Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe and is a city of 2 million people. The city’s name translates to “he who never sleeps”, which fully corresponds to the dynamic lifestyle of this cosmopolitan city. Another name for Harare is the “city of flowering trees” – all year round the city is buried in the flowering of exotic trees – acacias, bougainvilleas, jacarandas. Harare is the starting point for traveling to the world of amazing natural reserves of Zimbabwe. According to COUNTRYAAH, Zimbabwe is a country that starts with letter Z.
How to get to Harare
By Plane: Harare Airport is the main gateway for tourists arriving in the country. Aircraft fly to Harare from London and Johannesburg. Regular flights are operated by Comair, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and others. A taxi ride from the airport to the city costs 25 USD.
By car: Harare is relatively easy to drive from Johannesburg.
By bus: You can get to Harare from Johannesburg with Greyhound buses or local carriers. The journey takes 16-24 hours. Most intercity buses arrive at the Mbare terminal, located 3 kilometers from the city center.
Harare is a vast city, so the best way to see it is by car. Taxi rides around the city usually cost around 2-3 USD during the day, and 5 USD in the evening and at night. Negotiate a price before you start your trip.
Minibuses are suitable for moving between the center and suburban areas.
Shopping and souvenirs
The Mbare market is the center of the cultural life of the city. In addition to buying various souvenirs, here you can listen to performances of local music groups.
- What souvenirs to bring from Harare
The staple food in Zimbabwe, sadza, is corn porridge, which accompanies meat and vegetables as a side dish.
It is considered good manners to clap your hands softly twice in all those cases when they give you something (if one hand is occupied, you can lightly clap your chest twice with your free hand) – this is the local equivalent of “thank you”. And do not take what is served to you with both hands at once – this will be regarded as a manifestation of greed.
Harare has plenty of places to serve traditional American or European food. The most attractive of them are located in the open air.
This is Café espresso on Cork Road, which will offer you excellent coffee surrounded by a sculpture garden or Chisipite, an old mansion with a luxurious garden and swimming pool, turned into a restaurant with an art shop and gallery.
By all accounts, the best restaurant in the city is Amanzi (158 Enterprise Road), located in an upscale suburb of Harare. If you decide to go there, be sure to book a table, there are usually no empty seats. The Coimbra restaurant (61 Selous Avenue), which offers Portuguese cuisine, is also considered good (average bill 25 USD).
Entertainment and attractions in Harare
The city has many historic buildings that can be found in the Second St. and along Robert Mugabe Street. The National Gallery shows visitors not only exhibits of national art, but also unique exhibitions, such as Shona stone carvings. The National Archives houses collections of diaries, historical writings and studies of Africa.
There are many beautiful green spaces in the city itself. National Botanical Garden with an area of 68 hectares. presents to your attention more than 900 species of plants from all over the country. A stunning view of the city opens from the granite hill Kopje, located in the southwestern part of Harare.
Chapangu Sculpture Park offers a huge collection of black stone carvings for inspection. Exhibitions are also often held here. The Mukuvisi Forest Reserve is 277 hectares of natural forest on the banks of the Mukuvisi River, where you can see giraffes, zebras, antelopes and other exotic animals.
In the vicinity of the city there are several golf courses that meet the highest standards.
Visa to Zimbabwe
Citizens of Russia to visit Zimbabwe still need a visa, which can be obtained upon arrival at the border or issued in advance at the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Moscow. However, this should not cause any difficulties – the package of documents is standard, the size of the visa fee does not change, and the terms for issuing visas are not delayed. The only difference is the three-month “reserve” of the passport when applying to the consulate. Among other things, to visit the Victoria Falls in neighboring Zambia, a double-entry visa is not required – a tourist is allowed to re-enter the country during daylight hours.
Applying for a visa at the border
To obtain a visa upon arrival in the country, at the border control, you must provide the following documents:
- a passport that expires no earlier than the end of the trip;
- migration form filled in English;
In some cases, border guards also ask for return air tickets and proof of sufficient funds.
The visa is issued for a period not exceeding 30 days, the visa fee is 30 USD.
Health insurance is not required when crossing the border or applying for a visa to Zimbabwe, but going to Africa without it is a very reckless step.
If you plan to travel to neighboring Zambia to the Victoria Falls and return to Zimbabwe within one daylight hours, you do not need to issue a new entry visa to the country. At the same time, at the exit, the tourist is given a special card indicating the time of departure – it must be presented upon re-entry into the country.
Documents for a visa to Zimbabwe
Required documents for obtaining a visa at the Zimbabwe Embassy:
Valid for at least 3 months from the end of the trip with at least one blank page;
Completed in English;
- Copy of tickets
E-tickets or flight booking confirmation
If the child is entered in the parent’s passport, he does not need a separate visa (you only need to provide three photos of the child). The consular fee is not charged for children included in the parents’ passport.
Visa processing time is 2-4 days. Consular fee – 30 USD for a single entry visa and 45 USD for a double entry.