Travelling in Zamibia | What You Must Know

Plenty of warning!Plenty of warning!
Getting around Zambia is easy if you stick with Siyabona Africa and our selected service partners.
After that, you're on your own.

What are the major distances between the towns?

Lusaka, as the capital city of Zambia, receives the most flights. Lusaka International Airport is only 22 kilometres (+- 14 miles) from the city centre. In the city centre you will be able to find hotel and guest house accommodation. At Lusaka International Airport you can connect with flights to the National Parks.

Lusaka is the central point of Zambia. All major roads heading north, south, west and east flow through the city. Livingstone is 470kms away, so a flight is the best option here. Kafue National Park is located 591 kilometres from Lusaka. One of the best National Parks - Luangwa National Park is 123 kilometres from Chipata, but best accessed by plane.

What are the Road Conditions like?

In a word "Terrible".
With very few tar roads, driving through Zambia is a challenge. While the roads might be occasionally getting an upgrade, the country still has a long way to go.
  • No road side services are available
  • Avoid driving in the dark.
  • Potholes, pedestrians and animals occur at random. Be aware.
  • If you are not driving a 4x4 vehicle - Don't Drive Here.

What methods of transportation is recommended to reach Zambia?

Domestic Air Services

Local and international airlines fly into Zambia on a weekly basis. There are scheduled flights available in various cities in Zambia.

Flying from the cities to one of the National Parks is still the best form of travel. Charter flight companies in Zambia fly to anywhere where there is an airstrip.

Arrival by Road

Zambia can be accessed via: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia. Most of the borders are open 24 hours a day.

Arrival by Lake Ferry

There is a ferry via Lake Tanganyika which carries cargo trucks and passengers from Tanzania.
Only for the bold.
With delays up to 48 hours - this route is not recommended.

How do I get around in Zambia?

While you are travelling with Siyabona Africa, the following information will not apply.

However, as a general rule:
In Zambia there are no regular bus services.
Public transport is in the form of poorly maintained 12 seater minibuses, run-down cars, dial-up cabs, car hire and chauffeur driven vehicles.
You are advised to use the dial-up cabs or chauffeur driven vehicles.

Car Hire

There are many car hire companies in Lusaka. However, since only 10% - 20% of the roads are tarred, try not to leave the city.
There are no road side services if your vehicle breaks down.

What are the Road Conditions like?

In a word "Terrible".
With very few tar roads, driving through Zambia is a challenge. While the roads might be occasionally getting an upgrade, the country still has a long way to go.
  • No road side services are available, so try to avoid driving in the dark.
  • Potholes, pedestrians and animals occur at random. Be aware.
  • If you are not driving a 4x4 vehicle - Don't Drive Here.

What are the Rules of the Road?

In Zambia, British rules of the road apply, but are hardly ever enforced, unless you have an accident.
Motorists usually drive on the left hand side of the road. Taxi's drive anywhere they please, so watch out for them as they are as unpredictable, as everywhere else in Africa.
An International Drivers License is required, unlike the locals who can buy a license just about anywhere.
In urban areas the speed limit is 50km/h and the speed limit for national highways is 100km/h.
African Safaris Guide to South and East Africa
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