Beitbridge is a border town between Zimbabwe and South Africa, in the Zimbabwean province of Matabeleland South. The town lies slightly north of the Limpopo River – which is the natural boundary between the two countries. The Beitbridge
border post is Zimbabwe’s busiest gateway, with a steady, generous flow of people and merchandise making the crossing each day.
The name also refers to the bridge between Zimbabwe
and South Africa, spanning the Limpopo. The bridge, and thus the town itself, is named after Alfred Beit, founder of the South Africa
De Beers diamond mining company. One of Beit’s many interests was developing the Zimbabwean (then Rhodesian) railway system, and upon his demise in 1903, a sizable portion of his fortune was allocated to the bridge’s construction. The original bridge was constructed in 1929, and the new bridge was completed in 1995, which was designed to accommodate much heavier rail traffic.
Come summer or winter, Beitbridge’s low elevation translates to high temperatures and pleasant weather. Approximately equi-distant between Johannesburg and Harare
, the town is the ideal stopover, breaking up the lengthy journey in two, and allowing travellers a chance to rest and reenergise overnight.