Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 4 March 2019, 11:55 NZDT
  • Still current at: 26 February 2020

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Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in Zimbabwe due to underlying political tension and high levels of crime.

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Civil Unrest/Political Tension
Civil unrest and political tension are common in Zimbabwe, and reports of politically-motivated intimidation and violence continue. Ongoing political tensions may result in demonstrations. Comply with any instructions issued by the local authorities, including any curfews. Monitor local and international media, review personal security plans and be aware of your surroundings. If unexpectedly in the vicinity of a protest or demonstration, exercise caution and leave the area quickly.

We advise New Zealanders in Harare, and elsewhere in Zimbabwe, to avoid all demonstrations, rallies and large public gatherings as police and security forces have used force to suppress demonstrations and any perceived opposition to the Government. Avoid association with any activity that could be construed as political, including political discussions in public places. It is an offence to make derogatory or insulting comments about the President of Zimbabwe, or to carry material considered to be offensive to the President’s office.

Violent crime, such as muggings, armed robbery and home invasion, occurs and there are reports that foreign residents have been targeted due to their perceived wealth. Pickpocketing and bag snatching is common in urban areas. Downtown sectors of Harare and high density tourist and residential areas have a particularly high crime rate.

New Zealanders in Zimbabwe are advised to be security conscious at all times and to safeguard and secure their personal belongings. Particular care should be taken when leaving banks or using ATMs.

Carjackings and theft from vehicles occurs. When travelling by car, it is advisable to keep doors locked and windows up at all times. We advise against the use of public transport and recommend New Zealanders avoid travelling alone, after dark and to isolated areas.

Local Travel
Roadblocks are common throughout Zimbabwe. We advise you to comply with instructions issued by police at roadblocks and produce identification if asked.  Due to power outages, traffic lights frequently do not work and you should avoid driving outside of the main towns at night. It is an offence to continue driving when the President of Zimbabwe’s motorcade goes past, regardless of the side of the road you are on.

Basic Services
Provision of basic services such as electricity, water, telecommunications and transport can be unreliable. Power cuts, food, water and fuel shortages occur from time to time. Health services are generally poor and there are shortages of trained medical staff and essential medicines in hospitals and pharmacies.

General Travel Advice
As there is no resident New Zealand diplomatic or consular representation in Zimbabwe, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is very limited.

We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Zimbabwe should consider.

You should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

Photography of government offices, airports, military establishments or officials, official residences or demonstrations is prohibited, and punishable by jail term. If in doubt, don’t take a picture.

The constitution of Zimbabwe outlaws marriage between people of the same gender.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

Unexploded landmines are found in parts of the border area with Mozambique. Stay on established roads and paths.

Zimbabwe is experiencing a cash shortage and international cards cannot be used for cash withdrawals. New Zealanders are advised to take enough cash to last throughout the duration of their stay. US dollars remains the most widely used and accepted currency in Zimbabwe. It is illegal to leave the country with more than US$2000 cash.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Zimbabwe should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Zimbabwe are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand High Commission Pretoria, South Africa is accredited to Zimbabwe

Street Address 125 Middel Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, 0181 Pretoria, South Africa Postal Address Private Bag X27, Brooklyn Square 0075, Pretoria, South Africa Telephone +27 12 435 9000 Fax +27 12 435 9002 Email Web Site Hours Mon - Fri 0800 - 1630hrs

See our regional advice for Africa

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Accredited New Zealand High Commission South Africa

Street Address
125 Middel Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, 0181 Pretoria, South Africa

Telephone: +27 12 435 9000

Fax: +27 12 435 9002



Hours: Mon - Fri 0800 - 1630hrs

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