Zambia - How to cross to Zimbabwe?

The flight from Malawi to Lusaka was only about an hour. Unfortunately, there are no flights directly from Malawi to Livingstone, as it was my plan so I can visit Livingstone and cross over to Zimbabwe to see the Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side (which is said to be a more spectacular view from there). Now first spending a few days in Lusaka and Livingstone, then going to Zimbabwe and then back to Zambia.

Zambia and Zimbabwe have a visa agreement for tourists who want to visit both countries and visiting the two countries, therefore, is easy.

It's called Kaza Visa costs 50 USD and allows me to travel to Zimbabwe and back to Zambia as often as desired for one month. That's a good thing, as a separate Single entry visa would cost like same price each and for re-entering Zambia would require another visa which would triple the price of the visas.

A manipulated visa sticker. Is this bribe territory?

My welcome gift problem this time definitely was not the visa but the somehow incompetent immigration officer. 

The airport and immigration sector were quiet, the hall empty of tourists without any other flights, not a soul, except the immigration officers. They had nothing to do but the officer still managed to stick the visa sticker in a way that it was overlapping the passport page. The supervisor arrived and told me he will try fix it manually or otherwise I have to pay for another visa. 

Of course, the sticker broke while trying to rip it out but he continued and put the broken sticker on the page best as possible. But it still looked like it was chewed by a cow. 

Not sure at this point if this will cause me to pay some bribes at other border posts, saying that I manipulated the passport, but more on this later.

Lusaka seems to be very clean, higher standard and quiet compared to other capitals in Africa. Its appearance is flat, no tall towers in the city center and it looks easy to get around. My hotel was outside the center but taxis in Lusaka are cheap and the city even has normal-looking bus stops.

Day 2 - Boring Lusaka downtown?

Lusaka is clean but pretty boring. However I only saw the city, not sure if the national parks are good or not. I went to visit the Lusaka Sunday market, a typical African street market, although covered over a huge area. 

Walking isn't convenient in Lusaka as everything is far apart. But buses and taxis are plenty and easy. Streets are easy to remember and names are easy to pronounce when asking how to get from A to B.

Not many things to see in downtown Lusaka. One of the things that I've been recommended to visit was the main church. 

Day 3 - At the border to Zimbabwe and Botswana: Livingstone

Had a domestic flight from Lusaka to Livingstone. Livingstone is the Zambian city in the corner where Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana borders meet. 

All the countries can be reached from there within less than an hour.

Livingstone is a quiet place, obviously even quieter than the capital Lusaka. 

In the small center are a few restaurants and one bigger supermarket. There is basically one big main road from north to south, ending at the border post to Zimbabwe. Very little traffic but still many taxis along the road. That makes the city comfortable and doesn't cause any stress.

Spend a few hours in the afternoon walking along the main road.

Visiting the museum was interesting. It was only 5 dollars and pretty good for that price. It's one of the typical African dusty cheap museums but visibly built with a huge amount of good ambitions and artwork.

Walking along the road is not spectacular but I enjoyed it. Also, it's not hot at this time of the year (September). 

There was a place that once should have become an outdoor museum but the owner stopped continue building it. The talent and commitment behind the artwork it is clearly visible.

Day 4 - Across the border to Zimbabwe

I went across the border to Zimbabwe, with the plan to get back to Zambia by the end of the day. The border is about 10 minutes cab ride from the hotel. 

All very quiet along the road and shortly before the border a glimpse of the Zambezi river, which is the water that flows down the victoria falls. There were even wild elephants walking along and that is "a shocking surprise" as I didn't expect them in nearby towns like Livingstone and in civilization.

The border crossing is one of the easiest and for sure the most scenic I've ever experienced in Africa.

First getting an exit stamp in Zambia - no queue and done in 2 minutes. Then it's necessary to walk for about 1 km on 20-minutes leisure and scenic walk across the bridge and towards the Zimbabwe border post. 

The walk across the Victoria bridge is spectacular.

Visiting Victoria Falls and returning to Zambia in the evening

Spend the day in Zimbabwe visiting Victoria Falls and the town called Victoria Falls. Later in the afternoon, I came back to on the bridge, this time with a tricycle across the bridge from the border post to the border post.

Immigration in Zambia was even easier than in the morning. An entry stamp was issued within 1 minute. Thankfully they didn't inspect the broken visa sticker.

Day 5 - From Zambia to Botswana

The road between Livingstone and the border at Botswana is renewed.

It's in perfect condition and the 60 km distance can be covered by a shared taxi within 30 minutes. The taxi post location with minibusses and shared taxis was here. The price of the shared taxi in 2022 is about 80 kwacha (5 USD).

Although the taxi stops in the last city Kazungula, before crossing the bridge. So it is necessary to pay another 100 kwacha, which is said to be the price for taxi ride plus the tax for crossing the bridge.

The bridge is huge, newly finished in 2021, and obviously a big evolvement for connecting Zambia and Botswana. Before it was necessary to cross the river by ferry and would take 10 fold the time to get past the river.

Once crossed the river there is a completely new border post building. Huge, modern! It almost doesn't look like it's Africa anymore. 

How did they finance this? Maybe by collecting bribes from broken visa stickers, like the one I have in my passport? If so, I didn't have to pay, but maybe it was my lucky day today.

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