Today, Friday 28th November, sees the launch of the new tourist Kavango Zambezi Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (KAZA) UNIVISA – but let’s just call it the UNIVISA for ease!
I must say, the team at Travel Butlers are very excited about this. The UNIVISA is a comon tourist visa, which during its pilot launch (lasting 6 months), will enable tourists planning to visit Zimbabwe and Zambia to purchase just one visa, which will cover travel to both countries. PLUS it also covers day trips into Botswana too.
So now, visitors wanting to stay on one side of Victoria Falls, and pop over the border to see the Falls from the other side, do not have to worry about expensive double entry visas. What a result! And what a boom for Victoria Falls tourism prospects, too.
The UNIVISA is available at the following 8 ports of entry across both countries:
Zimbabwe: Harare International Airport; Victoria Falls International Airport; Victoria Falls Land Border (to enter Zambia) and Kazangula Land Border (to enter Botswana).
Zambia: Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (Lusaka); Harry Mwaanga International Airport (Livingstone); Victoria Falls Land Border (to enter Zimbabwe) and Kazangula Land Border (to enter Botswana).
The UNIVISA costs US$50 (subject to change), payable in cash only. It will be valid for 30 days as long as you remain in Zimbabwe and Zambia, so you can cross between Zimbabwe and Zambia as frequently as you like within the period. As mentioned, it also covers those who wish to visit Botswana for a day trip through the Kazangula Land Border.
Citizens from the following 40 countries listed below are eligible for the UNIVISA:
United Kingdom; United States of America; Canada; Australia; New Zealand; Belgium; France; Monaco; Italy; Portugal; Netherlands; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Norway; Poland; Germany; Austria; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Czech Republic; Denmark; Finland; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Argentina; Brazil; Brunei; Burundi; Cook Islands; Israel; Japan; Puerto Rico; Russia; Rwanda; Slovakia Republic; Slovenia Republic; UAE and Uruguay.
When you arrive at the port of entry, you will be directed to a dedicated counter where the special visa will be issued.
If you are a passport holder from another country, however, please contact your local Zambia or Zimbabwe High Commission or Embassy for up-to-date visa requirements.The normal visa is issued at any Zambia/Zimbabwe Embassy, or can be issued on arrival at an entry point. Please note that visas will also be required in this case for additional entries into neighbouring countries for day trips.
Please note that the current visa processes for Zambia and Zimbabwe are still available for any passport holder, however we believe that the new UNIVISA will definately be a more cost effective and efficient way forward for every tourist.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Zambia/Zimbabwe and have sufficient blank pages for entry/exit stamps.
Also, please note that if you are planning to enter South Africa before or after you visit Zambia or Zimbabwe, you should be aware that while South African authorities state officially that only one blank passport page is required for entry, some officials insist on 2 blank pages. Please therefore make sure you have an additional 2 blank pages in your passport if you are travelling through South Africa.
PLEASE NOTE: Travel Butlers have made every effort to ensure that the information displayed here is correct and accurate, but the onus still remains with the traveller to verify the information with their local Zambia/Zimbabwe High Commission or Embassy.
Should this initial pilot with the Zambia/Zimbabwe UNIVISA be a success, the plan is to then roll it out to include Angola, Botswana and Namibia, making travel between these SADC countries much easier. The plan ongoing is that more countries will join the UNIVISA initiative at a later stage.