You’ve Googled ‘Harare accommodation’. You’ve compared guest lodges in Harare and weighed up whether a hotel stay or Harare B&B accommodation is more your speed. And, there’s a good chance – given the fact that you’re reading this – that you’ve chosen Willow Lodge as your ‘home away from home’ for your trip to Harare. So, you know where you’re staying, now you need to know what to pack.
The Travel Essentials
A frantic, unplanned return trip home to grab a forgotten passport is no way to start a holiday, which is why the first items you need to check-off your ‘what to pack’ list are The Travel Essentials:
- Passport (and a photocopy of it, just in case)
- Flight tickets
- Harare hotels confirmation
Pack a small notebook and write down important names, addresses and contact numbers in it that pertain to your trip – names of guest lodges in Harare you’ll be staying at; vehicle for hire or airport transfer companies you’ll be using; emergency contact details and medical insurance information.
Your Spending Money
Debit cards are more widely accepted than credit cards in Zimbabwe, which is why it’s a good idea to try to pay for all your Harare accommodation and pre-planned activities before arriving in the country and consider these points when planning your spending money:
- Take US Dollars in small denominations (US$10 and US$20) as shops and restaurants may struggle to give change for larger denominations (US$50 and US$100).
- There are ATMs but don’t bank on them. It’s possible to withdraw cash using a Visa or Mastercard at an ATM or a bank in Zimbabwe but it’s best to have some cash on you in case there isn’t an ATM or bank close to your Harare accommodation.
The Toiletry Must-packs
- Mosquito repellant – A must-have, especially if you are planning your trip to any one of the many guest lodges in Harare in the rainy season (October to April), opt for the spray-on products rather than the creams for easy application and, when selecting a ‘brand’, keep in mind that the most effective mosquito repellants are DEET-based.
- Sunscreen – Anything less that SPF30 is simply not going to suffice. The African sun is harshand no one wants to look like a bright red lobster in their holiday snaps, which is why, when it comes to packing sunscreen, the higher the SPF and the easier the application the better.
- Mini First Aid Kit – Whenever you are traveling to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar creepy crawlies, food and climate conditions, it’s best to be prepared. Rather than hoping that there will be a chemist close to your Harare B&B accommodation, pack a small First Aid kit with the basics… any prescription medication you need, plasters, antihistamines, painkillers, tweezers, after-sun cream, antiseptic cream, eye drops, anti-nausea/vomiting/diarrhea medication and, if you wear prescription eyewear, a back-up pair.
Your Wardrobe Essentials
Ladies, leave the stilettos at home and swap your regular wrap-around for a kikoi. Gents, leave the camo gear at home and swap your golf cap for a safari-friendly fedora. Staying at hotels in Harare and exploring Zimbabwe calls for comfortable, practical clothing that won’t get in the way of your sense of adventure, which is why you need to be sure to pack the following:
- Good, comfortable walking shoes
- Natural-tone day clothes
- A wide-brimmed hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- A swimsuit and cover-up
- Long-sleeved evening clothes
- Seasonally-appropriate pajamas
Say no to camo. Clothes in camouflage patterns are illegal in Zimbabwe.