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Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Pietermaritzburg...
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Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Hi all,

I'll be travelling from South Africa to Bulawayo around early to mid-September. Our bus will arrive in Bulawayo at 8am.

1. Is there anything interesting in Bulawayo? Will it be necessary to spend the night there as I was planning to head straight to Victoria Falls from there?

2. Are there minibus taxis or buses from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls? How frequent are they? If I decide to do a half-day tour of Bulawayo, can I get a minibus taxi or a bus to Vic Falls at 3pm? How long does it take to get there?

Your advice and assistance will be highly appreciated.

Thanks,

Lerato

Silver Spring...
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1. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

1. Matopos National Park is very interesting, very. Spend the night if you wish to see the park. As for a city tour, not too much to see, we did see the museum. The highlight of the area is Matopos. We stayed at Garda Lodge and loved it.

2. There are buses from Bulawayo to VF and the old overnight train.

Pietermaritzburg...
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2. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

I did have Garda lodge as the first option should we decide to stay overnight.

Alternatively we can do the Matopos National Park during the day and be on the overnight train to arrive at Vic Falls the next day.

Thanks for the advice RV429!

Quainton, United...
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3. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Bulawayo is a pleasant, relaxed town.

Go to the railway station and book a sleeper on that night's classic sleeper train, leaves Bulawayo station every night at 19:30 and arrives Victoria Falls classic railway station at 09:00, give or take an hour or two delay - if you're lucky it'll be 4 hours late, and you'll watch big game from the train as it crosses Hwange park.

In Bulawayo, the reservations office is open 07:00-10:00 & 15:30-18:45 on Mondays-Fridays, 09:00-10:00 & 16:30-18:45 on Saturdays & Sundays.

The fare is just $15 in a 1st class sleeper with clean bedding.

It's an amazing albeit decrepit train, with original 1952 and 1958 built sleeper carriages, the former wood-panelled, still with RR (Rhodesia Railways) etched on the mirrors above the sinks in each compartment (which may or may not have running water).

The traditional and classic train ride to the Falls should not be missed, it's the real adventure.

Pietermaritzburg...
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4. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

This is insightful...thank you so much! We'll defninitely take the train.

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
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5. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

The train does not go every day, so check ahead. Also, don't take the train if you are on a tight schedule as delays are common, but it is a good cheap night's accommodation ! It would be a great shame to be in Bulawayo and not visit Matopos whilst you are in the area. It would be better to spend a night there than in Bulawayo - 2 nights is better - fantastic scenery and plenty history.

Quainton, United...
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6. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

The Bulawayo to Vic Falls train runs every day, certainly according to all recent reports.

Edited: 28 July 2013, 13:34
Silver Spring...
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7. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

RatoRay, With your bus arriving at 0800 you'll want to go get your ticket to the train right away as first class does sell out. If no first class is available just buy out an entire second class cabin which we did for around $40. The train is "funky" and old for sure, slowly stopping at every cow pen. Only in the a.m. do you see anything, mostly the captive elephants as you approach VF. The toilets do get dirty and back up, bring your own tissue and food. Only thing for sale was an old guy with cold drinks and beer.

To see Matopos I would advise getting in touch with a tour operator in advance of your trip to set up your safari. Because of your arrival time you will need to get a special trip or maybe a 1/2 day afternoon trip into Matopos. Doing an overnight is probably the best idea so you are not rushing around and missing anything. We really loved the history and animals of Matopos and Garda lodge is excellent, best breakfast in Africa.

Gaborone, Botswana
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8. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Sorry, I can't resist it! RV429.. How much was the old guy? :-)

Silver Spring...
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9. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Cheap, lol. Beer and soda cheap too.

Pietermaritzburg...
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10. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Thank you so much for the info. It will be extremely useful. :-)