Over the past few decades, the issues in Zimbabwe have led to hyperinflation in addition to widespread cash shortages. Between 1980 and 2009 the Zimbabwean Dollar suggered three huge redominations. In 2009, the country switched to using the US Dollar meaning your only interaction with a Zimbabwean Dollar is likely to be those sold by hawkers as souvenirs on the Victoria Falls high street.
In present day Zimbabwe, in order to not be caught out, you should always carry cash; it’s often not possible to pay on your card, or to withdraw money from an ATM. However, it’s actually sometimes cheaper to pay with an international card, where this is allowed (for example, at petrol stations).
As a result of the recent instability Zimbabwean tourism suffered a steep decline. Once the most popular safari destination in Southern Africa, in the early 2000s the industry lost over 90% of its business. From that point on conservationists and responsible safari operations have worked tirelessly to protect the county’s wildlife areas, often operating with little to no income. Many of those businesses relied on their operations in neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa to support their efforts within Zimbabwe.
Encouragingly Zimbabwean safari is back and booming with occupancy levels high, especially over the popular safari season from June to October. That said, the prices for high quality safari in Zimbabwe are considerably less than those charged over in Botswana. As we are of the opinion that the wildlife, guiding and lodges found in Zimbabwe are amongst the best in Africa, we expect prices to rise considerably year on year going forward.