Most nationalities can purchase single entry and double entry tourist visas easily from customs and immigration at their point of entry (airport or border post). Note that having the correct change available in US dollars will make the process quicker, and that currently immigration points to do not take electronic payment methods. You can pay in alternative accepted currencies, such South African Rand or Botswana Pula, but you will loose a little on exchange rates.
For most countries a single entry visa is US$30.00 and a double entry visa (allowing you to leave Zimbabwe and return within a set period) is US$45.00. Some nationalities are required to pay more, for example British passport holders pay $55.00 for a single entry and $70.00 for a double, and some are even required to apply in advance (view full list on the Zimbabwe Immigration site here - external site, opens in a new window). There's also a list of countries who don't need a visa at all (view full list here - external site, opens in a new window).
Multiple-entry visas are theoretically available, although you need to apply through the local Immigration Office (if already in Zimbabwe), or through your local Zimbabwe Embassy in advance of travelling. Applications can take some time and are not guaranteed to be issued.
Entry is usually given for a period of up to 30 days on initial entry. This may be extended, usually in periods of 30 days, up to 90 days (3 months), and it is possible to extend up to a maximum of 180 days (6 months), although this is at the discretion of the issuing immigration officer. Note that you are allowed a maximum of 180 days in any 12 month period.
Exiting Zimbabwe to another country for any length of time will mean you have to buy another visa to re-enter Zimbabwe (unless you have a double entry which allows you to enter the country twice, or the new Univisa, see below). Note a trip onto the Victoria Falls Bridge (between the Zimbabwe and Zambia border posts) does not affect your visa status as you don not officially enter another country - see our section on the Victoria Falls Bridge.
At the end of 2014 Zimbabwe and Zambia introduced the joint Univisa, costing US$50 and valid for 30 days. The visa allows holders to tour Zimbabwe and Zambia without restriction, and also includes Chobe in Botswana. British and Canadian nationals just visiting Zimbabwe should note that this is a cheaper option than their normal Zim-only visa!
The Univisa allows visitors to Victoria Falls to witness the waterfall from both the Zimbabwean and Zambian sides of the river, and there a several activities which can only be done on one side or the other. It is also useful if you are flying to/from Livingstone Airport in Zambia, but holidaying in Zimbabwe.
If successful the Univisa is expected to be expanded to include Namibia, Botswana and Angola in 2015. For latest news on visas check Victoria Falls Bits and Blogs (external link, opens in a new window).
Travellers to Zambia should note that South Africa currently requires to see proof of Yellow Fever inoculation for travellers entering SA who have travelled in Yellow Fever listed countries, and Zambia is unfortunately on their list, despite only a few historical cases of Yellow Fever and no recorded outbreaks. In fact in December 2014 the World Health Organisation declared Zambia 'Yellow Fever Free', so hopefully SA will update its entry requirements accordingly soon. For latest news on visas check Victoria Falls Bits and Blogs (external link, opens in a new window).
Zimbabwe is not a Yellow Fever range country.
In common with many other countries it is recommended that your passport is valid for at least six months from date of entry, and that you have at least a couple of blank pages left. You should also have proof of your return travel details to your home country, or evidence of sufficient funding to over such arrangements, especially if extending your visa over the initial 30 day period.
Victoria Falls Bridge border post: Opens from 06:00 until 22:00 daily
Kazangula border post: Opens from 06:00 until 20:00 daily