Zimbabwe is in the headlines and nowadays often for the wrong reasons. There is no question that Zimbabwe has been through some exceptionally difficult years and political violence has ripped through the country but hopefully those years are behind us now. But even at the height of the worst years the violence and safety never really affected tourists. It was a political battle between the opposition parties and a fight between the white farmers and the land invaders. In the towns and tourist destinations you would never really have believed what you were seeing on the News, it mostly happened in the outlying rural areas.
However, bad press is a hard thing to reverse and people not familiar with Zimbabwe would no doubt perceive it as a No Go Zone. Generally though, Zimbabwe is a safe place for tourists. The big cities of-course have their problems, like any other city in the world, and so extra caution and a bit of common sense will minimise the chance of incidence. Here are a few tips:
• Only carry a minimal amount of cash and avoid walking around with valuables.
Travelling At Night
Whether you are in the big city or in a resort town, walking at night has its dangers, and is generally not advisable. Driving should be done with caution, and in places that you know are safe. Keep your eyes open as hijackings can occur, especially at intersections.
What is Illegal
Do not take pictures of government buildings, police and army vehicles, embassies, military sites and national monuments. Do not wear camouflage patterns that resemble army uniform. Be cautious as homosexuality is effectively illegal in Zimbabwe. Do not criticise, insult or make derogatory comments about the president and government.
About Roadblocks in Zimbabwe
There have been instances where impostors wearing police uniform have created road blocks, giving people fines so that they can collect money. Roadblocks manned by only one or two police officers are illegal, so do not stop for these.
Motorcades, Convoys and Cavalcades
The presidential motorcade can be encountered while you're visiting Zimbabwe, especially in Harare. You will hear it before you see it, so get out of the way and if you are driving pull off the road as soon as you hear it, and see the first motorcycle coming towards you. The cars move at rather high speeds and they do not stop until they reach their destination. DO NOT attempt to stop the motorcade. Wait until the procession is complete and all the vehicles have passed. If you want to be extra cautious, wait for the sounds of the sirens start to fade. Funeral convoys may be accompanied by a police vehicle and are to be treated with respect. They generally move at slow speeds.
Rules and Tips in the National Parks
• Do not try to touch or feed the animals - it is not a zoo. These animals
are completely wild, although in some areas it may seem that they are accustomed
to being around people. Wild animals are unpredictable.
More Traveller Information
For advise about malaria, yellow fever, and other health precautions, follow the links below:
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