Travel to Zimbabwe is generally safe, but solo travelers need to be cautious of petty crime and scams.
Lack of police presence has created a hotbed of crime, which for travelers can be dangerous and at times unnerving. Here's what you need to know about common travel scams and crime in Zimbabwe.
Many have turned to a life of crime to survive, and tourists can be targets of this crime. So it's important to be aware of your surroundings, in both city and rural areas.
Muggings, bag snatching, carjacking and pickpocketing occur frequently, particularly in urban centers and tourist areas. These are easy crimes for locals, but ones that can ruin a traveler's trip, and could turn extremely dangerous.
There has recently been an increase in armed robberies, assaults and other violent crime. This is due to a more desperate society that it feeling the impact of bad economic conditions, a direct result of Zimbabwe's increasingly fragile government.
Security risks are heightened at night, especially on city streets, and in or near parks and the city centers.
Like most parts of Africa, don't travel at night - it's a bad idea if you are unfamiliar with your surroundings. Criminals will target you if you move about after dark alone.
Here are a few handy tips to stay safe in Zimbabwe.
Police resources, such as vehicles and fuel, are scarce and help can be difficult to obtain.
Police sometimes ask to be picked up at their police station and taken to the crime scene.
There can be considerable delays and complications in pursuing the recovery of property and prosecution of offenders.
Don't get too angry, it's better to stay calm and work with the police. Things will normally run smoother.
Lots of Zimbabwean crime happens on roadways. If you do decide to travel by yourself, then you need to be careful. Here are a few things you should know before you hit the road:
Tourists have been robbed and injured while visiting Zimbabwe's national parks.
To help minimize the security risks we suggest that you travel in groups, preferably with an organized tour group, and check the security situation before visiting national parks and farms, including game farms, lodges and hunting areas.
Visitors to Nyanga should avoid Pungwe Falls, Mterazi Falls, and the Honde Falls, as there have been numerous incidents of armed robbery, theft, assaults, and attempted rapes reported at these sites.
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