If you are in Zimbabwe then you probably have noticed something about borehole drilling, at least I have. On average, a week does not go by without a sighting of a borehole drilling truck passing by. It goes to show you how the borehole drilling industry seems to be thriving. Even more, I have noticed that there are more and more players that have entered the space. Additionally, it is also evident more and more people are drilling or seeking to get boreholes drilled for them. With all that said it is why in this article I shall be discussing how to start a borehole drilling business in Zimbabwe.


The operating model for a borehole drilling business is straightforward for the most part. You procure the necessary equipment, put together a business framework and start looking for clients. Essentially you would do best to enter contractual agreements. You could enter such agreements with construction companies or individual clients. Individual clients can range from individuals looking to get a borehole drilled at their homestead to even institutions e.g. schools, industrial sites and the like. Apparently, you would have to make a great name for your business such that you are always landing clients on a regular and consistent basis. Networking will be of utmost importance!

Key Requirements

The key component is the drill rig – there are several different types though. The choice you settle for is mainly determined by the nature of boreholes or wells or plan to specialize in. Drill rigs can be bought new or second-hand ones. You could also choose to hire though buying yours would usually be the best fit. You will also need stuff like pumps, pipes, storage tanks, test pumps, filters, valves, and a wide range of fittings. Protective clothing will definitely be needed.

Human Capital

Borehole drilling is somewhat labour-intensive. A single borehole drilling operation can require 10 or so people – this will usually be a mix of skilled ones and general hands. You can somehow reduce your human resources costs by outsourcing where possible. The most important is to ensure you have experts work on the core aspects – no shortcuts!

Financial Capital

Significant financial capital will be needed, no doubt. Plus it being a relatively labour-intensive entails more operating costs. Just to give you an idea – a borehole drilling machine can cost roughly US$30000.


Evidently, the market is there given how many players are coming onto the scene. However, you will have to be smart about where to look, how to look, and how to land clients. You have to conduct thorough market research so that you know where to target. Having an online presence will also augment your marketing operations. After all, this is a type of business that thrives on the success of your previous completed tasks. If you invest in producing sterling work you will find satisfied clients making you known.

Important Things To Consider

Borehole drilling is highly specialized so it is not to just done anyhow. Did you know that drilling boreholes has implications on seismic activity? That means if too many boreholes are drilled in one area that can upset the seismic balance and possibly lead to tremors. What does that tell you? It tells you that there are rules or laws you should abide by. You must approach local authorities before embarking on any borehole drilling venture. They will give you the necessary guidance plus also ensure you consult with experts given how highly technical the domain is. Do not forget also that the rig, being the main component of the drilling process, requires regular maintenance. Be ready to put money towards that and religiously do that if you are to see your rig lasting long.

Bear in mind that the type of drill rig you settle for can have implications on how you transport it. In Zimbabwe, most drill rigs are mounted on trailers or trucks. It would be expedient to check with relevant authorities such as VID or ZINARA to see if your trucks can move on the roads. Where applicable, there might be licensing requirements to be adhered to first.

Overall, there are due processes to be done before drilling commences. There will be experts that have to survey and assess the intended spot of the borehole. There will also be a series of tests that have to be done e.g. an aquifer test – meant to find out the projected yield of the borehole. Always make sure such due processes are done for every project.

A borehole drilling business involves several variables so business losses are possible. This is because you might operate blindly whilst being oblivious of certain aspects central to your cash flows. Just so know, the cost of drilling a borehole is never cast in stone – it varies from borehole to borehole. Some of the factors to consider in determining how much to charge a client are terrain, depth to be drilled to, type of borehole, and the mechanical plus human resource needs, amongst others. If you manage to talk to other businesses already in operation you can learn quite a lot.