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Logistical Help Please

Durban, South Africa
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17 posts
8 reviews
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Logistical Help Please

Hi

I'm planning a trip to Zim. Leaving from Durban, SA.

Would like to cross through the Botswana border then through to Zim border.

1) What is the best route to take to get to Botswana? Should we spend a night on the SA side. What time are the borders operational?

2) What is the best place to cross the border through?

Then we're driving to Matapos National Park. Thinking about sleeping over in Bulawayo and then doing a day trip to Matapos the next day. Is there a better way to do this? Is there anywhere to stay in the park?

Then driving through to Hwange. Would like to spend 2 nights in the park. Any suggestions? What are the better camps? Are they safe and clean?

Then driving up to Vic Falls. Going to stay at the Elephant Hills Hotel. Will spend 2 nights there.

Then going on the Kariba Ferry to Kariba. Looking for 3 nights accommodation in Kariba. Was hoping to stay on a house boat but nobody seems to let them to couples? Not for a reasonable price anyway. Thought of staying at the Caribia Bay Hotel otherwise.

Then driving home, through Harare and past the Great Zimbabwean Ruins. How long is the driver from Kariba to Harare? Would we make it all the way to the ruins in one day? Is there accommodation near there anyone can reccomend?

Then homeward bound. Whats the best spot to exit Zimbabwe without spending hours and hours at a border post?

Any comments, suggestions, advise would be highly appreciated!!

Thanks

Heidi

Victoria Falls...
Destination Expert
for Victoria Falls
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809 posts
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1. Re: Logistical Help Please

Hello Heidi

In my opinion your best route is to go N3 north via Jhb, skirt around Jhb and take the N1 North at Modimolle (Nylstroom) take the R33 toward Ellisras and then the R510 through to Martins Drift border post. These R roads are quiet and nice to drive on.

You will have to be the judge as to how far you want to travel in a day. It is quite a long drive. There is not much decent accommodation around the border post area. There is however good accommodation in Palapye in Botswana 90kms from the border post, which is where we try to make it through to in one day and can be done if you leave early enough.

From Palapye travel north through Francsistown and then onto Plumtree border post into Zimbabwe. Its then only about 110kms to Bulawayo. If you stay at Palapye you can easily get to Matopos in one day, without having to spend the night in Bulawayo.

There is very nice National parks accommodation in the Matopos National park and this is a fantastic Park and I am sure you will Love it.

The south side of Hwange National Park is the best around the main camp area. Here is a map of Hwange victoriafalls-guide.net/map-victoria-falls.h… . The accommodation options at Hwange are The Hwange Safari Lodge ( hotel) run by Zim suns perfectly operational but just a bit run down or there is National Parks accommodation at Main Camp. Clean, safe and functional. Not sure if you have camping equipment with you if you do it is well worth staying at one of the private camp sites like Kennedy or Ngweshla. Luxury accommodation is available at The Hide.

If you can spend longer than 2 nights at Vic falls I would recommend it there is so much to do and see there.

Yes houseboats do seem to only cater for 6 to 8 people I haven't found one yet either which suits couples. Carribea bay is very nice and again run by Zim Suns. If you are not staying on a houseboat I would think 3 nights at Kariba is a bit long, there is not much to do there except relax. Of course there are places like Fothergill and Spurwing which are fantastic.

Kariba to Harare is 365 kms and is about a 4hr drive on good roads and Great Zimbabwe is about another 300kms further so you could do that in one day. Again the national park accommodation at Lake Mutirikwi close to Great Zim I think is okay.

Your shortest exit is through Beitbridge and really is the best way even though it is a horrible border post. Going south is much quicker and easier than coming North. You don't say when you are travelling as this does make a difference for instance don't go anywhere near that border over the Xmas period.

If you have all your paperwork in order you will have no problem. Don't let the so called "helpers"/runners" help you, they cause more problems than they are worth and you end up fighting with them because they want so much money.

Durban, South Africa
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17 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: Logistical Help Please

Wow Boo! Thanks for such a detailed and thought out response!!

I wonder if you'd know. I can't seem to find any info on Matapos National Park. In terms of available accommodation, entrance fees etc. Do you have a website link for it by any chance?

Thanks again!

Heidi

Victoria Falls...
Destination Expert
for Victoria Falls
Level Contributor
809 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Logistical Help Please

The Zim parks website gives some info http://www.zimparks.org/ the new name for Matopos is Matobo. Not sure if their rates are updated. I can send you the 2011 schedule if you need it.

4. Re: Logistical Help Please

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