Many clients always find it difficult linking Victoria Falls & Mana Pools without having to take the costly available charter flights. Air Charter Companies have in recent times tried to offer reasonable rates. Enquire with us for charter flight rates.
Self-drive visitors to Zimbabwe always ask about the road network linking Victoria Falls & Hwange with Kariba Town or Mana Pools, along the southern edge of Lake Kariba.
Our response is this route is for adventurous, self-sufficient travellers ONLY.
Here are some tips:-
ROAD CONDITIONS: This is a long, slow and very remote journey – mostly along unpaved roads which can be in poor condition especially after the rainy season. Potholes and river crossings can prove challenging.
4×4 ONLY is advisable even in the dry months. Travellers should be totally self-sufficient (with food, water and vehicle spares) in case of breakdowns. It is advisable to travel in convoy with at least one other vehicle, because of the remote nature of this journey.
FUEL is only available in the main centres (Vic Falls, Hwange, Mlibizi, Binga, Karoi, Kariba, Chirundu)
DISTANCE: Victoria Falls – Kariba is roughly 770kms (480 miles); Vic Falls – Mana Pools, is about 800 kms (500 miles).
TIME is the real problem. It is not advisable (or safe) to attempt to do this trip in one day. Break the journey with an overnight stop in Binga (lodges, chalets and/or camping available),or Chizarira (remote camping only) before tackling the long journey south of Lake Kariba to Karoi, where you join the main highway north to Chirundu, with turn-offs to Kariba and/or Mana Pools. In the dry season, you can make Kariba in one very long day from Binga/Chizarira. However, you will not make it to Mana Pools because of National Park cut-off times for entry into the Park. You will need to spend a second night en route either at Makuti Travel Lodge (chalets), Marongora (camping only) or at Chirundu (various options).
MATUSADONA NATIONAL PARK: It is currently not possible (or advisable) to attempt to self-drive the back road into the Matusadona National Park on the southern shore of Lake Kariba (even in a 4×4). This route had been severely damaged and is best avoided. It should certainly NOT be undertaken by vehicles travelling alone. A better way to reach this wonderful destination is to drive to Kariba and take a boat or air transfer across the lake to one of the safari camps in the Park.
ADVICE: TAKE THE KARIBA CAR & PASSENGER FERRY
The long self-drive route along the southern shore of Lake Kariba is certainly a true adventure for those who are independent and very well prepared.
However, for a much more convenient way of getting you and your vehicle between Victoria Falls and Kariba or Mana Pools (or vice versa), we would not hesitate in recommending the large Kariba car and passenger ferry.
Kariba Ferries offer a fully-catered overnight journey of 22 hours along the length of Lake Kariba, from Mlibizi to Kariba (or the other way). We can assure you that this option is stress-free and considerably reduces wear-and-tear on your vehicle!