🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all law links and known rules about recreational and commercial drone use in Zimbabwe (Harare & Victoria Falls). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in The Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.
Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe does not seem to differentiate commercial & recreational drone use - see our post to differentiate recreational vs commercial drone usage. However, both are subject to restrictions & a strict code of conduct. Additionally, depending on your drone's weight & your destination within the country, different rules will apply.
✅ In Zimbabwe, drone laws falls under the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) & they can be contacted anytime via:
Phone: (+263) (24) 258 500 9-20
Mail: P Bag Cy 7716 Causeway, Harare
Can I bring my drone to Zimbabwe?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Zimbabwe as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
Where can I fly my drone in Zimbabwe?
✅ We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in Zimbabwe "If you have more information about this, please share it in the Forum". Thankfully, app.airmap.io has listed all flight zones in a convenient way organised in a 3 color legend.
Zimbabwe drone fly map
🚨 You should not fly above or near military installations & strategic infrastructure. Fly away from airports & any aerodromes or airports in the country
🦅 National parks & reserves are on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities.
Recreational & Commercial Drone use in Zimbabwe
🚨 In both case, you will need to register & obtain a permission to fly your drone. Note that only citizens or permanent residents & local entities can obtain a drone permission in Zimbabwe. Once registered, you will also need a license to hold a license to fly your drone.
Additionally, you must fly:
at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the ground & within sight at all times.
away from private property, vehicles in movement, people or large crowds & respect individuals' privacy.
a drone weighting less than 20 kg.
fly a drone that is equipped with an altimetry system or equivalent that is capable of displaying the altitude & height on a live basis (e.g. DJI Mavic Air).
fly your drone only with the manufacturer's approved accessories (no homemade).
after a full check of your drone's capacity of flying (make sure nothing is wrong on it).
at least 5 km away from airports (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft or helicopter take off & land) & give way to all other type of aircraft.
away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first responders.
avoiding sensitive areas including government or military facilities.
🚨 If your drone gets damaged during a flight, only the CAAZ can authorize if its airworthy certificate is still valid, thus allow it to fly again. You should additionally report it within 24 hours to the valid authorities.
How to register my drone in Zimbabwe?
🚨 Note that only citizens or permanent residents & local entities can obtain a drone permission in Zimbabwe. Additionally, if your drone is already registered in another country, this make it non eligible for registration according to Zimbabwe authorities.
If you're importing your drone from overseas
It can be a challenging process as you will need to obtain a pre-clearance approval of the CAAZ at least 30 days before your arrival by sending your full contact details, all info about your drone as well as where it is registered today. Finally, don't forget to specify why you're importing your drone, for how long & where do you intend to use it in Zimbabwe.
👌 Once approved, your permit will be valid for 3 months from date of issue.
How to obtain my license to fly my drone in Zimbabwe?
Before anything, to be eligible you need to:
be at least 18 years young
give a self declared medical assessment report
have a certificate of proficiency in Radiotelephony
be fluent in English
Your application for a drone license in Zimbabwe needs to be done by contacting relevant authorities at least 30 days before intending to undertake a practical test. Be aware that a fee will be ask at this time before approval.
✅ Once issued, your license will be valid for 2 years.
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Zimbabwe?
The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. However, local authorities specify that it might involve one or more of the following:
a fine (up to level 10)
imprisonment time (up to 3 years)
Once you've got everything in order, you can start flying above Zimbabwe's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:
✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in the Zimbabwe! Have fun and safe flight!
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations.
Zimbabwe drone fly map (Airmap link).
Civil Aviation Regulations 2018 (December 2018)