I flew to Zimbabwe (via London and Johannesburg) on British Airways. I don't know if that's the best way, but it's the way my frequent flyer miles were on!
Riding was a great mode of transportation while we were there. This photo is me on my horse Calypso. We also did some flying around the country in small twin-engine planes--sit up front like I did, and maybe the pilot will let you fly the plane too!
I did a 100% rent-a-car trip from Harare to the east, Chimanimani, then down to Birchenough, west to Masvingo then Bulawayo, then Hwange National Park. I dropped off the car at Victoria Falls.
No problem by car. Roads are definitively NOT crowded !!!!
If you happen to be in the major cities in South Africa, they have regularly scheduled flights to Victoria Falls, some direct others with a stop in Hararre. During the peak tourist seasom there are some charter flights from South Africa as well. If you are hiking through Zambia, you can cross the bridge into Victoria Falls.
In one of my trips to Vic Falls, I was fortunate to have a friend who helped arrange a flight on a restored DC-6 from Jo'burg. The charter company based in Namibia operates flights between South Africa, Namibia and Victoria Falls. If you are interested in aviation history check out the site below on the DC-6.
If you arrive in Hararre, and have time the best way to get to Victoria Falls and in general visit the many game parks and nature reserves found in the southern part of the country is by taking a bus or a private chartered mini-bus.
There are many airlines that fly to Zimbabwe and this is not a problem. We flew from Tanzania with Air Tanzania.
Going to Victoria Falls from Harare It is best to Fly. We went on a day trip which included the flights,a guided tour of the Falls,Lunch on cruise up the Zambezi river, and our flight back to Harare.
We flew with Air Zimbabwe on a direct flight from Johannesburg International to the Victoria Falls. No problems anywhere. The flight is 90 minutes. They upgraded us to business class on the return flight - thanks guys!! See http://www.airzim.co.zw/ for more info.
We used taxis to go where we could not walk. Make sure that you agree on the fee with the driver before you leave.
Zimbabwe has an excellant public transport system so you should have no problem getting a bus to wherever you wanted to go. It is also relatively easy to travel overland into other countries by bus or by train.
It´s very easy to get to Vic Falls, as it has an international airport, and good roads to get from Botswana.
A passport, return ticket, and adequate funds are required when entering Zimbabwe, plus US$30 per person if you don´t carry a visa, depending on the nacionality (a good surprise when you get to the border).
Upon arrival in Zimbabwe, travelers should keep all travel documents readily available, as well as a list of residences or hotels where they will be staying while in Zimbabwe.
There is also an airport departure tax of 20 U.S. dollars which most of the citizens must pay, including holders of official and diplomatic passports
In general the state of transport in Zimbabwe is:
- Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
- Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
- Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
- Availability of Roadside Assistance: Fair
The main roads throughout Zimbabwe are generally well-maintained and access to service stations is good. Inter-city commuter bus travel, except by 'luxury coaches,' is dangerous due to overcrowding, inadequate maintenance and drivers who fail to adhere to local speed limits or obey traffic rules or regulations. The drivers are frequently fatigued after driving for long periods of time without mandatory rest stops.
Travelers should exercise caution when driving at night as there are pedestrians (in dark clothing) and animals walking in the roads, which are poorly lit. Motor vehicles on the road at night often have no headlights or taillights.
Traffic moves on the left, and most persons drive over the speed limits. The passing lanes are not always clearly marked, and road visibility at times can be restricted. Few roads outside the urban areas have shoulders or a breakdown lane. Drivers are not required to wear seat belts or helmets if driving motorcycles, and car seats are not required for small children.
Provincial hospitals in rural areas are not equipped to provide medical care in case of a serious accident. Travelers should consider packing several pairs of latex gloves should they wish to help victims of a road accident involving serious injuries or bleeding, as Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection in southern Africa.
The Ministry of Transport is the government authority responsible for road safety in Zimbabwe. There is no national established network of roadside emergency service. However, the Automobile Association of Zimbabwe, is willing to provide roadside emergency service to non-members for a fee.
Travelers interested in contacting the service during their stay in Zimbabwe may contact AA Zimbabwe at 263-4-752-779. AA Zimbabwe's 24-hour emergency roadside helpline is 263-4-707-959.
Depending on where you are from Balkan Bulgarian Airways operates from London and Amsterdam 2x a week to Zimbabwe via Sofia. The Sofia stopover is one of 4 and takes 6 hours. This is a very good airline and the prices are unbeatable. From London tickets costs US$ 600.
Busses and trains are a good way to get around in Zimbabwe. Trains connect Harara, Balawayo, Mutare and Victoria Falls. 3rd class by train is cheaper than the express busses.
Balkan Bulgarian Airways is a good and inexpensive airline. This airline Flys from London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol via Sofia to Zimbabwe. The trip takes about 23 hours due to the 6 hour stopover in Sofia and another 3 stops along the way.
There are a lot of busses going to all the surrounding cities and villages of Harare. The train Ti Victoria Falls is the most confortable way to get there though.
If you are flying directly into Zimbabwe, this is probably the best way. If you are travelling by road especially from South Africa, through the Beit Bridge border, be advised that there are usually huge delays on the Zimbabwe side. I am not sure if they have upgraded their system since I was last there but all the paperwork is done by hand and it is a VERY busy border post. It is nothing unusual to queue for a number of hours. It is best to plan your trip to arrive early in the morning. (Check the opening times)
By plane is the only way I know, though I suppose you could take a ship (though I do not think, being inland, that there are any ports.)
When I was last there we rented a car. This seemed to be the most common type of transportation used by volunteers, and it worked quite well (though I might add that the entire process goes best the more people that you have that are able to drive a standard shift car; automatics seem to be unknown in Africa.)
I recomend that you fLY into Harare, even if your if your coming from other sourthern Afican countries. The train goes to Harare from other nearby countries, such as South Africa, only once a week. The bus, on the other hand, is extrmely slow and take longer to clear customs at the border crossings. Also, the bus driver and his relief watch videos while they are driving which makes it even slower because when an action scene comes up they slow down to a crawl and watch intensely. The movies are American 'C' rated, at best, and are so bad and gross that all the mothers with children have to cover thier children's eyes and ears. Fly-definately-Fly!
In towns, local taxies-safe-good price. For week-long stays in country, rent a car. MANGUM and ELIET are the most reasonable, but still expect to pay 40-60 USD per day. WARNING! When renting a car make sure you check ever dent and scratch very carefully (interior/exterior)and record it on the rental aggrement or when you return the car-you may get blamed for any pre-existing damage. IT'S a BIG Scam.
The 70 km road from Botswana to Victoria Falls takes about 45 minutes. The taxi drivers are waiting outside the immigration office, and will approach you when you get out of the immigration office. They will ask for 30-40 USD to Victoria Falls. The normal price is 30 USD, but I think you can bargain the price even more. I recommend to pay the price and have a happy driver who can be co-operative. There are a lot of wild animals on this trip. Ask if he can stop when you see the animals. Also ask if he can assist you to find some guesthouses in Vic Falls.
The 70 km road along the south bank of the Zambezi river from Kazungula border to Victoria Falls is inside a national park. The trip takes about 45 minutes. There are a lot of wild animals on this trip.
If you thinking of arrive and taking taxi in zimbabwe well you may just find that taxi have no fuel at the moment, lets hope things change soon for this country.
Make sure if you arrive that you have a collection! to your hotel
Zambezi River, 80 km from Victoria Falls, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Good for: Solo
Corner 3rd Street/Jason Moyo Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
service was allright rooms are very basic, clean but a little used the restaurant was a posivtive...more