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Travel Guide: Getting to and around Zambia

12th Oct 2011 1:55am | By Editor

The moment you’re in Africa, it’s easy to get to Zambia.

Getting There

Fly

The capital Lusaka’s international airport is 26 kilometres east of the city served with regular flights from Europe and other African countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya.

Flights from neighbouring African countries also touch down at Mfuwe in the South Luangwa National Park. It is 75 minutes flight from Lusaka International airport. Lodges and camps within the park provide airport transfers by prior arrangement.

Ship

Zambia has no coastline but there are crossings from Mpulungu across Lake Tanganyika through Kigoma in Tanzania to Bujumbura in Burundi and a service across the Zambezi from Kazungula to Botswana.

Rail

There are two major rail routes linking Zambia with Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Zambia Railways serves Livingstone and has a connection across the Victoria Falls to Bulawayo and Harare in Zimbabwe. There are two trains daily in either direction. The journey takes 9 to 12 hours depending on whether the ordinary or express service is used.

Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) operates trains Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from Kapiri Mposhi to Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.

Services are often suspended and it is advisable to check at the tourist office in Lusaka how reliable the service will be.

Driving

Coach services are available between Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and South Africa. The main routes are from Zimbabwe via Chirundu, Kariba and Livingstone; from Botswana via Kasane and Kazungula; from Mozambique via Villa Gambito and Zumbo; from Tanzania via Nakonde and Mbala; from Malawi via Chipata and Lundazi and from Zaire via Kashiba, Mwenda, Sakania, Mokambo, Kasumbalesa and Kapushi.

Getting Around

Fly

Zambia has 127 airports and air strips throughout the country. Roan Air, Zambian Express Airways, Aero Zambia, Eastern Air and several smaller charter services operate domestic flights.

Boat

Local ferries operate on all waterways. Negotiate your price before you board.

Train

Local services centred on Lusaka are very limited, but there are rail routes to Ndola, Kitwe and Mulobezi. First and second class accommodation as well as light refreshments are available on some services.

Driving

Several car hire firms operate in the larger centres. Zungulila Zambia, Avis, Hertz and Taiwo will even provide chauffeur-driven cars. An International Driving Permit is legally required. The road network is fairly good by African standards, but it is not advisable to drive too fast because of pot holes and stray animals.

Bus

A network of inter-city busses is run by private operators. Zambia Telecommunications (Zamtel) also owns a coach service linking Lusaka with the Copperbelt and Livingstone every second day, but book well in advance.
  
Urban bus services in Lusaka are provided by private minibuses and shared taxis. Taxis are not metered and fares should be agreed in advance.