This section provides an overview of the various options available for getting around between travel destinations within the Zambezi Valley area.
The above tourist map is available via the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Publicity Associations, travel agents, some lodges and tourism operators throughout the country.
GETTING AROUND BY AIR:
Most international flights into Zimbabwe land at Harare, Victoria Falls or Bulawayo International Airports.
To reach the Zambezi tourism destinations, there are daily scheduled domestic flights linking Harare and Victoria Falls with each other, and (on a less regular basis) with Kariba Town.
Air charters in light aircraft are available to other destinations in the Zambezi Valley including the more remote areas such as Matusadona, Mana Pools, Chewore etc. Visitors can also fly into Lusaka and Livingstone in Zambia from where road transfers are available into Victoria Falls and Kariba/Mana Pools respectively.
Many operators, hotels, lodges and camps have their own air, boat or vehicle transfer services. These can be arranged for linking tourism centres (e.g. Harare-Kariba), meet and greet from local and international airports, or ferrying between destinations within a tourism centre. Check with your agent that transfers are prior booked, as making arrangements on arrival can be difficult and can leave visitors susceptible to fraudsters.
GETTING AROUND BY BOAT:
Zambezi Cruise Safaris run regular, 2-3 night, set-departure, luxury cruises the length of Lake Kariba linking Binga - at the western end of the Lake - with Kariba Town - at the eastern end (or vice versa). Depending on requirements, these cruises may stop at safari camp destinations in and around the Matusadona National Park along the way.
Kariba Ferries operate a popular car and passenger ferry service which plies Lake Kariba between Mlibizi and Kariba Town (and vice versa) usually once a week (sometimes more in peak periods). The journey takes 22 hours overnight. Be advised, though, that this service does not stop off at destinations along the way.It is advisable to book early.
Another option is the smaller, DDF Ferry, which runs between Kariba town and Chilala (just beyond Bumi Hills) and will drop off cars and passengers in the Matusadona/Bumi Hills area if required.
Many parts of Lake Kariba are accessible by private or hired motorboats, houseboats (these are really large cruiseboats) or sailboats from harbours out of Kariba Town, and, to a lesser extent, out of Binga, Mlibizi and Msuna.
Boat transfers to safari lodges/camps: Fast and efficient speedboat transfers are available linking Kariba town with the safari camps and lodges in the Matusadona NP and along the shores of Lake Kariba. These leave from the main harbours in Kariba Town.
Along the Zambezi River, in Zimbabwe, there are boat launching facilities, above the Victoria Falls, from Msuna and Deka downstream to Lake Kariba, all along Lake Kariba, between the downstream end of Kariba Gorge, through Chirundu to Mana Pools and between Mana Pools and Kanyemba. Note that Mana Pools National Park prohibits the launching or retrieval of motorboats anywhere on its shores during the safari season months (April - November).
BUS AND COACH SERVICES
Comfortable long-haul luxury coach services are available linking Zimbabwe's main cities e.g. Harare- Bulawayo; Bulawayo-Victoria Falls; Harare-Kariba. These are a stress-free and cost-effective way for visitors to move around the country.
There is also a large network of basic bus services linking the main cities and Zimbabwe's rural areas. However, travel by rural bus is only recommended for the very adventurous traveller on a very tight budget who is keen to experience the realities of Zimbabwean rural life.
Self-driving is very popular in Zimbabwe.
Please see the following pages for more detailed information about self-driving in the Zambezi Valley areas:-
- Self Driving - Routes through the Zambezi Valley
- Self Driving - Tips and Practical Advice
- Advice for self-drivers in Southern Africa (Dec 2013)