Zambia- how to choose!? (self driving)

May 3rd, 2017, 12:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2
Zambia- how to choose!? (self driving)

Hi! We are travelling to Zambia for 2 weeks and are having trouble scoping out what is possible/feasible vs what are the must see's of Zambia. Our initial thoughts are to see the Lower Zambezi via canoe, Victoria falls and surrounding area, and South Luangwa.
Right now our schedule is:
Arrive 23 May in Lusaka
24 - 27th May (maybe 28th) we have arranged for a 4x4 (with tent). We wanted to drive to S Luangwa on the 24th, stay the 25th and 26th and then drive back to Lusaka the 27th. 1 day walking safari and 1 night safari at least, but we realize this may be unrealistic in terms of the drive time.
28th May - public transport/ bus to the LZNP
29th of May - 31st : canoe trip
31st May - afternoon - back to Lusaka.
1st June - EITHER self drive to Livingstone or public transport/bus
2nd June - 4th of June - see the falls and any surrounding interests - maybe leave earlier and go by Lake Kariba for a day if we feel we have seen enough with just a day of the falls
4th or 5th of June - drive/bus back to Lusaka
6th of June - flight back

Our biggest questions are if we are cutting it way too short in S Luangwe and should instead pick something closer like Kafue park or even more up north. Is it really worth it to drive so much to S Luangwe or are the other parks with a bit more time more worth it?
For the self drive - any recommended places to stay? We are looking for cheap! Do we already need to book everything now? Since we don't know yet whether we will be self driving the second part it is hard to make decisions on accommodation.
I have been to Africa several times but I have never self driven, and my friend has never been. Are we way out of our league for the self drive? We are pretty adventurous, but realize we may be overestimating our capabilities.
For the self drive in the parks - what is the best (and affordable) way to get a guide?

All recommendations are greatly valued
kweijde is offline  
May 3rd, 2017, 02:48 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 783
Zambia, in my opinion is not the best of countries to self-drive in, single lane and high traffic density and heavy vehicles.Driving is a risky proposition.Just to get from point A to B. Cabs of Buses/Coaches are a better option.Right had drive on the left of the road.Flights even better, a bit on the expensive side.

Now for driving distances.

Lusaka - South Luangwa NP 10-12 hrs

Lusaka - Vic Falls 9 Livingstone 6-7 hrs

Lusaka - Chirundu ( gateway to the Lower Zambezi ) 3-4 hrs

Lusaka - Kafue NP 4-5 hrs

Now to self-drive,or not;

Costs ; $120 per day inclusive of gas for 2 weeks = $ 1650

Its better off using public transport,the savings can be used for accommodation. Lot of budget options in Lusaka.If you have not camped before,not worth the attempt in Zambia.

Kafue, the most reasonable option is Pinnon Lodge

S.Luangwa has FlatDogs, Thornicroft, Wildlife Camp are quite reasonable.

Lower Zambezi resorts are expensive. The low end one is Gwabi.

Livingstone(closer to the falls) the Maramba River lodge is good.
inquest is offline  
May 3rd, 2017, 08:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the tips Inquest - really helpful! Especially the accommodation, I think we will start booking those soon.
kweijde is offline  
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