The univisa, or Kaza visa, for Zambia and Zimbabwe was officially launched on November 28 and although there is growing interest from tourists, some tour operators are shying away from recommending it due to a lack of knowledge around the application process.
The Kaza visa costs US$50 and is valid for up to 30 days as long as visitors remain within Zambia and Zimbabwe. It also covers day trips into Botswana across the Kazungula border.
The visa can be bought on arrival at the following border posts and entry points in Zambia and Zimbabwe: Harry Mwaanga Airport, Livingstone; Victoria Falls land border; Kazungula land border; Kenneth Kaunda Airport, Lusaka; and Harare Airport.
Having recently crossed the border with guests who required univisas, Ross Kennedy, CE of Africa Albida Tourism and Southern Africa Director of the African Travel & Tourism Association (Atta), told Tourism Update the application process was mostly smooth. “On the Zimbabwe side of the border there is a separate counter for univisas and this speeds up the process for all travellers, whilst on the Zambian side the officials told me that this service was in the pipeline, pending resources,” he said. “My guests arrived at Livingstone airport where they purchased the univisa efficiently, and then transferred straight to Victoria Falls bridge border post to transit to Zimbabwe, where the vetting process was also efficient.”
But some tour operators report they are not aware that the univisa has officially launched and therefore have not taken steps to recommend it to their clients. Gill Maskell from Africa 2000 Tours said: “My clients are extremely excited about the univisa and we think it’s a fantastic idea. As far as roll-out is concerned, I have had absolutely no request for input and I have no indication on how it is proceeding, so I am in the dark regarding this,” she said.
Kennedy said interest for the univisa was mounting rapidly but to increase awareness, the tourism industries in Zimbabwe and Zambia and the region needed to be proactive in spreading the word. Inbound agents and operators should tell supply chain partners in their source markets about it and national tourism authorities should launch campaigns at upcoming travel shows.
According to Owen Mukomvelo, Assistant Regional Immigration Officer at the Victoria Falls land border on the Zimbabwean side, there is increasing interest in the univisa and many travellers have already purchased it.
Source: Caro Malherbe