Money traders and Zimbabwe dollar
Zimbabwe dollar is no longer the currency in Zimbabwe, so it doesn't matter if you buy it on the streets as a souvenir. It was forbidden before.... The Zimbabwe dollar are in hundred trillion notes. Most people have heard of the economic mismanagement in Zimbabwe and the inflation. The currency is now USD. Be aware that some money traders can fool inattentive or newly arrived tourists to belive they can trade with the Zimbabwe dollar. YOU CAN NOT!
I bought some notes for fun. Paid 5 USD for the notes on the picture.
- National/State Park
SOAP STONE SCULPTURES
They are absolutely beautiful. Elaborate stone sculptures of giraffes, exotic birds, elephants, you name it. You can even haggle to get 2 for $5. Often you can find them from the guys who hang out in front of the Post Office (pictured). They are heavy and seem very strong.
Guess what? They are not and break very very easily! Sculptures ruined! They are made from a very soft stone and are made by machine. They break.
Unique Suggestions: If you really want one, get one. Then pack it with bubble wrap or several shirts and never let it out of your hands. Put it in a suitcase and it will break.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Spa and Resort
- Family Travel
Beware the funny money!
Since Zimbabwe is in a state of hyper inflation, and the government doesn't really want to admit it and wants to rip you off of as much money as possible, you need to be careful how you deal with your money. The currency market is NOT open. So once you trade any hard currency into Zimbabwe dollars, that is it. You will not be able to trade it back. So be careful exactly how much you change. Otherwise you will be stuck with Zim dollars.
Fun Alternatives: Get your money on the black market. You can get 2, 3, or possibly 4 times as much off the black market!
They are everywhere, especially close to the official market. They follow you around trying to persuade you to buy their stuff, telling you tear-dripping stories of their poor families. We made the mistake of buying a bird we did not need just to get rid of them. That had the opposite effect, it was like a signal to other salesman that we were easy to convince.
Unique Suggestions: Avoid talking to the sellers, if you start a conversation you are "sold".
The giraffe in the picture is a dear memory, though. We could see that it was of poor quality, probably made by the young boy who sold it to us. He "attacked" my son, who was about his own age and followed us a couple of blocks while continuously lowering his price. He finally offered to swap the giraffe for my sons cap and a US dollar. My son found this quite amusing and accepted the deal :-) Unfortunately the poor giraffe broke his neck during transportation, but we keep him in our livingroom along with other good memories.
Fun Alternatives: Buy your stuff along the road somewhere outside the town. The further south the better. Quality is better and the salesmen are less persistent.
- Arts and Culture
Market behind train station
There is a quite big souvenir market. I would not declare it a tourist trap, but be prepared to spend exhausting minutes (hours?) there. The natives are so poor, they even what to exchange their carvings etc. for your shoes, socks, t-shirts etc.
Unique Suggestions: If I had know this, I'd have brought a pair of old sneakers and other stuff.
Visa and other costs
It costs approx $40 per person to enter the country - get off the plane fast as the queues are massive to pay!
To go to view the falls there is an entry fee of £15 per person.
To do white water rafting you need to pay a river usuage fee of $20.00.
Quite alot of money before you even pay to do an activity.
Never like to pay to simply enter a country so be warned that you need to have USD and GBP with you on the flight.
a lesson from US$8
some people sell their products on the street for the first time they give you a more expensive price after negotiate you are sure to get better price but when you pay the money more than the negotiation you are easiliy to get NO REFUND!!
just like my friend he paid US$8 more...
Unique Suggestions: DO NOT make any conflict with the locals you may get terribly dangerous it is your loss anyway
Fun Alternatives: you can buy souvenir ay the shop in town you can also enjoy the fun of barginning without any problem
The zambian side is cheaper
The waterfalls are at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. You can see them from both sides.
Both have their beauty and both are interesting, but if you wanna save money or have no time, the zambian side is much cheaper to enter.
To go there from Zimbabwe, you can get a 1-day visa at the zambian border. You can cross the bridge walking, visit the park and return to Zimbabwe before sunset (border offices close at dusk).
Actually you can consider Vic...
Actually you can consider Vic Fall, with all his adventure agencies as one big tourist trap.
The whole day long you hear the noise of helicopters circling in the sky. Even while walking along the falls, you hear this disturbing noise.
Ok, I did exactly the same thing (even if I found it very disturbing myself) but I didn't regret it at all.
It is a fantastic view to see the falls from above !
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