Transport Facilities

Zimbabwe has a modern and efficient rail and road transport network linking it to principal ports in Mozambique and South Africa as well as to all neighbouring countries.

The national airline and several international airlines provide regular scheduled services between Zimbabwe and Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Air Zimbabwe also provides scheduled services within Zimbabwe and the sub-region.



Import and export formalities and border procedures for road motor transport have been improved following the computerisation of customs documents procedures and the implementation of common customs documentation in PTA countries. For heavy goods vehicles the PTA Carriers License obviates the need for road motor service permits for vehicles of PTA member states travelling in PTA countries. A bilateral agreement with South Africa has also been concluded permitting easy access for road haulage vehicles between the two countries.

An integrated port-rail-road system and a network of freight forwarding and shipping agents and road transport brokers ensure competitive rates for handling and storage of freight. While a comprehensive system of rail tariffs applies, road haulage rates are dictated by market forces.

The movement of transit cargo requiring rail-road trans-shipment will be enhanced with the establishment of Export Processing Zones in the near future.

Commercial Goods Transport

The sector represented by the Transport Operators Association has over 100 companies with a combined fleet of more than 4 000 vehicles ranging from nine tonnes g.v.m. to over 1 500 50-tonne g.v.m. vehicles with a payload of 28 or 32 tonne depending on vehicle configurations. The sector is a major


A number of companies specialise in internal transport, including highly developed "collect and deliver" services linking the main commercial centres daily. Some have specialised fleets for specific cargo. The cross-border haulage fleet is one of Zimbabwe's principal foreign currency earners, grossing more than Z$600 million annually. Vehicles ply all routes in the sub-region from Cape Town to Luanda and Nairobi. Some 80 percent of all tonnages moved in the SADC region are moved by road.

Major trunk routes linking Zimbabwe with neighbouring countries, as well as linking all the commercial centres internally, are fully paved and of modern design.


The rail network, supplemented by the National Railways of Zimbabwe's (NRZ) Road Motor Services, handles the bulk of Zimbabwe's imports and exports and links the country to principal ports in South Africa and Mozambique. The railway company is administered as a parastatal under the Ministry of Transport and Energy.

The network also serves a large proportion of cargo destined for Zambia, Zaire and Malawi. Regular passenger services are provided linking the main centres in Zimbabwe. In addition, there are scheduled passenger services to Botswana and South Africa.

The total tonnages moved by rail in 1993 were as follows:


Local 6 691 433

Import 1 730 884

Export 1 854 515

Transit 314 266

Total Tonnage 10 791 098

Transit traffic is through traffic over the NRZ's lines for Zambia, Zaire and Malawi or vice versa. A total of 2 349 062 passengers travelled by rail during 1993 and 1994.

The system is undergoing modernisation and re-equipment under a World Bank-funded programme. Already 13 new diesel electric locomotives have been commissioned and 64 shunt locomotives are being re-engined. Steam traction used on the main line from Bulawayo to Zambia continues to be a tourist attraction.


The national airline, Air Zimbabwe, is a commercial body administered by the Ministry of Transport and Energy. Equipped with a modern fleet of Boeing 737s and 767s and BAe 146 aircraft, it provides regular internal connections to Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo as well as to the principal tourist destinations of Victoria Falls, Hwange and Lake Kariba. It also provides direct services to various African destinations and to Australia.

The wide-bodied B767 200-ER aircraft provide connections to various destinations in Europe as well as to South Africa, Mauritius and Kenya. A number of established regional and international carriers have scheduled flights to Harare.

Affretair, the national cargo airline, has DC8 jet aircraft equipped to handle specialised cargo for destinations worldwide. Facilities include a 200 tonne cold room at Harare Airport.

Work on a new, modern international airport is progressing in the capital, Harare. A similar, though smaller, terminal has been built in Victoria Falls to improve facilities for tourists.

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