Malawi to Livingstone...Are we NUTS?

Old Apr 9th, 2008, 01:42 PM
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Malawi to Livingstone...Are we NUTS?

We want to go from Malawi to Livingstone to see Vic Falls during our trip in July. It seems we would have to travel from Mbeya to Lusaka to Livingstone. I am still not sure if we should travel by train or by bus. Overall I am weary of the travel time since it is an almost 1000 mile trip! My first question is if anyone has made this journey and can give us advice on how to go and how long it takes. Second question is if we are nuts and should just concentrate our time in fewer places and come back at another date. THANKS!!
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 02:32 PM
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I once flew Vic Falls (Zimbabwe) to Harare to Lilongwe in a half day, so you can do that, or maybe fly Lilongwe to Lusake to Livingstone. It will take forever by bus or train (they move much, much more slowly than in North America or Europe).
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 02:40 PM
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Any recommendation on airline?
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 03:02 PM
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Zambian Airways - Lilongwe to Lusaka
Lusaka to LVI

Around 3 hrs flying time
 
Old Apr 9th, 2008, 03:20 PM
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Looks like Zambian Air doesn't fly from Lilongwe....
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Old Apr 9th, 2008, 03:32 PM
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That must have changed in the last year. The other option would be to go from Lilongwe to Chipata, just over the border. It is now more than a couple of hours. From there you can fly to Livingstone. If you are on a budget, flights are expensive.
 
Old Apr 9th, 2008, 08:03 PM
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Just caught a new episode of Globetrekker where Holly Morris did Malawi and Zambia. She appears to have flown from Likoma Island to Lusaka, so it appears possible. Couldn't see the name of the airline on the plane, unfortunately.

The website states she want from Malawi to Mfuwe, but unless they played with the timeline on the show, she went all the way to Lusaka.
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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Another forum gave me this answer:

"we traveled by bus from Lilongwe to Chapata in Zambia, stayed there overnight, then bus to Livingston from there.....took 10 hrs to Liv"

I don't know how long it takes to get from Nkhata Bay to Lilongwe but that would add at least a half a day I imagine. I really want to see Vic Falls but our trip is only 3 weeks long and we are already spending 4-5 of those days in full travel mode. I feel like this might add another 3 days to get there. we are definitely budget so flying is most likely not a viable option....
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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You could get a bus from Chipata, though by flying, you save yourself the need to overnight. There would still be a bus journey involved to Lilongwe to Chipata.

Either option will mean stopping in Lusaka, though time wise things can be very different. Its Africa.

The other option I have just thought of would be Air Malawi, who have a Lilongwe- Lusaka routing. Then Zambian Airways to Livingstone.

The cost for flying will be at least $200-300 one way, no matter which option you choose.

As for flying straight from Likoma Island, you would need to fly to get there in the first place............They have immigration on the island, which allows private charters to fly direct to other countries.
 
Old Sep 11th, 2009, 08:23 AM
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Heh, this thread brings back memories of my Southeastern African trip a few summers ago.

I spent the summer working my way down from Tanzania. Malawi was fantastic, but essentially the only way to travel was by the overstuffed, quasi-functional minivans ubiquitous throughout the country. I have done the Nkhata Bay to Lilongwe trip via bus. It was supposed to take "a few hours." naturally, this being Malawi, it took the entire day, and was utterly miserable. From Lilongwe we hopped a South African Air flight to Jo'berg. Incidentally, I checked, and they serve Livingstone.

From experience in other south African countries, a 1000 mile OVERLAND trip via bus/taxi/van is going to be a nightmare. I am a hardcore budget traveler, but spending the money in the end to go from Malawi to South Africa was worth it. Definitely fly to Livingstone if you can. Maybe via train, but anything else and I think you are asking for trouble.

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