Electrical current in Zimbabwe is 220 volts, 50Hz.
Three rectangular blade plugs are common.
English is the official language in Zimbabwe, although it
is only spoken as a first language by a tiny percentage of the
population. Several indigenous languages are spoken including Shona
A service charge is usually included in the bill in Zimbabwe,
otherwise a 10% tip is customary for restaurants, hotels and taxis.
In general tipping for good service is discretionary. Some tour
guides and game rangers depend largely on tips for their
In Zimbabwe it is against the law to take photographs of public
buildings or government institutions, and it is not advisable to
take photographs anywhere in the vicinity of such buildings, or any
roadblocks and illegally occupied farms, as this could lead to
arrest. It is also illegal to take photographs of police and
military, as well as of demonstrations. It is a criminal offence to
make insulting comments about President Mugabe and his government.
It is also an offence to continue driving when the President's
motorcade goes past, no matter which side of the road you are on.
Visitors should be aware that an open hand is the political symbol
of the main opposition political party, the Movement for Democratic
Change, and a friendly wave may therefore be misinterpreted as a
provocative gesture. Homosexuality is illegal. Civilians are not
permitted to wear camouflage clothing.
Business in Zimbabwe is conducted in English, and is fairly
informal, with drinking and socialising very much part of the
business scene. Dress is fairly conservative, but lightweight suits
or casual jackets are more suited to the hot climate than formal
business wear. It is customary to shake hands with men and women at
the beginning and end of a meeting. Business hours are generally
Monday to Friday 8am to 4.30pm, although hours vary considerably
depending on the establishment; some businesses close at 11am on
Wednesdays, and some are open on Saturday mornings.
The international dialling code for Zimbabwe is +263. The
outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g.
0027 for South Africa). International Direct Dialling is available.
City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)4 for Harare. Telecel, Econet
and Net*One operators provide GSM 900 network mobile phone coverage
in most cities, towns and tourist areas throughout the country.
Internet and email facilities are available in most towns and
cities Harare, but internet cafes are generally crowded.
Travellers to Zimbabwe do not have to pay duty on items to the
value of US$250 provided this allowance is not claimed more than
once in a 30-day period. These include goods for personal
consumption, including tobacco, and alcohol up to 5 litres with no
more than 2 litres of this being spirits. Prohibited items include
narcotic and amphetamine drugs, honey, indecent or obscene reading
material, toy firearms, and blade knives.