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Beitbridge


appleblossom

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appleblossom

I have heard absolute horror stories about this border. Even some car hire companies say to avoid it!

Is this all true?

We could use Plumtree but Beitbridge is convenient as we are visiting Gonarezhou.

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Bugs

Yeah - I had a bad experience there, and keep hearing horror stories with the odd person saying it went smoothly.

 

If you do go through - don't use an agent "tout" or "runner" to walk your documents through. Do it yourself. The Touts never give you a price, and your costs will be loaded. They are just scoundrels, and will lead you down the garden path.

 

Join the queue like every other person. Make sure that you have the correct documents and copies of them. Also get there early, and be prepared for a waste of time, and be very patient and polite. It may be a good idea to brush over the costs/procedure of entry in Zim as well, and to understand the process. Advice here is a bit outdated, but will help. http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php?t=58699

 

Make sure that you have all the requirements in your vehicle. Reflective vests, fire extinguisher, reflective triangles road tax certificate (TIP), and brush up on the requirements - there are stories of people being fined as there is only one reflective vest, while there are town passengers, or that the fire extinguishers are not big enough, or that you need an extra one for the trailer. They are quick to capitalize on your inexperience.

 

One more little tip - if you are pulled over at a roadblock, don't let go of your drivers license or passport. Once they have it, they have the upper hand.

 

Safe travels - and dont drive at night.

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appleblossom

Thank you dikdik. Decisions, decisions.......Beitbridge or Plumtree........

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Plumtree anytime.Avoid Beit Bridge at all costs,not worth the time lost and hassles.

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appleblossom

OK, we have been persuaded, Plumtree it is.

 

Can anyone help us with the route?

We need to get to Vic Falls.

Where is safe to stay en route?

We'll be in a 4x4 landrover with camping equipment.

Can stay on camp sites, in B&B's or just along the road somewhere.

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@@appleblossom ,why not go right up to Kasane ,then from there to Vic Falls.This way is very safe and lots of places to stay along the way.and you will avoid all the police road blocks and time wasting searches.Have seen 4 road blocks in 100km,they just waste your time and try and get bribes from tourists all the time.Not sure about Plumtree to Gonarezou,but still will have road blocks.

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Bugs

I think you may have to leave Gonerezou for another time.

 

A&M is right Kasane is a good idea, but you may want to consider pandametenga. From here its a hop and a skip to Hwange.

 

Then head up from Hwange to Vic falls. from Vic falls to Binga Masuma lodge. Then take the dirt road to Kariba via Karoi to Mana pools (or you could use the ferry) The dirt road takes you past Chizarara and Mathusadona. If you are planning to turn off to either of those game reserves, make sure you have budgeted some time, as its a testy drive from the turn off to Chiz and also to the campsite, as well as the road to Tashinga camp.

 

On the way back - go to Chinhoyi, and turn south towards Chegutu. You have lost nothing in Harare, and its better to keep well away from the big cities. Then Gweru, Bulawayo - Plumtree. I recommend that you stop over at Matoppo if you have time. There is also the option of stopping at Khama rhino sanctuary - its between Francistown and martins drift, and should be en route there or back. I have never been there, but heard only good things about it.

 

Dont mean to impose my ideas on you, but - that is the route I would take. Excited for you.

 

Have a great time - whatever you decide.

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appleblossom

Ah great stuff Dikdik - thank you. We are always open to ideas from tried and tested routes.

I will get the map out....

Will also consider A&M's suggestion of Kasane.

 

We have 22 days to play with and the only set fixtures are a walking safari in Hwange and a canoe trip in Mana Pools. The rest is open.

 

Not sure how safe it will be to travel around Zim (away from the Vic Falls, Hwange, Mana Pools) due to the elections which seem to be not in June now but later towards Sept/Oct. We want to travel in September.

In the worse case scenario, unrest, etc, would you suggest Hwange and Mana Pools then head into Botswana or Zambia for wildlife?

Want to be in areas that are remote and wild (hence Gonarezhou). I feel that Bots and Zam are rather busy with tourists.

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Dikdik is right about going in at Pandamantenga,easy crossing into Hwange,no hassle border post no road blocks etc.Game viewing will be great then.

 

If you stick to the northern part of Zim,if the eletions take place you will be fine,just stay away from the bigger cities and towns.

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Bugs

I would keep out of Harare. Smaller towns should be OK. I would be a little suspicious of Gweru and Bulawayo, but its easy to pass through those towns without drawing too much attention to yourself. I suspect Vic falls is a bit touristy to have any problems.

 

What I am saying is a not very educated guess, and is more about what common sense is telling me.... And that would be to avoid heavily populated areas.

 

Some advice is also on this thread. http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php?t=148337

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