Zimbabwe power adapters - what plugs are used in Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe power outlet

What adapter do I need for Zimbabwe?

You will need to pack a Type G plug adapter [3] for Zimbabwe if your plug doesn't fit into a Zimbabwe power outlet.

The type of power adapter, converter or charger that you'll need to use when visiting Zimbabwe all depends on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to charge in a Zimbabwe power outlet. If you're not sure which voltage your device can use then please read the section on how can you tell if you have a dual voltage or single voltage device first.

  • Be prepared for regular blackouts and limited access to power in some areas of Zimbabwe, it is advised to bring a portable charger [4] if you need to keep your mobile phone charged whilst staying in an area without power or during a power cut.
  • If you're planning on visiting Zimbabwe from America you will need to bring a suitable power adapter to fit a US plug in a Zimbabwe power outlet. As the voltage is different in Zimbabwe you also need to pack a power converter for Zimbabwe if your device isn't dual voltage and check that it can work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device can run on 220 volts or is dual voltage and your plug will fit in a Zimbabwe power outlet then you can use it in Zimbabwe without needing a plug adapter.
  • If your device is 220 volts or is dual voltage but your plug won't fit in a Zimbabwe power outlet then you'll need a suitable plug adapter for Zimbabwe such a Type G plug adapter [3]. Be aware that a plug adapter for Zimbabwe (or power adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Zimbabwe, but isn't designed to convert the voltage from 220 volts to use with another voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 220 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll also need a power converter for Zimbabwe to convert the voltage from 220 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You'll still need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Zimbabwe if your power converter doesn't use the correct Type G plug adapter.
  • If you simply want to power one or more USB devices such as tablets or mobile phones then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it will work with any voltage, however make sure that you choose one which has a Type G plug adapter otherwise you'll also need to use a suitable plug adapter for Zimbabwe.

Warning: If your device won't handle 220 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device. Prior to using your device in Zimbabwe please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Zimbabwe power adapters

Power adapters for Zimbabwe

When packing for a trip it is helpful to know in advance if you can use all your electrical devices when you get there. By not knowing which power supply is being used in Zimbabwe you are more likely to bring the wrong power charger, therefore having to purchase a suitable adaptor when you need to recharge. Various standards and sockets can often lead to confusion when planning on staying in a different country, especially if you've never visited before. However this isn't as complex as it appears, with only a handful of different types of plug sockets used in the world this article tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to power your electronics in Zimbabwe. This page contains links to instructions showing you exactly which power adapters you'll need to supply power to your devices when going to Zimbabwe by using their types G or D Zimbabwe 220 volt 50Hz power outlets, a majority of Zimbabweans will typically use Type G wall outlets. You will find power sockets are different depending on which area you are travelling to therefore we recommend reading the power adapters page for a full list of countries.

What is the best power adapter for Zimbabwe?

The best power adapter for Zimbabwe will be a Type G power adapter [3] which is suitable for powering any 220 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for Zimbabwe?

What is a power adapter?

Power adapters are compact and lightweight plastic adapters that permit a wall outlet in Zimbabwe to accept a power plug from an appliance from a different region.

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter for Zimbabwe allows visitors travelling from another country to use electronic appliances in Zimbabwe by adapting the shape of the power plug from one type to another.

Do I need a power adapter in Zimbabwe?

If the power plug that you are using isn't the same as the type of plug outlet in Zimbabwe then you will need a power adapter.

Can a power adapter change the voltage in Zimbabwe?

Power adapters will only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 220 volt Zimbabwe power outlet and doesn't convert the power to a different voltage. If you need to safely use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance then you will also need a step down power converter for Zimbabwe.

Will I need a plug adapter for Zimbabwe if I'm from the US?

If you are visiting from the US bring a plug adapter for Zimbabwe as an American plug won't physically fit into a Zimbabwe power outlet, and because the voltage is much higher you will also need to use a power converter for Zimbabwe if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage to prevent overheating or damage.

Where can I buy a power adapter for Zimbabwe?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for Zimbabwe?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Electrical adapters for Zimbabwe

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Universal travel power adapter

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Perfect when travelling to multiple countries. Most models function in around 150 countries.
  • All in one compact design. Both lightweight and small, around $15 USD.
  • There are some universal travel adapters that include multiple charging ports for USB electronics built in.
  • Relatively straightforward operation.
  • There are some universal travel power adapters which have a surge protector built in which will protect any electronics from being overloaded by unstable power grids.
  • The pins retract so don't get caught against other items when packed in luggage.
  • The universal travel power adapter should still be of use domestically as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so will fit in a Zimbabwe power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • A universal travel adapter will overload when used with high powered electrical appliances; for example clothes irons, hair straighteners, kettles, curling irons or hair dryers.
  • The internal moving parts such as pins and shutters might be fragile on some models which could make them prone to failure on your trip.
  • Can only charge a single plug.
  • A universal travel power adapter might not be fully universal - adapters might not work in some countries with less common power outlets.
  • Lacking a built in voltage converter means it won't be suitable for non-220 volts devices.
Power Plug Adapters

A small and lightweight type G plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Bringing a Type G plug adapter [3] will work in Zimbabwe.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Cheapest option, with prices around $7 USD.
  • Light and small.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • Should you intend to visit more than one country then you may need to pack more than one type of plug adapter for other countries.
  • Only changes the actual shape of the plug to fit in a Type G Zimbabwe power outlet and doesn't alter the actual voltage; if your appliance doesn't support 220 volts and isn't dual voltage then you'll still need to pack a separate voltage converter.
  • Only 1 plug adapter for each plug - for each individual device or appliance you wish to use you'll also need to use a separate power adapter.
  • Some hotel rooms in Zimbabwe might only have one power outlet, so you will only be able to power a single appliance at a time.
  • If you need to power any USB device then you also need to pack a USB charger.
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB travel wall charger

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Perfect if you only have to charge devices which use USB.
  • You only have to bring a single unit instead of packing lots of domestic USB power chargers costing around $18 USD.
  • Supplied with swappable adapter heads making them versatile in a large number of countries. The interchangeable adapter heads supplied with USB wall chargers are usually small and lightweight making them easy to fit into hand luggage.
  • Offers surge protector built in.
  • When you get back to America the charger will still be useful.
  • The swappable heads will fit in Types A/B, E/F, G and I outlets so will work in a Zimbabwe power outlet.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • Because it only has USB outputs you won't be able to charge electrical appliances, just USB ones.
Travel Power Strips

A travel power strip kit

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Capable of powering several electical appliances at once via a single plug socket, costing on average $30 USD.
  • Some types of travel power strips have voltage conversation for lower wattage devices (for example laptops). Even if the appliance isn't dual voltage it will still function in Zimbabwe by using just a travel power strip, making them a lightweight and cheap alternative to a dedicated voltage converter.
  • Normal models will also include multiple USB charge ports.
  • Offers surge protection. The voltage from power grids in certain areas can be tempremental, a sudden power surge can damage your delicate electrical items. Some power strips will include a surge protector which will prevent your device from being overpowered by an unstable power grid.
  • When you return to America it should still work.
  • US and Canadian power strips include Type A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N plug adapters so should work in Zimbabwe. (Note: UK power strips include type B, F, G and I plug adapters so you will need to use it with an additional plug adapter.)

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • Unlike normal voltage converters, the voltage converter on a travel power strip doesn't convert higher wattage appliances such as hair dryers or curling irons.
  • Because of their size travel power strips might be unsuitable for hand luggage.
  • Travel power strips could be considered excessive for travellers with only a small number of items that need powering.
Plug Adapter Sets

A power plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • With prices between $15-$20 USD an adapter set typically works out more cost-effective purchasing than buying multiple $7 plug adapters.
  • By bringing every type of plug adapter ensures that you are covered for all countries.
  • For travellers visiting multiple countries this is ideal.
  • Includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N adapters so should be compatible with a Zimbabwe power outlet.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Will involve some planning; prior to any trip you will need to decide which plug adapters they'll need, if you don't know every country you'll be visiting you'll need to bring each adapter type along.
  • Lots individual adapters to pack.
  • The remaining power adapters will be useless using up packing space.
  • Not all plug adapter types are typically included (especially rarer adapters), so check that your set has an adapter that works with a Zimbabwe power outlet.
  • Each plug adapter only modifies the actual shape of the plug and don't modify the actual voltage.
Voltage Converters

Voltage converters offer surge protection

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • It only changes the 220 volts in Zimbabwe and not the actual shape of the plug to slot in a Zimbabwe power outlet, you will still be required to pack the right type of plug adapter.
  • The normal size and weight of most models of voltage converters makes them impractical for hand baggage.
  • Useless when you return from Zimbabwe.
  • Often less expensive and more practical to purchase a dual voltage travel appliance than to purchase an expensive voltage converter just in order to power your existing appliance abroad.
  • Costly - on average $128 USD.
  • When you travel to Zimbabwe from the US then you will need a power converter as the voltage from a Zimbabwe power outlet is 220 volts.

Comparison of electrical adapters for Zimbabwe

Type G Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Zimbabwe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included G A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 50+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type G Zimbabwe power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Type G plug adapter required to fit in a Zimbabwe power outlet Yes
Useful when you return to America Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 220 volt AC appliance in Zimbabwe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Typical price $7 USD $15 USD $18 USD $30 USD $19 USD $128 USD
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Zimbabwe power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Zimbabwe?

Type D and G power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Zimbabwe?

There are two types of power outlets used in Zimbabwe, these are type G and D with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type D - This power socket (technically known as a type D power outlet) can be identified by the three holes in a triangular pattern for live, neutral and ground.
  • Plug Type G - You can recognise this power socket by the three vertical slots in a triangular shape for live, neutral and ground.

Do US plugs work in Zimbabwe?

No - an American plug won't work in Zimbabwe because it doesn't fit in a Zimbabwe power outlet without using a power adapter. Also, the voltage is 220 volts so you will need to use a power converter for Zimbabwe if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage and check that your device or appliance will work with a 50hz power outlet.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Zimbabwe?

To use a 110 volt appliance in Zimbabwe you will need a step down power converter.

What frequency is used in Zimbabwe?

The frequency of the alternating current from a Zimbabwe power outlet is 50 Hz.

Is the voltage in Zimbabwe the same as in the US?

The voltage which comes from a Zimbabwe power outlet is 220 volts, whereas 120 volts is used in America. If your US appliance or charger isn't dual voltage then you should use a suitable power converter for a Zimbabwe power outlet which allows a 120 volt American device to work with a 220 volt outlet.

Are outlets in Zimbabwe the same as US?

US plugs won't fit in a Zimbabwe power outlet so you will need to bring a power adapter for Zimbabwe. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage please use a power converter for Zimbabwe and check that it works with a 50hz supply.

Does Zimbabwe have many power outages?

There are potentially weekly power cuts in Zimbabwe.

Are power outlets available in Zimbabwe?

In Zimbabwe less than 50% of the population of the country has access to electrical power.

Do I need a portable charger for Zimbabwe?

USB power bank

Do I need a portable charger for Zimbabwe?

As electricity isn't available to 100% of the population of Zimbabwe combined with problems with the reliability of power, travellers should use alternate charging options if they want to continue charging devices such as cellphones or cameras.

  • Whilst travelling to Zimbabwe increased use of mobile phones for taking photos, storing calendars, GPS, social network sharing and streaming videos will syphon off power excessively. Beyond the inconvenience of missed photo opportunities a flat mobile phone battery could potentially leave you stranded without adequate power to make emergency calls or being able to use GPS to find your way back to accommodation. Bringing along a portable charger [4] alleviates those concerns as it means you can keep your cell phone powered on the go, especially when travelling to a country with limited access to power and power outages in some areas.
  • A typical 10,000mAh power bank [4] will store enough energy to power over 3 full days of mobile phone use whilst a 20,000mAh power bank [14] should keep a typical cell phone charged for almost a week.
  • Should you need to charge your laptop in Zimbabwe and it it supports USB-C charging then look for a portable charger for a laptop [15] marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies at least 20 Wh.
  • Please note that some airlines don't let you take batteries on an aircraft that supply 100 Wh of power or more and must not be left in checked-in luggage.
  • Average consumer portable chargers won't work with high wattage items, but a rechargeable hair dryer [12] or gas hair straighteners [13] are available for travelling to areas with frequent power cuts and a lack of access to electricity such as Zimbabwe.
How well do solar powered chargers work in Zimbabwe?

Solar backpacks are ideal in hot countries

How well do solar powered chargers work in Zimbabwe?

The sunshine in Zimbabwe should be suitable enough to recharge solar power bank [17] reliability, but will need to be exposed to strong sunshine to provide adequate power for a single charge cycle. It could prove inconvenient to continually unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges in sunny spells.

  • The bigger durable panels used on a solar backpack [16] give the bag the ability to create more electricity within a faster period of time, making them ideal for the weather in Zimbabwe.
  • A phone that has been directly plugged into a USB port of a solar backpack can trickle charge the power during sunny spells in Zimbabwe, but this might be inconvenient to have a phone continuously connected in the bag during the day if it is to be used constantly. Unlike a small solar power bank which needs to be unpacked and facing the sunlight, a solar bag is usually exposed to sunlight therefore will be topping up a regular power bank [4] during the day.
  • Even though the sunlight in Zimbabwe is strong, a bag should ideally have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or more, be able to generate at least 6 watts of power and be used with a compatible power bank of 10,000mAH or greater.
  • The durable and flexible solar cells used in solar powered bags are designed to endure bending and scratches, unlike normal firm solar cells. Solar bags come in backpack, laptop messenger and rucksack styles which makes them perfect for work, travel and domestic use.

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Zimbabwe chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Zimbabwe?

When you are travelling with more than one device then the best travel adapter for Zimbabwe to buy is a multiple USB adapter which includes compatible plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger [7]. There are two standards of power outlets that Zimbabweans use (G and D) and bringing this ensures that you are covered for type G.

As these chargers are supplied with interchangeable plugs and can handle 100 to 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries around the world simply by changing the supplied plugs. If your model of device is compatible with Fast Charge then you will benefit from much quicker charging times by using one of these types of power adapters, plus compatibility with more power demanding devices like tablets.

This will allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously without needing to bring individual power adapters on your Zimbabwe trip or occupying additional wall sockets. Only needing to bring a single lightweight travel charger will also keep the overall weight down, making it perfect to fold up in hand baggage while travelling as well as being on hand for recharging your devices at the airport or on a plane. Due to their versatility these types of travel adapters can be used when you return home so when you're not on holiday they can sit overnight charging multiple tablets and smartphones and using only a single wall outlet.

If you travel to Zimbabwe we recommend buying an adaptable travel adapter like this online. The multipurpose travel charger illustrated here is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [7] which has been tested successfully for powering multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries on a daily basis.

What USB charger do I need for Zimbabwe?

Why use a travel USB charger for Zimbabwe?

  • Normal travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, meaning you now only need to bring a single charger to charge all your devices. Rather than bring 4 individual power chargers you only need to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 separate devices, thereby reducing the weight and size of your baggage.
  • Travel USB chargers should include swappable plug heads for various countries thereby making them suitable if visiting other countries across Africa which are likely to use different outlets to Zimbabwe.
  • A good power charger is rugged, lightweight and compact - ideal for the rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair in Zimbabwe.
  • USB travel chargers can accept the 220 volt power outlets in Zimbabwe along with other voltage standards across the world.
  • It's possible that hotels in Zimbabwe might only have a single power outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single wall outlet with all your devices rather than having to wait to recharge one device at a time.
  • Because of their flexible nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of travelling to an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets in airports can be in short supply and the demand for charging multiple cell phones before a flight can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is perect.
  • The power grid in some countries can be unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected spikes to prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded smartphone or tablet in Zimbabwe could prove problematic and costly.
  • Larger USB chargers should also include power outlet strips to use multiple low powered devices such as laptops, but please note these are unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Refer to our guide on using travel appliances with a Zimbabwe power outlet for advice and guidelines on the most suitable power adapter for a Zimbabwe power outlet for high wattage appliances.
  • Certain tablets and cellphones could require more than the standard 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Premium USB chargers will support fast charging should any of your devices require additional power.
  • When back at home travel USB chargers can still be used by charging multiple cell phones on an overnight basis using one power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Zimbabwe?

The is the most compact option for travellers from any country who only have USB devices, however for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs the following power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be useful for travellers to counties with unreliable or unstable power grids to prevent damage to any connected devices from voltage spikes. These travel converters come supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Zimbabwe and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable option for travellers originating from America visiting Zimbabwe.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs and offers almost the same functionality as the BESTEK with 1 less AC outlet at almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting Zimbabwe.

Power converters for Zimbabwe

What does a power converter for a Zimbabwe power outlet do?

Power converters for Zimbabwe allow you to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electric device with a 220 volt Zimbabwe power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter?

A heavy and bulky power converter [18] will transform a 220 volt Zimbabwe power outlet to work with a non-220 volt device, but a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Zimbabwe.

Do I need a power converter for Zimbabwe?

When travelling to Zimbabwe from another region check that the device will accept a 220 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step down power converter [10] if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device or appliance won't support 220 volts. See the WikiConnections list of world power outlets guide to find out the voltage your country uses.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already use either a 220 volt single voltage device or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Devices designed for a lower voltage such as 110 volts and used with 220 volts run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you need to charge a smaller electrical device such as a mobile phone as these are normally dual voltage and designed for international use, but please always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For supplying power to high wattage appliances or generate heat (such as hair straighteners or clothes irons) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [19] which allows it to be used with a 220 volt Zimbabwe power outlet.
  • It should be more cost effective to use a smaller robust dual voltage travel appliance than bringing a heavier power converter to Zimbabwe in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read our travel guides on how to use clothes irons, curling wands, flat irons and hairdryers with Zimbabwe power outlets , along with recommendations for affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Do I need a power converter if I'm travelling to Zimbabwe from America?

The voltage from a wall outlet in Zimbabwe is different to an 110 volt American outlet, therefore please use a step down power converter if your appliance or charger doesn't support dual voltage.

What converter do I need for Zimbabwe?

In order to use any 100-120 volt appliance in Zimbabwe you will need to buy a step down power converter [10].

What voltage is used in Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe uses 220 volts in their power outlets.

How to convert 220 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [10] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 220 volt Zimbabwe power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Zimbabwe before plugging that into a Zimbabwe power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 220 volt Zimbabwe power outlet.
What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.
How can I tell if I have a dual voltage or single voltage appliance?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can I tell if I have a dual voltage or single voltage appliance?

A simple method to tell if your appliance is dual voltage is to check for a sticker on the charger or on the unit itself, normally near to where the power cord goes. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your appliance but could also be written on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 240V.
  • Single voltage devices might also say a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a large range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

Substantiations

How we compared products

Typical figures based on top 5 popular electrical adapters for each form-factor from different manufacturers with prices as of October 2018.

  • Power Plug Adapters - Ceptics Grounded Universal Plug Adapter, TESSAN Grounded Universal Travel Power Plug Adapter, Tmvel Universal International Power Adapter Plug, EnriQ Plug Adapter, Ckitze Travel Power Plug Adapter.
  • Universal Travel Power Adapters - BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter, NEWVANGA International Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, Bluegogo Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, HAOZI All-in-one International Power Adapter, UROPHYLLA Universal European Adapter Dual Fuses.
  • Trvel USB Wall Chargers - iKits 4-Port USB Wall/International Charger, LENCENT 4 Port USB Travel Adapter, PISEN USB Wall Charger, Anker 27W 4-Port USB Wall Charger PowerPort 4 Lite, USB Plug Travel Charger Adaptor, Turata 4 Port Universal World Wall Charger.
  • Travel Power Strips - BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip, TESSAN 3 Outlet Surge Protector travel Power Strip, Portable Travel Adapter Power Strip Charging Station, GR-8 Power Compact & Slim Travel Charging Station, NTONPOWER Portable Charging Station.
  • Plug Adapter Sets - Ceptics GP-12PK International Travel Worldwide Grounded Universal Plug Adapter Set, Ceptics World Travel Adapter Set - 11 Pack, BESTEK Grounded Universal Plug Set, OREI 7 World Travel Adapter Plug Set, Ceptics Adapter Plug Set for World Wide International Travel Use.
  • Voltage Converters - Power Bright VC2000W Voltage Transformer Step Up/Down converter, LiteFuze LT-3000 3000 Watt Voltage Converter Transformer - Step Up/Down, SEYAS 1000W Auto Step Up & Step Down Voltage Transformer Converter, Rockstone Power 5000 Watt Heavy Duty Step Up/Down Voltage Transformer Converter, KRIEGER 1700 Watt Voltage Transformer Step up/down 120V / 230V AC outlet American European Converter.

Weight, dimensions, number of AC outlets, number of USB powers and prices were all based by calculating and rounding an average figure for each attribute where known.

Key to electrical adapter comparison

  1. Compatible number of countries based on data from the International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs page (cited November 2018).
  2. Assuming only a single plug adapter from the plug adapter set will be used at any one time in a compatible location.
  3. Depending on if the power strip supports voltage conversion for low wattage items. All travel power strips tested do not convert voltage for high wattage appliances.
  4. Including the device itself, any supplied plug heads and power cords.
  5. Some travel power strips featuring less AC outlets may be small and lightweight enough to be suitable for hand luggage.
  6. Number of items if bringing an entire set of plug adapters for use in multiple locations to cover all eventualities (unless bringing only the necessary single plug adapter).

What type of adapter do you need for Zimbabwe?

Which type of adapter you need for Zimbabwe

The type of power converter that is suitable for Zimbabwe is dependant on your requirements, so before deciding which adapter to bring we recommend using this checklist:

How many electrical devices are you taking to Zimbabwe?

Family may need to recharge devices too

How many electrical devices are you taking to Zimbabwe?

  • List all the items you want to bring to Zimbabwe (such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets, eReaders, hair dryers and curling irons).
    • Allow for more electrical items at a later date. Do you intend on purchasing a new tablet computer next year?
    • There is an increasing number of smaller rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers that utilise USB charging for a power source. Therefore if you have to replace a device it might need a USB power adapter so check that your travel adapter has enough spare ports to power these too.
  • Will you also be travelling with a partner who will need to recharge their phones as well?
What are the types of devices do you need to use with a Zimbabwe power outlet?

A travel shaver

What are the types of devices do you need to use with a Zimbabwe power outlet?

  • There are 3 different types of electrical items:
    • Low wattage electronic items which plug into an electrical outlet - for example laptops or cameras.
    • High wattage appliances which can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example clothes irons and hair straighteners.
    • USB electrical devices which charge using a USB port - for example phones.
  • If you only want to bring along just USB powered devices then you'll find that a travel USB charger is perfect because you'll only need to pack one charger plus some appropriate USB charging cables.
  • Travel power strips are perfect for powering and converting voltage for multiple low wattage devices of any voltage, but unsuitable for high wattage appliances (such as hair irons) which require voltage conversion, potentially damaging it.

Do your devices and appliances work with 220 volt power outlets?

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Zimbabwe?

How many power outlets will be available

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Zimbabwe?

  • Your hotel may have only one power outlet on the wall, this will be an issue when recharging more than one device overnight because you can only recharge a single device at a time then need to swap every few hours.
  • To charge more than one device at the same time we suggest packing either a USB wall charger or a travel power strip which are capable of charging multiple USB ports or power outlets.
Will you only be planning on charging USB devices?

Will you only need USB electronics

Will you only be planning on charging USB devices?

How much can you afford to pay?

  • Cheap power adapters start from $7 which charges only one device from a Zimbabwe power outlet (providing that it is dual voltage or works with 220 volts), but investing in roughly $20 allows you to power multiple devices at once and bring them to various countries.

Are you planning to visit anywhere else abroad in the future?

Is Zimbabwe the only place you'll be visiting?

Will it take you a long time to get to Zimbabwe?

Using a phone in an airport

Will it take you a long time to get to Zimbabwe?

  • For much longer journeys it's worth considering packing an appropriate airport-suitable power charger that can be used with different outlet types, one which can be packed in carry-on luggage and can be used to quickly charge tablets and phones just prior to a lengthy trip.
  • Because not all airlines have power outlets available we recommend bringing a travel portable charger [4] for recharging on the go. After landing in Zimbabwe you could need to rely on a phone for making telephone calls, receiving text messages, using sat nav to find accomodation or reading an itinerary; make sure that your phone will have ample charge remaining.

Does the area of Zimbabwe you are visiting have good access to electricity?

  • Voltage might occasionally fluctuate in Zimbabwe which might potentially cause damage to your devices, so use a power adapter which offers surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • Because Zimbabwe has power outages and having limited access to power in some areas you might find that whichever power adapter you use doesn't function anyway. Using a solar backpack [16] and portable charger [4] will prepare you for a power cut and limited electrical access.
Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Are you bringing just hand baggage

Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Would you like to use your charger when returning to America?

What can I connect to a Zimbabwe power outlet

Travel appliances which can connect to a Zimbabwe power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Zimbabwe power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Zimbabwe power outlet

Mobile phones that can connect to the Zimbabwe power outlet

Apple iPhones that can be connected to the Zimbabwe power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Zimbabwe power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which can connect to a Zimbabwe power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Zimbabwe power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting Zimbabwe, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [20].

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwe - wikipedia.org entry about Zimbabwe.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type G plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type G power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices.
  7. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  8. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries.
  9. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries.
  10. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  12. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  13. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  14. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  15. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  16. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  17. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  18. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  19. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets