Do I need a Zimbabwe visa as a tourist?
If you hold some countries’ international passport, you will be able to visit Zimbabwe as a tourist without a visa. For most tourists, though, a visa might be required. The good news is that the Zimbabwean visa process is very simple, everyone can visit the country without lengthy waiting and planning time because of visa bottlenecks.
For visa purposes, Zimbabwe has three categories of nationalities, each category has different visa requirements. The summary of the categories, as well as the visa application details for each of them, are captured below. You’ll also find a list of useful visa-related official websites at the bottom of this article.
This category comprises citizens of SADC countries as well as other top allies of Zimbabwe (a full official list of Cat. A countries is here). Nationals of countries in this category do not need a visa to enter Zimbabwe for a holiday. All they need is their international passport, which will be checked upon arrival at the airport or border before they are allowed to enter Zimbabwe. No fees are charged as well.
Holders of a passport of countries in this category are entitled to a visa upon arrival in Zimbabwe. This category is dominated by European countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Itay, Ireland, etc. The USA, Australia, and Canada are also in this category (a full official list of Cat. B countries is here). Visitors from these countries get their visa upon arrival at the relevant Zimbabwean port of entry.
The process is usually easy and fast. At the airport arrival hall or border post in Zimbabwe, such visitors are given an ‘Immigration Declaration Form’ to complete (it is not a long form; a sample of the form can be viewed here). After completing the form, return it to the immigration official and pay the visa fee in cash. Take the exact change if possible.
There are no other visa requirements for this category.
- Fees for most countries in Category B: Single Entry US$ 30; Double Entry US$ 45. Payable in cash; occasionally with Mastercard or Visa.
- Zimbabwean visa Fees for UK and Ireland: Single Entry US$ 55; Double Entry US$ 70. Payable in cash; occasionally with Mastercard or Visa.
- Zimbabwean visa Fees for Canadians: 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.
India, Nigeria and Mexico, etc. (full list here) make up the category C. Citizens of countries in Category C need to apply for a Zimbabwe visa before travelling to Zimbabwe. This visa is available online at www.evisa.gov.zw (go to the ‘Apply’ tab). The processing time is about two working days.
After completing the online form, you will be emailed a document to use upon arrival in Zimbabwe. Take this document with you when you are travelling to Zimbabwe, you’ll need to show it to the immigration officers at the port of entry before paying the relevant visa fee. Applicants are advised to apply for this visa at least three weeks before their travel date.
Fees for Category C Zimbabwe visas: Single Entry Visa: US$30 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 another country other than your country of 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 utility 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 you’re 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 a 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 out of 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 twice.
- 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 flexible. 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 for up to three months. From three to six months it costs US$20 per month. Any extension for 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 include the need 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: [email protected] | 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 Government 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