Travel to Zambia

Flying to Zambia

Direct non-stop flights to Zambia from London are provided by British Airways (www.ba.com), which connects London Heathrow Airport with the Zambian capital, Lusaka. Alternatively, you can fly from London to Zambia with South African Airways (www.flysaa.com), which flies to Lusaka and Livingstone via Johannesburg; KLM (www.klm.com), which flies to Lusaka via Amsterdam; and Kenya Airways (www.kenya-airways.com), which flies to Lusaka via Nairobi. There are also international airports at Mfuwe, near South Luangwa National Park, and Ndola, in the copper mining region. Fares are usually lowest in the rainy season, December to March, excluding Christmas and New Year.

Air notes:

Zambia currently has no national airline. It is an ambition of the current president, Michael Sata, to address this by supporting the launch of a Zambian service but for the present it’s unclear when this might take place.

Flight times:

It takes around 13 hours to fly from London to Lusaka (excluding stopovers, if any).

Departure tax:

US$25 for international flights and US$8 for domestic flights. This is usually included in airline ticket prices; if not, it is payable at the airport in US dollars. Transit passengers and children under two years are exempt. A recently introduced additional airport tax (Airport Development Infrastructure Fee) is 54,800 K (approx $6) per person for international flights, payable in cash on departure.

Other airports in Zambia

Kenneth Kaunda International Airport

Airport Code: LUN. Location: The airport is 26km (16 miles) east of the city (journey time - 30 minutes). Website: N/A. Public transport description: Airport and city bus services are available. Taxi service is also available to the city. Return is by prior arrangement with taxis (taxi fares are negotiable).

Mfuwe Airport

Airport Code: MFU. Location: The airport is situated in the South Luangwa National Park, 1 hour 15 minutes' flight from Lusaka... Website: N/A. Public transport description: Lodges and camps within the park provide airport transfers by prior arrangement.

Rail:

Travel by rail

Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) (tel: 286 2406; www.tazarasite.com) operates trains from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Kapiri Mposhi in central Zambia. The train, the Mukuba Express departs Tanzania on Tuesdays and Fridays, arriving in Zambia two days later. There are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class berths, with a dining car on board. Tickets should be booked in advance.

By rail note:

Zambia’s railway lines and trains are in poor repair and services are often suspended. It is advisable to check at the tourist office in Lusaka before travelling. There are currently no scheduled passenger trains between Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia.

Driving to Zambia

The easiest overland routes into Zambia are to and from Zimbabwe, which in turn is well connected to South Africa. It’s also straightforward to drive to Livingstone from the Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, northern Botswana, Malawi and southwest Tanzania. Border crossings are generally open 0600-1800 except for the Victoria Falls crossing which closes at 2000.

By road note:

Zambia’s land borders with Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique are open, but border controls here can be slow. There is a risk of landmines on the Angola side of the Zambia/Angola border and on the Zambia/DRC and Zambia/Mozambique borders.

Getting to Zambia by boat

By water:

There is a ferry service to Mpulungu in northern Zambia across Lake Tanganyika from Kigoma in Tanzania and Bujumbura in Burundi which runs twice a month. It’s provided by the MV Liemba, is a historic steam ship. It is often subject to long delays.

Ferry operators:

The MV Liemba (+255 280 2811) runs every 2 weeks from Mpulungu in northern Zambia along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika to Kigoma in Tanzania and Bujumbura in Burundi.

River routes:

A pontoon ferry crosses the Zambezi River from Botswana to southern Zambia at Kazungula. It runs daily but departure depends on how full the ferry is and there is no strict departure schedule.

Edited by Jane Duru
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