Budget and money

Zimbabwe’s economic situation remains unpredictable. Whilst the primary legal tender in Zimbabwe is the “Zimbabwe Dollar”, it currently possible for tourists to transact using the US Dollar at the official exchange rate. There are some bureaux de change which will accept and change foreign currency, particularly US dollars. The exchange rate is currently unpredictable.

Prices and transactions will mainly be in Zimbabwean (RTGS) dollars but US dollars may be accepted in some businesses. You should check before making a transaction whether the price quoted is in Zimbabwean (RTGS) or US dollars as the symbol for both is $. It is recommended to check exchange rates prior to any transaction. You should check in advance what payment methods a restaurant, hotel or tour operator will accept. Some businesses, including some medical providers, may not accept payment by credit or debit card.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a shortage of cash. Cash withdrawals can be made at some ATMs and bank branches with an international bank card but availability cannot always be guaranteed. . Credit and debit cards are increasingly being used for transactions. You should always ensure that you are being charged in the correct currency. There are also some challenges with international transfers from outside of Zimbabwe

It’s illegal to leave Zimbabwe with more than USD $2,000 (or equivalent) in cash, unless it is left over from funds which you have brought in yourself and declared on arrival. You should keep the proof of declaration to avoid problems with officials on exit. It’s illegal to exchange foreign currency anywhere other than at officially licensed dealers (eg banks or bureau de change). Carry small denomination notes as change is rarely available in smaller businesses.


Telephone and jetlag

GMT/UTC + 2h
Phone code: + 263

Country information

Socio-economical data

Area total: 390,757 km2 (150,872 sq mi) (60th)
Population:2016 estimate 16,150,362 (73rd)
Density: 26/km2 (67.3/sq mi) (170th)
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate:Total $33.872 billion, Per capita
Currency: USD, South African Rand, Botswana Pula, euro... See our section about money


Since the 11th century, present-day Zimbabwe has been the site of several organised states and kingdoms as well as a major route for migration and trade. The British South Africa Company of Cecil Rhodes first demarcated the present territory during the 1890s; it became the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1923. In 1965, the conservative white minority government unilaterally declared independence as Rhodesia. The state endured international isolation and a 15-year guerrilla war with black nationalist forces; this culminated in a peace agreement that established universal enfranchisement and de jure sovereignty as Zimbabwe in April 1980. Zimbabwe then joined the Commonwealth of Nations, from which it was suspended in 2002 for breaches of international law by its then government and from which it withdrew from in December 2003. It is a member of the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). It was once known as the "Jewel of Africa" for its prosperity.

Robert Mugabe became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 1980, when his ZANU-PF party won the elections following the end of white minority rule; he was the President of Zimbabwe from 1987 until his resignation in 2017. Under Mugabe's authoritarian regime, the state security apparatus dominated the country and was responsible for widespread human rights violations. Mugabe maintained the revolutionary socialist rhetoric of the Cold War era, blaming Zimbabwe's economic woes on conspiring Western capitalist countries. The country has been in economic decline since the 1990s, experiencing several crashes and hyperinflation along the way.



Zimbabwe lies almost entirely over 1,000 feet (300 metres) above sea level. Its principal physical feature is the broad ridge running 400 miles from southwest to northeast across the entire country, from Plumtree near the Botswana frontier through Gweru (formerly Gwelo) and Marondera (formerly Marandellas) to the Inyanga Mountains, which separate Zimbabwe from Mozambique. About 50 miles wide, this ridge ranges in altitude from 4,000 to 5,000 feet, until it eventually rises to 8,504 feet (2,592 metres) at Mount Inyangani, the highest point in Zimbabwe, in the eastern highlands. This ridge is known as the Highveld and comprises about 25 percent of the country’s total area. On each side of this central spine, sloping down northward to the Zambezi River and southward to the Limpopo River, lies the wider plateau of the Middleveld, which, at an altitude between about 3,000 and 4,000 feet, makes up roughly 40 percent of Zimbabwe’s area. Beyond this again and mostly in the south, where the Sabi, Lundi, and Nuanetsi rivers drain from the plateau into the Limpopo, lies the Lowveld, which constitutes approximately 23 percent of the country’s total area. The lowest point in Zimbabwe lies at an altitude of 660 feet near Dumela, where the Limpopo flows into Mozambique. There are no parts of Zimbabwe that can properly be called desert, although a sector northwest of Plumtree and a lengthy belt across the Lowveld in the south are severely arid.


Useful words

English is an official language although only 2% of the population have it as a mother tongue.

Hello (initial): mhoro/mhoroi sawubona/salibonani
Hello (reply): ahoi yebo
How are you?: makadii/makadi-ni ? linjani/kunjani ?
I am fine: ndiripo sikona
Thank you: ndatanda/masvita siyabonga kakulu
Please: ndapota uxolo
Excuse me: pamsoro/ipindeo ngicela ukwedlula
Sorry: pamsoro ngiyaxolisa
Do you speak English?: unodziva kutawura chirungu ? uyakwazi ukukuluma isilungu ?
Goodbye (while staying): chisarai zvakanaka lisalekuhle
Goodbye (while leaving): fambai zvakanaka uhambe kuhle
I would like...: ndinoda... / ngicela...
I am lost: ndara tsika sengilahlekile/ngiduhile