Be aware of these weird laws in Zimbabwe

Talking politics or taking a photo can land you in trouble with the local police.

Zimbabwe like a lot of African countries follows a certain set of rules. Love or hate them, these must be followed or you will find yourself in a tough situation. If you want a good holiday/adventure these are the harsh realities of how Zimbabweans live.

Local Laws

The legal system isn't the best or fairest, so don't get yourself in trouble, or you could find yourself in a very prickly situation.

Murder, treason, banditry, sabotage and terrorism are punishable by death. Juvenile male offenders may be subject to corporal punishment.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Zimbabwe and penalties include imprisonment.

It is against the law for civilians to wear any form of clothing made from camouflage material.

You should avoid engaging in any political activity, or in activities which could be construed as such, including political discussions in public places.

It is also a criminal offence in Zimbabwe to make any derogatory or insulting comments about President Mugabe. Any person making such comments is liable to arrest and prosecution.

(Quite a few are prepared to challenge that law.)

Visitors have been detained under suspicion of operating as journalists without accreditation for photographing cultural sites and areas that may not immediately appear to be sensitive.

Tourists may also be subject to harassment or arrest for photographing police, roadblocks, occupied commercial farms, and government buildings or military installations, official residences or embassies, including the president's palace. Prior written permission must be obtained from the appropriate government office before taking such photographs.

Local Knowledge

Travelling through Zimbabwe is often a difficult proposition and having some local knowledge can be a help.

There are unexploded landmines are found in parts of the border area with Mozambique.

When visiting Victoria Falls, you should take care to protect your passport from exposure to water. You may face difficulties if you try to travel using a damaged passport and you may have to pay for a replacement.

Hawkers and street sellers may be a nuisance near the falls.

Cash - & Lots Of It!

Zimbabwe has become a cash society. The U.S. dollar, South African Rand, and Botswanan Pula (near the Botswana border) are the main means of cash payment for all goods and services. Travellers' cheques are generally not accepted.

The Zimbabwe economy has spiralled into hyper-inflation. It's easy to buy 1 Trillion Dollar notes. The cost of consumer goods doubles every second day.

(Just enough for a burger and fries.)

You will need to bring many notes of small denominations, as change is not readily available.

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