Zimbabwe (Republic of)

History of Relations | Diplomatic Representation | Travel Info | Health Requirements | Climate Info | Currency Info | Trade Info | Visits and Meetings | Agreements | Interest Groups/ Organisations

History of Relations

South Africa and Zimbabwe, besides their geographic proximity, have a common and long history of regional affiliation and cultural ties. The people of Zimbabwe have played an important historical role in support of the liberation struggle in South Africa against the system of apartheid.

South Africa and Zimbabwe severed official diplomatic ties in 1980 when Zimbabwe gained its independence. However, during the period 1980 to 1994, South Africa maintained unofficial relations with Zimbabwe through its Trade Office in Harare. In 1994, the bilateral relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe were normalised, with the establishment of full diplomatic relations with effect from 29 April 1994. The normalisation of relations were illustrated by numerous visits back and forth by the Presidents and Ministers of the two countries.

Zimbabwe occupies some 390,757 sq. km in south central Africa between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The landlocked country is bound by Mozambique to the east, Zambia to the north and north-west, South Africa to the south, and to the south-west by Botswana. It lies wholly within the tropics and is part of the great plateau which traverses Africa.


Zimbabwe has a cosmopolitan population of 11.8 million (1997). English is the official and business language. Shona and Ndebele are widely spoken local languages. About 35 percent of the population lives in urban areas. The majority resides in Harare and the nearby town of Chitungwiza, (which mainly accommodates industrial workers), and in Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe attained independence from Britain in 1980 after a 13-year liberation struggle.

Diplomatic Representation

South African Representation in Zimbabwe

H E Mr M N Mbete
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

South African Embassy

Zimbabwean Representation in South Africa

H E Mr I A Moyo
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe

Travel Info

Visa Requirement for South Africans

For more information contact the Consulate-General of the Republic of Zimbabwe.


Health Requirements

Immunisations against hepatitis A and hepatitis B is strongly recommended for health practitioners intending to work in the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Malaria is a problem in areas outside Harare e.g. Victoria Falls, Kariba etc. Visitors/tourists intending to visit these areas are advised to consult their physicians in respect of appropriate medical precautions to be taken."

For further information go to Travelers' Health.


Climate Info

The climate is temperate because of the high altitude, 800 to 1500 metres above sea level. The winter season from May to August is cool and dry, with temperatures between 13 to 20 degrees Celsius. Summer temperatures vary between 25 to 30 degrees Celsius and the rainy season normally stretches from November to March. Parts of the country suffer regular drought spells. The average monthly rainfall is 196mm in summer and 1mm in winter.

For up-to-date weather information click here


Currency Info

The monetary unit is the Zimbabwean dollar (Z$). The official current rate of exchange is about Z$1 = ZAR0,147; and US$1 = Z$55.

For current exchange rates click here

State and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings

No Information

Bilateral Agreements

If you have any queries with regard to treaties please contact the Treaty Section at 012 351 0872/0726 or send an e-mail to: vanderwaltr@dirco.gov.za

Trade Statistics

South Africa's main export to Zimbabwe comprise capital equipments, and main imports from Zimbabwe are textiles and agricultural produce.

For current information on trade statistics between South Africa and Zimbabwe, visit the web site of the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa

Interest Groups and Information

Association of South Africans Resident in Zimbabwe (ASARZ)

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