Hi bikers, "Ciao" from Italy.
I am searching for updated informations about Zimbabwe internal situation.
I'll be in SouthAfrica with other friends (10 motorbike in total) in August. The original plan was abou a trip SouthAfrica-Zimbabwe-Mozambico-Malawi-Mozambico-SoutAfrica in 4 weeks.
In the last few days we got some bad AND unconfirmed news about Zimbabwe, depicting a situation rapidly going bad: almost impossible to obtain gasoline (excepts for big city) with situation going worst and severe social problem (small riot, bandit problem and so on).
Anyone can confirm or point me to up to date news an reliable informations?
If this infos will be confirmed we will be forced to cut the trip reducing it to only mozambico and malawi!
Thanks in advance
Bibo - Italy
Things are getting worse all the time in Zimbabwe but most of the reports you hear are simply rumours because of the partial media blackout. Only some of it is true.
Fuel is a problem – sometimes there is fuel and sometimes there isn’t. Diesel and unleaded petrol can be difficult or impossible to get hold of.
I still think it’s pretty safe since tourists travel through the country all the time without any problems. You will certainly get mixed reports: some will tell you the country is filled with friendly locals and others will tell you ex-soldiers were trying to kill them.
Reliable information will be difficult to get unless you speak to someone who went there “yesterday”.
Residents and recent emigrants of Zimbabwe are usually negative and will probably advise you not to visit. They may simply be paranoid and should not always be believed. The situation in the UK with bombings in London and the recent riots in Edinburgh is far more scary to me than riding across Zimbabwe with a group of 10 bikers!
Read the Special Reports at www.news24.com for some Zimbabwe updates. Remember: only sensational bad news are ever reported.
[This message has been edited by LuckyStriker (edited 11 July 2005).]
I rode through Zim several months ago and spent two weeks in the country.
At that time leaded petrol (super) was readily available, although my friend found diesel to be very difficult to obtain, particularly in Bulawayo. Unleaded petrol can be difficult to find.
From a tourist perspective, I think you will be very safe, with the difficulties seemingly confined to opponents of the Zanu PF regime. The current demolition of property is unlikely to affect you, unless you happen to be standing next to the buildings when the bulldozers go through.
Make sure you carry cash to change on the black market, as official exchange rates are ridiculously low. The benefit of this is that petrol, which is based on official rates is the cheapest in southern africa by a long way.
Thanks for the info. I am collecting news from various sources and, as usual, I got a mixed warning, from "Everything is fine, good travel" to "You are mad! Never in a life...".
I think I'll go on to collect info and we will choose the travel route "last minute style" using the info we will collect in the last day of july when I'll be in Johannesburg with a friend three days in advance to start the disembarcation and veichles import process.
Bibo - Italy
Having just returned from Zim a couple of weeks ago, I personally would say that 99% of the "security warnings" are unfounded, at least for foreigners and tourists. If you happen to own a farm in Zim that one of Mugabes corrupt cronies wants to get their greedy hands on, it would be a differant matter of course...
I felt just as safe, if not safer in Zim than I have been in 20some other african countrys.
Mind you, I was only in the northeast of the country this time. But then it is where the shacks have been bulldozed over etc recently, and it appeared that other parts of the country are not even effected by this recent policy. The only "riot" I saw was at the Senegal vs. Zim rugby match, where some of the croud got a bit over excited, and threw some rocks at the Senegalese players. Since Zim won the game, nothing more happened!
I would in otherwords go for it if I were you, and you will also most likely find that fuel is actually easier to get away from the main cities rather then near them. At least that's what we experianced.
Good luck and have fun!
My sister in law, who lives in Bulawayo, says there is no fuel and nothing on the shelves apart from mealie meal. The people are cool in the west, bulawayo, vic falls etc but Harare is a bit difficult sometimes. The main problem is fuel, you may have to be patient and hunt around for it (usually paying over the odds) but you should find some somewhere. As Eric says, stay clear of politacal rallies, the police and army and just go for it.
Eric - how'd it go? Send us an email sometime!
Jeremy "Enzo" Elphick-Pooley
Thanks for all hints. Sadly I could not read the last two posts because on 27/7 I went to JHB three days in advance to complete the temporary importation procedure for all the ten bikes.
We avoided the zimbabwe and followed the limpopo river in mozambico to north directed to espungabera and Tete before entering in malawi, go again in mozambico to ila de mocambique and then south following the tracks along the coast. We covered about 7000 km in 4 week
Thanks again for all suggestions
Bibo - Italy
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