Cape town and Victoria Falls in May

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Dec 2nd, 2015, 08:22 AM
  #1
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Cape town and Victoria Falls in May

Cape town and Victoria Falls in May leaving Chicago would like advice on airlines and what it be better to go to Victoria Falls first which hotels are recommended and Capetown We r staying at table bay hotel we have visited Cape Town before but never Victoria Falls Any advice would be welcome thank you
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Dec 2nd, 2015, 10:59 AM
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Hello Cookieslounge79, thanks for the posting. If you are flying from ORD, there are a number of one-stop options. My recommendation is to do Cape Town (CPT) first as many carriers fly from ORD to CPT via one European/Middle Eastern gateway. If you opted for Victoria Falls first (VFA for the Zimbabwe side, LVI for the Zambia side), many arriving flights into Johannesburg (JNB) arrive too late in the day to connect to VFA or LVI – thus a forced overnight in Johannesburg. It may be more efficient to tackle Cape Town then Victoria Falls.

There are several carriers that fly from ORD to CPT with 1 stop en route. I suggest you take a look at Emirates, Qatar (One World with AA), KLM, BA (One World with AA), Swiss (Star Alliance with United) and Lufthansa (Star Alliance with United) for your international flights. British and South African (Star Alliance with United) operate routes in/out of JNB to VFA/LVI to connect Victoria Falls.

As for recommendations on places to stay. I personally like the Zimbabwean side of the Falls better as the viewing platforms/areas are more extensive. You also have better shopping too on the ZIM side with the local market and the upscale Elephant Walk. On the Zimbabwean side, I really enjoy Victoria Falls River Lodge, Elephant Camp, Victoria Falls Hotel and Ilala Lodge. Both Ilala and Victoria Falls Hotel are within 10 min walking distance from the entrance to the park. Very convenient! Elephant Camp and Victoria Falls River Lodge are a bit more removed, but are more “all inclusive” with their meal plan and activities. The latter two operate more like safari camps/lodges.

If you visit the ZIM side, you can purchase the KAZA visa which will give you access to both ZIM and ZAM. Currently, the KAZA visa is out of inventory at LVI resulting in guests having to pay for a double entry in Zambia along with the ZIM visa if they wish to visit both sides. I don’t know when this situation will be rectified.

If you opt for the Zambian side, I recommend taking a look at Islands of Siankaba and Toka Leya. Both are removed from the falls (like Elephant Camp and Victoria Falls River Lodge) and operate as safari camps/lodges on a more fully-inclusive basis. The options close to the Falls on the Zambian side are the Royal Livingstone and Zambezi Sun – both with recent reports of unpredictable service levels (I recommend if you wish to stay near the fall to go to the ZIM side). However, if you do opt for the Zambian side, you may wish to do the Livingstone Island excursion which is worthwhile and will give you a good view of the ZIM side without having to cross the border. If you stay at an all inclusive camp, do the high-tea option for Livingstone Island – don’t do lunch as lunch is already paid for/included at camp.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Kota Tabuchi – Managing Director: Africa – Travel Beyond
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Dec 4th, 2015, 02:14 AM
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Thank you So much for that most helpful information I am going to stay on the Zim side so I will be checking out Ilala Lodge
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 08:20 AM
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We are also going to South Africa, Jo'burg, Durban, VF and Cape Town in late May/June 2016.

I am wondering if I need to get a visa in advance for visiting Victoria Falls. Can anyone advise?
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 09:04 AM
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Not needed in advance.
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 10:40 AM
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Where are you from? Check your embassy website for countries for which you need a Visa. The last time I went I did not from the U.S. But some countries are changing their requirements because the U.S. is making it more difficult for their citizens to travel here.

That's a lot of flights - they are all far apart.
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:19 AM
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We flew from South Africa to Zambia. We got a Zambia/Zimbabwe visa as we entered the airport. We immediately took a pre arranged ride to Zimbabwe. I believe the cost was $50 each. We are US citizens.

http://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/zimbabwe-visa.html
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:44 AM
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I just read that visa is no longer available, DebitNM.
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 02:11 PM
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We got it in September. Does that mean it isn't required??
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Jan 4th, 2016, 03:57 AM
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Happy New Year!

If you can land in JNB by 8:25am at the latest, you could make the 10:50am flight to VFA. Some airlines arrive even earlier in the AM which makes that flight a very good option; otherwise, you'd have to stay overnight at/near the JNB airport to catch that flight the next morning.

Ilala Lodge and the Victoria Falls Hotel are both within walking distance to the Falls and makes them good options. Many of the other hotels offer a shuttle service to the Falls. So just further away, other options include Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and its sister property Victoria Falls Safari Club. Elephant Camp is incredible and our clients love it but it is all-inclusive and more expensive per person. Honestly, there are many options to pick from that will work well.

From Vic Falls area, you can road transfer to Livingstone airport on the Zambia side and on most days of the week, there is a flight you can take direct to the Kruger airport and this would save you from having to fly thru JNB. Just a thought if you could strategize your itinerary as such.

The Kaza Univisa is indefinitely now not being offered so to visit both Zimbabwe and Zambia will require 2 individual visas. Recent news flash.

Happy to help!
Dianne
Africa Direct USA
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Jan 4th, 2016, 09:40 AM
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DebitNM - I heard they ran out of stickers so decided to discontinue it. I have no idea what the real story is, but as Dianne says, it's not available at this time. Who knows about tomorrow, though. We still need Visas, however. I guess we can't just walk or cab across the bridge anymore? I don't know how one would get a visa in town.

I would visit on the Zim side and then go to Chobe in season. If you spend a night, the Vic Falls Hotel is very nice.
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Jan 4th, 2016, 09:49 AM
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I love that visa, it is the only real "sticker" I have in my passport.

we stayed here; we were there just 2 nights and it fit the bill perfectly for what we needed/wanted. Really good breakfast and dinner was good as well.

http://www.thekingdomhotel.co.za/
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