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Important Information For Visitors

Travel Information

The U.S. Department of State's Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (ACS) administers the Consular Information Program, which informs the public of conditions abroad that may affect their safety and security. Country Specific Information, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings are vital parts of this program.

Registration at the U.S. Embassy makes your presence and whereabouts known, in case it is necessary for a consular officer to contact you in an emergency.  During a disaster overseas, American consular officers can assist in evacuation were that to become necessary.  But we cannot assist you if we do not know where you are. 

You can register all your international travel on-line through the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.   Additionally, you can notify the Embassy in Harare of your travel plans by sending an email or in person by visiting the Embassy during normal business hours.

Obtaining Cash and Using Credit Cards

Zimbabwe is a cash society and the use of credit cards is almost non-existent. Visitors need to plan for their debit and credit cards to be unusable.

Victoria Falls: The major hotels in Victoria Falls, such as the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Hotel, Kingdom Hotel, Elephant Hills Hotel, and Lokuthula Lodge accept credit cards for hotel expenses only.  However, credit cards and debit cards cannot be used to obtain cash.   Travelers to Zimbabwe are encouraged to pre-pay as many expenses as possible through their travel planners, and must bring cash for all recreational activities.  Recreational activities in Victoria Falls are usually managed by agencies independent of the hotels and the agencies do not have card facilities.

Small Bills: There is a shortage of small notes in Zimbabwe. Travelers are advised to bring small notes, especially for local transport and recreational activities other than food and lodging.  It is difficult to get change for big notes.

ATMs and Banks: Travelers to Zimbabwe will not have access to ATMs. Travelers who run out of cash in Victoria Falls, and need to access ATMs, can cross the border into neighboring Zambia using a taxi.  Other travelers may take a day trip to Botswana and access ATMs which dispense the Botswana pula, which is acceptable currency in Victoria Falls. Although it is possible to travel to neighboring countries to withdraw currency, keep in mind that the cost to apply for a visa, travel, and pay for ATM fees can exceed $50 USD.

Western Union: One option to obtain cash in Zimbabwe is through Western Union, and the procedures are relatively simple. Recipients in Zimbabwe must have the following information in order to receive money:

  • Name of the Sender
  • City from which the money was sent
  • Amount of money sent
  • Password that the sender used
  • Reference number (not a mist, but it helps)


Medical Emergencies

  • American Air Ambulance: In an emergency, Americans traveling abroad may need assistance with air ambulance transportation back to the United States. Here is a link to more medical information for Americans abroad.