Budget in Zimbabwe

¿ How much money do you need to travel around Zimbabwe ?

Zimbabwe adopted the US $ as currency in 2009, so everything is more expensive now. Also the bad economic (and political) situation, makes everyday´s life for local people really hard. Prices are really higher than in South Africa specially for food.

For travellers, Zimbabwe is safe and nice and you can manage to travel around even if your budget is tight
It´s well connected with South Africa and there are many international flights to Johannesburg airport.

Prices of transport, accommodation and food in Zimbabwe:

There are many buses on the main roads so it´s easy to move and quite cheap (around 2 $/h). Even trains still operate, between Vic Falls, Bulawayo and Harare, with good sleeping train, affordable.

If your budget is low, in the tourist places, camping is the cheapest solution and the backpackers lodges usually have dorms. Around 5-8 $/pp/night for camping and double price for a dorm. Rooms are quite expensive.

In towns, there are simple restaurants, many "take away" style, but prices are not too cheap (5 $ for a dish). Difficult to find cheap street food, just a few stalls near the markets or bus stations and stops. 
Most of the budget lodges have kitchens and you can cook, it will be cheaper than eating outside in Zimbabwe. 

Supermarkets are fine, most of the goods are imported from South Africa and the price is much higher but still correct (people complain about the price of bread... around 1 $), meat is cheap and good quality. Big supermarkets also have "take away" sections.

Prices of activities and fees in Zimbabwe:

If your budget is tight, you will have to  limit the number of activities.

Keep in mind that only visiting the world famous Victoria Falls cost 30 $ on the Zimbabwe side (recommended). And if you add the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, it´s 15 $ more.

The national parks have usually a 20 $ entrance fee/PP/day.
And joining a safari drive, rafting, horsing, etc., are quite expensive (100 $).

   Our budget and expenses during the Zimbabwe trip  

As a reference for low-cost travellers, just visiting a few places (Great Zimbabwe, Vic Falls and Bulawayo), doing also couchsurfing and cooking.

 The average exchange rate in January 2015 was :   1 euro =  1.18 US$

  • Accommodation: 90 US$ ( 76 euros)
          3 nights camping + 3 nights dorm + 3 nights couchsurfing + 1night train.
  • Food/drinks (supermarket): 64 US$ (55 euros). We cooked.
  • Transport: 53 US$( 45 euros)
  •  Entrante fees: 90 US$ (76 euros)
  • Visa: 60 US$ (51 euros)
  • Insurrance:  5 euros

Total Budget: 
308 €  for 2 people in 10 days/10 nights

  • Average budget /day : 30.8 € for 2 people.
  • Average budget /month : 924 € for 2 people.

Note: Coins in Zimbabwe.

US $ coins don´t run in Zimbabwe, so they use South Africa Rand coins (usually 1$:10R in the street, but real rate is 1:11 in mnay supermarkets). To finish with this, since December 2014, they are introducing new local coins.