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Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Pretoria, South...
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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

Cheltenham, United...
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11. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Hi there, I just wondered if you can book the train in advance or does it have to be done at the station? Thanks

West Molesey...
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12. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Hi, we are planning to take the train when we are over in July 2014. We have two small children. Do you think we should consider another mode of transport?

Queensland...
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13. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Don't bank on yr bus arriving on time at Bulawayo. Beit Bridge border post is a notorious den of corruption and long delays are normal.

London
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14. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Hi there

Just wondering if you ended up getting the train Ratoray and if you had any feedback?

My husband and I are planning to travel in September, Johannesburg - Bulawayo by Greyhound bus (a little apprehensive as reviews are terrible but there doesn't seem to be another overland option) and then from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls on the overland train. Feedback or advice on either leg would be appreciated, are they generally both quite safe?

We are short on time so will unfortunately we will definitely have to take the night train the same day as we arrive in Bulawayo so any suggestions on how to spend a pleasant afternoon in Bulawayo would also be appreciated :)

Many thanks

Boston...
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15. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Hi Skellig86,

I just took the Joburg to Bulawayo overnight bus 2 nights ago and while it wasn't the most comfortable at times, it was fine. It did take longer than expected, we arrived at 11:30am to Bulawayo since crossing the border took about 3 hours. Make sure to have a visa or you can buy one at the border in USD.

Another bus company you can take is Intercape, it also runs the overnight Joburg-Bulawayo route. It was a bit more expensive but when I took Intercape within South Africa it was quite comfortable. It is a Christain busline so as long as a prayer before and after your trip is okay with you, then I would recommend them.

I'll be going from Bulawayo to Vic Falls by bus or train in the next day or two, I'll let you know how it goes!

Queensland...
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16. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

"any suggestions on how to spend a pleasant afternoon in Bulawayo would also be appreciated :)" The National Museum is worth a visit.

Cape Town, South...
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17. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Hi,

Did you get the bus with Greyhound? They told me to get my visa in advance but I can't get it under the evisa system as I am category B and was told that I can only get it at border. I'm wondering if I will still be able to get on the bus?

Any help you can give me would be great!

Harare, Mashonaland...
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18. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

To me Bulawayo is more of a commercial city and not a tourist city. Matopo is out of Bulawayo and going to it is ok if you want to see the balancing rocks and Cecil John Rhodes grave. Otherwise if you really into game then, there is no place like Victoria Falls, the city is a game park itself. At this time of the year, you can even see elephants in city centre.!!!!

Coming to Victoria Falls there are good bus coaches , classy and more reliable. There are also omnibuses which may not be reliable especially if they leave after 2-3pm.If you are unlucky they will leave in Hwange and you look for your own transport proceeding to Vic Falls. The coaches cost US$13 and the omnibus would cost US$15 and you might an extra for the lagguage. Regardless of the types of bus you choose if you leave after 3 then be prepared to get here at night and that means you must have all accommodation sorted before you get here.

The total distance from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls is 438km and it will take approximately 5-6hrs depending on number of stops along the way

A O
Amsterdam, The...
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19. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

Here is an update!

We recently took the train from Bulawayo to Vic Falls. It was an awesome experience. My wife and I got a first class compartment, one of the two bunk ones, at $12 each ticket. Door was able to lock, window went up and down so we were happy! We arrived at the Bulawayo train station at 16:15 on a Saturday and were able to book the tickets for the 19:30 train no problem. Before hand we sat in the 'first class lounge' - make sure you ask to sit there, they won't necessarily offer it unless you need the toilet :)

The train was really quiet, I don't know if it's just the season but not all of the berths were full (second class was though).

We were amazed when the train left on time. It actually pulled out of the station at 19:32... I don't know if I have ever experienced that before, anywhere in Africa. It arrived about 2-3 hours later than expected, which is a pretty good show for an old train like that.

There was no bedding provided and when we asked why we were told that the company or person that provided the bedding was dismissed- not sure if that means it is temporary, but it kind of sounded final, maybe there isn't enough train traffic to warrant providing the bedding. So we suggest to all future travellers to ask when they book if there is bedding, and be prepared with a sheet or sleeping bag or something, as the mattresses are plastic so not so nice to lie on, and of course they are dirty - but that is to be expected.

There is still no water on the train, 5L jugs can be bought at the pick 'n pay in Bulawayo before the train journey (about a 10 minute walk from the train station).

In the morning, to my surprise, I ordered two cups of tea and got 2 fried egg sandwiches and 2 huge milky cups of tea for only $2 total - great deal (especially for Zimbabwean prices!) :)

Everyone should take the train, it's an awesome experience and definitely worth it as well as being more comfortable than the bus! We saw giraffes, impalas, boks, lots of baboons and a beautiful sunrise.

Queensland...
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20. Re: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls

I wonder why you 'expected the mattresses to be dirty'? Esp in 1st class i would have expected the opposite.