Getting from Livingstone to Victoria Falls seems simple enough, right? However, you are crossing from one country to another, and entering “no man’s land” whilst doing so.
Before my trip, I read a lot of conflicting information telling me how to cross the Victoria Falls Bridge from Zambia into Zimbabwe and after hours of research, I still didn’t have the answers.
Below is a simple explanation for those who want to travel from Zambia to Zimbabwe, or vice versa! But first, check out this post to ensure you’re prepared for your trip to Victoria Falls!
The route from Livingstone to Victoria Falls
Livingstone → Zambia Border → Victoria Falls Bridge → Zimbabwe Border → Victoria Falls Town
Driving from the Livingstone airport to the Zambia border post will take about 15 minutes. From there you need to stamp your passport and drive to the Victoria Falls Bridge. You will then cross the bridge and continue driving to the Zimbabwe border post to have your passport stamped again. The drive from one border post to the next will take about 5 – 10 min. The final drive from the Zimbabwe border post to Victoria Falls is an additional 5 min drive.
Confused? Perhaps I was the only 1!
Taxi from Livingstone airport to Victoria Falls
Flying into Livingstone airport was cheaper than flying into Victoria Falls and hence we had to make the big trek from one country to the next as we were staying in Victoria Falls.
I spent many hours researching and trying to find the cheapest taxi from Livingstone airport to Victoria Falls. The standard rate is between $25 – $30 per person for a pre-booked trip. Because I didn’t clearly understand how to cross the Victoria Falls Bridge when traveling from Zambia to Zimbabwe, I thought that this rate was a bit excessive and so we decided to “wing it” as we were strapped for cash.
After landing in Zambia, with our 7 pieces of luggage, we approached the various taxi drivers at the airport exit and tried our hand at bargaining.
The first problem – none of the taxis had licenses for their vehicles to cross the border from Zambia into Zimbabwe. You are driven to the Zambia border post where you get into another taxi which will take you to the Victoria Falls Bridge and then onto the Zimbabwe border post. There, you have to take the third taxi from the Zimbabwe border post to Victoria Falls. Considering all the luggage we had, this was not ideal, but it was our only option.
Had we pre-booked a shuttle, we wouldn’t have had this issue as they have the correct licenses to move through the borders.
Costs for a taxi from Livingstone to Victoria Falls
The 15 min drive from the airport to the Zambia border post cost $25 for the trip ($12.5 each). Our driver was great and showed us where to get our passports stamped.
Thereafter, he assisted us in getting the second cab which took us across the Victoria Falls Bridge to the Zimbabwe border. This second taxi cost $5 for the trip which is a set rate.
The third taxi from the Zimbabwe border post to Victoria Falls town was $8 ($4 each) for a 5-minute drive (this rate, however, is not fixed and we managed to get this trip for $5 later on).
Overall I paid $19 instead of the pre-booked cost of $25 for the three taxi’s from Livingstone to Victoria Falls. In hindsight, I should have pre-booked a shuttle from the Livingstone airport to Shoestrings Backpackers in Victoria Falls. The extra costs would have been so worth it considering all the bags I had.
I would recommend pre-booking a shuttle if you are a solo traveler. This would work out cheaper as you aren’t able to split the costs for the individual taxis.
Another alternative for those light packers and budget-conscious travelers is to walk from the Zambia border post to Victoria Falls, or vice versa. Walking this route with no baggage took me about 35 minutes, but with our luggage, it would have been a different story.