Crossing the Kazungula border by Land
Victoria Falls is a majestic place on many people’s bucket lists. If you are traveling by land, getting to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe from Kasane, Botswana via the Kazungula border is very simple!
The border post is a mere 10-15 min drive from Kasane and is just 70km east of Victoria Falls.
Getting to the Kazungula border:
To get to the Botswana Zimbabwe border, or the Kazungula border, you can drive yourself, take a private transfer or public transport. Note the border is open from 06:00 – 18:00
I took a private transfer service, which drove me from my hostel to the border, and then to my hotel in Victoria Falls (this cost me 200 pula or 20$). I am certain that you can do this cheaper with a shared taxi or minibus though, as I did this at virtually every other border crossing on my backpacking trip through Southern Africa.
What to Expect at the Kazungula border:
Once at the Kazungula border, you will need visit the Botswana side for your exit stamp, and then the Zimbabwean side where you will pay for your visa (if appropriate). I recommend getting the UNI visa if you plan to visit Zambia too as it’s $50 USD for both countries.
If you are driving yourself, you will need the vehicle registration papers and your license, and will need to pay a road access fee based on the size of your vehicle.
I was told I could pay by credit card at the Kazungula border, and did notice a machine behind the desk, but it was NOT working when I passed through. Due to this, I highly recommend bring USD to the Kazungula border and into Zimbabwe, though it is possible to use South African Rand, Botswanan pula and Zambian Kwacha.
What to Expect arriving at Victoria Falls?
I was told over and over, not to come into Zimbabwe without cash because many of the ATM’s and banks run out of money (this still blows my mind). Alas, I naively still came with only left-over Rand and Pula. I figured I would pay by card for everything else.
When the card machine at the border was not working, I blew all of my cash instantly on my visa (thankfully I had enough). I had to convert my pula to USD outside the border office and pay by USD inside.
Out of interest, I tried three ATMs and asked inside 2 of the local banks if I could take any money out, but all were out of money. I was able to find a hotel and some restaurants that took credit card so I was sorted for food and accommodation, but by the time I crossed into Zambia a few days later I virtually had 1 USD to my name for the shared taxi to Livingstone.
It ain’t funny if you’ve got no money.
Tips for Bus Travel in East Africa
Bus travel in East Africa can be super long and uncomfortable depending on road conditions so I always pack my backpack accordingly with supplies (I use the Osprey Questa 27 as my daypack/ carry on).
I also recommend traveling with an external charger so you know you will have a charged phone while in transit (I use and love this one by Anker), a good book (Dark Star Safari is an interesting read for overland travel in Africa) and a BUFF (I use mine religiously to shield my hair from dirty bus seats and boda helmets).
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