Are you curious about driving to Zimbabwe?
The holiday season is upon us and as is customary at this time of the year the annual family pilgrimages are underway or at an advanced stage of preparation. For those driving, here are a few things you need to keep in mind before embarking on your trip.
Zimbabwean borders can be challenging to deal with and cross but a wonderful reward awaits on the other side.
Vehicles driving into Zimbabwe need to have an operational wheel jack, and a spare wheel in visible serviceable condition. I know this seems like a lot and to some, pretty obvious. Let’s be honest though when was the last time you checked your spare wheel and tools? Most cars assembled in the last 10 years do not come with spares but with vehicle assist in several formats. Should this be the case, you will need to ensure that you have coverage (on paper) before making the trip.
Traffic regulations in the country require that vehicles have reflective stickers on front and rear bumpers. These are white for front bumpers and red at the back, 1 on either side of the car. Should you be part of a large group travelling, buses and commercial vehicles need to display a full chevron across the rear bumper of the vehicle. Further required safety accessories are 2 reflective triangles for private vehicles, and at least 1 reflective vest and fire extinguisher. These units though small are important and unfortunately, their absence will attract a fine. These units can be purchased from any hardware and will be found in the automotive section.
Now that you have your safety gear sorted and probably feel ready to trek across Africa, let’s have a look at the documentation you will need to cross the border.
You will need a valid passport or emergency travel document to gain entry into the country. Should you be a first-time traveller, please check with the issuing authority for any further requirements. Your car will need printed valid insurance stating that you will be travelling to Zimbabwe. Be sure to request that your insurance provider states the dates when you will be travelling. Should your vehicle be financed, a cross border letter must be issued by the financing party. In the absence of insurance, this can be purchased at any border post.
There will be fees payable in the form of carbon tax road and or border levies. These costs may vary depending on the vehicle being used. We highly recommend the use of small denominations to help you manage change. Travel with small notes and where possible seek assistance from an agent to change currency.
Zimbabwean highways verge or cut across National Parks. You have a good chance of seeing wild animals foraging – keep an eye out for game and tourist attractions and features throughout your drive.
(photo cred: @zimbabwepics)