Transportation in Zimbabwe

Most main city and town roads in Zimbabwe are in good condition, with service stations and makes getting around Zimbabwe easily. However, avoid the inter city commuter buses and take the luxury buses. The local coaches are terribly crowded and poorly maintained and drivers have little regard for rules. Also, many drivers are overworked and don't adhere to time off from work, and this makes them fatigued.

The Road Port Terminal at Fifth St & Robert Mugabe Rd in Harare is the hub for most international bus links. Domestic bus services operate out of the Mbare Musika Bus Terminal, located south of Harare.

This Zimbabwe Transportation Guide lists details about both getting to and from Zimbabwe, as well as getting around Zimbabwe once you are there. One ideal option for getting around and exploring Zimbabwe is taking a Zimbabwe tour. For information about transport within the capital, you can go directly to our Victoria Falls Transportation Guide.

Zimbabwe Transportation Guide

Getting to Zimbabwe

By Air

International flights to Zimbabwe mostly land in Harare, though there are some flights that arrive directly in Victoria Falls. Another option is to fly in to Johannesburg in South Africa and then catch a connection from there. Flights from Johannesburg take about 1.5 hours and cost USD 227 one way or USD 339 for return fares.

Flights from Gaborone in Botswana also take about 1.5 hours but cost about USD 572 one way and USD 906 for a return fare. Flights from Windhoek in Namibia take 2.5 hours and cost USD 716 and USD 962; those from Maputo in Mozambique take 1.5 hours and cost USD 468 and USD 767; flights from Lilongwe in Malawi take an hour and cost USD 999 or USD 1112; and Lusaka flights from Zambia take a little under an hour and cost USD 729 or USD 956.

If you are travelling from further afield like Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, expect to take 2.5 hours and pay USD 1154 or USD 1888. Flying from Nairobi in Kenya will cost you USD 1070 for a one way fare and USD 1274 for return fares while the flight time is 3.5 hours.

For transport from the airport to the city (or from the city to the airport), we recommend Green Path Transfers, who offer eco-friendly airport transfers in hundreds of destinations around the world.

By Road

Zimbabwe's border check posts are usually open between 6 am and 6 pm across the country. Extended timings are, however, available at two more popular entry points. At Victoria Falls, the border post with Zambia stays open until 10 pm and the entry post at Beitbridge, which is the gateway to South Africa, is open 24 hours a day. Other entry points include Kazungula and Plumtree if you're arriving from Botswana; Chirundu and Kariba if you enter from Zambia; and Nyamapanda and Mutare if you drive in from Mozambique.

Botswana
For travellers wishing to get to Zimbabwe from Botswana, services are operated by the ZUPCO and PCJ companies. Their buses will take you into Francistown for USD 15 and USD 60 from the Road Port Terminal. ZUPCO services run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 6.30 am while PCJ buses operate at 6 pm every day.

Malawi
The best route to Zimbabwe from Malawi is by the Tete corridor in Mozambique. However, you will require a transit visa for Mozambique if you choose this option. There are ZUPCO buses between Harare and Blantyre every day from 6.30 am and tickets cost USD 35.

Mozambique
Beira can be reached via Mutare. You could hop on a minibus to the border here and then switch to another one on the Mozambique side of the border. There are also bus connections between Tete and Nyamapanda as well as Zóbuè and Tete with Malawi.

Namibia
Namibia does not have any direct bus connections with Zimbabwe, so your best bet is to catch a bus to Botswana and switch to another connecting bus from there.

South Africa (to Johannesburg)
There are bus services operated between South Africa and Harare by the following companies:

- Blue Arrow located at Chester House, Speke Ave, Harare (Contact: 04-729514 or email barrow@africaonline.co.zw)
- Greyhound located at Road Port Terminal, cnr Fifth St & Robert Mugabe Rd, Harare (Contact: 04-720801)
- Kukura Kurerwa located at Mbare Musika Bus Terminal, Harare (Contact: 04-669973-6)
- Pioneer Bus located at Mbare Musika Bus Terminal, Harare (Contact: 04-795863, 790531)

Remember, bus timings can change without warning. Do call and reconfirm timings before you set out. Charges are about USD 70 or the equivalent in local currency.

Zambia
There are daily buses at 6.30 am to Lusaka via Chirundu from Harare. The service is operated by ZUPCO and costs USD 25.

Getting Around Zimbabwe

By Bus/coach

Minibus, coach and bus services operate through much of Zimbabwe, connecting towns and cities across the country. Apart from the luxury buses in Zimbabwe, though, it is advisable not to take the bus to commute between places since safety is a concern, with drivers often not adhering to rules or to rest regulations. Maintenance also isn't very good.

A better option is to take luxury coaches like those run by Blue Arrow. This company connects Harare to Chivhu, Kwe Kwe and Bulawayo.

By Train

Trains connect Harare to Plumtree, Mutare, Chiredzi, Traingle, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo. These services are operated by the National Railways of Zimbabwe. However, the country's railway system is a little underdeveloped and lacks maintenance.

Car hire

Cars can be hired at major hotels as well as at the airport.

Regulations: Local speed limits are 120 km/h on big, open roads, 60 to 80 km/h on smaller roads and 40 km/h within national parks. Police road blocks are a routine sight and many locals drive well over the speed limit.

Vehicles drive on the left side of the road. Visibility can be poor, so take care, since passing lanes are not clearly indicated in many places.

Only some roads have special lanes set aside in case you have a breakdown. Seatbelts are not mandatory, nor are helmets. Children are not required to be strapped into car seats either.

Do be careful if you find yourself on the road at night, since lighting is poor and it may be hard to spot a person or an animal crossing the road. Many vehicles don't even have taillights or headlights, so night driving can be quite dangerous and is best avoided.