Transportation in Zambia

By | November 30, 2022

According to baglib, the main domestic airports are located in Lusaka, Livingston, Ndola, Kitwe, Mfuwa, Kasama and Kasaba Bay, and dozens of minor airstrips are scattered throughout the country and serve charter flights. Regular domestic flights are operated by Proflight Air Services and occasionally South African Airlink. Tickets can be booked through any travel agent in Zambia.

By train

Trains run between Lusaka and Kitwe via Kapiri Mposhi and Ndola, there are “expresses” between Lusaka and Livingston. On the “express” there are different classes: a compartment for two people; 1st class (compartment for four passengers), 2nd (or standard) class – compartment for 6 people, 3rd class (economy) – seated car. On a regular train between Lusaka and Kitwe, the standard class – the only one – means only a seat.

By bus

Distances in the country are long, buses are often late, roads are potholed, so traveling around Zambia by bus or minibus can exhaust even the most resilient traveler.

All major routes across the country are served by conventional buses that pick up passengers on the road, “fill up and go” or leave at a specified time. Express buses are faster, stop less often, but cost about 15% more. In addition, there are private companies operating comfortable European-class express buses on the most popular routes. Minibuses run to many destinations, leaving only when they are full of passengers. In remote areas, the only public transport is often a truck or pickup truck.

By car

A car can be rented from both international and Zambian companies in Lusaka, Livingston, Kitwe and Ndola, but rentals are expensive. For example, Voyagers/Imperial Car Rental offers the smallest car from 51 USD, plus 0.38 USD per kilometer (slightly cheaper if rented for a long time). Other companies, such as 4×4 Hire Africa, offer old LandRover Discoveries, fully equipped with everything you need, from 120 USD per day. A car with a driver will cost an additional 100 USD per day.

Most companies insist that drivers be at least 23 years old and have at least 5 years of driving experience.

The quality of the roads is generally not bad, the main sections of the tracks are comfortable, but even there there can be impressive potholes. The gravel sections of the road are also of acceptable quality, but they also suffer from potholes. It is better to move around the country in 4WD jeeps.

International routes

Tanzania: The Tazara Railway Company runs several trains a week from Kapiri Mposhi (207 km north of Lusaka) to Dar es Salaam. The express (travel 42-45 hours) leaves Kapiri-Mposhi at 16:00 on Tuesday and Friday, while the “interstate train” (travel 50-52 hours) leaves the city at noon on Friday. The fare on both trains is 64/52/33 USD in 1st/2nd/3rd class (1st and 2nd class are compartments). A 50% discount is possible with a student card. In addition, there is a bus to Dar es Salaam from Lusaka (35 USD, 24 hours) several times a week, but the schedule is very unreliable.

Energetic bird-lovers tend to Zambia to catch an incredible variety of birds in the scope of the camera, but the laws of this country strictly prohibit photographing representatives of the pygmy tribe.

Botswana: You can get from Livingston to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, where you can catch a bus to Kasane. From the Lusaka bus station (address: Dedan Kimathi Rd), the Cibelo express trains depart in Gaborone (70 USD, 22 hours), via Kasane and Francistown, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Namibia: Every day one bus and several minibuses depart from Livingston to Seshek (7 USD, six hours). Some flights go further to the pontoon (5 km, car ferry). Ferries with motorcycles, cars or four-wheel drive jeeps depart from the pontoon for 10, 20 or 30 USD, respectively, passengers travel for free. If the pontoon is out of service, passengers pay approximately USD 2 to get to the other shore by canoe.

How to get to Zambia

There are no direct flights from Russia to Zambia, you will need a connection in one of the European cities: for example, with British Airways in London or with KLM in Amsterdam.

Zambia’s main international airport is located in the capital, Lusaka, although flights from some international airlines also land at Livingston (near Victoria Falls), Mfuwe (near South Luangwa National Park) and Ndola.

Air Zimbabwe flies to Lusaka from Harare, Kenya every Thursday. Air Malawi connects Lusaka with Lilongwe (Malawi) three times a week and with Blantyre twice a week. Comair (a British Airways affiliate) and South African Airways fly daily from Lusaka to Johannesburg, and also offer flights to Victoria Falls in Livingston.

Transportation in Zambia