Never again Zimbabwe





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  1. #1
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    Angry Never again Zimbabwe

    We have just returned from an 8 week trip of Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Botswana was wonderful, Zambia awesome, Zimbabwe - the worst.

    The police road blocks are beyond acceptable, the trip from Milibisi to Plumtree took 9 hours because of road blocks and we picked up two imaginary fines, one for $20 for not having red reflective continuous tape on our trailer, a second fine of $10 for doing 109 klm in a 120 zone - their reason was that it was a suggested safety measure that people towing trailers and caravans should not exceed 100 klmph and they refused to show me their booklet where it is a law. We were stopped at just about every road block and they were unable to find anything else wrong that they could fine us for, and the attitude was hostile, sinister and quite frightening.

    We also picked up a $300 fine/bribe at Chirundu border for not having a police clearance certificate. Having checked with the AA that it was advisable but not necessary.

    South Africans are not welcome in Zimbabwe, may I suggest that we should all visit our own country than wasting your money in a country that does not want you. I for one will never go there again.


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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLVES View Post
    We have just returned from an 8 week trip of Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Botswana was wonderful, Zambia awesome, Zimbabwe - the worst.

    The police road blocks are beyond acceptable, the trip from Milibisi to Plumtree took 9 hours because of road blocks and we picked up two imaginary fines, one for $20 for not having red reflective continuous tape on our trailer, a second fine of $10 for doing 109 klm in a 120 zone - their reason was that it was a suggested safety measure that people towing trailers and caravans should not exceed 100 klmph and they refused to show me their booklet where it is a law. We were stopped at just about every road block and they were unable to find anything else wrong that they could fine us for, and the attitude was hostile, sinister and quite frightening.

    We also picked up a $300 fine/bribe at Chirundu border for not having a police clearance certificate. Having checked with the AA that it was advisable but not necessary.

    South Africans are not welcome in Zimbabwe, may I suggest that we should all visit our own country than wasting your money in a country that does not want you. I for one will never go there again.
    We enjoyed Zim...

    Red reflector tape... Yes, it is indeed a requirement... We had it and had no issues...
    Towing in 120km/h zone, we did not tow so did not have an issue with this either... But if this is their rules than so be it...
    We had clearance cert. as we understood that you MUST have it, although they seldom ask for it... We had ours, and was never asked for it... But we were prepared...

    Did you at least do the Zim ruins ?? That was an awesome point of interest and probably one of the highlights....
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Thanks for sharing, was considering a self-drive tour of the eastern highlands but such BS would kill a holiday for me, no matter how good the rest may be.
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Me too- not worth the harassment and hassles

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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    I'm not talking about charity handouts, but a simple case of a fair trade type agreement. I come visit your country, and you charge me a fair price for doing so, or offering any services you think I need to be offered to enjoy my time there. However, this smacks of a classic case of biting the hand that feeds you, or wants to trade (fairly) with you. So what do we do now? We stop going there, and then they are really up a street of feacal matter.

    Much like the hijacking of a bus load of Dutch tourists will (hopefully not) have a knock on effect for tourism in SA.

    While not all countries 'need' tourism, it is a major money spinner and often a primary source of income for a lot of others. If it stops, the country will die, unless they have a backup plan. Much like Dubai/Qatar, when the oil runs out, they will need to look after their tourists even better than they do now, as that is all they will have.
    Last edited by Naes-Landy; 2017/09/26 at 01:05 PM.
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Quote Originally Posted by Naes-Landy View Post
    I'm not talking about charity handouts, but a simple case of a fair trade type agreement. I come visit your country, and you charge me a fair price for doing so, or offering any services you think I need to be offered to enjoy my time there. However, this smacks of a classic case of biting the hand that feeds you, or wants to trade (fairly) with you. So what do we do now? We stop going there, and then they are really up a street of feacal matter.

    Much like the hijacking of a bus load of Dutch tourists will (hopefully not) have a knock on effect for tourism in SA.

    While not all countries 'need' tourism, it is a major money spinner and often a primary source of income for a lot of others. If it stops, the country will die, unless they have a backup plan. Much like Dubai/Qatar, when the oil runs out, they will need to look after their tourists even better than they do now, as that is all they will have.

    I cannot fathom why anyone would want to spent time or money in that bollie hole of a country.

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    It really is a great pity - Beautiful country - friendly people.

    These incidents seem to be increasing in frequency in some Southern African countries with Namibia the shining exception.

    Namibians can be proud of the way they handle tourists.

    “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Just as there are negative reports on Zimbabwe holidays so there too are recent positive reports. I have no doubt that they are looking out to crack down if you in any way transgress their regulations. Have you ever noticed how badly our own officials treat Zimbabwe registered vehicles?

    I am sure that most of us deplore the way this potentially magnificent tourist destination has been allowed to degenerate and yes it is not the easiest destination to visit on an independent self-driving trip. One has to be well informed concerning their regulations all of which have been prominently published on this forum. I do notice that there have been increasingly negative reports about our other neighbors, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and even Namibia. I fear that we as South Africans resent it when our neighbors are more strictly policed compared to our own country. It takes some special skills to avoid feeling harassed.

    I am sure the OPs complaints have some validity but personally do not mind if fewer of us visit Zimbabwe, all the more for those that love visiting this destination. Thus far I have managed to stay largely on the right side of the law in our neighboring countries but when I transgress I take it on the chin.
    Last edited by Stan Weakley; 2017/09/26 at 02:14 PM.
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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Just as there are negative reports on Zimbabwe holidays so there too are recent positive reports. I have no doubt that they are looking out to crack down if you in any way transgress their regulations. Have you ever noticed how badly our own officials treat Zimbabwe registered vehicles?

    I am sure that most of us deplore the way this potentially magnificent tourist destination has been allowed to degenerate and yes it is not the easiest destination to visit on an independent self-driving trip. One has to be well informed concerning their regulations all of which have been prominently published on this forum. I do notice that there have been increasingly negative reports about our other neighbors, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and even Namibia. I fear that we as South Africans resent it when our neighbors are more strictly policed compared to our own country. It takes some special skills to avoid feeling harassed.

    I am sure the OPs complaints have some validity but personally do not mind if fewer of us visit Zimbabwe, all the more for those that love visiting this destination. Thus far I have managed to stay largely on the right side of the law in our neighboring countries but when I transgress I take it on the chin.
    Spot on Stan.

    The speed limit when towing in Zim is 100km/h.

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  16. #10
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    ...but when I transgress I take it on the chin.
    Fair enough, I'll take it on the chin, but I won't take it anywhere else, so to speak....when I pass one road block and all is ok, then get to the next one and all is not, then I get annoyed. Problem in Zim right now is there is no uniformity in the law, or it is not made clear, at all.

    I drove overland trucks for a South African based company, for a time. One such truck had Zim plates. SA, Bots, Nam, Moz, Lesotho, Swazi, no problem at all, and most of Zim. Until I pass one road block on the way from Bulawayo to Vic Falls. $40, because you are not allowed to drive a Zim reg truck with an SA drivers license in Zim. I'm sorry, but *expletive*....the last road block just let me through with my SA license....I beat him down to $20...
    Last edited by Naes-Landy; 2017/09/26 at 03:24 PM.
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  18. #11
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLVES View Post
    We have just returned from an 8 week trip of Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Botswana was wonderful, Zambia awesome, Zimbabwe - the worst.

    The police road blocks are beyond acceptable, the trip from Milibisi to Plumtree took 9 hours because of road blocks and we picked up two imaginary fines, one for $20 for not having red reflective continuous tape on our trailer, a second fine of $10 for doing 109 klm in a 120 zone - their reason was that it was a suggested safety measure that people towing trailers and caravans should not exceed 100 klmph and they refused to show me their booklet where it is a law. We were stopped at just about every road block and they were unable to find anything else wrong that they could fine us for, and the attitude was hostile, sinister and quite frightening.

    We also picked up a $300 fine/bribe at Chirundu border for not having a police clearance certificate. Having checked with the AA that it was advisable but not necessary.

    South Africans are not welcome in Zimbabwe, may I suggest that we should all visit our own country than wasting your money in a country that does not want you. I for one will never go there again.
    Hi Seawolves

    I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience but do you ever read the forum and the vehicle rules for Zimbabwe. There is so much advice on what to do and what to have. Police clearance certificates are just about always needed when you pass through Chirundu Border (in South Africa its called a Private vehicle verification certificate. If you get a Police clearance certificate you are exporting the vehicle not to be returned to SA)

    Zimbabwe vehicle rules are quite different to South Africa and one should learn what you need and be prepared.

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  20. #12
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    I think the problem here is not the law or the enforcement of the rules in place, this we can learn and adapt and expect not to be harassed.

    The problem is the self righteous interpretation of the rules by the traffic cops or whoever feels entitled into setting up a road block.
    This we cannot learn as such but we have to bend over or being harassed and be it only for time or a few lousy dollars in the end.

    The issue is that there is no written rules as what to check and how to read those "rules of theirs" they are created ad-hoc suiting the purpose of extortion. The example of the "secure speed for trailers" is just one of them, the wrong or wrongly placed or missing reflectors being another.

    So no good will can change the feeling we must overcome when being forced to pay just another "traffic fine".

    For this reason I don't visit Mozambique again, for Zambia and Malawi I have found a way to handle the situation, which is humour and laugh, sometimes it takes a while but I haven't paid out in the last few trips in those countries.

    What I start with is demonstrating that I have time and I am not pushed over because I want to leave. This can be done in many ways and once they realise that time wasted does not bother me they lose interest very quickly.
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  22. #13
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    We've been fined in Zim for no legit reason! I always make sure that I am within the rules- especially when in another country. This incident left a bad aftertaste.

    When I am on holiday, I do not want to contend with this type of behavior and for that very reason Zimbabwe will not see me soon!

    Bostoe

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  24. #14
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Is the police clearance mandatory for going between Bots and Zim in our ZA bakkie? This is the first I heard of this and I am leaving on Saturday. Can someone please clarify? Is it only needed between Zim and Zam? Thanks!

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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    The one and only way to visit Zim is through Pandamatenga and then visit Hwange NP.Stay in the park and you will not even see a roadblock.If you do this Ill bet you will return.

    The rest of Zim they can keep.Just too much problems for a toppie like me.The reason Ill never go to Mozambique again.
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  27. #16
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Quote Originally Posted by LC Man View Post
    The one and only way to visit Zim is through Pandamatenga and then visit Hwange NP.Stay in the park and you will not even see a roadblock.If you do this Ill bet you will return.

    The rest of Zim they can keep.Just too much problems for a toppie like me.The reason Ill never go to Mozambique again.
    AGREED, always enter and exit Panda
    To eplore more you could also hop on the Ferry and cross the lake to Kariba town

    Not that many road blocks to Mana Pools and back out via Panda.
    Also always refer to www.bigsky.co.zw

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  29. #17
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyee21 View Post
    Is the police clearance mandatory for going between Bots and Zim in our ZA bakkie? This is the first I heard of this and I am leaving on Saturday. Can someone please clarify? Is it only needed between Zim and Zam? Thanks!
    As far as I know only ever asked for at the border posts between Zim and Zambia/Mozambique. You will not need it from Botswana.
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  31. #18
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Additional advice needed please. Leaving for Zim next week wednesday.
    I have installed a two sparewheel bracket at the back of my 1998 Prado which does cover the vehicle's rear lights partially, but have permanently mounted an additional set of rear lights, brake, flicker and normal lights on the bracket itself with red reflectors on the outside and inside of the light units, just to make double sure I dont loose one. (Any spesific distance they have to be mounted apart?) Yes, I will enter at Panda and visit Hwange, but then will do the road from Hwange, Binga to Karoi on to Mana. Whats the situation like with regards to roadblocks on these sections, although I doubt if there will be any on the Binga Karoi section, but just want to be prepaired. Never had problems before, but then I seldom did the road from Plumtree to Bulawayo etc. Was thinking of travelling back through Plumtree, but reconsidder and be going back through Hwange.
    Thanks in advance: Rudy

  32. #19
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    As far as I know only ever asked for at the border posts between Zim and Zambia/Mozambique. You will not need it from Botswana.
    Thanks so much for the response, really appreciate it.

    Kelly

  33. #20
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    Default Re: Never again Zimbabwe

    Well... I'm totaly with you. We managed 5000km in Zimbabwe. About 30 Stops.... Had all our Papers copied, had no problemes at all.

    but being stopped on the same road every 30 km is annoying. It is totaly uneconomic.... But that's it.

    Pro for Simbabwe: Nice people, easy to drive, easy to shop, fuel good available

    Negativ: Policestops, Prices, Nationalparks have to much poaching, lack of animals, Prices, roadblocks, prices, roadblocks, not much service at all....

    Well my conclusion: Friendliest people in southern Africa. But thats not worth it. Will focus on the other named countries...
    Amos

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