New Air Taxi links Vic Falls-Hwange-Bumi-Kariba-Mana Pools

by WildZambezi.com • 31 January 2012

Wild Zambezi is excited about a new Air Taxi initiative to provide cost effective air access to some of Zimbabwe's  top safari and wildlife areas.

Safari Logistics has been launched by African Bush Camps to link hotels, lodges, camps and safaris in Victoria Falls, Hwange, Bumi Hills/Matusadona, Kariba and Mana Pools with a 4-seater Cessna 206 aircraft.

It has always been difficult (especially for couples or groups of less than four) to fly to Zimbabwe's remote destinations from Victoria Falls without having to pay for an expensive private air charter.

With Safari Logistics, clients or their agents can now simply choose the flight sector they need along the route (see map) and book and pay for a seat on the Air Taxi.  This will run guaranteed schedules three times a week departing from Victoria Falls at 0800hrs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.  

Tourism facilities serviced by this route will include:

Hwange (Manga): Somalisa Camps
Hwange: The Hide, Sikumi Tree Lodge, Ivory, Miombo & Hwange Safari Lodge
Bumi Hills:  Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, Rhino Safari Camp, Musango Camp
Kariba: Fuel Stop or House Boats
Mana (Dandawa): Kanga Camp
Mana Pools: Zambezi Life Styles, Vundu Camp, Goliath Safaris, various canoeing and walking safaris
Victoria Falls:  Various hotels and lodges in and around this regional tourism hub.

The initiative is a very welcome attempt to solve the access problems linking the Kariba/Zambezi Valley region with the Victoria Falls.  However, it is important to note several things about this service:-

1) The Air Taxi schedule requires a minimum of two people to guarantee departure, so single travellers will have to pay for two as a surcharge regardless of how many people end up on the aircraft on the day of flying.
2) There will be at least one fuel stop on the schedule over and above any drop off and pick up stops, (usually in Kariba).
3) Clients can expect to have at least, or up to, three stops along the way before reaching their destination (especially those travelling between Victoria Falls and Mana Pools or vice versa).  The flight time could therefore be up to five hours (although clients will only be charged for their specific sector).  However, the scenery along the way is spectacular and the journey a safari in itself.
4) Departure taxes are not included and are to be paid directly at each commercial airport i.e. Victoria Falls, Hwange, and Kariba. The pilot will collect the amount (currently $10 per person) from guests prior to flying. These departure taxes are subject to change without notice.
5) Safari Logistics will not provide in-flight food or drinks.  As some routes may take up to five hours, all agents are encouraged to ensure that passengers are provided with a packed snack / lunch including drinks by the guest facility where they have previously been staying.
6) Due to the flying times the schedule route does not connect with any incoming or outgoing Regional and International commercial flights. Therefore, agents are requested not to book any connecting flights in and out of Victoria Falls on the same day as the transfer.
7) Flights will be subject to weight restrictions: luggage should weigh a maximum of 20 kilograms or 40 pounds per person in a soft duffel bag whose shape you can manipulate and passengers weighing over 100 kilograms or 220 pounds may have to purchase an extra seat.
8) The Schedule is run on a first-book-first-serve basis and seats are limited, so it is important to book in advance to allow for efficient scheduling and planning.
9) Although the schedule is operated three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, charter flights can be requested on the other days and will be serviced based on individual requests.

For more information contact Safari Logistics.

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