Beit Bridge Procedure Sticky? - Page 2





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  1. #21
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    I sit on my hands. (This is about promoting runners and guma gumas)
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  2. #22
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    I agree with Henris - when im alone. given the prospect of my wife, 6 month old daughter and 3.5 year old son waiting for 4 hours... qute frankly id sell my kidney if necessary!

    When I travelled through Africa in 07 however we took a view to never use a runner. We managed to get by doing that - Ethiopia / Sudan took us a full 14 hours to get through, but on average it took us about 2 hours for 4 motorbikes.

    African economics do work to different tenets than proposed by Keynesian economists however.
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  3. #23
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    Myself and SWAMBO have just (04/01/2013) endured a 12 hour Beit bridge border crossing from Zim into SA on our way back from a trip to Mana and Kariba. We went via Botswana on the way there and it was much quicker. Beit bridge is an absolute nightmare, will never use it again especially peak season...

  4. #24
    yaredb Guest

    Default Beit bridge goods

    What about taking a jumping castle into zim that I am dropping off with a friend that side and returning without it, must I declare it with customs on the SA side? I will be alone with no other luggage.

  5. #25
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    Yes. Else it will be smuggling.

    Chikurubi is not a nice place.
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  6. #26
    yaredb Guest

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    Do you have to pay customs for goods being imported that are used ? Do you have to pay for insurance for goods?

  7. #27
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    If it has a value, and it is not coming back, you need to pay duty.

    Insurance is your own problem.

    NOTHING you pay at the border, is ever worth anything. You can forget to claim against the insurance you are forced to take out at the border.
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  8. #28
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    Default Beit Bridge

    Hi, has anyone had any recent experience with the BB crossing, any better or worse than before?

  9. #29
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    What is "guma gumas"?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdmmic View Post
    What is "guma gumas"?
    Touts / runners / fixers, who promise you easy/quick passage through the border for a payment (illegal).

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoelKubu View Post
    Hi, has anyone had any recent experience with the BB crossing, any better or worse than before?
    I crossed from SA to Zimbabwe last Friday and Zim to SA yesterday (Zim car & passport). How long it takes depends very much on how busy it is. There are short windows when one direction or the other is very quiet.

    Going north, crossed at 0830, no buses, no traders, 40 minutes total. If I'd had a foreign car maybe another 20-30 minutes for the TIP queue.

    Going south, crossed at 1700, just as buses were starting, 30 minutes total. Zim side quiet, SA side split buses vs. light vehicles.

    Also: Zim side has been cleaned up somewhat: very smart police station and the toilets are very clean - according to friends' mother who was with me. Talking with a clearing agent in town later apparently they are now kept pretty clean.

  12. #32
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    PS: I don't know what worst/max time is currently, say if you arrive when very busy with buses.

  13. #33
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    Hi Henris, if going to Ghonarezou and not using Moz access where should we cross into Zim? Thanks


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  14. #34
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    Crossing times update:

    Currently best time to cross Beitbridge is
    - SA into Zim: 0800 to 1000
    - Zim into SA: 1500 to 1700

    These are the times when the border is not busy with buses and cross-border traders. I have done two return trips in the last two months and crossed in 20 to 40 minutes each time. I have Zim number plates, so time into Zim would be a bit longer for SA vehicle.

  15. #35
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    Default Beitbridge frustration

    I read the advice and went to Hwange via Plumtree. Martins Drift border was quick and easy, plumtree had a 10 minute wait due to a convoy of nuns returning from a church event. Both border crossings were pleasant and polite.

    I really enjoy Tshipise so on Sunday 21 July at 5pm I pulled up at Beitbridge, just ahead of a big bus. I sailed through the Zim side with a big smile. Just before the halfway point on the bridge traffic was stopped and backed up. Being a law-abiding citizen ... I waited. The first minibus roared by on the right lane and I sighed deeply but resolved to not let it bother me. Next, a bus with full trailer roared by. A truck wanting to cross from SA to Zim hooted its indignation and it took 19 minutes for the 5 cops sitting on the SA side to halt the queue to let the bus in. The wait was now 30 minutes and we had proceeded about 3 truck-lengths. Another minibus zoomed by and my resolve to let anarchy reign without protest cracked. I marched up the queue, asked the taxi driver why he was too special to wait his turn, and then asked the SA cops if they were going to do anything about it. All 5 turned away and made a comment about the "Mulungu" complaining. I moved into the line of vision of the cop who just made the comment and asked him what my being a mulungu had to do with it. He then went over to the taxi and made a show of telling the guy off. No fine was issued and the taxi driver hopped into the next gap. It took 90 minutes to get over the bridge, and by the time I arrived on the Zim side, the taxi was happily through the border still laughing about the uptight mulungu.

    A number of people on the bridge were telling me and other cars to just push on through, however I suspected that my having given the cop unsolicited criticism would have resulted in me getting the only fine he issued that day. I also don't agree with queue-jumping. My border crossing was 30 minutes longer than it had to be because other inconsiderate drivers were queue-jumping.

    Once across, the queues at SA customs and passports were short and fast - it was just the traffic anarchy on the bridge that was the problem. Apparently the Dept of Home Affairs has washed its hands of this chaos saying that the Zimbabweans need to organise a way to stack trucks, like they do on the SA side. But all it takes is for one official to stack the trucks (on the bridge if necessary) and leave a space for the cars, busses and taxis to cut-in, and the problem will be solved. Before the new 2-lane bridge was erected they had lights that very effectively managed the old railbridge that cars also used and was 1-way! This is not a manpower issue either. Those 5 cops sat talking the entire time I was there, doing nothing more than check the steady stream of pedestrians passports ( a job for 1 person), and watching while the Zim customs caught a border-hopper and proceeded to kick him to a state of unconsciousness next to us. Then there were at least 5 traffic police vehicles I passed before reaching Makhado (Louis Trichardt for those resistant to change).

    But the fundamental problem is that our peace officers seem unwilling and/or unable to take initiative and facilitate the movement of traffic. ( "Not my Job" syndrome) Zimbabwe has barely enough money to get by, so it is hardly reasonable to expect them to provide the infrastructure and manpower to fix this. Why is there nobody in management who is prepared to take responsibility for the debacle that plays out there every day?

    So ... even if I am going to Gona re Zhou, I will rather add a day and 500km to my journey and go via Martins Drift and Plumtree, than endure the frustration of a Bietbridge crossing.

    My Zim holiday was excellent - best lion and elephant and roan sightings ever - but if there wasn't the plumtree alternative route I would stop going. ( PS another traveller in a Disco said that the dirt from panda to Robbins Camp was a shocker - no need for the high-level jack yet but the bumps require very slow speed or you passengers will break) The road from Plumtree to Byo is good and there is petrol and Diesel in Byo, Lupane, Halfwayhouse and Main Camp. Just a few big bumps about 100km out of byo towards Vic Falls - keep the wheels straight and don't break!


  16. #36
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    Very accurate.

    In ZA it is called the gravy train. Lots and lots of passengers and no workers.
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  17. #37
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    Default Warning when travelling in zim!!

    WARNING WHEN TRAVELLING IN ZIM!!

    We recently went on a Safari through Zim with some guests from Australia and the USA. As we are regular travelers in Africa especially Botswana ,which we love, we expected the same level of kindness and positive experiences as our past trips to Botswana, Zambie, Namibie, etc. What a dissapointment!!

    Our challenges already started at Beitbridge where it took us more than 5 hours to get through the border post. Two so called "agents""offerred to help and we made the mistake to accept their help. They got us to pay an extra R 200.00 per vehicle for their "assistance" which we duly paid. They did not manage to get us through the border post any faster, but off we went. To our surprise they followed us in an official border control vehicle, stopped us at the first toll gate on the way to Harare and demanded a further payment of $200.00 for the 4 cars!! Having a policeman with an AK 47 with them, no one wanted to even argue and the amount was paid to these "agents"!!!

    We made it without any further incidents to Harare, and on the next leg of our tour to Lake Kariba, we probably went through 20 roadblocks. We were stopped numerous times and twice the driver in the front vehicle had to pay a spot fine for exceeding the speed limit, although we all drove the indicated speed as per the limit in that specific area! The first fine was $15.00 and the next one $ 10.00 ( no paperwork, just pay the cash!)

    The rest of the trip was " incident free" until we headed back from Mana Pools. We stayed over in Harare once again, and left early the next morning on our way back home when we got stopped by an " official" to inform us we are not allowed to drive in a
    " convoy" as we do not focus on the road. The so called " convoy" was at this stage only three cars!! We got accused of passing through a orange traffic light( only two of the 10 on the road were in working order) and the driver had to appear in court the following day to be issued a fine of $385.00 !! The other alternative was to pay a " spot fine " which was " calculated " at
    $ 250.00!! Having guests from USA and Australia with us, we had no option but to pay the " spot fine" as they needed to get back to complete there travel in RSA and back home!

    What a disgrace!! Zim will never see us again and we will spread the word as far as we can!! We also intend to bring this under the attention of the Zim tourism board( if it is even worth doing so) , but please think carefully before planning a trip to Zimbabwe!!



  18. #38
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    Default Police Spot fines

    Here is the Zim Police spot fines schedule as at April 2013. Don't pay anything more than $20 for a single offence.
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  19. #39
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    I am planning our trip to Zim next year but when I read all these posts I wonder whether it is still worth going to Zim??

    I will definitely need a "Do's and Don't" list before going.


    A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.<O</O

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by KampGat View Post
    I am planning our trip to Zim next year but when I read all these posts I wonder whether it is still worth going to Zim??

    I will definitely need a "Do's and Don't" list before going.

    Best read other threads and enter Zims via another border post than Beitbridge.

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