(Last updated Dec 2016)
Do I need a Zimbabwe visa as a tourist?
For most tourists, the good news is that the visa process is fairly simple and doesn’t require much planning. There are three categories of nationalities, each of which have different visa requirements. I’ve summarised the categories below, as well as the visa application details for each. A list of useful official websites is included at the bottom of this post. Don’t forget to read the “Notes for all nationalities” at the bottom of this post, too.
This category comprises citizens of SADC countries as well as Hong Kong and Singapore. These nationalities do not need a visa to enter Zimbabwe for a holiday. When you show your passport upon arrival at the airport or border, you will be allowed to enter Zimbabwe without any fees or visa requirements (but read the section “Notes for all nationalities” at the end of this article for general Zimbabwe visa requirements).
Citizens of countries in this category do not need to apply for a visa in advance. They can get a Zimbabwe visa upon arrival in Zimbabwe. Countries in this category include United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland and USA (full list here). This category doesn’t require much planning or time: It is done when your flight lands or your car crosses the border into Zimbabwe.
When you arrive at the airport arrivals hall or border post in Zimbabwe, you will be given an ‘Immigration Declaration Form’ to complete (it is not a long form), and you will need to pay the visa fee in cash. (Take the exact change if possible; see the post on Using money in Zimbabwe).
There are no other visa requirements for this category, but read the section “Notes for all nationalities” at the end of this article for general Zimbabwe visa requirements.
- Fees for most countries in Category B: Single Entry US$ 30; Double Entry US$ 45. Payable in cash.
- Fees for UK and Ireland: Single Entry US$ 55; Double Entry US$ 70.
- Fees for Canada: Single Entry US$ 75. Canadian Passport holders can only get a Single Entry Zimbabwe visa at the port of Entry, not a Multiple Entry Visa.
This category comprises citizens of countries such as India, Nigeria and Mexico (full list here). Citizens in Category C need to apply for a Zimbabwe visa before travelling to Zimbabwe. You can do this online at www.evisa.gov.zw (go to the ‘Apply’ tab). It takes two working days to obtain an e-visa. After completing the online form, you will be emailed a document to use upon arrival in Zimbabwe. The visa fee should be paid upon arrival in Zimbabwe. You need to apply for this at least three weeks before your travel date.
Fees: Single Entry Visa: US$65 to US$100. Category C nationals can only get a Single Entry Zimbabwe Visa (not a Multiple Entry Visa).
Holiday Visa requirements for Category C nationals (official info here):
- Completion of online visa form at evisa.gov.zw.
- Two passport-sized colour photographs showing ears, no smiling.
- Scanned colour photocopy of your passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months. If you live in a country that is different to your nationality, you will need to include a photocopy of your residence stamp or card. If you have previously visited Zimbabwe, include copies of previous Zimbabwe visas.
- Proof of residence in your country of origin (e.g. a utilty bill or lease displaying your name and your address).
- Address of hotel in Zimbabwe and scanned booking confirmation or a letter of invitation from a Zimbabwean host, signed with a signature in blue ink.
- If using a letter of invitation, the letter should include the host’s address, full name and ID number, as well as your full name, ID number and dates of visit. You will also need colour scanned copies of the host’s proof of residence in form of current telephone bill or water bill.
- Scanned colour photocopy of your ID if you have one.
- Scanned colour photocopy of your previous Zimbabwe visa if you’ve had one.
Notes for all nationalities
- Passport requirements for everyone: Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Zimbabwe, and should have at least 3 blank pages left in it. You should have proof of onward/return tickets out of the country.
- Top tip: Children and babies are charged full visa fees regardless of their age. You will of course need to bring your child’s passport with you. Officially you do not need to bring your child’s birth certificate but I would bring it anyway, as a precaution (see the note further down about travelling through South Africa with a child).
- Double Entry Visas: If you are leaving Zimbabwe and then returning again, even for a few hours, you will need a Double Entry Visa. If you are staying in Zimbabwe and want to go to Botswana (Chobe), for example, a Double Entry visa will be needed.
- KAZA Univisas (relaunched December 2016): If you’re travelling back and forth between Zimbabwe and Zambia, you can get a KAZA visa which costs US $50 and is valid for 30 days. It allows multiple entries between the two countries. You can buy up to 3 Univisas per year. If you arrive in Zimbabwe and are planning to go to Zambia for a day trip, it makes sense to purchase a Univisa instead of a double entry visa. It can be purchased at Harare International Airport, Victoria Falls International Airport, Victoria Falls land border, and Kazungula land border). Most Category A and B citizens can buy a Univisa. See official www.kazavisa.info for details (also see info on VictoriaFallsGuide).
- Multiple Entry Visas: If you are returning to Zimbabwe more than twice in one trip, you can apply for a Multiple Entry Visa. This cannot be done at your point of entry. You will need to apply for it at the Town Hall in Zimbabwe, or the Zimbabwe High Commission in your country.
- Length of time: Holiday visas are valid for three months from the date of issue (see more FAQs on the Zim eVisa website). If you wish to stay in Zimbabwe for longer than 30 days, after you have arrived in Zimbabwe you will then need to go to a consulate within Zimbabwe to get an extension valid for 90 days.
- A note on flights via South Africa: If you are travelling from, or via, South Africa with children, ensure you are acquainted with the 2015 South African entry requirements (here’s a link to official UK travel advice for SA). Check with your airline(s) to ask whether you will need to go through immigration on arrival in South Africa, collect luggage and check in again. If the answer to this is yes, you’ll need to provide the correct documentation for your children. However, The South African Department of Home Affairs have confirmed that no supporting documents will be required by people in direct transit through a South African International Airport. I myself have travelled from the UK to Zimbabwe via South Africa with a child in 2016, and I did not have to provide any additional documents other than a passport, because we were in direct transit – we did not have to go through immigration in South Africa.
- Other types of visas: This post discusses tourist visa information; however see the e-visa website for guidance on alternatives such as Zimbabwe Business Visas, Transit Visas and Conferencing Visas.
Useful Zimbabwe visa websites and addresses
- Official Zimbabwe Department of Immigration website | Address: Principal Director, 1st Floor Linquenda House, Nelson Mandela Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe. Telephone: 263 (0)4 791913/8
- Official Zimbabwe e-visa website | Address: Department of Immigration, PO Bag 7717, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe. Telephone: +263-4-791913/8
- Zimbabwe Embassy in UK website | Address: 429 The Strand, London WC2R 0JR, Telephone 020 7836 7755.
- Zimbabwe Embassy in USA | Address: 608 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009, United States. Telephone: +1 202-332-7100.
- Official UK Governement Zimbabwe visa information
Make sure you also read my Zimbabwe travel quick reference guide and Tips on using money in Zimbabwe.
You may also be interested in the following articles:
I flew from the UK to Zimbabwe with a 3-month old – read my Tips on flying to Africa with a baby
Practical information including visa advice for Zimbabwe