Skip to main content

Cookies on the DFA website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site while also complying with Data Protection requirements. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.


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


General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

Ireland is implementing the new EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel, which applies to countries in the EU / EEA. Our current advice for travel to these countries is ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Our general advice for any other overseas travel remains ‘avoid non-essential travel’ or in some cases, ‘do not travel’.

Our TravelWise app has been suspended while we move to implement the new EU system. We apologise for this inconvenience. Updated information will continue to be provided on this website.

On 13 October, Member States adopted the EU Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel restrictions in the context of COVID-19. This ‘traffic lights’ approach provides for regions across the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based on agreed criteria, including the 14-day cumulative incidence rate, testing rate and testing positivity rates.

In line with the EU Recommendation, there will be no entry restrictions on passengers travelling from green regions. Each Member State will decide what entry restrictions it will apply to passengers travelling from red, orange and grey regions.

Information about what to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Further information about current requirements for entry to Ireland is available on the Irish Government website and the HSE website.

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries that are part of the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach, where the advice is to exercise a high degree of caution. Everyone is asked to comply with restrictions within Ireland, including those under the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. These are listed on the Official website of the Irish Government. The situation in relation to COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly around the world. Citizens who are considering any overseas travel are advised to carefully monitor the official advice and information from the public authorities in their destination.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Should you decide that you need to travel, you should inform yourself about any requirements in the destination to which you are travelling. Information about entry restrictions currently applied by other countries is available on the country-specific travel advice pages. Additional restrictions may be imposed, including during the duration of your visit. Flight restrictions and route cancellations continue to occur worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will operate as scheduled. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time. Any Irish citizen considering any overseas travel should monitor news and information from the public authorities in their country or region of destination. Citizens are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc.

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves. There are significant risks associated with international travel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad, or those already abroad, are advised to monitor our travel advice, and follow us on Twitter. They are also advised to register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Where to go for further travel information:


Security status

Avoid non-essential travel

Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020

Latest Travel Alert

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed in many African counties. Emergency response procedures are now in place in a number of countries and include restrictions on flights to and from Europe and the introduction of quarantine arrangements. New procedures have in some instances been brought in with immediate effect. In weighing decisions to travel to Africa at this time, Irish citizens should take into consideration the risk of restrictions being introduced during their travel and, also, the impact which responding to COVID-19 may have on local health care systems over the course of their proposed visit.

Although as of 18 March Zimbabwe has yet to announce a case of COVID-19, Irish tourists and short-term visitors to Zimbabwe are encouraged to consider making arrangements to return to Ireland earlier than planned. Travel options from Zimbabwe to Ireland are becoming more limited due to impact of the travel restrictions imposed by countries through which flights to Ireland may be required to transit, such as South Africa. Citizens without permission to remain in Zimbabwe indefinitely, or who intend to return to Ireland in the near future, are advised to contact your airline or travel agent to enquire about options for early return.

Irish citizens who are resident in Zimbabwe should be aware of the requirement to comply with any further measures that may be introduced by the government of Zimbabwe in response to the outbreak, and the requirement to comply in full with all immigration requirements at all times.

The Government of Zimbabwe declared a state of emergency on 17 March, in order to implement measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into Zimbabwe from affected countries. Travellers from high-risk countries (countries in which COVID-19 is circulating) are encouraged to postpone their travel to Zimbabwe for 30 days, starting from 20 March. Travellers who arrive and show symptoms of COVID-19 will be admitted to designated isolation centres.

More information on the measures being implemented by the Government of Zimbabwe can be found at the website of the Ministry of Health and Child Carehttp ://

Please see the Health tab for further details of medical advice in relation to COVID-19.

Security Situation

Irish Citizens are advised to exercise caution and avoid any political gatherings or demonstrations. These can be unpredictable and may turn violent. You should exercise caution if in these areas and monitor local media and this travel advice for updates.

Zimbabwe’s economic situation continues to be unstable.  There is a shortage of physical cash with most transactions conducted through electronic transfers.  The Zimbabwe dollar was introduced late June 2019 as the sole local tradable currency.  Visit the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe website at for daily exchange rate values in relation to the major currencies.  Travellers to Zimbabwe should be able to exchange foreign currency cash at official outlets such as banks and foreign exchange bureaux.  Local currency should be available in return, but this is dependent on how much the financial service provider has to hand at the time.  Using credit/debit cards to get the exchange rates of the day can be difficult.   Clarification on acceptable payment methods should always be sought in advance from hotels and other outlets.

Emergency Assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy in Zimbabwe, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. If there is an emergency, or if you need help and advice, you can contact our Irish Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa or our Honorary Consul of Ireland in Zimbabwe.

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Zimbabwe before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Zimbabwe, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency services in Zimbabwe on:

  • Emergency (from landline): 999
  • Emergency (from mobile): 112
  • Police Emergency: 995
  • Medical Emergency: 994
  • Fire Emergency: 993
Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide


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. 

Political unrest

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.

An open hand is the political symbol of the main opposition political party, the Movement for Democratic Change, and a friendly wave may therefore be misinterpreted as a provocative gesture.

The carrying of the main independent newspapers (the Financial Gazette, the Independent, the Standard or the Zimbabwean) and books by banned authors, or the wearing of T-shirts with slogans of the main political activist organisation, can provoke a hostile reaction from ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front) supporters. 


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. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in South Africa or the Honorary Consul if you need help. 


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.



Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.

HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is below.


• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands


• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Zimbabwe.
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:




World Health Organisation

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


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.

What we can do:

  • Issue you a replacement passport that will let you finish your trip, or;
  • Issue you with an emergency travel document to get you home.

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 in Zimbabwe there may be additional complications in processing and application for a new passport.

You should contact the Irish Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa or our Honorary Consul of Ireland in Zimbabwe to find out what you need to do to apply for a passport. They will also be able to advise you on the fees which apply.


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.


Zimbabwe’s economic situation continues to be unstable.  There is a shortage of physical cash with most transactions conducted through electronic transfers.  The Zimbabwe dollar was introduced late June 2019 as the sole local tradable currency.  Visit the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe website at for daily exchange rate values in relation to the major currencies.  Travellers to Zimbabwe should be able to exchange foreign currency cash at official outlets such as banks and foreign exchange bureaux.  Local currency should be available in return, but this is dependent on how much the financial service provider has to hand at the time.  Using credit/debit cards to get the exchange rates of the day can be difficult.   Clarification on acceptable payment methods should always be sought in advance from hotels and other outlets.


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.


There are frequent and prolonged power cuts throughout Zimbabwe.

Mobile phone coverage

Mobile phone service outside the main towns can be poor.

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Embassy of Ireland
2nd Floor
Parkdev Building
Brooklyn Bridge Office Park
570 Fehrsen Street
Brooklyn 0181
South Africa

Tel: + 27 12 452 1000
Fax: + 27 12 342 4752

Monday to Friday 09:00-12:00

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Garrett Killilea
Honorary Consulate of Ireland
Lamont House
2 Robert Mugabe Road
P O Box 10424

Tel: +263 4771 949
Fax: +263 4750 780

Email: Email us