The following information is provided as a guide. All details should be double checked at time of booking but this is designed to give you a detailed idea of what you might need for a trip to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls.
Southern African and Diplomatic Passport Holders do not require a visa. Where a visa is applicable, you will be required to buy visa whether you are in transit or staying in Zambia. This can be issued on arrival at a varying cost of between US$50.00 and US$80.00 per person. Should you need to visit Zambia for the day you will be charged a day visa of US$20. A double-entry visa is obtainable when you enter Zambia but a multiple-entry visa will need to be sourced before you leave your country of residence. In Zambia the Kwacha is much widely accepted. When necessary you can either withdraw Kwacha from the ATM, change at the bank near your hotel or at a reputable exchange bureau.
The Botswana Immigration recently introduced passport scanners therefore the border formalities are taking longer, we urge you to be patient. Southern African, Diplomatic and most Commonwealth Passport Holders do not require a visa. Countries that require Visa to enter Botswana will need to pre-apply at a Botswana Consulate or Embassy near to them and this should be at least one MONTH before travel. Once their application has been approved, they then get permission to pay at the port of entry or they can have the visa issued upon application approval. The cost of a visa is P500,00 and payable only in PULA at the port of entry. No applications will be accepted at the port of entry. In Botswana the Pula is much widely accepted. When necessary you can either withdraw Pula from the ATM, change at the bank near your hotel or at a reputable exchange bureau.
Travellers using Emergency Travel Documents (ETD) will not be admitted to Botswana for routine visits. Only those travelling under circumstances of emergency will be admitted under the authority of an ETD, which would have to be supported by documentary proof.
There are no restrictions on the amount of money that you may take in or out of Zimbabwe. The official currency is the US Dollar but other major currencies like the Rand, Euro, Pound and Pula are accepted. As a guide, we suggest that you travel with cash in small denominations.
Mastercard and Visa are generally accepted but it is essential to check with each operator for their individual credit card policy. Most shops and souvenir markets will take cash.
The emphasis should be on informality and comfort. Zimbabwe typically has three “seasons”.
During our “winter” months of May, June and July, temperatures during the day are usually a pleasant mid-twenties with clear skies and no chance of rain. However, temperatures can fall quite considerably during the evening and early morning. We strongly suggest visitors pack a jersey and/or jacket for use on activities at that time of day.
August to October is the “hot, dry season”. Temperatures can be extremely high. The rains should not have started so humidity is typically low. Cool, light, loose clothing is recommended.
During the “rains” from November to March, temperatures remain high but there is a strong possibility of heavy intermittent rainfall. Something water proof is recommended.
It should be noted that each season offers a different experience on activities and in the bush. Each is special in its own way so it is not necessary to discount a trip at any time of the year.
Luggage should ideally be kept to a minimum especially if undertaking internal transfers by road or air. Please check weight restrictions with each individual carrier.
Malarial mosquitoes are mostly prevalent during the rainy season. However, please seek advice from your doctor about Prophylactics should you wish to take them.
Vouchers are usually issued for each activity and will form the basis of your itinerary. They should be handed to the individual operator at time of activity. Vouchers should be read in conjunction with any accommodation, travel or activity information you have been given by Shearwater or our operating partners and will provide details of collection times, pick-up points, kit lists etc. The name of the company providing the service is clearly stated on each voucher.
The official check-in time at most hotels is 14h00. Check-out is at 10h00. Should these times not be convenient we recommend checking with your hotel to see if they can make alternative arrangements.
Let common sense prevail. We recommend that valuables be kept in hotel safety deposit boxes and never left on show in an unattended room or vehicle. We would like to stress that Zimbabwe is an incredibly friendly and safe environment. Incidences involving tourists are rare but temptation should be avoided.
From time to time problems do occur with scheduling. All operators and carriers used in your itinerary comply with international agreements with regard to the handling of clients. In the event of any problems during your trip, we recommend that you contact each individual operator who will try to make alternative arrangements for you. You are reminded that should you make your own alternative arrangements without contacting the operator, all such arrangements will be for your own account.