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Please be advised that the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Travel Advice is now available at Ireland.ie/travel. Travel Advice on this webpage is no longer being updated. To ensure you receive the latest Travel Advice for Zimbabwe, please see Ireland.ie.


If you’re travelling to Zimbabwe, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. 

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact



Security status

High Degree of Caution

Latest Travel Alert

A general election is scheduled to take place on 23 August 2023 in Zimbabwe. Irish citizens are advised to exercise caution and avoid any political gatherings or demonstrations. These can be unpredictable and may turn violent.

Don’t take part in any partisan political activity, or in anything that could be construed as such, including political discussions in public places or criticism of the President.

You should exercise extreme caution during this period and monitor local media and this travel advice for updates.

General Travel Advice

Irish citizens require a visa to enter Zimbabwe. Please be advised that the Embassy of Zimbabwe in London has stopped issuing all types of visas at the Embassy. Irish passport holders are now required to obtain visas at the Port of Entry upon arrival in Zimbabwe.

A valid passport is required for travel to Zimbabwe and Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 6 months from your intended date of departure from Zimbabwe. Passport cards cannot be used. Your passport must have at least two blank pages and must not be damaged in any way. If your passport fails on either count, it will be not be accepted by the Zimbabwean authorities.

For more information on visas and passports, please see the Additional Information tab.

Visitors to Zimbabwe are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.

Citizens can also follow the Irish Embassy in South Africa on Twitter@IrishEmbassyPretoria to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts.

Our tips for Safe Travels:

  • Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

As there is no Irish Embassy in Zimbabwe, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in South Africa.

Safety and Security

Safety and security


The situation on the ground in Zimbabwe is calm and there are no reported tensions in tourist destinations such as Victoria Falls. However, the political and economic environment remains unpredictable and the situation could deteriorate quite quickly.

You should keep a low profile, exercise a high degree of caution, check local media and our website for any travel advice. Avoid areas where demonstrations may be held, or where there are large gatherings of people. If there is a demonstration, leave the area at once. Don’t stay to watch or try to photograph it, even from a distance.

Make sure that you’re happy with your own security arrangements and keep your travel documents up to date and readily available in case you need to leave the country at short notice. We recommend that you have your own contingency plan and that you review it regularly in the light of changing situations. 


Zimbabwe is currently experiencing electricity shortages resulting in extended periods without power. During blackouts, you should exercise a high degree of caution when driving as traffic lights may not be operational. Water rationing is being experienced in certain parts of the country. Contact your tour operator or hotel for latest updates.


Zimbabwe’s economic situation continues to be unstable.  Both the Zimbabwe Dollar and US Dollar are currently used. This may change without notice. There is a shortage of physical cash so it is not always possible to make cash withdrawals using an international bankcard. Clarification on acceptable payment methods should always be sought in advance from hotels and other outlets. Visit the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe website at www.rbz.co.zw for daily exchange rate values in relation to the major currencies. 

Availability of fuel can be unreliable. Payment is usually made in cash; most filling stations do not accept international cards.


Crime in Zimbabwe is high and a high proportion of the civil population is armed so you should always take sensible precautions: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place;
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home;
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business;
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible;
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.

Serious crime

Avoid situations or areas where you feel unsafe. Make sure that your accommodation is secure at all times because armed robberies targeting foreign residents have increased.

The incidence of armed car-jacking has increased in major towns in recent years.  Thefts and smash-and-grab robberies from vehicles are increasingly common. Keep your vehicle doors locked and windows closed, and exercise a high degree of caution when travelling, particularly at night and at filling stations.

Opportunistic theft, especially of visible jewellery, handbags, etc, is common and passports are at particular risk.  You should take care with baggage in public places, and at reception desks when checking in/out of hotels.  Particular care should be taken at Harare International Airport where there have been a number of such thefts. 

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Zimbabwe, report it to the local police immediately. You can also contact us at the Irish Embassy in South Africa. 


If you’re planning to drive in Zimbabwe, you should be extremely careful. Think carefully before setting out on long-distance journeys and keep your tank topped up as much as possible. The frequent power cuts and shortage of drinking water and fuel affect the whole country.

Serious traffic accidents are common and traffic lights are increasingly out of order. Roads are poorly maintained and often have deep potholes.  Driving at night is particularly dangerous.  Parked unlit vehicles, pedestrians and other road users are difficult to see because street lighting is poor. Outside the towns, wildlife and livestock often stray across roads. 

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driving licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught;
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights.

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Regional travel

Owing to the uncertain political and economic situation, we strongly advise against independent travel (particularly backpacking).

Public transport and services, including internal flights with Air Zimbabwe, may be cancelled or not run on schedule.

Avoid unnecessary travel, especially at night, and try to stay in built-up areas.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.


Always carry your identity documentation or a copy of your passport. You are not allowed to hold a Zimbabwean and a foreign passport at the same time, and you may be prosecuted if you are found to have both.

Taking photographs

Unless you have been granted special permission by the Ministry of Information, it’s illegal to take pictures of government offices, airports, military establishments, official residences and embassies, along with other sensitive facilities.

Photographing police officers, members of the armed forces, demonstrations and protests is not permitted, and laws are strictly enforced.



Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Healthcare facilities

The standard of healthcare, even in private hospitals, varies widely in Zimbabwe. Private healthcare facilities are expensive and the cost of evacuation can be high.


Malaria is prevalent in most parts of the country, particularly in low lying border areas including the Zambezi Valley, Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park in the low lying parts of the Eastern Highlands and the Vumba, around Mutare. Before travelling, get up-to-date medical advice as to whether you will need anti-malarial medication. When you arrive, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using bed nets and repellents, and wearing closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers.


Cholera outbreaks are still being reported in various regions in Zimbabwe. Although it’s difficult to be certain of numbers, it’s clear that hundreds of deaths were associated with the outbreak in 2009. You can get more advice on cholera from the World Health Organization (WHO).


The level of HIV and AIDS infection in Zimbabwe is very high. You should exercise caution if engaging in activities that expose you to possible infection.  If you suspect that you have been exposed to possible infection, seek immediate medical attention.

Other illnesses

Other water-borne, food-borne and infectious diseases (including hepatitis, tuberculosis, measles, typhoid and rabies) are prevalent in Zimbabwe, with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Use good personal hygiene practices and take all necessary precautions; avoid raw and undercooked food.


Check what vaccinations you may need for your trip at least eight weeks before you travel. We can’t advise you on vaccinations, but you can get information about vaccinations from your local GP or an International Health and Travel Centre.

Evidence of vaccination (in the form of a certificate) can be a requirement for entry to some countries.


If you are on medication you should bring enough of it to last your trip and for any unexpected delays because your particular medication may not be available from local pharmacies.


We advise you to drink only bottled, chlorinated or boiled water, avoid ice cubes and maintain strict hygiene standards while travelling in Zimbabwe.  

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)


Please be advised that the Embassy of Zimbabwe in London has stopped issuing all types of visas at the Embassy. Irish passport holders are now required to obtain visas at the Port of Entry upon arrival in Zimbabwe.

The Schedule of Visa Fees at the Port of Entry in Zimbabwe is as follows:

Irish Nationals

·       Single Entry Visa: US$55

·       Double Entry Visa: US$75

·       Multiple Entry Visa: US$90


Passports must be valid for at least six months from date of entry into Zimbabwe.

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you when travelling to Zimbabwe and you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times during your stay.

If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, we can help.

You will need a police report if you want to make a claim on your travel insurance. We will not provide you with a new travel document without a police report.

What we can do:

• Issue an emergency travel document that will get you home;

• If required, provide advice and assistance in applying for new passport.

We’ll do our best to help you as quickly as possible but this can take some time. Your location and circumstances may limit the help we can give you. As Ireland does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Zimbabwe there may be additional complications in processing and application for a new travel document.

You should contact the Irish Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa to find out what you need to do to apply for a new travel document.


Journalists are legally obliged to obtain a visa before travelling to Zimbabwe, although requests for visas by journalists are often refused by the Zimbabwean authorities.

Journalists who travel to Zimbabwe without a visa are liable to be arrested and prosecuted.


The climate in Zimbabwe is tropical but it varies according to altitude. The rainy season runs from November to March. Drought is common in Zimbabwe. Floods and severe storms are rare.

Mobile phone coverage

Mobile phone service outside the main towns can be poor.

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Embassy of Ireland
2nd Floor, Building A
238 Florence Ribeiro Avenue
Nieuw Muckleneuk
South Africa

Tel: + 27 12 452 1000

Monday to Thursday 09:00-12:00

Contact us