Wild Zambezi would like to thank Air Zimbabwe for hosting us in September on board their MA60 aircraft for a return flight between Harare and Victoria Falls.
Check in went smoothly at Harare Domestic Airport. Remember to pay your Departure Tax for domestic flights beforehand, and note that, depending on the size of the aircraft, your hand luggage may have to be carried in the hold for the duration of the flight – as ours was. Flying time to Victoria Falls took an hour and a half in the MA60 (be aware that flight times vary depending on the type of aircraft used, and sometimes they go via Bulawayo or Kariba and may take longer as a result). The flight went according to schedule and was reasonably comfortable, given the age of this type of aircraft. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. Basic snacks and soft drinks only were on offer. Please note, Air Zimbabwe, that the standard of your coffee needs improving!
We landed safely at the new Victoria Falls airport, where the brand new International building is very impressive on arrival from the outside (above). The Domestic Terminal is located in the old airport building and is currently undergoing refurbishment to match the standards of its shiny new neighbour. Our luggage was delivered reasonably efficiently after a short delay.
After our business in and around Victoria Falls for a couple of days, we came back to Victoria Falls airport for our return flight home to Harare, and took some time to look around the new International Terminal.
We found it impressively modern, spacious and airy. Staff went out of their way to offer help and guidance, the bathrooms were immaculate and the check-in process (for domestic flights) was smooth and efficient. We found a disappointing lack of choices for last-minute shopping and eating-while-you-wait , though.
I’m sure that when international flights arrive and depart at Victoria Falls, this impressive building is vibrant with buzz and activity. There’s no doubt that , given more airlines, more flights and more incoming travel business in the future, it will really come into its own. However, the overall impression at the moment, is of a glittering empty stage waiting for something exciting to happen....