Zimbabwe - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel
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Business Customs

Despite perfunctory reference to the “Look East” policy by some members of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) government, business customs are more or less similar to those in Western countries.

Travel Advisory

See the U.S. Department of State website for up-to-date information on travel to Zimbabwe:


Visa requirements

Foreigners intending to engage in meetings or discussions for business purposes are advised to secure a business visa prior to entry into Zimbabwe.  Individuals engaging in business-related activities on tourist visas have been arrested, fined, and/or deported.  A passport, visa, return ticket, and adequate funds are required to enter Zimbabwe.  Business visas are also available on arrival. 

U.S. companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States are advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following link:  State Department Visa Website and U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe Visas Website at https://zw.usembassy.gov/visas/.

Visitors may find up-to-date and complete information posted on:

U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe 


Zimbabwe is a dual currency economy, using both U.S. dollars and Zimbabwe dollars (ZWL or Zim dollar).  The Zim dollar has lost 98 percent of its value relative to the U.S. dollar since the GOZ adopted an auction system in June 2020 to allocate limited foreign exchange.  A huge gap between the auction and parallel-market exchange rates persisted for much of this period until June 7, 2023, when the RBZ started selling foreign currency at an interbank exchange rate, although it still maintains the auction.  Despite the depreciation, the country has not yet attracted substantial new foreign currency inflows.


Mobile and landline networks are sometimes overloaded, and providers have faced challenges maintaining services as rapid inflation has increased costs while prices have increased at a slower pace.  Phone service in general is reliable in urban centers.  Wi-fi services are available in most upmarket hotels.  The country uses 220-240 volts and travelers are urged to carry international travel adapters.  Mobile payment companies, typically subsidiaries of major telecoms firms, have faced suspensions and unsubstantiated government accusations of fueling inflation, contributing to the growth in money supply, and money laundering.


Zimbabwe has a reasonably well-developed road network, especially relative to much of the rest of the continent.  The country has air connections with other countries in the southern and eastern regions of Africa, as well as Europe via Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, and the Middle East.  


English is the official business language in Zimbabwe, and it is the language used in much of Zimbabwe’s education system.


Zimbabwe’s health and sanitation standards in public hospitals have declined over the years due to inadequate government funding, with qualified staff leaving for greener pastures in neighboring countries, the US, Europe, and Australia.  Standards remain reasonably good in the private sector, with the best available care limited to large, metropolitan centers such as Harare and Bulawayo.  Very limited resources are available to treat non-communicable diseases including cancer, hypertension, and diabetes.  Availability of healthcare commodities, including routine medicines, is limited in public hospitals, but better in the private sector.  Cholera is widespread in Zimbabwe; avoid unsafe food and water.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit these websites:

State Department Visa Website: www.travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/zimbabwe.html

CDC Travelers’ Health website: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/

Local time, business hours, and holidays

Local time is six hours ahead of Washington, D.C. time, or seven hours during Daylight Savings Time.  Business hours are between 0800 hours and 1700 hours (Monday to Friday).  Zimbabwe’s holidays for 2023 include: New Year’s Day, National Youth Day (February 21), Good Friday (April 7), Easter Monday (April 10), Independence Day (April 18), Workers’ Day (May 1), Africa Day (May 25), Heroes’ Day (August 14), Defense Forces Day (August 15), National Unity Day (December 22), Christmas Day (December 25), and Boxing Day (December 26).

Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings

U.S. citizens who are temporarily carrying firearms and ammunition into Zimbabwe for purposes of hunting must register these items with the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, using Customs Form 4457, when leaving the U.S. and upon re-entry.  U.S. citizens must also comply with the temporary export exemptions at 22 CFR 123.17, posted on the Directorate of Defense Trade Control’s website at https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/ddtc_public/ddtc_public.  U.S. citizens should also contact the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Washington, D.C. to find out what permits are required.  Travelers to Zimbabwe should make sure that all the necessary documentation is in order before departing the United States.

For country-specific travel information, please visit State Department’s Travel web page.  

Travel Resources

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority 

Tourism House, 55 Samora Machel Ave, Harare. 

Tel: 263 779212289