Crossing Livingstone to Harare Zimbabwe
Crossing Livingstone to Harare, Zimbabwe via Victoria Falls
1) From the city center in Livingstone to Victoria Falls (VF) is a 10 minute ride . My hostel, Fawlty Towers offers free shuttle to VF every 10 am in the morning so I was able to take advantage of this. Otherwise, private taxi costs 50 kwacha; 10 if you can get a shared taxi.
2) The shuttle/ taxi will drop you off right at the entrance of Victoria Falls park, Zambian side. If you are just crossing to Zimbabwe side, you don’t have to pay the park fee of 20 USD. You simply walk towards the only road ahead and stop at the Immigration of Zambia to your right and have your passport stamped out.
Immigration of Zambia and the Border
For Philippine passport holders: Note that for single entry Zambian tourist visa holders, once you exit the Zambian border, you cannot re-enter because Philippine passport holders need a visa BEFORE arrival in Zambia. This can be applied online but it take days.
Likewise, Philippine passport holders also require visa BEFORE arrival in Zimbabwe. This can also be applied online but again, it take days as well. Hence, remember the following unless you want to be stuck in between borders:
○ Do not exit Zambian border if you are not holding a visa acceptance letter from the Immigration of Zimbabwe
○ If you only hold a single entry Zambian tourist visa, don’t cross Zimbabwe or you will be denied re-entry in Zambia
3) Once out of the Zambian Immigration, continue to the same road ahead. You will walk through a road with massive trucks and every now and then vehicles would cross so be vigilant and walk on the side.
4) You will arrive at the Victoria Falls bridge. Continue walking all the way to the end for another 200 meters.
5) After you cross the bridge, just continue all the way ahead to the Immigration of Zimbabwe, Victoria border. All in all, the walk from Zambia Victoria side to Zimbabwe Immigration border is about 20 minutes. I suggest not to cross the border at night because it’s quite a walk and the surrounding area is not well lit. More so, you don’t want to miss the amazing view from the bridge as you walk past.
Note that you can also take a taxi but you would have to transfer 3 times as follows:
- From Livingstone town to Zambia border
- From Zambia border until the end of the bridge in Zimbabwe side
- From the end of the bridge in Zimbabwe side up to the Immigration of Zimbabwe
These are very short trips that will cost 1 to 2 dollars per ride so unless you’re carrying too many luggage, on foot is the best way to go. My 50kg body is carrying a 9 kg backpack and 7 kg frontpack and although I was sweating in the end, I wouldn’t say I suffered. Besides, it’s also a rewarding experience to have walked through the border.
6) At the Immigration of Zimbabwe, present your passport along with the printed copy of your visa acceptance letter and pay the corresponding fee of 30 USD (as of November 2015) to get your visa label.
7) At the exit of the border, you can find a taxi for around 5 USD that will take you to the bus station OR like me, find a way to hitch-hike. This guy is a friend of the guard in the immigration who happened to be headed to my destination.
The buses to Harare leaves at night. I booked Easy City bus for 25 USD and it leaves at 7pm to arrive in Harare around 8am the following day. There are other bus operators that leaves at 8 and 9pm as well.
8) If you have a lot of time to kill before your bus departs at night, you can easily squeeze in to see Victoria Falls from Zimbabwe side for a 30 USD park fee. Otherwise, there are plenty of shops around Victoria town but wifi is not always guaranteed.
9) Make sure to be back on time for when your bus departs at the scheduled time and you may want to grab a take away dinner because I don’t remember the bus stopping for evening meals.
10) There will be 2 or 3 stop overs for toilet breaks but note that by toilet break, I mean the bus stops in the middle of nowhere and the women goes at the back of the bus to pee on the road while the men takes the front. Welcome to Africa.
11) Upon your arrival in Harare, there will be taxis waiting and to the city center should cost 5-7 USD per vehicle.
Zimbabwe uses dollars as its main currency but their money is really filthy that no other country wanted to exchange my remaining dollars after I left Zim. I suggest that you spend the grime ones before you leave!