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mgross11 Dec 26th, 2021 06:41 PM

Crossing African Borders
 
Hi everyone!

I'm hoping I could find some advice on crossing land borders in Africa. In particular, I'm thinking about travelling through: Namibia/Botswana, Botswana/Zambia, Zambia/Malawi, Zamia/Tanzania.

This will be my first African trip (solo female, early 20's, Canadian passport) and I just want to hear the good, bad, and ugly about trying to get through these countries.

Is it safer to fly? Are there any busses or tour groups that travel across borders?

Thanks!

tripplanner001 Dec 26th, 2021 07:58 PM

My experience may be outdated as it was in 2016 and therefore before COVID.

I crossed the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia on foot and back via Victoria Falls. I recall having to walk to the Zimbabwe border post, pass through metal detectors, have our passport stamped out, walk across a no manís land, pay the entry free for Zambia, get stamped in, and were on our way. I did the crossing in both directions on the same day and both were uneventful. I made sure to get a double entry visa for Zimbabwe when I landed at Victoria Falls Airport from South Africa for this reason.

A few days later I crossed from Zimbabwe into Botswana at Kazungula. I used a driver for this journey. I remember getting out of the vehicle and having to step onto a footpad with a sanitizing solution but everything else was like the crossing between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Hope this gives an idea and someone could provide share a more recent experience.

graemebremner4165 Mar 31st, 2022 08:50 PM

Dear Mgross11,
This might be too late to be of any help !
Crossing African borders during the pandemic has been a nightmare due to constantly changing and very confusing Covid rules. The rules were often poorly understood even by the border officials themselves. Being turned back at a border because of doubts over the validity of your PCR test can wreak havoc with travel plans. The only sensible thing to do was to minimise the number of border crossings required - rather than visiting 4 or 5 countries on a single trip spending the whole trip in one was a much safer option.

I'm pleased to say that at least in Southern Africa the situation has improved a great deal over the last month. Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Swaziland and South Africa have all done away with the requirement for PCR tests for fully vaccinated travelers, and there were reports yesterday that the Cabinet of Zimbabwe has decided to follow suit, though they haven't actually changed the rules yet.
Crossing between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia was always really straightforward, and for the fully vaccinated it is now back to normal.

Hope his helps.

Graeme
Self Drive Tours Botswana

graemebremner4165 Mar 31st, 2022 08:51 PM

Dear Mgross11,
This might be too late to be of any help !
Crossing African borders during the pandemic has been a nightmare due to constantly changing and very confusing Covid rules. The rules were often poorly understood even by the border officials themselves. Being turned back at a border because of doubts over the validity of your PCR test can wreak havoc with travel plans. The only sensible thing to do was to minimise the number of border crossings required - rather than visiting 4 or 5 countries on a single trip spending the whole trip in one was a much safer option.

I'm pleased to say that at least in Southern Africa the situation has improved a great deal over the last month. Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Swaziland and South Africa have all done away with the requirement for PCR tests for fully vaccinated travelers, and there were reports yesterday that the Cabinet of Zimbabwe has decided to follow suit, though they haven't actually changed the rules yet.
Crossing between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia was always really straightforward, and for the fully vaccinated it is now back to normal.

Hope his helps. Enjoy your trip !

Graeme



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