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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 15 Jan 2008
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situtation in zimbabwe....

gas shortages, inflation thru the roof.....is it as bad as they say....anybody there right now, any news?
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  #2  
Old 15 Jan 2008
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Just watched the News

On the News tonight..... 28,000,000 Zimbabwe Dollars for a Meal!

Yes, thats right... Twenty Eight MILLION!! showed the guy paying for a meal with a HUGE stack of notes the size of a Topbox!
Inflation running at 14,000%.......

Not good...... It is a very sorry state of affairs for the people in Zimbabwe, they can no longer afford to Eat, or Live. at those inflation rates the Petrol you put in your car will be costing more as you pump it!

Martyn
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  #3  
Old 15 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martynbiker View Post
On the News tonight..... 28,000,000 Zimbabwe Dollars for a Meal!

Yes, thats right... Twenty Eight MILLION!! showed the guy paying for a meal with a HUGE stack of notes the size of a Topbox!
Inflation running at 14,000%.......

Not good...... It is a very sorry state of affairs for the people in Zimbabwe, they can no longer afford to Eat, or Live. at those inflation rates the Petrol you put in your car will be costing more as you pump it!

Martyn
I saw the same news report from the BBC.

The news can be very exaggerated or even plain wrong; in this case, the correspondent had returned from a week of being in Zim, even though the BBC is banned from the country - so, it was a "first hand" report, for a change, and not one from South Africa (SA) for instance (they often are written there in some hotel room or other).

What I heard was:
It took them 3 hours to cross the border out of Zim because of the "refugees" who are fleeing toward SA.
The police who did approach them in their vehicles simply wanted bribes, preferably cash, but something else would do, such as food.
The $US is preferred to the local $Zim for obvious reasons (yes, the inflation rate is currently 14000% but the meal cost = 290m $Zim - who cares about the exact figure, it will be much more tomorrow, as per Germany in the 1930s).
Plenty of vehicles still on the streets however; presumably bartering & bribery will prevail.
Everybody encountered by the news crew hates Mugabe.


On the BBC webpages, there are indications that Mugabe's own ruling party are resisting him and putting up a competitor to get him out of office (don't hold your breath!).
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  #4  
Old 16 Jan 2008
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inflation inflammation

guess it's safe to say we won't be going there anytime soon. shame, it's quite a nice country. will have to skirt around it, into vic falls on zambia side from caprivi strip?

thanks boys,
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  #5  
Old 17 Jan 2008
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Hi Todd and Christina,

Here's an alternative take....

I rode through Zim a couple of months ago and as far as I know the situation hasn't changed a lot since then.

I'm sure a lot of people there are going through real hardships but for the visitor things aren't too bad. The border with SA (Beitbridge) is fairly quiet and you should be through it quickly either way. I crossed out into Mozambique through the Mutare border and that was equally easy. I stayed in the countryside and think it might be better to avoid Bulawayo and Harare but overall I found people incredibly friendly and didn't get any hassle at all. I found petrol though it was fairly heavily cut with kerosene. Food is also available in a good few restaurants and it tends to be under the counter in shops. The trick to getting what you need with fuel and food is to hang around a bit, have a drink and chat to people and then ask them for what you need.

Only snag is that visiting Zim is altogether quite an expensive exercise - quite a few taxes at the border and an expensive visa plus you are supposed to pay for all accommodation in hard currency at a very punitive exchange rate.

Overall though it was a highlight of the trip and a great experience and I would advise anyone not to be put off visiting. People were genuinely happy to see a tourist.

Cheers

Richard
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