Getting to Victoria Falls

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Sep 16th, 2003, 06:15 AM
  #1
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Getting to Victoria Falls

A friend and I will be visiting South Africa in October and we have an extra day toward the end of the trip to stop in another country. Having heard about the beauty of Victoria Falls, we're considering a stop in Zambia en route back to the US. However, since we're traveling on special fares, we have to fly into Lusaka, which we realize is not the closest airport to Victoria Falls. Is it easy to get to Victoria Falls from Lusaka by train, car, or bus? If so, how long would that take?

Also, we've heard that the Zimbabwe side of the Falls is more beautiful than the Zambia side. Is it easy and safe to get to the Zimbabwe side from the Zambia side?

Many thanks in advance for any advice you can provide!

--Anastasia
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Sep 16th, 2003, 11:56 AM
  #2
sandi
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One day is just enough time to do the Falls Tour and catch your breath.

That said, you'd have to take the SAA morning flight from JNB to VFA (departs around 10AM or so), flite time is about 2-hrs. Zimbabwe Visa cost is $30. Probably finished with this process by 12:30-1PM. Then take a taxi to the Falls, walk the Falls on your own. Since you're doing this on your own, there "might" be a fee, believe it's $10. Allow a minimum 1-hr (which is rushing it), because you have to get back to airport for return flight.

You might have some time to walk to the open air market in the heart of VFA if you want to buy some trinkets.

Then from the Kingdom or Victoria Falls Hotel (around corner from open air market) you can get a taxi back to the airport for the SAA 4PM flite back to JNB. Departure fee is $20.

The r/t air on SAA will run about $350+/-. I believe BA also flies into VFA.

With which air carrier are you flying that you have to fly into Lusaka? Or are you flying on a "pass?"

Lusaka is way out of the way to see the Falls in the amount of time you have.
 
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Sep 17th, 2003, 06:47 AM
  #3
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Sandi,
Thanks for your response. Yes, flying into VFA would get us much close to Victoria Falls. However, I'm using frequent flyer miles for my entire trip and must fly on American Airlines or one of its partners, like BA. BA does fly into VFA, but their VFA-JNB flight (including non-award seats) is completely full on 10/27, which is when we need to return to JNB for our connecting flight back to the US.

So, right now, I have the following reservations:

10/26
9:15 Depart JNB
11:15 Arrive Lusaka

10/27
11:30 am Depart Lusaka
1:30 pm Arrive JNB

This gives us a bit over 24 hours in Zambia to travel from Lusaka to the Falls, enjoy the Falls area, spend the night near the Falls, and return to Lusaka the next day in time for the return flight. Do you think this is feasible?

Thanks again for any suggestions you may have. BTW, thanks for posting the Premier Travel special last week. The other members of my travel group did call them for their special fares.

Cheers,
Anastasia
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Sep 17th, 2003, 02:02 PM
  #4
sandi
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Anastasia - I'm glad that Premier Travel info worked for your friends.

Well, that's the problem with frequent flyer miles - available seats.

Off the top of my head, and to avoid the cost of flights you can rent a car in JNB - you can get a Land Rover, even an Automatic - Discovery model, I believe?? (though driving is on the left) and drive from JNB thru Zimbabwe to VFA and then back.

Now I'm sure everyone who's reading this is saying "drive thru Zimbabwe with what's going on in that country". Yet, I have a friend who does it yearly with no problems! Though there might be petrol shortages???

There might be flights from Lusaka to Livingston which is the Zambia side of the Falls, but according to an "old" schedule I have, the flight to LVI leaves just about the time you arrive from JNB - lousy connection.

Though the distance is about 250-300, check to find out what car rental services are available at Lusaka Airport, what the condition of the roads, and how easy it is to make the trip. That's my best suggestion.

Or try posting a message "Help - JNB to Victoria Falls via Lusaka - How To? - Need Info ASAP" - maybe someone has better info/suggestions.
 
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