Getting Around Zambia
Zambia’s leading domestic carrier is Proflight (www.proflight-zambia.com), which offers scheduled flights to the main tourist hubs of Mfuwe and Livingstone. Proflight and charter carriers serve Chipata, Kasaba Bay, Kasama, Kitwe, Lusaka, Mongu and Ndola.
Included within the ticket price. A recently introduced Airport Development Infrastructure Fee for domestic flights is approximately US$8 per person.
Zambia’s major cities and tourist destinations are connected by a growing network of tarred or gravel highways and roads, making it straightforward to get from city to city by car. However, minor roads are often in poor condition, with potholed tarmac, poorly maintained gravel or unsealed surfaces. In the rainy season, many unsealed roads become impassable.
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There is a fairly good road network, of which around a quarter is tarred. Rural roads can often be left in poor condition.
Several firms operate in main centres. The main international operator is Europcar (www.europcarzambia.com) which has desks at the airports and in the major cities. Specialist firms offer 4-wheel drive hire. The minimum age to legally hire a car is 18 years. Some firms can also provide chauffeur-driven cars.
It’s easy to hire a taxi in Lusaka, Livingstone and the other major cities by booking over the phone, either direct or via your hotel. It’s also possible to hail a cab in the street. Fares are unmetered and should be agreed in advance.
There are a few places in Livingstone where you can hire a bike and some safari lodges have mountain bikes for their guests to borrow, but this is not common. Most people who are planning to tour Zambia by bike bring their own.
Long-distance coaches run from Lusaka’s intercity bus terminal to the major regional centres.
It is an offence to use a mobile phone while driving or to drive under the influence of alcohol.
In the event of breakdown call your car hire firm. Car firm MacFarlanes (tel: +260 966 401 676; http://macfarlaneszambia.com) offers roadside assistance and a 24-hour breakdown service on a private basis.
An International Driving Permit is required. UK driving licences may be used for up to 90 days.
It’s not advisable to drive at night, particularly in rural areas where surfaces may be uneven and wild or domestic animals may stray into the road.
Local bus services in Lusaka and other cities are provided by private minibuses and shared taxis. They’re basic, and can become very crowded. Taxis are not metered and fares should be agreed in advance. It is advisable to negotiate a fare.
Zambia has three main internal train lines, from Livingstone to Lusaka, from Lusaka to the Copperbelt, and from Kapiri Mposhi to the Northern border with Tanzania. The main train station is in Dedan Kamathi Road in central Lusaka, one road east of Cairo Road.
There is a twice-weekly Kitwe-Lusaka-Livingstone service which leaves Kitwe in the morning and reaches Lusaka at night and Livingstone the following evening. It has no sleepers or first-class carriages. The Golden Jubilee Express runs once a week from Livingstone to Lusaka and uses refurbished carriages from South Africa.
Children under six years of age travel free, and children between six and 15 years pay half price.
The rail network is poorly maintained and services are often badly delayed.
Local ferries operate on all waterways. Contact local authorities for details.