Zimbabwe Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe drives on the left and you can use the photo ID licence of most countries to rent a car, and can drive on this for up to 12 months. You’ll also require a police vehicle clearance certificate (temporary import permit) if you’re bringing in a non-Zimbabwe registered vehicle.
Main roads are in reasonable condition for Africa but you may encounter the odd unexpected deep pothole. Minor roads are likely to be in worse condition particularly after heavy rain.
Traffic lights are sometimes out of action and are one cause of the numerous accidents which occur on Zimbabwean roads. Avoid driving outside the main towns at night, as roads are badly lit and marked. Also, vehicles are often poorly lit and abandoned unlit heavy goods vehicles, cyclists without lights, pedestrians and animals are often encountered. Traffic accidents are common cause of death and serious injury as emergency services can be slow to react. Avoid stopping in lay-bys, particularly in the Beitbridge area, as there have been incidents of cars being robbed and occupants attacked. There have also been cases of smash-and-grab robberies from vehicles, especially at main intersections along the route to Harare Airport and on the Masvingo-Beitbridge road. Drivers should keep their vehicle doors locked and windows closed and be cautious when travelling, particularly at night and at filling stations.You must obey police signals, stop at roadblocks and toll-gates and produce identification if asked to do so. There have been reports of police officers trying to extract unofficial ‘fines’ from foreign drivers, though they do the same with local drivers too.. For further info on dealing with the police when driving abroad, check my advice on this on the self drive advice page .
By law all vehciles need to carry the following so check that your rental car complies before leaving the depot –
Two Breakdown Triangles : Mandatory: two reflective breakdown triangles per vehicle. These must be placed one in front and one at the rear of a vehicle (30 to 50m) when it is stationary on any road at a place not designated for stopping.
A Fire Extinguisher: All vehicles to carry an appropriate and SAZ approved fire extinguisher in the CAB of the vehicle – Light vehicles (1kg) and heavy vehicles (1,5kg).
Reflectors: White reflectors in front, red reflectors at the rear
Florescent Reflective Vest: One for each person travelling.
It is an offence to continue driving when a Government motorcade passes , no matter which side of the road you are on. If you see the motorcade or hear sirens, pull off the road or onto the side of the road if this is not possible. Though the situation has improved there can still be shortages of fuel in Zimbabwe and you should make sure you have enough to complete your trip- don’t set off on a long journey and assume you will be able to fill up. Tell the rental company where you intend to drive and ask their advice on the fuel situation.
Some travel times and distances between major locations-
Victoria Falls to Harare – 860KM, 9 hours
Victoria Falls to Bulawayo – 440KM, 5 hours
Bulawayo to Harare – 435KM, 5 hours
Victoria Falls to Kariba – 560KM, 6 hrs 30
Kariba to Harare – 360KM, 4hours
Harare – Mutare – 260KM, 3 hours
Baitbridge – Bulawayo – 320KM , 3hrs 30
Bulawayo- Masvingo -280Km, 3hours
Masvingo to Harare – 290KM, 3 hours
Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.
Zimbabwe Car Rental –
Europcar,Avis, Budget,have branches in Bulawayo, Harare and Victoria Falls. Also usually features on Car rental broker sites and Web discount sites such as Expedia.
We currently have no local car rental partners in Zimbabwe. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on DriverAbroad.com please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on ADriverAbroad@Outlook.com.