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The Just Student Jobs Country guide for gap year travel in Zimbabwe

Where to Go - Africa

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Population : 11,342,521 (including allowance for AIDS)
Literacy rate : 85%
Life expectancy at birth : male – 39.18 yrs, female – 36.34 yrs
Infant mortality rate : 62.25 deaths/1,000 live births
Population growth rate : 0.26%
GDP growth rate : 0%
GDP per capita : £1,600
Unemployment : 50%
Inflation : 59%
TI index: 3.0
Climate : tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March)
Time : GMT + 2
Electricity : 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz.

A comprehensive site for information can be found at

English is the main medium for teaching, learning and business. There was enormous demand and a lack of qualified teachers. Unfortunately, the educated and educating classes have been decimated by AIDS. The disastrous social and economic policies pursued by an increasingly deranged president and his hangers-on are rapidly driving the country to ruin. That said, the economy is in a complete shambles – there is very little petrol or diesel fuel and white people may encounter prejudice and even danger.

The main languages are Shona and Ndbele. The Shonas make up about 70% of the population and the Ndbele around 16%. A multi-party state was only set up in 1990, before that it was a relatively liberal Marxist-oriented state. There are gold mines, but the mining industry is underused.

The Zimbabwean Government recruits through a number of volunteer organisations; VSO, Christians Abroad etc. Most government contracts are for three years. Check with the Foreign Office as to travel advice before committing yourself. The situation is very fluid.

Entry requirements

It is possible to apply for work while on a tourist visa, and if you are a UK or US citizen, you do not need a tourist visa. However, to work you must first obtain a residence permit and a work permit. This can take a long time and permits etc., should be arranged before travel. People applying direct to the Ministry of Education will need to provide identification, proof of qualifications (degree minimum) and experience and also supply a medical certificate and an X-ray.


Hepatitis A, Polio, Malaria, Tetanus, Typhoid and Yellow Fever. Be aware of the risk of AIDS.

Tax and Insurance.

No information on tax. Get health insurance.

Gap Year Programmes

Click here to find gap year programmes and placements in Zimbabwe

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