Getting there & away
Zambia’s main borders are open from 6am to 6pm except for those at Victoria Falls, which close at 8pm and Chirundu, which closes at 7pm.
Several minibuses leave Livingstone every day for the terminal used by the pontoon ferry to Kazungula (US$4, 12 hours). The pontoon carries motorbikes/cars/4WDs for US$5/15/20, while foot passengers are free. From the Botswana border, minibuses regularly leave for Kasane.
A quicker and more comfortable (but more expensive) way to reach Botswana from Zambia is to cross from Livingstone to Victoria Falls (in Zimbabwe), from where shuttle buses head to Kasane. From the Lusaka Inter-City Bus Terminal (Dedan Kimathi Rd) Seabelo Express has buses to Gaborone (US$70, 22 hours), via Kasane and Francistown on Tuesday and Saturday.
Direct buses between Lusaka and Lilongwe are infrequent and slow, so it makes sense to do this trip in stages. From the BP petrol station on the main street in Chipata, regular minibuses (US$2) run the 30km to the Zambian border. Once you’ve passed through Zambian customs, it’s a few minutes walk to the Malawian entry post from where you can get a shared taxi to Mchinji for around US$1.50 per person followed by a minibus to Lilongwe (US$2).
There is no public transport between Zambia and Mozambique and the only common border leads to a remote part of Mozambique. Most travellers, therefore, chose to visit Mozambique from Lilongwe in Malawi.
Every day, at least one bus and several minibuses leave Livingstone for Sesheke (US$7, six hours). The bus may terminate in Sesheke or continue another 5km to the pontoon (car ferry). The pontoon carries motorbikes/cars/4WDs for US$10/20/30, while foot passengers travel for free. If the pontoon isn’t operating, foot passengers pay about US$1.50 to cross by dugout canoe, and vehicles are stuck at the border.
From the Namibian side, it’s a 5km walk to Katima Mulilo, from where minibuses depart for other parts of Namibia.
For South Africa, City to City has buses every day to Johannesburg (26 hours). Chat Boeing travels to Jo’burg four days per week, but their buses are not as comfortable as those offered by City to City, though tickets are slightly cheaper. In addition, the reliable Translux buses travel to Jo’burg twice a week. All buses between Lusaka and Jo’burg travel via Harare, Masvingo and Pretoria.
Services to Dar es Salaam from Lusaka (US$35, 24 hours) run once or twice a week, but aren’t very reliable. Alternatively, walk across the border from Nakonde, and take a minibus from Tunduma to Mbeya in Tanzania.
The Tazara railway company usually operates two international trains per week between Kapiri Mposhi (207km north of Lusaka) and Dar es Salaam. The ‘express train’ (42 to 45 hours) leaves Kapiri Mposhi at 4pm on Tuesday and Friday, while the ‘interstate train’ (50 to 52 hours) leaves Kapiri Mposhi at noon on Friday. The fares on both trains are US$60/50/35 in 1st/2nd/3rd class (1st and 2nd class are sleeping compartments). A discount of 50% is possible with a student card.
To Zimbabwe, take any bus going to South Africa. If you’re travelling from Siavonga, take a minibus or charter a car to the border, and walk (or take a shared taxi) across the impressive Kariba Dam to Kariba, from where buses leave daily to Harare.
Zambia’s main international airport is in Lusaka, though some international airlines fly to the airport at Livingstone (for Victoria Falls), Mfuwe (for the South Luangwa National Park) and Ndola. Zambia is well connected to the region. Air Zimbabwe (www.airzim.co.zw) flies to Lusaka (US$150/295) from Harare on the way to Nairobi (Kenya) each Thursday.
Air Malawi connects Lusaka with Lilongwe (Malawi) three times a week (US$150/200) and with Blantyre (Malawi; US$185/299) twice a week. Comair (a subsidiary of British Airways) and South African Airways both fly daily between Lusaka and Johannesburg (South Africa) for about US$200/295, and also offer flights to Livingstone and Victoria Falls airports.