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How to get a visa for Zimbabwe

by Juan José Herranz | November 30, 2020
how to get visa for zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is located in southern Africa and shares with Zambia one of the largest waterfalls in the world, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls. It is also considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Although in past decades Zimbabwe had been one of the strongest economies in Africa, it is now, due to a severe currency crisis, one of the countries with the highest unemployment rate in the world.

The country's official language is English, although Shona and Ndebele, native dialects of the country's tribes, are widely spoken. More and more tourists are coming to this country, travelling to discover a green paradise, full of rainforests, mountains, archaeological sites of ancient civilisations and some of the best national parks in Africa.

Do I need a visa to travel to Zimbabwe?

Yes, it's necessary to apply for a Zimbabwe visa before traveling. Entry visas for Zimbabwe were grouped into 3 categories, so all persons who are not exempt from visas must apply for one to enter the country. The nationalities of travellers influence the type of visa they can apply for and how they can apply. The existing categories are:

Category A

Nationals in this category are exempt from visa requirements to travel to Zimbabwe. The nationalities exempted are: Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Democratic Republic Of The Congo, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Of China, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Leeward Islands, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent And The Grenadines, Samoa Western, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, St Kitts And Nevis, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad And Tobago, Turks And Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic Of Tanzania and Vanuatu.

Category B

People in this category need to apply for a visa to enter the country. Unlike category C, people in this group must apply for a visa on arrival, and it can be processed once they arrive in the country.

This category includes most nationalities from the United States, Europe, and North Asian countries

The nationalities that can apply for the category B visa are: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, China (Non-Tour), Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French West Indies, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Islamic Republic of, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao Special Administrative Region of China, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norfolk Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Palau Island, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa (America), San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Virgin Islands.

Category C

People in this category must apply for a visa online to enter the country, but unlike category B, they will not have to collect it upon arrival in the country, but it will be sent to them by email within 4 or 5 working days. The validity of this visa is 90 days from the date it is approved.

People from these countries can apply for the categiry C visa: Afghanistan, Anguilla, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, East Timor, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Refugee, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Taiwan, Thailand, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Vietnam and Yemen.

antelopes in the savannah with trees

Types of visas for Zimbabwe

If you intend to apply for a visa to work or reside in Zimbabwe, then you will need to go in person to the embassy to process it.The most common visas that can be applied for online are as follows:

Tourist visa

Tourist visas are granted to foreign nationals travelling to Zimbabwe for tourism, visits to family or friends, or other private purposes. It is valid for 90 days. It can be a single or double entry.

Business visa

Business visas are granted to foreign nationals travelling to Zimbabwe for commercial or business purposes. It is valid for 30 days and cannot be extended.

Conference visa

Conference visas are granted to foreign nationals travelling to Zimbabwe to attend or conduct conferences, workshops or seminars. It is valid for 30 days and cannot be renewed.

Transit visas

Transit visas are required for persons making stopovers or transiting through Zimbabwe. It can be a single or double entry visa and is valid for a maximum of 7 days.

Kaza TFCA Univisa Visa

This visa allows travel to Zambia and Zimbabwe on a single visa. It is a multiple-entry visa and is valid for 30 days. This visa enables one exit for a trip to Botswana, provided you return on the same day.

How do I apply for a Zimbabwe visa?

Most visas can be applied for online, while work, study and residence permits can only be applied for in-person at the embassy of the country closest to where you live. Tourist, transit or business visas can be obtained online as long as your nationality is eligible in categories B and C.

This is the quickest and easiest way to get a visa. You can also apply through a specialised company such as, where they will help you through the whole process.

Who needs a visa for Zimbabwe?

Most people need a visa to enter the country, regardless of the reason for the trip. Citizens belonging to category B or C must apply for a visa before starting their journey.

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

What are the requirements to apply for a visa to Zimbabwe?

For a tourist visa, the following documents are required:

  • Passport valid for more than 6 months of your trip.
  • Address of your accommodation in the destination.
  • Proof of residence in the country of origin.
  • Proof of visa to Zimbabwe (if you have a previous visa).

For a business visa, the following documents are required:

  • Passport valid for more than 6 months of your trip.
  • Letter of invitation.
  • Commercial letter from the company you work for.
  • Proof of visa to Zimbabwe (if you have a previous visa).
  • Proof of residence in the country of origin.

For a conference visa is required:

  • Proof of residence from the country of origin.
  • Passport valid for more than 6 months of your trip.
  • Proof of visa to Zimbabwe (if you have a previous visa).

For a transit visa, the following documents are required:

  • Passport valid for more than 6 months of your trip.
  • Proof of residence in the country of origin.

Can the Zimbabwe visa be changed once it has been processed?

No, it is not possible to change any data once the visa to Zimbabwe has been processed. If a correction is needed, you must apply for a new visa and pay the government fees again.

How much does a visa to Zimbabwe cost?

Visa prices vary according to the nationality of the applicant, and the category to which he/she belongs.

  • Single-entry tourist visa: The price, depending on the nationality, can range from 30 to 75 $.
  • Double-entry tourist visa: The price depending on the nationality can vary between 45 and 90 $.
  • Kaza Univisa Visa: The price is 50 $.
  • Single-entry transit visa: The price depending on the nationality can vary between 30 and 75 $.
  • Visa Double entry transit: The price depending on the nationality can vary between 45 and 90 $.

How far in advance do I need to apply for a Zimbabwe visa?

The tourist, business or transit visas, which are issued online, can be requested at any time, but it is advisable to do so at least 30 days before your entry into the country.

Once the application is submitted, the estimated waiting time is 4 to 5 business days. In the case of special visas or permits of any kind, it is advisable to apply at least 3 months before your trip. The waiting time for approval will always depend on the embassy.

What are the entry borders to Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe borders Botswana to the west, Zambia to the north, Mozambique to the east and north-east, and South Africa to the south.

The country's main airports are:

  • Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (Harare).
  • Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (Bulawayo).
  • Victoria Falls International Airport.

The land border points of entry are:

  • Plumtree border post - Zimbabwe and Botswana.
  • Kazungula border crossing point - Zimbabwe and Botswana.
  • Forbes (Mutare) border post - Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
  • Nyamapanda border post - Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
  • Beitbridge border post - Zimbabwe and South Africa.
  • Chirundu border post - Zimbabwe and Zambia.
  • Kariba border post - Zimbabwe and Zambia.
  • Victoria Falls Border Post - Zimbabwe and Zambia.

hippos in lake with vegetation

Do I need any vaccines to travel to Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe is on the border with Zambia, where some northern regions have endemic areas of yellow fever. Although vaccination is not mandatory, it may be recommended.

There are other recommended vaccines such as Tetanus, MMR, Hepatitis A and B, Rabies, Pneumococcal, Cholera, and Typhoid. It is advisable to go to your international vaccination centre to obtain information about the type of vaccinations or medication required for your trip.

What is the currency of Zimbabwe?

The Zimbabwean Z$ dollar was the country's official currency until 2009. Due to hyperinflation, from 2009 to 2019 the country has suffered one of the most visible monetary and economic crises in the world, being forced to adopt the US dollar as the country's currency. In January 2019, the country started working with the RTGS dollar or informally said Zollar has become the official currency of the country.

It is important to know that local products, hotels, national park tickets, etc. vary in price almost daily, due to the country's currency problem. The best thing to do is to bring US dollars in cash and pay everything with that currency.

Now, it is difficult to withdraw cash from ATMs with foreign credit cards, as most of them do not have cash available. You can exchange currency at the currency exchange offices in the country, but the value of the conversion can vary at any time.

When is the best time to travel to Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe has a temperate, tropical climate, due to the altitude at which it is located. The average temperature is 15 degrees in July, which is the winter, and 21 degrees in January, which is the summer. The rainy season runs from October to March.

The best time to visit Zimbabwe is from May to September because there is virtually no rain. It starts to warm up at the end of August.

The least advisable time to travel is from December to February, as this is the time when most rain falls, and it can be challenging to visit the national parks that Zimbabwe is known for.

african village with terrain and trees

Is it safe to travel to Zimbabwe?

  • You must be mindful of your belongings at all times.
  • It is not advised to go out at night alone in areas not frequented by tourists due to the risk of robbery.
  • One of the biggest dangers in the country are sexually transmitted diseases, the transmission of malaria or typhoid, from mosquito and insect bites, and cholera from eating raw food or drinking unbottled water

Important tips for travelling to Zimbabwe

  • During your stay in Zimbabwe, it is necessary to carry your passport at all times.
  • Although it is not compulsory, it is best to take out medical insurance from your country. The health system is not well equipped and has limited numbers of qualified personnel. It also has a great lack of medicines, so if you have any necessary medication, you must take with you from home.
  • You have to be very careful with the laws that exist in the country against the possession, consumption or traffic of drugs since they can lead to prison sentences of more than 10 years for minor possession.
  • It is not recommended under any circumstances to wear military or camouflage clothing as this is considered to be only for the local army.
  • Homosexuality is prohibited, as in much of Africa. It is a crime and is punishable by law. It is not advisable to show any affection in public.
  • You must be careful with the sun. Many tourists suffer from sunstroke or burns, so always carry sunscreen, and ideally a hat or light, long-sleeved clothing.
  • It is advisable to take a first aid kit on your trip, due to the lack of medical resources.
  • It is recommended not to participate or go near any political demonstration, and it is not allowed to photograph military or government buildings.