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Commuter omnibuses
Commuter omnibuses | Problem Masau / © Culture Trip
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How To Navigate Transport In Zimbabwe

Picture of Problem Masau
Updated: 10 May 2018
Zimbabwe, a land known for its warm people and almost year-round sunshine, is a must-visit for those who want to see Africa’s big five animals and ancient sites like the mighty Great Zimbabwe. If you’re planning a trip and want to know how best to get around the country, check out our need-to-know guide.

Private taxis

Zimbabwe’s private taxis are almost everywhere. You can find them at hotels in the city, at airports, hospitals, clubs and restaurants. The good thing is that taxis are relatively safe and the taxi fares are negotiable. The usual fare to be transported around the Central Business Areas in cities tends to be around USD$5.

Local tip: Always negotiate the first asking price.

taxi
Private taxis | Problem Masau / © Culture Trip

Commuter omnibuses

This is probably the most common and cheapest form of public transport in Zimbabwe. Commuter omnibuses operate in every city, town and rural area in Zimbabwe – here you’ll find public terminals where they pick up and drop off passengers. However, they virtually stop and pick up passengers at every corner. The conductors, known in the local language as hwindis, usually fight for passengers and sometimes will grab your bag, so don’t be alarmed if this happens. It’s also good to be aware that the drivers here are somewhat always dangerously in a hurry, and sometimes go against an incoming lane – so when you get in a commuter omnibus, always be prepared for the unknown.

Local tip: Always know your destination and tell the driver once you arrive, so you can get off.

Kombi
Commuter omnibuses | © Watson Ufumeli

Car hire

If you want to visit Zimbabwe’s magnificent safaris with rugged terrains, or want to get from point A to B in the city, then car hire is the best choice. All range of vehicles from the smallest car to 7-seater buses are available for hire. There are several car hire companies dotted across Zimbabwe’s major cities, but they are relatively pricey. The companies charge a fixed price for fewer than 150 km (93 miles) covered per day, but one you exceed that they start to charge per kilometre. They also charge a refundable amount as a form of insurance so that the user will bring the car without being damaged.

Buses

Buses that connect passengers from cities and towns are available in Zimbabwe. There are also cross-border buses from Harare to countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana and Zambia among others. Buses can be found at Harare Road Port and other bus terminals in other cities and towns.

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Bus in Zimbabwe | © BobAdams / Flickr

Local planes

There are also local planes that connect passengers from Zimbabwe’s biggest cities Harare and Bulawayo to popular tourist destinations such as Victoria Falls and Kariba. These planes operate daily and are relatively cheap.

Transport apps

Zimbabwe has no Uber or other transport apps.