Garden Lodge is how far away from The Kazungula/Zimbabwe border

by Garden Lodge
(Kasane)

Please advise how far away this camp is from the Kazungula/Zim border and can a transfer company access this camp from the borders or do they have to drive first into Vic Falls

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Apr 20, 2016
Kasane to the border
by: Tony

Garden Lodge is in the town of Kasane on the Chobe and is therefore about 10kms from the Kazangula border with Zimbabwe.

Yes transfer companies will take you either from the Lodge to the border or to Victoria Falls if you want. They can cross the border but sometimes they arrange a bus on either side of the border post.

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CAN YOU SAFELY ARRIVE FROM STH AFRICA OR BOTSWANA IN A STH AFRICAN RENTAL CAR?

by DAVID
(SYDNEY AUSTRALIA)

DAVID@MIDASOFT.COM.AU

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Jul 14, 2015
Yes you can
by: Tony

Hi David

Yes you can. Your rental company should be able to provide you with all the necessary papers. Please see requirements below:

Requirements to bring a vehicle into Zimbabwe for holiday purposes
. Original or Police certified copy of vehicle registration book and a certified letter of
permission to use the vehicle if the registration book is not in the drivers name.
. Non Zimbabwe vehicles pay a Carbon Tax valid for 30 days. Cost depends on engine
size.
Below 1500cc US$6
1501 to 2000cc US$11
2001 to 3000cc US$15
3001cc and above US$30
. 3rd Party Insurance - cost approx US$30 for the 1 month. Purchase at the border.
. T.I.P - (Temporary Import Permit) No Charge. Issued at the border
. C.V.G (Commercial Vehicle Guarantee) About $120 for Hire Vehicles
. Road Access Fee – US$10 per light vehicle per entry into the country. Purchase at the
border.
. Zimbabwe law requires that all vehicles have 2 x white round reflective tape on the front
bumper and 2 x 6 inch red reflective tape on the rear bumper. You can get fined if you
don’t have these.
. New law (effective June 2011) states that vehicles must have two red warning triangles
and a fire extinguisher with SAZ ( Standards Association of Zimbabwe) approval. Full
details

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Pathfinder November schedule

by Linda
(Usa)

Are you running the posted bus route both ways between Vic Falls and Bulawayo for this entire month of November?

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Nov 10, 2014
Pathfinder bus schedule
by: Tony

Hi Linda
Please note that we are not pathfinder and we have no control over their schedules. From what I understand they are having problems with their buses at the moment and that they have reduced the number of buses that they are running from Harare to Victoria falls. Now only going to Vic Falls on a Friday and going to Harare on a Sunday. They tell me that this is temporary and that by December they will be running their normal scheduel again.
It would be best to phone them to confirm + 263 7788 88883
Email: tarisaim@pathfinderlx.com

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cross border 4x4 vehicle requirements

Hi Tony,
We will be leaving on Teusday 16th Sept from Richards Bay to Vic Falls via Chobe and Kazungula border post.
I need details regarding the CVG FOR 4X4 vehicles. We will be travelling in a 4x4 double cab which is registered in my name and for which we have the necessary registration papers.
I have read that this is not a requirement for private vehicles, but also have read that 4x4's are classified as commercial vehicles.
Will I need a CVG, if so, where and how is this obtainable and any idea on the cost?

Please, it would be greatly appreciated if you could come back as soon as possible - our time is getting a bit short.

Many thanks,
Kind regards,
Gary Querl
Richards Bay


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Sep 18, 2014
4x4 requirements for Zimbabwe
by: Tony

Hi Cheryl

4x4 might be classified as commercial vehicles in that they should have a full red reflective tape across the whole back of the tailgate but you do definately NOT require any other commercial vehicle documentation. If it's your vehicle and you are driving then you reuqire the vehicle registration book only. If it's on hire purchase then you need a letter of authority from the finance house. You can buy Zim insurance at the border if you haven't already bought it from the AA in SA. Carbon tax and road access fee purchased at the border.

Sorry I am late in replying... been away. Hope you have a good trip

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Questions on Purchasing Railway Tickets V. Falls to Bulawayo

by Mack
(Seattle)

My group of four plans to travel by night train from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo. We know we must buy our tickets the same day of travel.

We will be traveling on a Tuesday.

1. What time does the railway ticket office open?

2. Do the berths in the train sell out quickly? Is it safe to purchase our tickets an hour or so before departure, or should we arrive early in the morning?

3. Do all members of our party need to be present, or can one member purchase tickets on the others' behalf?

Thanks for the info!

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Jun 18, 2014
Train tickets
by: Tony

Hello Mack

I don't know the answer to all your questions... sorry. Impossible to phone and find out so I will have to go down to the station and see what I can find out for you, I will post back here once I have the details.

Regards Tony

Jun 18, 2014
Victoria Falls to Bulawayo train tickets
by: Tony

Hello Mack

I have been to the train station and found the information you require.

1) The ticket office hours are 7am - 10am and 14.30 to 18.45

2) Impossible to say how quickly they will sell out on any given day, depends on time of year etc, but there are not many 1st class booths available, sometimes they only have 1 carriage and sometimes they have 2 carriages each carriage only has about 7 booths. In each carriage there are 2 bed booths and about 2 x 4 bed booths. So I would say essential that you get a booking in early on the day of travel. What the man said is you can phone first thing in the morning on the day of travel and reserve your places then you can arrive at any stage in the day and make payment even at 18.30. They will hold your booking for you. The number to phone is (013) 44390. Train departs at 19.00

3) Not all members have to be there one of you will suffice.

You are correct in saying that you can only reserve tickets on the day of travel no advance booking is possible. 1st class tickets cost $12 per person one way.

Hope that helps
Regards Tony

Jun 18, 2014
Thank you!
by: Mack

Thank you so much, Tony! You have gone above and beyond to assist me with my question, and I very much appreciate this valuable information. Victoria Falls Guide is the best resource for the area that I've found on the web!

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Vic Falls self drive ex jo'burg

by Ashley
(Gauteng)

Hi

My friend and I would like to do a self-drive to vic falls and I would like to know if a standard diesel BMW 3-series would be suitable for this trip?

Do the game parks have tour drive packages?

Where are the best places to stay en-route?

Thanks
ASHLEY

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Apr 03, 2014
Driving Johannesburg to Victoria Falls
by: Tony

Hi Ashley

Yes if you stick to the main route you would easy and comfortably do this in a BMW 3 series.

Depending on where you stay the lodges in the Game parks usually arrange game drives.

I don't really know your preferences but I would recommend visiting on route Matobo Hills (either Amalinda or Big cave camp). Then stop at Hwange - there are multiple accommodation options dependant on your budget. Good options on the side of the park that you will be coming from include Bomani/Camelthorn lodge, Ivory lodge, Sable Sands, Elephants Eye and The Hide.

From Hwange its only another 175kms to Victoria Falls where once again there is a large choice of accommodation dependant on budget and prefereneces. In Victoria falls you can do all sorts of game activities with organised tour operators that means you wont have to use your car.

On the way up to Zim I would avoid Bietbridge and come through Botswana, via Martins drift through Franscistown and the Plumtree border post. If you need any help in arrranging the trip or getting more information regarding places to stay please don't hestate to contact us.

Regards
Tony

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Pathfinder schedule - changed ??

by Christina
(Bellville, RSA)

When I visit Zimbabwe later this year I was planning to fly to Vic Falls, later on take Pathfinder coach to Bulawayo and 48 hours later on to Harare.
According to most sources Pathfinder coaches run between Harare and Victoria Falls each day, in both directions; and between Harare and Bulawayo twice daily. But today I checked the Pathfinder web page and says that they run from Victoria Falls to Harare on only 4 days a week . And from Bulawayo to Harare is not even mentioned - maybe the Vic Falls to Harare coaches will stop in Bulawayo and pick up passengers, but that is not stated.
Do you perhaps know which schedule is the current and correct one?
Thanks

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Feb 04, 2014
Pathfinder bus schedule change
by: Tony

Hi Christina

Pathfinder have indeed changed their schedule I have update our Pathfinder page to the correct details as of 4.2.14 please take a look.

pathfinder bus

Feb 04, 2014
Pathfinder
by: Christina

I notice that Pathfinder has changed its web page again between the time of my question and your reply. The table now makes sense although it calls for some guessing. Thank you, Tony - not sure if you talked them into correcting it or not.

Feb 05, 2014
Pathfinder rates
by: Christina

Me again. Have a look at the rates given by Pathfinder now- also changed quite a bit.

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Visiting Victoria Falls in January 2014

by Allan
(Scotland)

I will be spending 3 weeks as a solo traveller in South Africa in January, hoping to visit Victoria Falls as part of an itinerary which will include Sabi Sands, Isandlwana and ending by touring the Garden Route to Cape Town, where I have to be by 1st February. I aim to arrive on a BA flight from the UK in Johannesburg on either the 17th or 18th January and thought the easiest way to put my itinerary together would be to fly directly to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe side) after arriving in Jo'burg, spend 1-2 days there and return to Jo'burg to set off for Sabi Sands - does this sound sensible, rather than having to double back from eg Kruger or Durban to Victoria Falls?

If so, I'd appreciate advice on how easy changing planes from an international flight in Jo'burg might be and how long I should leave as a connecting time. Or would it be more sensible to stay overnight in Jo'burg?

How long would be best to stay at Victoria Falls? I thought of taking one of the direct flights which arrive at VFA early afternoon, spending 2 nights and returning to Jo'burg on the midday flight.

What accommodation near the Falls that offers transport to/from the airport and organised tours can you recommend?

Any other thoughts on my proposed itinerary also welcome!

Thanks

Allan

Answer:

Hi Allan

You have posted quite a detailed question, so I will respond to you, but might take me a couple of days.

Best wishes

Tony

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Nov 21, 2013
Scotland to Victoria Falls reply
by: Tony

Hi Allan

Sorry... my couple of days turned into a lot longer as I then did a 4 week tour through the Zambezi Valley where there is no internet connection. I am now back in Victoria Falls.

Firstly, yes it makes sense to go to Victoria Falls at the beginning of your trip to save doubling back but also we have found that if you book flights all the way through with one airline carrier it works out considerably cheaper. We have just booked my son who is living in London on a return flight to London to Victoria Falls via Johannesburg and the saving was huge compared to booking a flight to Jhb and then a seperate flight to Vic Falls. We found that BA were quite expensive and yet the South African airlines was a very reasonably priced.

Joburg airport only has 2 terminals A international and B domestic and they are quite close to each. You will be on international flights both times so you shouldn't have to change terminals, infact if you book with one airline like SAA then you can check your bags all the way through to Vic Falls without collecting them in JHB. If for some reason this is not going to work for you then leave a minimum of 3 hours between flights, this should be more than ample. Spending an extra night in Joburg seems like an unnecessary cost and time waster. If the UK flight arrives at around 7 or 8 am in the morning there is plenty of time to catch the flights that leave around 11 am for Vic Falls.

An ideal length of time for the Falls is 3 to 4 nights as there really is a lot to do and see here, but if 2 nights is all you can spare then it's still worth it. You are able to do an activity like a helicopter flight or Sunset cruise on the day you arrive, then you have one full day in which to see the Falls and maybe do another activity and the on the morning you leave normally at about 10am there is time to do something else if you wish.

Most of the larger hotels offer airport transfers but they are normally quite expensive, the town is 22kms away from the airport. You can arrange a transfer with one of the transfer companies or through us which costs $14 each way. They will collect you from the airport and drop you at any of the hotels in town.

A time saver though is to catch your own taxi for $30 this means that as soon as you clear customs you can jump in the taxi an head off. If you are on a transfer you might well have to wait for everyone else who is booked on the same transfer.
Also make sure you sit in the front of the plane so that you can be one of the first ones out and therefore at the front of the immigration queue.

As far as which hotel to stay at or which activities to do these are completely dependant on your style, budget likes and dislikes, if we can help give any further advice in this regard please contact us and we will be more than glad to give advice and make the bookings if you need them.



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Pathfinder bus

by Mary Cole
(East London, South Africa)

We would like to catch the Pathfinder from Vic Falls to Hwange Safari Lodge. I saw it advertised on your website. When I enquired I was told one had to go in person to make a booking at their offices. How do people outside Zimbabwe manage to book?

Answer:
by Tony

Hello Mary

This is indeed not that easy, because you have to pay in advance to secure your seat but they don't have online payment facilities and if you leave it till you get there the chances are that the bus will be full and that can mess your plans up dramatically.
I have spoken Tarisai in the Victoria Falls town office and he says that he can accept Western Union money transfers as a form of payment, I am not sure how expensive this will be but at least it will work.
Although we don't do this as a standard practice, I guess if you were stuck you could pay us through our online system and we could then go down to the pathfinder office and hand over the cash for you to secure your booking. We would have to add on a small handling fee oF about $5
Tarisai's email is tarisaim@pathfinderlx.com
and his telephone numbers can be found on our pathfinder bus page
Let me know how you get on.

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