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Can You Fly a Drone in Zimbabwe?

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Zimbabwe in southern Africa features safari areas, nature reserves, parks, the Victoria Falls waterfall, national parks, and the Zambezi River.

It’s a country worth visiting for many, yourself included. You’re interested in taking your drone on your adventures.

Can you fly a drone in Zimbabwe?

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe permits drone use in the country, but you must follow all CAAZ laws and regulations. Register your drone before your trip, obtain an approval letter, and have insurance.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know to fly a drone in Zimbabwe, including what you need to do before and during your trip for safe travels.

Make sure you don’t miss the great info we have for you ahead!

Before you fly – Prepping for your trip to Zimbabwe #

When visiting another country, especially for the first time, you must plan and prepare in advance.

CAAZ, Zimbabwe’s civil aviation organization, requires pilots to apply for flight approval through them 30 or more days before their planned arrival in Zimbabwe.

When applying, you must share pertinent details, such as:

  • The details of your planned flights, including where you want to go and when
  • How long you plan to stay in Zimbabwe
  • Details of your drone use experience, including how long you’ve flown drones
  • Which country you’ve registered your drone (assuming you have registered your drone)
  • Information on your drone, including its specs, weight, manufacturer, serial number, and model
  • Your full name and address

You might also have to send in photos of your drone, including cameras and other special features.

Further, CAAZ will do a background check on you, so it helps if you have a clean record. If you don’t, you might not receive flight approval.

If you get approved, CAAZ will outline precisely where in Zimbabwe you can use your drone versus where you can’t. Make sure to follow those guidelines when you fly.

If you have yet to register your drone, you must do that before you leave for Zimbabwe. You can register in your home country.

Next, you have to pack your drone for the flight.

We recommend a bag or storage case that meets the dimension requirements of a carry-on or checked bag according to the airline you’re flying through.

This way, you can carry your drone on your person, reducing its risk of theft and damage.

Bring plenty of spare batteries but take them out of your drone before you enter the airport. Be forewarned that Zimbabwe prohibits raw lithium exports as of 2022 unless you have written permission.

That can make transferring batteries into the country difficult. You can always buy batteries once you arrive if your drone uses lithium-based batteries.

» MORE: Can You Bring a Drone to Mauritius?

Just don’t purchase too many, as you won’t be able to take them back home with you.

Can you fly a drone in Zimbabwe? #

CAAZ allows drones to fly in Zimbabwe, but the requirements to do so vary depending on whether this is your native country.

Besides requiring drone pilots from other countries to receive approval from CAAZ before entering the country, CAAZ also mandates these pilots to apply for a Temporary Import Permit.

You’ll have to go through the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to obtain your TIP.

Drone laws and regulations in Zimbabwe #

CAAZ has a series of drone rules and regulations which all pilots must obey. Before you arrive in Zimbabwe and launch your drone, make sure you’re privy to these rules.

You must have a valid drone license #

To apply for a drone license in Zimbabwe, you must be 18 or older.

CAAZ issues the test one takes to obtain a license. The exam requires your mastery of drone rules in Zimbabwe.

You’ll pay a one-time fee of $300 (unless you have to take the exam again, then you must pay the fee a second time).

The test takes about two hours to complete. If you pass, CAAZ will issue you a Zimbabwean drone license.

» MORE: Can You Bring a Drone to Kenya?

Register your drone #

CAAZ uses some confusing verbiage about whether it suffices to have a drone registration from another country or if you must register your drone in Zimbabwe as well.

We recommend contacting CAAZ by phone or by email or visiting their website for more information.

The phone number to reach CAAZ is +263 4 585 073, and the email address is

Commercial pilots must have permission (and often permits) to operate #

While CAAZ allows commercial drone use in Zimbabwe, you must have permission through the aviation organization.

The same formal steps as mentioned earlier in this guide apply.

You’ll likely need more than CAAZ permission for drone photography and videography but a permit too. You should also register your drone with CAAZ as a commercial pilot.

You must have insurance #

Drone insurance isn’t optional in Zimbabwe. CAAZ requires insurance to protect you if you crash your drone when using it in the country.

However, CAAZ does not specify how much the insurance policy should be, so contact them and ask.

By the way, the drone insurance rule applies to commercial and recreational pilots alike.

Do not fly over 120 meters #

Zimbabwe drone laws restrict drone pilots from ascending beyond 120 meters or 400 feet for the protection of manned aircraft.

Stay within 3 miles of an airfield or airport #

CAAZ prohibits drone use closer than 5 kilometers or 3 nautical miles from any airfield or airport in Zimbabwe.

Those include:

  • Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport
  • Victoria Falls Airport
  • Joshua Mquabuko Nkomo International Airport
  • Kariba Airport
  • Hwange National Park Airport
  • Masvingo Airport
  • Zvishavane Airport
  • Mutoko Airport
  • Grand Reef Airport
  • Mutare Airport
  • Mount Darwin Airport
  • Kwekwe East Airport
  • Marondera Airport
  • Kotwa Airport
  • Hwange Town Airport
  • Gweru-Thornhill Air Base
  • Buffalo Range Airport
  • Centenary Airport
  • Chipinge Airport

You must have permission to fly at night #

If you were planning on some night flights in Zimbabwe, you’ll have to take that up with CAAZ. The flight authority mandates that pilots have permission before taking to the skies at night.

Using your drone at night without CAAZ approval is illegal. There are far too many safety hazards at night such as low visibility that can disorient pilots and cause drone crashes.

You must keep your drone within the preestablished distance #

You can operate your drone between 500 and 1,000 meters or 1,640 to 3,280 feet only if you have a qualified visual observer and CAAZ permission.

In all other instances, you must fly your drone within your natural visual line of sight.

You must use an altimeter #

Besides abiding by the drone altitude rules mentioned earlier, your drone must have an altimeter so you can review its altitude as you fly.

If you cannot affix an altimeter to your drone or it doesn’t come with one by default, you have to obey CAAZ’s toy drone rules.

Those limit your drone height to 300 meters and your horizontal distance to 500 meters.

You must always be able to maintain VLOS on your drone when following toy drone rules.

Zimbabwe is a fantastic country to visit with your drone, as CAAZ allows foreign pilots to enter the country and fly.

However, you must apply with CAAZ at least a month before your trip and obtain permission.

You’ll also need a permit if you operate your drone commercially. You might have to register your drone in Zimbabwe.

When visiting another country, we recommend downloading and relying on a drone map to guide you on your travels. The map will detail no-fly zones, usually in red.

Do be aware that CAAZ’s approval might allow you to enter zones that a map will say is off-limits in some instances.

However, make sure you have all your required paperwork on your person, including CAAZ permission, your drone license, and your registration in case you’re asked to produce it.

Safe travels!


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