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Bulawayo is a paradise for history buffs and nature lovers alike. It's a vibrant city found at the heart of Zimbabwe with an atmosphere that's somewhat surreal. Old world charm meets modern living in Bulawayo and if you're taking a trip to Zimbabwe, some time spent here will not be wasted. To get the most out of your experience, search, book and pay for cheap flights to Bulawayo online with SA Airlines.

Whether you are booking SAA flights from Johannesburg to Bulawayo or choosing any of the other affordable international carriers such as Fly Africa and FastJet, you can expect to land at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ). The flight will take approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes and getting into the city is just a quick drive from the airport, no longer than 25 minutes.

For South African travellers, Bulawayo is an affordable escape and serves, as the perfect gateway to the Matobo National Park, Hwange National Park and Vic Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world. The National Parks are just the start of all that there is to experience in this particularly beautiful area.

More About the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport in Bulawayo

Bulawayo is home to the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ). Prior to 2001, the airport was called simply Bulawayo Airport but was renamed in honour of Joshua Nkomo who was the founder of the Zimbabwe African People's Union.

The airport is conveniently located just 24km from the city centre and is well serviced by taxis, shuttles and car rental companies. BUQ Airport features two asphalt runways, 4 gates and a canopy viewing deck (the only airport in Zimbabwe to have this). This particular facility has the capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers per year and is currently the hub for Air Zimbabwe and South African Airways (SAA).

Quick Facts About Bulawayo

  • This is Zimbabwe's second largest city
  • The first car to ever arrive in Bulawayo was in 1902 and was imported by Charles Duly who owned a cycle agency
  • The streets in the city are unusually wide as they were initially designed and built to accommodate ox wagons turning
  • The locals know the city as "The City of Kings"
  • Biltong and Kapenta (tiny dried fish) are traditional snacks found for sale in Bulawayo
  • The staple, national dish for Zimbabwean locals is a cornmeal dish called "sadza". It is usually eaten with a relish or stew
  • In the city, the Zimbabwean currency is not used. It is best to travel with US Dollars and South African Rand

When is the Best Time to Fly to Bulawayo from Johannesburg?

When booking Airlink flights from Johannesburg to Bulawayo, or flights on other national carriers, you might want to consider the best time to travel. If you are looking to book the cheapest flights to Bulawayo, it’s best to travel during the off-peak season. This is during the warm wet season from November to April, which is typically avoided by tourists.

If you prefer to choose your travel dates based on weather and activities, you might prefer to travel during the dry season which is from April to October. This is ideal for visiting national game parks and reserves.

The cheapest air tickets are typically achieved between March and May (Spring) and between September and November (Autumn).

Which Airlines Offer Flights from Johannesburg, South Africa to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe?

At SA Airlines, we can assist you to get cheap flights to the city. Simply use our quick and easy online flight search feature. For the best air fares and service, book FastJet flights to Bulawayo or SAA flights to Bulawayo. These carriers fly direct into Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ).

Getting Around Bulawayo

While travellers will see many mini bus taxis around, they are most commonly used by locals for transport around the city centre. To use these, it's important to know the routes and where to get off. If you want safe and affordable transport, consider hiring a car or making use of a shuttle service while in the city. At night, it's suggested that you use a taxi service but these must be booked telephonically and are often quite expensive. To get from the BUQ Airport to the city, it is best to arrange a shuttle in advance or to hire a car from the rental companies situated at the airport, which include Rhino Car Hire, Europcar and Budget.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Bulawayo?

South African travellers do not need a visa to enter Zimbabwe at all entry points. All that is required is a valid SA passport.

Tourist Attractions in Bulawayo

Booking affordable flights to Bulawayo is the first step of your adventure. The next step is exploring the city. Bulawayo is known for its historical ruins, interesting architecture and wildlife parks and reserves. When planning your trip to the area, you might find the following top tourist attractions of interest:

  • Matobo National Park
  • Bulawayo Railway Museum
  • National History Museum
  • Khami Ruins
  • Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage and Research Centre
  • Nesbitt Castle
  • Amakhosi Cultural Centre
Health & Safety Tips

While Bulawayo is a safe city to tour, it's advised to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you are making use of public transport, make sure that you know which areas are safest before doing so. If you are taking photographs, make sure that you are allowed to feature the buildings on certain streets as due to political issues, some buildings and areas in the country do not allow photos. Before travelling to the city, make sure you get your Malaria, Hep A and Typhoid shots.

Search, Book and Pay for Flights to Bulawayo

Search and pay for cheap flights to Bulawayo with SA Airlink, Air Zimbabwe and JetFast right here at SA Airlines. With our system you will find the lowest air fares and travel specials from leading airlines and travel companies. Secure your cheap flight to Bulawayo with the help of SA Airlines today.