Travel info Namibia
Best time to travel
Germans still live in Namibia today. There are customs and traditions that will surely sound familiar to you. German street signs and buildings in turn-of-the-century style from the 19. to the 20th century make the country a sought-after destination for many Germans in particular. Namibia is located in the southwest of Africa. The best time to travel to Namibia is the southern winter between April and October. A long coastal strip runs along the Atlantic Ocean.
However, the country is not suitable for a beach holiday. The Atlantic is cool and very rough all year round. In return, you can experience fascinating landscapes and an impressive safari. Temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius are reached in the Namib Desert. You should only plan a desert safari with a very experienced guide, otherwise the trip can become a dangerous adventure. Throughout the country, very little rain falls all year round. Especially in the west along the coast it is very dry. This is due to the Benguela current, which regularly brings cold winds.
These ensure that rain clouds can only rarely form. However, it is often very foggy. The water temperature of the Atlantic is often only 14 degrees Celsius. As in all countries of the southern hemisphere, winter and summer alternate. The southern winter corresponds to the German summer. There is a rainy season between December and March. However, this brings very little rainfall compared to other African countries. In the dry southwest, a maximum of 50 mm of rain per year is measured. In the somewhat wetter northeast it is 800 mm.
Both currencies can be used freely in Namibia, but the Namibian dollar is not legal tender in South Africa. Credit cards are also accepted throughout the country, but of course not in every case. It is best to travel with multiple payment options, just in case.
Currency exchange: Money can be exchanged during normal business hours at all commercial banks or exchange offices.
Credit/debit card: MasterCard and Visa accepted. Check with your credit or debit card company for details on merchant acceptance and other services that may be available. Please note that petrol stations do not accept credit for petrol. Plan accordingly.
Currency restrictions: The import and export of local currency is restricted to NAD 50,000. The import of foreign currency by visitors is unlimited, provided it is declared on arrival. The export of foreign currency is unlimited up to the amount imported and declared, as long as the exit takes place within 12 months. There are no restrictions on travel between Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland as these countries are members of the same common currency area.
Dreamland in Southern Africa
You can comfortably travel in Namibia all year round. Namibia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Africa and has incredible deserted landscapes. Namibia is a country full of contrasts and contradictions. The country’s area is more than twice the size of Germany, but with just under 2.2 million inhabitants it has one of the lowest population densities in the world.
Statistically, 2.5 people live here per square kilometre. Namibia is a multi-ethnic and so-called rainbow nation. The name “Namibia” was chosen not to offend any of the many different peoples of Namibia to whom another name might have referred. No less than 12 different population groups with different cultural, linguistic and historical traditions live together in Namibia. The best known are the Himba, the Hereros and the San.
Driving a car
in Namibia has about 5200 km of tarred roads and about 41 000 km of gravel and sand roads. You need an international driving licence to drive in Namibia. Please note that there is left-hand traffic in Namibia.
If you want to travel Namibia safely and comfortably, you can do so with a 4×4 rental car on a self drive safari. The public transport network is almost non-existent. The pads, as the roads are called in Namibia, are relatively well maintained. Driving in Namibia is usually problem-free.
The time of year also plays a big role. In the dry season, the gravel roads turn into corrugated tracks. These ripples are very unpleasant and are caused by fast driving. The optimum speed for these corrugated roads when driving in Namibia is 75 – 80 km/h, except on bends, which you should of course drive through carefully. In the rainy season you will often find muddy roads. Here you will find information on the different travel times .
Every year, numerous accidents happen to tourists with rental cars. Often a complete rollover happens. If an inexperienced driver gets too close to the loose edge of the pad, he usually slips the steering wheel in fright. Vehicles with a high centre of gravity, such as off-road vehicles, roll over easily. Information about driving in Namibia can be found on our video channel.
The most widely spoken language in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe is English. For this reason, travelling in Namibia is very easy. During your trip to Namibia, you will get along with German in many lodges and restaurants. Especially in Swakopmund, German is a widely spoken language.
Other languages in Namibia. The Indo-European languages Afrikaans and German were introduced by the Basques and Europeans. These languages are spoken as a mother tongue by only a small part of the population. However, these languages are very widespread, especially among farm workers and other language speaking whites. The white population speaks 65% Afrikaans, 27% German and 7% English.
Until the country’s independence from South Africa in 1990, these languages were the official languages.
However, in order to put a definitive end to apartheid and foreign domination, and above all not to favour any of the existing population groups, English was introduced as the sole official language. Afrikaans is spoken by the majority of the population. More information about Namibia like Etosha National Park or activities in Namibia can be found on our website.
Namibia is the most sparsely populated independent country in the world after Mongolia. Just over 2.5 million people live on the national territory. On a land area of 824,116 km², only 2.56 people live per square kilometre. For the comparison: The population density in Germany is 228 persons/km². The majority of Namibians live in the north of the country (mainly in the provinces of Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Oshana and Omusati) and in the larger cities, especially in the capital Windhoek (approx. 300,000 inhabitants). Large parts of the south (Karas region) and west (Namib Desert) are – with the exception of coastal towns like Swakopmund – almost deserted. Significantly more than half of the population lives in rural areas. Especially in the last decades, the country has experienced a significant increase in population. Currently, the growth rate is back at about 0.5 per cent. A Namibian woman gives birth to an average of 2.2 children.
The official language in Namibia is English, but other languages such as Afrikaans (often a second language) and Oshivambo (spoken by half of all Namibians) are widely spoken. German has survived as a common business language, which was the official language in the colony of German South-West Africa between 1884 and 1915. After the end of colonial rule and the subsequent apartheid, English was declared the official language as a neutral language and other languages were given equal status as so-called “national languages”. Due to the diversity of the resident tribes, various Bantu and Khoisan languages are also spoken, as well as several dozen dialects. The great diversity of the indigenous population goes back to the migrations in southern Africa in the period from the 16th to the 18th century.
The majority of Namibians profess Christianity (87%), which is due to missionary work during the colonial period. Only a very small minority are Muslims or Jews. More widespread, however, are the various natural religions of Namibia’s different tribes (approx. 13%).
A serious health problem continues to be the spread of AIDS in the population. Even though the rate of people infected with HIV has fallen from 20% to about 11% since the early 2000s, the disease as a whole has a significant negative impact on life expectancy (about 50 years). Compared to other African countries, however, Namibia still has an above-average ratio of doctors to inhabitants (37 doctors per 100,000 inhabitants) and a good medical infrastructure.
Travel info Botswana
Ammunition & Weapons
Weapons and ammunition must be declared immediately on entry. Les armes et les munitions doivent être déclarées immédiatement à l’entrée. In all cases, you should find out beforehand whether you can take your hunting rifle with you. In March 2014, Botswana’s President “Khama” decreed a nationwide ban on hunting. The only exception is trophy hunting, where you can pay up to US$8,000 for a zebra or a giraffe. Wealthy tourists can shoot big game on private game farms.
The official language of Botswana is English. However, the general everyday language “setswana” is also spoken by everyone. There are also various dialects. The locals generally speak several languages, and the younger generation in particular have a very good knowledge of English. The fixed-line network in Africa is generally not operational, but mobile phones work almost everywhere. The exceptions are most of the lodges in the Kalahari, in the Okavango Delta and in regions further away from urban centres. Calls and text messages to the country of origin can be very expensive. The overwhelming majority of lodges have NO telephone or Internet access.
Weapons may only be brought into Botswana for hunting purposes, and you must obtain an import permit, which is limited to four weeks and is subject to a fee. Ammunition and weapons of all kinds must be declared directly on entry. The import of drugs of all kinds is prohibited. The following items may be imported duty-free: 1 litre of alcoholic beverages, 50 ml of perfume, 250 ml of eau de toilette, 2 litres of wine, 250 grams of tobacco, 50 cigars, 400 cigarettes and miscellaneous goods worth up to 500 pula.
Electricity in Botswana ranges from 220 to 230 volts alternating current. The good lodges all have adapters for different nationalities and are connected to the electricity grid 24 hours a day. You can recharge your camera and computer here. Sockets in Botswana have three large round pins.
For entry, Germans and other EU citizens need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the return date. In addition, there must still be at least four free pages in the passport. Children also need a child passport. No visa is required for a stay in Botswana of less than 90 days. Occasionally, entrants are asked for sufficient funds or have to show their return ticket.
When entering the country from yellow fever infected areas, such as East and Central Africa, a yellow fever vaccination card must be presented. Upon entry, an official usually issues a residence permit that is valid for up to 30 days. If you plan to stay longer in Botswana, you will need to go to an immigration office (e.g. in Francistown, Gaborone or Maun) to have your visitor visa extended. Controls are rather rare and the exit and entry procedures are also mostly uncomplicated and courteous.
Insurance and health
In addition to the vaccines already mentioned, it is also advisable to be vaccinated against malaria. Transmission of the disease is particularly common in urban centres. In lodges, the risk of contamination is fairly low. Mosquitoes are often only present from the start of the rainy season, between November and May. In all cases, you should find out in advance what benefits are covered by your health insurance when you travel abroad and, if necessary, take out travel health insurance to guarantee repatriation to your home country in an emergency.
If you need daily medication, you must take it with you. These must be placed in your hand luggage.
Medical care in Botswana is better than in most other countries on the continent. However, it is not comparable to European conditions. Considering the size of the state and its small population, it’s clear that the road to a clinic can be a long one. Even in tourist hotspots such as Maun and Kasane, medical care is mediocre. It is therefore advisable to find out about the hospitals and doctors in your area before you leave.
In Botswana, available data indicates that around 25% of adults aged between 15 and 49 are infected with HIV. In known high-risk groups and urban districts, it is even higher. Drug use, sexual contact and the need for a blood transfusion all increase the risk of infection.
Cholera and diarrhoeal diseases also play a role in travel to Botswana. By adopting proper drinking water and food hygiene, you can minimise the risk of contracting diarrhoea. It’s best to use only water from a safe source, such as bottled water from a shop. If possible, avoid drinking tap water. In an emergency, you can use disinfected, boiled or filtered water. Also use bottled drinking water for brushing your teeth and washing up. When food is involved, it should always be disinfected, peeled or boiled. Keep flies away from your food. You should wash your hands as often as possible with soap and use disposable towels.
Bilharzia is present in almost all of Botswana’s fresh waters. In rivers and lakes, avoid all water sports, diving and swimming.
The country has a wide range of accommodation. What is particularly striking is the fact that there is an extremely large number of exclusive and comfortable accommodations. You can choose from well-equipped lodges, larger hotels or so-called safari camps.
Payment methods and currency
Botswana’s currency is called pula, which means rain and clearly indicates how essential rain is to the country. All major credit cards are accepted in the country, but you should make sure that your PIN code works, as withdrawals from cash machines are safer and quicker. It has been observed that VISA cards are the most successful in Southern Africa. If you are travelling as a couple, it is advisable for your partner to carry a second credit card. But EC cards can also be used at cash dispensers. In the best lodges, you can also pay by credit card. Tips for staff and guides can be paid in Pula, dollars, euros, credit cards or rands. Other currencies can only be converted into local currency by local people with great difficulty.
Road traffic on self-guided tours
If you are going on a self-drive tour of Botswana, you must be in possession of a valid international driving licence. As in England, driving in Botswana is on the left. The roads are not very busy, and even the rules of priority are different in Botswana. Here, at intersections without traffic lights, it’s the first to arrive who can go ahead. The speed limit is 120 km/h on main roads and 60 km/h in villages. In major towns such as Maun, Francswana and surrounding areas, speed limits apply. In major cities such as Maun, Francistown, Gaborone and Kasane, you can hire a car in Botswana from approved companies.
It is also advisable to avoid long-distance journeys in the dark, as the risk of accidents increases enormously at this time of day. All broken-down or parked vehicles become obstacles on the roads, and free-roaming animals such as dogs, donkeys, cattle and goats also become an accident risk.
Public transport should also be avoided wherever possible, as vehicles are often in a deplorable state and drivers and timetables are not supervised. It’s best to book a group trip to Botswana. Then others will drive for you.
Botswana has a very solid political system and is largely safe. In Botswana, it is not common for tourists to be begged, robbed or molested. Basically, you shouldn’t be afraid to mix with the locals. Botswana is fighting nepotism and corruption with an effective zero-tolerance policy.
Crime is largely confined to credit card theft and pickpocketing. Robberies and burglaries of motorists and pedestrians are rare. Do not leave objects such as bags, computers, etc. in your car and lock your car not only when you leave it, but also when you are driving, to avoid becoming a victim of pickpocketing at red lights.
Gaborone is the capital and has several shopping centres. Shop opening hours in Botswana are 8am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm on weekdays. On Saturdays, the shops will be open for you from 9am to 1pm. You can visit the banks on weekdays from 9am to 3.30pm and on Saturdays from 8.15am to 10.45am.
Tipping is not compulsory in Botswana, but it is appreciated because of the low level of wages in the country. What’s more, tipping is seen as positive feedback for a job well done. Hotels sometimes set up tip boxes for people who work behind the scenes, such as the cook, with whom you are not in direct contact.
In restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip of 10% of the amount paid. A guide receives an average of US$5 from you for a day’s excursion. The boxes mentioned here are also much appreciated and benefit the whole team.
The ideal outfit
There are no rules about clothing in Botswana, so you can do without special safari clothes or other disguises. In all the camps, even the most expensive, the style of dress is casual. All colours are permitted on Gamedrives. However, for walking safaris, only beige, brown or green colours are recommended. Furthermore, camouflage clothing, i.e. military-style clothing, should not be taken into Botswana, as it is prohibited there.
In addition, camouflage clothing, h. Military style clothing, not to be taken into Botswana as it is prohibited there. When it comes to footwear, it’s best to choose a comfortable pair of open sandals, as well as a sturdy pair of shoes. If you don’t intend to do any long hikes, you don’t need walking boots.
Vaccinations for safaris
Botswana requires a valid yellow fever vaccination for all people over the age of one entering the country from yellow fever-affected areas such as Tanzania, Angola, Kenya, etc. This vaccination certificate is not required for direct entry from Germany, or for entry from Zimbabwe, Zambia or South Africa. Contrary to WHO recommendations, a booster vaccination is required every 10 years in Botswana.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends that you check all the standard vaccinations for adults and children before travelling to Botswana, and top them up if necessary. These are listed in detail in the vaccination schedule published by the Robert Koch Institute.
For adults, these are vaccines against whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus, possibly polio, diphtheria, influenza and MMR (mumps, measles, rubella).
If you are planning a particular exposure or a long-term stay, vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, rabies, typhoid and meningococcus are also recommended.
Travel info South Africa
Best time to travel
As South Africa lies south of the equator, the seasons are the opposite of those in Europe. For travellers from Central Europe, the climate is most pleasant during the periods from March to May and August to October. During these months, temperatures are mild, humidity is low and nights are relatively cool. UV radiation is very high all year round in South Africa, so for health reasons you should always make sure you have sufficient protection from the sun.
Conditions for entering the country
Make sure you comply with import and export conditions to ensure smooth entry and exit. On entry, you will only be allowed to pass through the “nothing to declare” barrier if you do not exceed the maximum value or quantity for the following items and goods:
- Maximum value of new and second-hand (personal) items: R3,000.
- Maximum quantity of wine per person over 18: 2 litres].
- Quantité maximale de spiritueux ou d’alcool par personne de plus de 18 ans : 1 litre
- Maximum number of cigarettes per person over 18: 200
- Maximum quantity of tobacco per person over 18: 250 g
- Maximum quantity of perfume per person: 50 ml
- Maximum quantity of eau de toilette per person: 250 ml
Customs duty on other goods and objects worth more than R12,000 is 20%.
If you have something to clear, declare it in the “Items to clear” section. These are all objects intended for commercial or advertising purposes.
When you leave the country, you must pay 20% tax on all amounts in rand over 500 rand that you transport.
Crime – How to protect yourself
In the following cities, avoid going into the city centre on Sundays or after shops have closed:
- Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria.
- Always visit the townships with a well-organised local guide.
- In national parks, don’t leave the marked paths and stay with the group.
- Use well-known, reliable taxi companies.
- Don’t be dropped off by strangers and avoid minibus taxis. Do not hitchhike.
- Close windows and doors when travelling by car. Night-time intercity driving is risky. Do not keep valuables in plain sight in the vehicle.
- Carry credit cards and cash separately, close to your body. To be on the safe side, keep all your documents, valuables and cash you don’t need in a safe in your home.
- Be careful when withdrawing cash from ATMs.Check that you have entered your PIN code correctly and take all printouts and receipts with you.Correct behaviour during police checksIf you drive a hire car in South Africa, you should expect speed checks and checks by the local police authorities or the South African Police Service (SAPS). If you are stopped and fined, you should bear the following points in mind:- Police officers, civil servants or other local employees must not receive any cash from you as part of the roadside check.
- If the fine is justified, go to the nearest police station or the relevant Magistrate’s Court. Only pay at these locations against a receipt.
- Tolls must only be paid at official toll booths, not at a checkpoint. Important information about electricity and telephones when travelling in South Africa Making a phone call in South Africa – Making a phone call in South Africa is very similar to making a phone call at home. Public telephones are coin-operated or use cards that you can obtain, for example, from supermarkets, bookshops, the post office or the airport. Networks for the use of mobile devices are well developed. Reception is also possible in many remote areas. The downside is the high roaming charges levied by many operators. You can avoid them by buying a SIM card locally for around €5. This can be topped up with the amount of your choice, which you can then use to make calls (“Airtime”). Use of electrical appliancesRarely any modern hotel has a suitable electrical socket to power your hairdryer or charger. In South Africa, three-pin round plugs are common. The mains voltage is 240 V, 50 Hz. You can buy adapters for your small electrical appliances before you leave or in South Africa. Adapters can also be hired from the reception desks at some accommodation establishments.
Drinking water & fresh water
Drinking water in South Africa is regularly checked for impurities and harmful micro-organisms. Its quality complies with World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, so you can drink it without fear. In some regions, the water is even particularly rich in minerals.
You can buy various types of pre-packaged water in supermarkets and grocery shops. If you’re going on a trip or a hike and you need fresh water, here’s what you need to know: Rivers, lakes and streams on the plains can be polluted, especially near populated areas. Mountain springs and streams, on the other hand, may have drinking water quality. If you notice a brownish discolouration, it is humic acid, which has no influence on the quality of the water. To be on the safe side, fresh water should be disinfected. To do this, boil the water for about 10 minutes and add a teaspoon of bleach (1 teaspoon for 200 litres). The mixture should then macerate for at least two hours. An alternative is to expose the water to direct sunlight in a transparent container for six hours.
Finance and currencies
South Africa’s national currency is the rand, abbreviated to R. There are notes of 10, 50, 100 and 200 rand and coins of 5, 2 and 1 rand. In addition, 50, 10 and 5 euro cent coins are in circulation.
Pay with a credit card – If the regular exchange of cash is too complicated for you, you can pay with a standard credit card or Maestro card. Cashless payments are safe and widespread in South Africa. For your stay in South Africa, free current accounts with an associated credit card, such as the DKB VISA card, are particularly suitable. This card allows you to withdraw the amount you want from over 1,000,000 ATMs worldwide at no extra cost. What’s more, you can easily pay without cash. Other benefits, such as interest or service offers for travellers, are also offered on accounts of this type.
The credit card is also a useful companion when it comes to buying food, going shopping or eating out. Find out before you pay whether your card is accepted. Eurocard, Mastercard and VISA are the most popular, followed by American Express and Diners Club. Only at service stations can you expect to pay in rands. Here, only local currency is generally accepted in cash. If you need cash, you can obtain it from local bank branches. ATMs are also available at the airport and in major cities.
In South Africa, there is a risk of contracting malaria, especially during the rainy season from December to March. The areas at risk are mainly the eastern regions of KwaZulu-Natal and the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, home to popular tourist destinations such as wildlife reserves and the Kruger National Park. To protect yourself against the transmission of malaria by mosquito bites, wear mosquito nets, clothing that covers your skin and sturdy footwear, and use anti-insect preparations such as Anti Brumm Forte or No Bite.
Avoid aftershaves and other cosmetic products containing perfume. Mosquitoes are particularly active in the evening and at night. So close your tent carefully when you’re camping. Before you leave, make sure you have sufficient malaria prophylaxis. Your doctor may prescribe appropriate medication such as Lariam or Malarone. Other useful information can be obtained from pharmacies or directly in South Africa.
The other known health risks in South Africa are HIV infection and bilharzia, which are widespread. The latter can be contracted, for example, when the water level is low in stagnant water. There are many cases of tuberculosis in South Africa, but the risk of contagion for tourists is low.
Paying with cash
For your trip to South Africa, it is advisable to take some cash with you in addition to your credit card. If you don’t exchange euros until you arrive in your destination country, you can take advantage of exchange rates there that are often much more advantageous. Official bureaux de change can be found in international airport terminals and in most major cities. It is not possible to change large denominations of 200 and 100 rand everywhere.
Things to bear in mind when exchanging cash in your destination country – Prefer official bureaux de change and bank branches, as the risk of counterfeit 200 rand notes is lower there. To exchange cash, you will need your passport.
Some South African countries have their own currency, for example Swaziland and Lesotho. Here, you should think ahead to the exchange if you need cash on your visit.
Tipping is common practice in South Africa. The amount depends on the type of service. To find out approximately how much you should tip, consult the following list:
- The average tip in a restaurant or bar is 10%. If you were very satisfied, you can give a little more.
- When you’re out and about with your car and you park it, security guards or car park wardens sometimes ask you whether they should look after your vehicle while you’re away. If you accept the offer, you will need to set aside at least 2 rand, depending on how long you will be away.
- At South African service stations, you’ll find other traditional services, from window cleaning to checking tyre pressure, coolant and oil levels, and refuelling. Reward this service with around 2 rand.
- At South African airports, you can use the services of a baggage handler. The usual tip is 5 rand per bag.
- Street newspaper vendors have a long tradition in South Africa. When you buy a newspaper, give the seller a few extra centimes or simply round up the price.
- There are other opportunities to call on more or less important services. It could be a taxi ride, a haircut, a spa treatment or help carrying your shopping. In such cases, it is customary to reward the service rendered with a small sum of money.
Ventilated clothing that covers a large part of the skin is important during your stay in South Africa. Don’t underestimate the power of the sun at these latitudes. The right headgear complements the sun protection provided by your clothing, especially at midday.
In addition, always apply sun cream and drink enough, at least more than in France. This will help your body cope with the sun and heat. Increased exposure to UV rays and heat is to be expected, especially by the sea and in high-altitude urban areas such as Johannesburg. Sturdy footwear – ankle-high if possible – will protect you from snake bites when out hiking. You can find information on the South Africa travel season on this site.
Thanks to a well-developed medical infrastructure, medicines and medical care are available on site. Nevertheless, you should carry with you all the medicines you need to take regularly for the duration of your stay. Anti-tick products such as Bayticol and mosquito repellents to protect against tick fever and malaria are necessary. Choose products that can be applied to both skin and clothing to increase protection. Products for diarrhoea and headaches are also part of a well-stocked travel pharmacy, as are disinfectant and bandages.
A few precautions will help you avoid falling ill. Be sure to eat clean food. Although there are meticulous controls on drinking water and food in South Africa, only drink boiled or packaged water if you are unsure of the quality of the water where you are. Food should be well cooked and you should avoid raw fruit.
In principle, you should be examined by your family doctor or a specialist in tropical medicine before leaving for South Africa and seek advice on the measures to be taken. In addition to the important prophylaxis against malaria, the following preventive vaccines are recommended. Hepatitis A and B, polio, typhoid, diphtheria and tetanus. Il n’y a pas de vaccination obligatoire, sauf si vous venez d’une région touchée par la fièvre jaune. In this case, you must present official proof of vaccination against yellow fever.
Tourists from Germany, Switzerland or Austria do not need a visa for their holiday in South Africa. On entry, you will receive a “visitor’s visa”, which generally allows you to stay for up to 90 days.
To obtain a “visitor’s visa”, you must meet the following conditions: You must hold a valid passport or a provisional passport. It must be valid for more than 30 days after your planned departure date. It is important that there are at least two blank pages in the document for annotations.
If you are travelling with children, you must present a full birth certificate for each child and a passport that meets the same requirements as an adult passport. The birth certificate must be legalised and translated into English. You can also request an international birth certificate for your child from the citizens’ registration office in your place of residence.
Since 1.6.2015, additional rules have applied to minors travelling alone or accompanied by a legal guardian. To enter the country, a letter of consent is required from all legal guardians who are not travelling with the child. To be on the safe side, you should find out beforehand whether additional documents are required in certain cases.
Travel info Zimbabwe
Normally, there are no customs problems when travelling to Zimbabwe.
It can be useful to have a list of the electronic equipment you are bringing with you. The list must contain a description of the item, for example: camera / make / model / replacement value (approximate estimate) / serial number. We don’t often ask for it, but having it with you at all times saves time.
Species should also be included. Here again, make a list of sums/currencies, etc. beforehand, which you simply need to write down.
Make sure you have this sticker on your passport and ask for a receipt for your payment.
If you’re looking for very specific information that you can’t find on our pages, don’t hesitate to send us a message. We will contact you as soon as possible and try to answer all your questions.
Best time to travel, safety & medical advice
The best time to go on safari in Zimbabwe is during the dry season, between April and September. The start of the dry season is cooler, while temperatures rise towards the end. However, a visit to Victoria Falls is much more spectacular during the rainy season, when the falls are in all their splendour.
If you choose to explore Zimbabwe on a self-drive tour rather than in a group, in order to get to know it better, it is advisable to stay on the main roads and avoid driving in the dark. You should also avoid travelling in town in the evening and at night. As a result of the dramatic deterioration in the country’s economic situation since the 1990s, poverty-related crime has increased. Only keep large sums of money in the hotel safe and do not display valuables. Due to the catastrophic hyperinflation of the Zimbabwean dollar, which led to the de facto abolition of the national currency, the US dollar or the South African rand are accepted as means of payment.
In Zimbabwe, the risk of malaria exists all year round. The Zambezi region, Victoria Falls and the (south) east are particularly at risk. The border region with South Africa and altitudes above 1,200 metres, including the major cities of Bulawayo and Harare, are considered to be less threatened. Before going on holiday to Zimbabwe, ask a travel medicine specialist for advice on appropriate malaria prophylaxis. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends standard vaccinations against mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and influenza. Hepatitis A and typhoid are also recommended, as well as hepatitis B and rabies in the case of long-term stays or special exposure. If you are arriving from an area where yellow fever is endemic, proof of vaccination is required. Wear light-coloured, long clothing, use mosquito nets and protect yourself with mosquito spray.
Entering the country
The visa you need to enter Zimbabwe will be issued at the airport or border post. A single-entry visa currently costs US$30, while a double-entry visa costs US$45 (useful for a trip to Botswana or Zambia, for example). You can speed up the entry process if you already have the money to hand.
Detailed, up-to-date information is available from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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Important travel information
You’ve already heard a lot of great and not-so-great things about Zimbabwe and you’re not quite sure what to expect? So we can reassure you!
Zimbabwe is a magnificent and safe destination that offers great diversity. The accommodation we have selected for trips to Zimbabwe is clean and comfortable, and everywhere you go you will find friendly people who are always ready to help.
Yes, there are also serious problems in the country. Just like in neighbouring countries. And yet all countries are popular with tourists. The countries’ concerns do not make them insecure at the same time. We can reassure you. By travelling to Zimbabwe, you are making an important contribution to maintaining jobs and protecting nature and species.
Travel comfortably from Germany with South African Airways or Lufthansa via Johannesburg to Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. Unfortunately, there are no non-stop flights from Germany yet.
We currently know the following air routes:
- KLM via Amsterdam, then non-stop to Harare
- Ethiopian Airways to Harare via Addis Ababa
- Emirates to Harare via Dubai
- British Airways via London and Johannesburg to Harare and Victoria Falls