Beitbridge border post on Dec 24th
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Feb 17, 2013 3:44 AM Last Post By: kuschel
Jul 17, 2012 3:26 AM
Beitbridge border post on Dec 24thHi,
This is the first time travelling in Africa. We will be going to Kruger Park and then onto Victoria Falls through the Zimbabwe Beitbridge border post. I have heard that this post is terrible and can up to 6 hours to get through. Has anyone had experince going through this post on Dec 24th??
Any help or information on fees, traffic, best time to go through etc would be great
Jul 17, 2012 5:59 AM
1Certainly this border post gets busy in the days and weeks leading to Christmas. You'll probably find, though, that 24th December is not the worst day.
If you're just walking through, you should get through within the hour.
If you're driving, I think you have to allow several hours. It shouldn't take that long but it does happen from time to time. Realistically, you should get through in 2-3 hours.
Jul 23, 2012 6:22 AM
2Beitbridge is one of the worst borders in Africa, honestly. Avoid over Christmas as the queues will be hectic with people returning home from SA. Don't try and cross the border in the evenings or early mornings thinking that it will be quiet, you're wrong, thats when the buses cross and its a nightmare. I have crossed this border for several years at different times and its rarely a simple process, actually quite a slap in the face to both SA and Zimbabwe Authorities. If you have to cross, sleep in Messina, there's a place called Elephant Inn thats not too bad, nicer places in town. Alternatively, you can cross into Zim and stay at Todds if you heading up to Bulawayo, its 100km from the border on the Bulawayo road.
Its going to cost you about R 600 for the insurance, tolls and carbon tax. Don't use a 'guma-guma' the touts that charge to help you get through faster. On entry into the Zim side border go pay for the bridge toll and you will get your gate pass (about USD 10) for a car. Then queue to get your passport stamped and gate pass stamped. Then go to the TIP queue to complete the Temporary vehicle permits and pay for insurance, tolls and carbon tax. From there go outside and up to the Police house opposite the car park. Go in the back and get the gate pass stamped on the back. Then go back to the car park, with your car. There are guys sitting in a caged office who must stamp the gate pass and inspect the car. You then drive out, but just before exiting the border, must hand in your gate pass and they will want to search the car again. Its all a scheme to get something out of you, but as long as you are friendly and polite, you'll get away with it. Don't pay bribes as that will get you into trouble, and you'll have to pay a bribe to get out of trouble??
Ignore all the people who want to help you and look after your car etc. Its rude, but if you start talking, they'll take you for a ride. If in doubt, politely ask an official.
Don't drive at night and be polite to the people. if you get caught speeding, the fine is between USD 5 and USD 20. Lots of traps in and around the villages, especially Gwanda. Lots of road blocks too. Have your TIP and Insurance Papers that you purchased at the border in a plastic sleeve that you can hand to police. Also passport and drivers licence. On the subject, you need two white reflective strips on the front of the car and two at the back. If you are towing, a Black T on the trailer. You must have yellow reflective jackets, fire extinguisher and two hazard signs, four if you have a trailer. There is plenty info on this site regarding Zim.
Alternative is via Martins Drift into Botswana, up to Francistown and enter Zimbabwe at Plumtree just SE of Bulawayo. Its cheap to enter Bots, might be busy, but nothing like Beit Bridge. You could also go right up to Kazangula and cross there into Vic Falls.
A lot of info, a little bleak, but I do it all the time!!!
Jul 23, 2012 8:44 AM
3We passed the Beitbridge-border two weeks ago and it is an authentic African border (probably not the easiest though. It took us just 90 minutes to pass with our car.
However, it still is quite hectic over there; people will try to help you in many ways (be careful, not everyone is as honest as they seem), and you will be send to several desks at the border. At last, you will be asked to pay 80 Rand toll-taxes for the car.
Just keep your eyes open when you are there and relax a bit, and you will be fine.
Another important thing if entering the Zimbabwean border: You will be stopped at least 5 times before you arrive at Bulawayo. Make sure you have a triangle, fire extinguisher, reflectors on bumpers, and reflecting vests on your car! Police will try to fine you if you are a tourist. Unfortenately we did not succeed in talking us out the first time. We did pay the fine the first time (and negotiated for it as we payed only 20 after they asked 40) and we did ask for the ticket. After that we we stopped another 11 (!!) times. Every single time police directly began about the reflectors, after showing drivers licence, TIP, and fine, we were allowed to proceed. To be honest, it is a real hassle and in my opinion the worst part of travelling in Zimbabwe. For the rest: BEAUTIFUL!
Jul 29, 2012 6:34 AM
4Just crossed Zimbabwe from Beit Brige to Chirundu and once again, Beit Bridge was a mess! I have to agree on the reflective vests, warning signs and especially the fire extinguishers! Don't pay a fne more than USD 20. They asked for USD 40 for the extinguisher and I ended up paying USD 5. If you get jammed in Zim without a fire extinguisher, you can buy one at the TM stores in most towns for USD 8. Worth being able to then shove it in their faces!!!
Aug 24, 2012 11:55 PM
I crossed Dec 28, which was probably one of the 'better' days during the Xmas rush. It took me 3 1/2 hours with the car - about half/half on each side. Zim side queues moved more quickly, but there's more to do there (see above for excellent explanation). The officials will point you in the right direction of where to go next for the various stamps/forms etc
I met people at Vic Falls who had crossed a few days earlier who said they had spent 6+ hours at the border. Someone said 11, but not sure I believed them.
I think 24 Dec will be rough - but it is what it is. Just be patient but get your 'elbows-out' stance ready to stop the line pushers :)
I don't suppose it's worth your while to go via Bots if you're coming from Kruger??
Aug 26, 2012 1:42 PM
6You can go through Bots. You don't say where you are coming out of the Kruger, but if its from Phalaborwa or lower, you can go via Martins Drift Border Post into Botswana. From there go up to Francistown and cross into Zimbabwe at the Plumtree Border post and on to Bulawayo. You could also travel from Francistown up to Kasane via Nata and cross into Vic Falls there. Its quite a nice road and there are nice places to stay around Nata.
Feb 17, 2013 3:44 AM
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