Most people reach South Luangwa by air. Mfuwe Airport is about 20km southeast of Mfuwe Gate and served by Proflight, with several daily flights from Lusaka (ranges from ZMW810 to ZMW1500 one way). There are also regular daily flights to/from Livingstone. Bush & Lake Aviation (www.bla.mw) and Nyassa Air Taxi (www.nyassa.mw) fly from Lilongwe (Malawi) to Mfuwe. There's a bureau de change in the little terminal, Barclays Bank and Zanaco ATMs and a cafe by the parking lot where you can grab a coffee and meal while waiting for your flight. Almost every lodge meets clients at the airport (the charge is often included in the room rates). Otherwise, a taxi to locations near the Mfuwe gate should run around ZMW80.
The airfare is fairly reasonable when you consider the alternative: two wasted days on uncomfortable buses and minibuses, which may end up costing you about ZMW500 anyway (with bus or taxi fares, food and accommodation). Many travellers who endure the road trip from Lusaka bite the bullet, find the credit card and buy a flight out of Mfuwe back to Lusaka. (For a chance at a discounted Proflight stand-by fare of around ZMW500, turn up at the Mfuwe airport anywhere from one to three hours prior to departure.)