(Last updated June 2018)
Do I need a Zimbabwe visa as a tourist?
For most tourists, the good news is that the Zimbabwe 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 article. Don’t forget to read the “Notes for all nationalities” at the bottom of this article, too.
Countries in blue do not need a visa, countries in yellow need a visa on arrival, and countries in orange/red need a visa in advance. Map source.
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 (a full official list of Cat B countries is here). This category doesn’t require much planning or time: The visa application 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; a sample of the form can be viewed here), and you will need to pay the visa fee in cash. (Take the exact change if possible; see my article 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 Zimbabwe visa requirements applicable to everyone.
- Fees for most countries in Category B: Single Entry US$ 30; Double Entry US$ 45. Payable in cash; occasionally with Mastercard or Visa.
- Fees for UK and Ireland Zimbabwe visas: Single Entry US$ 55; Double Entry US$ 70. Payable in cash; occasionally with Mastercard or Visa.
- Fees for Canadian Zimbabwe visas: 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 for Category C Zimbabwe visas: 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.
Visa notes for all nationalities visiting Zimbabwe
- 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).
- Declaring cash: If you enter the country with less than US $2000, and you don’t anticipate taking more than $2000 amount out the country, then you don’t need to use a special form to declare your cash. You can just write the amount of cash in the regular Immigration Declaration Form upon arrival. However, if you plan on taking more than US $2000 out of Zimbabwe, you will need to do the following: When arriving in Zimbabwe, go to Customs (red route), declare your cash in the blue Form 47 provided, and keep this form safe to display it to officials when departing Zimbabwe. (To see details of this form, you can view the PDF online by Googling “Zimra Form 47“).
- Double Entry Visas: If you are leaving Zimbabwe and then returning again, even for a few hours, it is best to get a Double Entry Visa or Univisa. If you are staying in Zimbabwe and want to go to Botswana (Chobe), for example, a Double Entry visa will be cheaper than getting a single-entry visa twise.
- KAZA Univisa: If you’re travelling back and forth between Zimbabwe and Zambia, you can get a KAZA Univisa visa which costs US $50 and is valid for 30 days. It allows multiple entries between the two countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia. 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 because it is cheaper and more flexibile. 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 upon arrival. 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 for a Zimbabwe holiday visa: Holiday visas can be used within three months from the date of issue (see the Zim eVisa website), and they are issued for a 30-day stay. If you wish to stay in Zimbabwe for longer than 30 days, you can extend the visa at a consulate office without too much fuss if you’re a Category B citizen. A reader from New Zealand says: The immigration office in Harare (Herbert Chitepo Avenue) is clearly signposted about 100 metres along from the US embassy on the opposite side. A month after we arrived in Zimbabwe we turned up at the immigration building. Just had to fill in another immigration form – the same one as at the airport – and then went into the next room to submit it to the immigration officer who stamped it and gave us another 30 days no questions asked (took all of 15 minutes with no queues). You can get two free extensions up to three months. From three to six months it costs US$20 per month. Any extension seven months and more is US$100 per month. There is a three day grace period from the visa expiry date.
- Important note on flights via South Africa with children: If you are travelling from, or via, South Africa with children, ensure you are acquainted with the 2015 South African entry requirements which includes needing to show their birth certificate (here’s a link to official UK travel advice for SA). 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. However, to be on the safe side, I would advise that it would be best to travel with your child’s birth certificate, as well as a letter from the other parent if you are travelling without them.
- Other types of visas: This article discusses tourist visa information; however see the e-visa website for guidance on alternative types of visa, 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 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | 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
- The IATA travel centre website supplies visa and health information for Zimbabwe, including transit visa requirements, tailored to your own personal nationality and travel details
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 on related Zimbabwe topics:
Flights to Zimbabwe (including information on Zimbabwe airports)
I flew from the UK to Zimbabwe with a 3-month old – read my Tips on flying to Africa with a baby
Practical information and FAQs about visiting Zimbabwe