Is Gweru Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On February 18, 2024
Gweru, Zimbabwe
Safety Index:
59
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Gweru, Zimbabwe is a beautiful city with friendly people.

Zimbabwe is considered a third-world country.

However, Gweru is a modern city with an industrial center.

It’s nicknamed “The City of Progress”.

The area is also known for its education system, including colleges.

There are many reasons to visit Gweru, including Antelope Park and the warm weather.

However, before you pack your bags, you’ll need to know if it’s safe to go to Gweru.

Warnings & Dangers in Gweru

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM

Gweru, Zimbabwe is a relatively safe city. Zimbabwe is one of the safest countries in Africa, and Gweru is no exception. However, there are some concerns. There's a large poor population, so theft and pickpocketing can occur. Violent crime in the city is low in most areas. The people of Gweru are friendly and welcoming. However, officials can harass foreigners, including U.S. citizens. Corruption is very common in Zimbabwe. Malaria and other diseases are common in Gweru, so you'll need to take steps to protect your health. Civil unrest can occur. Natural disasters are another concern. Cyclones and flooding can occur in Gweru, which poses a threat to your safety.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM

There are some issues with public transportation in Gweru, Zimbabwe. Kombis, which are similar to vans or small buses, are the main mode of public transportation in Gweru. The roads in Gweru are not in great condition, and many vehicles are not road-worthy. Some drivers are not properly licensed, and may not have the knowledge and experience needed to drive safely. Buses and rail are also ways of getting around, but these typically travel from city to city, rather than inside the city.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: HIGH

Pickpocketing, purse snatching, and petty theft can occur in Gweru. Residents advise complying with the thief to avoid any physical harm. These criminals are typically just trying to survive, and are unlikely to hurt you. Some residents claim that simply yelling at them will often get them to run away.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: HIGH

The risk of natural disasters in Gweru, Zimbabwe is high. Flooding is the most common natural disaster. In 2023, Gweru set aside the equivalent of $600,000 in disaster preparedness in its budget. They did this because of massive floods over the last few rainy seasons. Storms with heavy rain can bring flash foods. Epidemics are another big concern in the area, including malaria, cholera, HIV, and tuberculosis.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

The risk of mugging and other violent crimes is low in Gweru. The people are generally friendly and welcoming. However, you should use caution when out at night, because crime, particularly violent crime, is more likely to occur. You should also avoid areas that are deserted.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM

The risk of conventional terrorism in Gweru is low. However, there is a concern about political unrest. In Zimbabwe, it's illegal to speak out against the government or the president. Rallies and demonstrations may be stopped by force, which causes them to turn violent.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM

Cybercrime is an issue in Zimbabwe, including Gweru. Phishing and identity theft do occur. Travelers sometimes encounter fake travel agencies. You can check the legitimacy of your travel agency with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. They have all legitimate travel agencies listed on their website. Police will sometimes ask for bribes. This typically only occurs if there's a problem with your paperwork or your vehicle. If you aren't legal, they will request a bribe in return for not citing you. However, if you have everything in order, there's no reason for a bribe.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

Women are not at high risk when visiting Gweru. However, you may get extra attention and questions, as it's rare to see women traveling alone there. You should avoid traveling at night and stay in well-lit areas. It's also smart to travel with others, but you should be safe on your own.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

Gweru does have a water treatment facility. However, there can be supply issues. The aging infrastructure also means that the water quality is not always reliable. Given these issues, you should boil any tap water before using it, or stick to bottled water. Infants, the elderly, and pregnant women should use extra caution and avoid drinking untreated or boiled tap water.

Safest Places to Visit in Gweru

Gweru is generally safe to visit.

However, there are some nicer neighborhoods that you should check out.

Windsor Park

Windsor Park has upscale homes and is a suburb for middle and upper-class families.

The area has plenty of parks, restaurants, and shopping malls.

Mtapa

Mtapa is a bustling suburb that has people from all economic classes.

It’s well known for its markets, where you’ll find fresh produce, clothing, and handmade crafts.

The area also has the Mptapa Flea Market which features crafts, antiques, and jewelry.

Antelope Park

Antelope Park is a quieter area.

In addition to nice homes, Antelope Park has a large nature preserve where you can see lots of African wildlife.

Places to Avoid in Gweru

There are some areas of Gweru that are known to have higher crime rates.

You should avoid Mkoba, Ascot, and Senga because they have higher rates of crime.

These areas may also be less sanitary.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Gweru

  1. Keep Doors and Windows Locked. Gweru is a relatively safe area, but you’ll still want to keep your doors and windows locked. This applies to your hotel room and your vehicle. There are incidents of people being assaulted or having things stolen while they are driving in their vehicle, so keep your doors locked even when your car is moving.
  2. Avoid Being Out After Dark. If you can, avoid going out after dark. Gweru, Zimbabwe is generally very safe during the day, but crime rates are higher at night. If you must go out, stick to populated areas and avoid deserted or dim locations.
  3. Use Caution When Leaving a Bank or ATM. Mugging is rare in Gweru, but you’ll still want to be cautious when withdrawing money from an ATM. Having cash can make you a target for criminals.
  4. Get Vaccinated. The CDC recommends being up to date on your vaccines before traveling to Gweru. Routine vaccines include chickenpox, flu, MMR, and Covid-19. You may already have these vaccines. However, there are other vaccines that aren’t routinely given in the U.S. that you will need. These include cholera, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Rabies.
  5. Take Malaria Precautions. You’ll also need to take malaria precautions. Malaria is transmitted by infected mosquitos. You should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Insect repellents and mosquito nets are also recommended. Along with these precautions, you should begin taking malaria medication before your trip, and continue after you return home. Your doctor can prescribe the best malaria medication for you.
  6. Be Careful with Food and Drink. Avoid drinking untreated tap water in Gweru. You should also be careful when ordering a drink with ice, because the ice may be made with contaminated tap water. You should also take care when buying food, particularly from street vendors. Zimbabwe has delicious food, but not all vendors take proper food safety precautions.
  7. Sign Up for STEP. STEP stands for Smart Traveller Enrollment Program. The program is offered for free by the U.S. Embassy. It will connect you with the U.S. Embassy in the area you are traveling to. You’ll get alerts about weather and potential security or safety issues. It’s also easier to reach you in case of an emergency. You can sign up online.
  8. Don’t Travel Alone. It’s best to travel as part of a group or with a partner. Even though Gweru is considered a safe city, there is a risk of crime in any area. When you are alone, you are at an increased risk of being targeted by criminals.
  9. Secure Your Valuables. Theft is the most common type of crime in Gweru. If you leave your valuables easy accessible, you may lose them. If you leave items in your hotel room, you should put them into a safe. Do not leave them in plain sight. When you are out, avoid displaying valuable items unnecessarily. A cross-body bag or backpack offers more security than a purse because these are harder to snatch. If you carry a wallet, keep it in your front pocket.
  10. Keep Personal Information Safe. Identity theft is a problem in Zimbabwe. Be sure to keep your personal information, including your passport and ID, safe at all times. You should keep these documents with you, or carry a photocopy, and place the originals in a safe location like a hotel safe.

So... How Safe Is Gweru Really?

Gweru, Zimbabwe is a pretty safe country to visit.

According to the Department of State, you should exercise increased caution when traveling to Zimbabwe.

They mention crime and official corruption as the reasons for concern.

In general, you can feel safe when visiting Gweru.

It’s a great idea to use caution when traveling to Gweru, or any other new location.

As long as you follow the tips listed above, you should be safe in Gweru.

How Does Gweru Compare?

CitySafety Index
Gweru59
Harare66
Victoria Falls60
Mutare59
Bulawayo57
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

You'll need both a passport and a visa before entering Zimbabwe. You can get a visa at the border. You can get a 30-day visa for $30, a 45-day visa for $45, or a 12-month multiple-entry visa for $160. If you plan to enter Zimbabwe from South Africa, you'll need at least 6 blank passport pages. You'll need a page for South Africa for each entry and exit, and for entering and exiting Zimbabwe. You'll also need a return ticket before getting your visa.

Currency

Currency

You can use U.S. currency in Gweru, in addition to Zimbabwe's Bond currency. You'll want to have many $1 and $5s. It's best to prepay for flights and hotels because many places do not accept credit cards.

Weather

Weather

Gweru has a humid subtropical climate. Temperatures are typically mild, ranging from 56 to 74 degrees throughout the year. Extreme temperatures are rare, but can be as low as 39 degrees and is high as 100 degrees.

Airports

Airports

Gweru does have an airport, known as Gweru Airport (FVGW). To fly in from another country, you'll need to fly to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ / FVBU).

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance isn't required before visiting Gweru, but it's strongly recommended. A comprehensive travel policy will cover any medical and legal expenses you may encounter, including evacuation if necessary. It will also cover minor mishaps like lost baggage and canceled flights.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Gweru Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 21° C
Feb 21° C
Mar 20° C
Apr 18° C
May 16° C
Jun 13° C
Jul 13° C
Aug 15° C
Sep 19° C
Oct 21° C
Nov 21° C
Dec 21° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
272626252321212427282826
Low
°C
15151411854610131415
High
°F
817979777370707581828279
Low
°F
595957524641394350555759

Zimbabwe - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Bulawayo57
Gweru59
Harare66
Mutare59
Victoria Falls60

Where to Next?

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