Nestled in the heart of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe is a land of captivating beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Bordered by South Africa to the south, Mozambique to the east, Zambia to the northwest, and Botswana to the west, this enchanting country offers a unique blend of natural wonders and cultural experiences that will leave every traveller in awe.

From the lush green landscapes of the eastern highlands to the arid beauty of the western savannahs, Zimbabwe showcases a remarkable diversity of ecosystems and landscapes, all waiting to be explored. Whether you’re seeking the roar of the wild or the tranquillity of its serene lakes and rivers, Zimbabwe’s location in Southern Africa promises an unforgettable journey through the heart of this captivating continent.

From the majestic Victoria Falls to the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe, this Focus On feature takes you on a journey through Zimbabwe, providing insights into what makes it a must-visit destination for Australian travellers.


Wildlife in Hwange NP. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Nestled in the southeastern region of the African continent, Zimbabwe boasts a truly enchanting location that sets the stage for a diverse range of experiences. This landlocked country shares its borders with several neighbouring nations, each contributing to its unique character. To the south lies South Africa, while Mozambique stretches to the east, Zambia to the northwest, and Botswana to the west. This strategic positioning places Zimbabwe in the heart of Southern Africa, making it an accessible and central point for exploring the treasures of the region.

Zimbabwe’s central location offers travellers the opportunity to embark on thrilling adventures, whether it’s observing Africa’s Big Five in the pristine wilderness of Hwange National Park, witnessing the awe-inspiring spectacle of Victoria Falls, or delving into the country’s rich historical and cultural heritage at the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Its proximity to other Southern African destinations also makes it a convenient starting point for regional exploration.

Zimbabwe is part of the KAZA (Kavango-Zambezi) region, a trans-frontier conservation area spanning five countries – Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The KAZA region boasts a remarkable diversity of ecosystems and an unparalleled concentration of wildlife, making it a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers alike.

What type of traveller will enjoy Zimbabwe?

Walk with wildlife. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Zimbabwe caters to a wide range of travellers, making it an ideal destination for both adventurers and those seeking a more relaxed vacation. Nature enthusiasts will be thrilled by its national parks, including Hwange National Park, home to diverse wildlife, and Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its canoe safaris. For history buffs, the Great Zimbabwe Ruins offer a glimpse into the country’s storied past, while the vibrant cities of Harare and Bulawayo provide a taste of modern Zimbabwean life. Whether you’re into wildlife safaris, cultural explorations, or simply unwinding in stunning landscapes, Zimbabwe has something to offer.

Zimbabwe’s approach to sustainability

Respect the wildlife. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Zimbabwe places a strong emphasis on sustainable tourism. Conservation efforts are paramount, with initiatives to protect endangered species and preserve the natural environment. When visiting national parks, you’ll notice responsible tourism practices such as controlled visitor numbers and eco-friendly accommodations. Support local communities by shopping for handicrafts and dining at locally-owned restaurants to ensure your travel dollars benefit the people and the environment.

How to travel to and around Zimbabwe

Flying domestically in Zimbabwe. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Embarking on a journey to Zimbabwe from Australia is an exciting endeavour that offers multiple travel options to suit various preferences. While there are no direct flights from Australia to Zimbabwe, there are several airlines that provide efficient and convenient routes with stopovers, ensuring a seamless transition to this captivating African destination.

Airports: Zimbabwe has several major airports that serve as key entry points to the country and facilitate domestic and international travel. Some of the major airports in Zimbabwe include:

Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE): Located in the capital city of Harare, Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Zimbabwe. It handles both domestic and international flights, serving as the primary gateway to the country. Also located in Harare, Charles Prince Airport primarily handles domestic flights and serves as a secondary airport to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA): Situated near the famous Victoria Falls, this airport provides easy access to one of Zimbabwe’s top tourist destinations. It caters to international flights, making it convenient for travellers visiting Victoria Falls from abroad. There is also a domestic airport here.

J.M. Nkomo International Airport (BUQ): Formerly known as Bulawayo International Airport, J.M. Nkomo International Airport serves the city of Bulawayo and the surrounding region. It handles both domestic and limited international flights.

Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (HWN): Located in Hwange, this airport is another gateway to Zimbabwe’s wildlife-rich regions, particularly Hwange National Park. It primarily serves domestic flights.

Buffalo Range Airport (BFO): Situated near Chiredzi in southeastern Zimbabwe, Buffalo Range Airport serves the wildlife-rich Lowveld region and primarily operates domestic flights.

Flights from Australia: To reach Zimbabwe from Australia, travellers usually opt for flights with one or two stopovers. Common routes include flights with layovers in major international airports like Johannesburg (South Africa), Doha (Qatar), or Dubai (United Arab Emirates). Airlines such as Qantas, South African Airways, Qatar Airways, and Emirates often offer connecting flights that facilitate a smooth transition from Australia to Zimbabwe. Although the travel time may be extended due to layovers, these flights allow travellers to experience the allure of two destinations in one journey.

Within Zimbabwe: Once you’ve arrived in Zimbabwe, the country’s well-developed infrastructure provides various options for travelling around. Domestic flights connect major cities and tourist hubs, offering a swift way to cover larger distances. Renting a vehicle, such as a 4×4, is a popular choice for those seeking to explore the country at their own pace, as it provides access to more remote areas and hidden gems. Zimbabwe’s roads are generally well-maintained, but venturing off the beaten path might require extra caution and suitable vehicles.

Guided Tours: For travellers who prefer a guided experience, there are numerous tour operators that offer comprehensive packages tailored to different interests. These tours often include transportation, accommodation, guided activities, and local insights, ensuring a hassle-free and enriching exploration of Zimbabwe’s treasures.

Public Transport: Public transportation, such as buses and minibusses, operates between major towns, making it a cost-effective option for budget-conscious travellers. However, be prepared for longer travel times and limited schedules.

Banking and Currency

Carry USD for shopping and more. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Zimbabwe uses the United States Dollar (USD) as its official currency. ATMs are readily available in major cities and towns, allowing easy access to cash. However, it’s advisable to carry some cash in smaller denominations, especially when visiting rural areas where card payment facilities may be limited.

Tipping Guide

Tipping is customary in Zimbabwe to show appreciation for good service. In restaurants, a tip of around 10-15% of the total bill is generally considered appropriate if the service is satisfactory. Safari guides, trackers, and lodge staff often rely on tips as part of their income. It is recommended to tip guides and trackers around USD10-15 per person per day and lodge staff around USD5-10 per person per day, depending on the level of service and personal satisfaction. However, please note that tipping is discretionary, and clients should feel free to adjust amounts based on their own experience and satisfaction.

Visa and Entry Requirements for Australian Passport Holders

Australian passport holders can obtain a visa upon arrival in Zimbabwe for a fee, allowing stays of up to 30 days for tourism purposes. However, it’s recommended to check the latest visa requirements before your trip, as regulations can change. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date. E-visa’s can be obtained at

Electricity and Power Sockets

Zimbabwe uses the Type D and Type G electrical outlets, with a standard voltage of 220V and a frequency of 50Hz. Travellers from Australia will need a power adapter to plug in their devices.

Medical Advice and Vaccinations

While no mandatory vaccinations are required for entry into Zimbabwe for Australian travellers, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional before your trip. Routine vaccinations, such as measles, mumps, rubella, and influenza, are recommended. Malaria is a concern in some regions, so taking antimalarial medication and using mosquito repellent is essential when visiting those areas. It is crucial for travellers to consult with a healthcare professional or a specialized travel clinic well in advance of their trip to receive personalized medical advice and recommended vaccinations.

Language Spoken and Use of English

English is the official language of Zimbabwe and is widely spoken, making it relatively easy for English-speaking travellers to communicate. However, you’ll also hear indigenous languages such as Shona and Sindebele, adding to the country’s cultural richness.

Customs and Cultural Awareness

Be respectful when entering villages. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Zimbabweans are known for their warm hospitality, and travellers are encouraged to reciprocate with respect and courtesy. It’s customary to greet people with a friendly “hello” or “how are you” in passing. When visiting local villages or communities, it’s respectful to ask for permission before taking photos and to engage in conversations to learn about their customs and traditions. It’s also important to be aware of the political and social sensitivities in the country and to avoid discussing sensitive topics unless invited to do so. It is also essential to respect wildlife and adhere to responsible tourism practices, including maintaining a safe distance from animals and following the instructions of guides and rangers.

Top Tips for travelling in Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls is a must-see. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Travelling in Zimbabwe can be an incredible and enriching experience, but like any destination, it’s essential to be prepared and informed. Here are five top tips for travelling in Zimbabwe:

  • Respect Local Customs and Traditions: Zimbabwe is a culturally rich country with diverse traditions and customs. It’s crucial to respect local cultures and traditions. When visiting villages or communities, ask for permission before taking photos and engage with locals respectfully. Learning a few basic greetings and customs can go a long way in fostering positive interactions with Zimbabweans.
  • Stay Informed About Currency and Banking: Zimbabwe primarily uses the United States Dollar (USD) for transactions. While ATMs are readily available in major cities, it’s advisable to carry some cash in smaller denominations, especially when venturing into rural areas where electronic payment options may be limited. Keep an eye on the current exchange rates and be aware of potential currency fluctuations.
  • Health Precautions and Vaccinations: Prior to your trip, consult a healthcare professional or travel clinic for advice on necessary vaccinations and health precautions. Malaria is a concern in some parts of Zimbabwe, so take appropriate prophylactic medication and use mosquito repellent. Also, ensure you have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.
  • Travel Responsibly and Support Sustainable Tourism: Zimbabwe places a strong emphasis on sustainable tourism. Support eco-friendly lodges and tour operators that prioritize conservation and community involvement. Avoid purchasing products made from endangered wildlife or contributing to activities that harm the environment.
  • Stay Informed About Safety and Local Conditions: While Zimbabwe is generally a safe destination for tourists, it’s wise to stay informed about current local conditions and any travel advisories. Keep an eye on news and government updates, and follow the advice of local authorities. Exercise common-sense safety precautions, such as safeguarding your belongings and avoiding poorly lit or isolated areas at night.

To discover more about Zimbabwe, visit Zimbabwe Tourism Authority –

For more on the KAZA region, visit

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