Victoria Falls, the town, is in the western portion of Zimbabwe, across the border from Livingstone, Zambia, and near Botswana. This popular tourist destination offers both adventure seekers and sightseers plenty of opportunities.
Getting in and out
- British Airways and South African Airways all offer daily flights between Johannesburg (JNB) and Victoria Falls Airport (VFA). Air Zimbabwe also offers flights between Victoria Falls Airport and other destinations within Zimbabwe.
- The roads within Zimbabwe are relatively good. The most direct way to Victoria Falls overland is from Bulawayo.
- It’s possible to drive in through Livingstone. Crossing an international border with a vehicle, however, will incur extra costs like carbon tax and insurance. Very annoying is the time consuming and disorganised procedure of obtaining a ‘temporary import permit’ for the car at the Zambian boarder posts. Once at the Zimbabwe boarder post the whole procedure is to be repeated, though a bit faster but also expensive,
- If travelling from Namibia or Botswana the best road is from Kasane in Botswana using the Kazungula border post. Distance to Vic Falls is 70 kilometers.
- There is a direct train route, running every night, between Vic Falls and Bulawayo. The cost for a first class ticket is negligible — about US$ 6.00; but don’t expect first class first world standards. (Second-class tickets are available, as well, but why bother?) This is a memorable way to travel — the cars were built in the ’50’s in England — although sleeping on the train does not lend itself to a deep, restful sleep. On the other hand, arriving in Bulawayo or Victoria Falls in the morning, with the day ahead of you, is a real treat. (A tip to make the ride more pleasant: buy a bottle of wine in the local grocery store and enjoy it as you view the countryside.)
If you stay in the swanky hotels downtown — or even some of the budget accommodation options just outside the downtown area — walking is manageable. Most of places are between one to three kilometers away from the Victoria Falls. Some of the hotels in Vic Falls are not really in Vic Falls. For these places, you will need to have private transportation or to call a cab. Cabs are plentiful, and should not cost more than US$ 6.00 for a ride; you should bargain. Most accommodation have their own transfer services.
The local currency Zim Dollar is no longer in circulation; since March 2009 a multi currency system has been officially introduced by a new unity government as it is called. No more black-market money-changers, if you meet one it’s a cheat trying to rip you off. You can use CASH – US Dollars, South African Rand, Botswana Pula and Euro to pay; credit cards are still not accepted widely, but that might change soon