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Going Through Immigration and Custom… in Theory!

Lights from Johannesburg from the Airbus A380...

Lights from Johannesburg from the Airbus A380…

This is correct procedure for going through immigration and customs with a rented car. Unfortunately, it might be slightly different, especially if you decide to go through Beitbridge

  • First of all, buy a Gate Pass for the car (blue paper, 10 USD). This one will have to be stamped by almost everyone!
  • Line up at immigration – if you need a visa, have 30 USD ready (more for US & British citizens…)
  • Buy a 3rd party insurance from one of the touts. We paid 700 South African Rands, probably way too much. For doing that, you need the papers of the car as well as a letter saying that you are allowed to take it into Zimbabwe.
  • Pay the Carbon Tax.
  • Get your Temporary Import Permit and keep it with you at all times: you will have to show it quite a few times at road blocks.
  • Go to the Custom Office and have your Gate Pass stamped.
  • Outside, custom officers will inspect the car. Or not, they obviously don’t bother with tourists…
  • Exiting show your blue, stamped Gate Pass before AND after the gate!
  • Then you are in Zimbabwe…


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