Livingstone's international airport (tel: 03 321153, 323322, cell: 097 790733; fax: 324235; email: firstname.lastname@example.org) is just 5km northwest of the town centre on Airport Road. Thanks to the new Sun International hotel developments, it has been refurbished and now has pleasant waiting rooms, a bank, car hire, post office, and internet facility, as well as a bar and snack bar, plus curio shops for last-minute purchases. Be warned, though, that once you've passed through to the departure side of passport control, the only bar has no catering facilities, and there is nowhere to purchase books or newspapers. There is, though, a small private lounge, for which entry – open to all – costs US$15, to include unlimited drinks. There is a departure tax of US$20 per person for flights leaving Zambia, and about US$5 on domestic routes.
The airport is served by a number of scheduled airlines:Nationwide Airlines
PO Box 60407; tel: 03 323809, Sun's Activity Centre tel/fax: 03 323360; email: email@example.com; www.nationwideair.co.za. This South Africa-based carrier has up to four flights a day from Johannesburg at competitive prices. Comair/British Airways
(contact information not yet available). Flights three times weekly on Jo'burg–Livingstone route, Wed, Fri and Sun. Flights typically depart Jo'burg in the morning and return early afternoon. Fares are likely to be around US$113 one way, US$260 return, with those booked in the other direction rather more expensive. Zambian Airways
Tel: 03 322967 (but for reservations, book through main office in Lusaka. Scheduled flights to Lusaka, which are becoming increasingly reliable, with connections around Zambia. Flights to Lusaka cost about US$120 one way.
Of the charter companies that fly into Livingstone, the following have offices here:Migration Air (Star of Africa Air Charters)
Tel: 03 322285, cell: (263) 11 211 088; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Based in Livingstone, they operate charters throughout Zambia and also seat rates on selected routes. See box opposite for prices.Tonga Air
Book through Tongabezi Lodge, tel: 03 324458. Established mainly to service Tongabezi's clientele, Tonga Air operates a single 4-seater Cessna R182 for charters predominantly into Kafue NP, Lower Zambezi NP and Botswana's Okavango Delta at around US$750. For couples and individuals, smaller charters like this may be cheaper and more convenient than scheduled flights.
Airport transfers can be arranged through Bushtracks, Bwaato Adventures, Makora Quest or UTC if your lodge doesn't offer this service. Most charge from US$10 per person into town, around US$20 to Victoria Falls, or from US$30 to Kazungula ferry. migration air prices
from/ to to/ from US$ euros £
Livingstone Lochinvar 200 190 140
Livingstone Lusaka 220 210 154
Livingstone Mfuwe 420 400 294
Livingstone Jeki 310 295 217
Lusaka Lochinvar 150 143 105
Lusaka Mfuwe 200 190 140
Lusaka Jeki 90 86 63
Jeki Mfuwe 310 295 217
Livingstone Kasane 120 114 84
Victoria Falls Livingstone 95 90 67
Kasane Victoria Falls 170 162 119
Scenic flight over the Falls 75 71 53
The main terminus for local buses is on the corner of Senanga Road and Akapelwa Street, just behind Mosi-oa-Tunya Road, opposite Barclays Bank, and beside the town market. Some also leave from around the post office, where a range of buses gathers in the early morning, and most head towards Lusaka. If you want to go west to Sesheke or Kazangula you'll need to get a minibus from the Mingongo Bus Station down the Nakatindi Road. Expect the first buses to leave around 06.30, and the last around 11.00, depending upon demand (and note that music played may be at ear-splitting levels). Tickets are bought on the bus, and cost around US$8/Kw40,000 for a one-way fare to Lusaka on a large bus. If you're backpacking, you can expect the attentions of bus touts. Since buses leave only when they're full, and fares are only slightly cheaper than those on the 'luxury' buses (see below), it's not usually worth the extra time and hassle unless you want a truly local experience. There are a number of private coaches running scheduled services to Lusaka, for which you'll need to book a ticket several hours in advance, and preferably the day before, at the point of departure. Each coach operates from a different place, so be sure to get to the right stop. The trip takes around five to six hours, depending on the company, and fares are US$9/Kw45,000 one way.CR Carriers
The largest of the local coach services, operating from the corner of Mosi-oa-Tunya Rd and Akapelwa St, opposite Barclays Bank, has five or six buses a day to Lusaka, with some onward services to Chipata, Ndola and Kitwe. The first departs from Livingstone at 06.00, and the last at 14.00. There are also onward services to Chipata (5–6 hours), Ndola (4–5 hours) and Kitwe (5–6 hours)RPS
Two buses a day leave for Lusaka from their depot next to the Hungry Lion. Onward services connect to Mongu (6–7 hours) and Mansa (11–12 hours)Euro Coaches
leave from outside the post office. There is one coach a day to Lusaka. In addition to these, Intercape Mainliner runs a return service from Windhoek in Namibia to Victoria Falls, stopping at Kasane in Botswana, right on the Zambian border. This is a popular option for those travelling to or from Namibia, as you can avoid paying the visa fee for Zimbabwe by travelling via Botswana. The journey from Kasane to Livingstone takes an hour or so, and costs about Kw12,000 by minibus or Kw100,000 by taxi. Tickets must be booked in advance, either online at www.intercape.co.za, or at the Intercape Mainliner offices in Windhoek or Victoria Falls.
The railway station (reservations: tel: 03 321001 ext 336) is well signposted about 1km south of the town centre on the way to the Falls, on the eastern side of Mosi-oa-Tunya Road.
The Zambezi Express
train is scheduled to go from Livingstone to Lusaka on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 19.00, arriving the next morning around 08.00, although timetables may generally be unreliable. Bookings can only be made on the day of departure at the railway station, and can only be confirmed by payment – thus you must go in person. Economy class is US$3.70/Kw18,500, standard class US$4.60/Kw23,000 and first class US$6.40/Kw32,000; and two–berth first-class sleeper compartments are US$7.90/Kw39,500 per person. There is one train a week from Livingstone up to the Copperbelt, departing at 09.00 on a Friday morning, reaching Lusaka at 22.00 and arriving in Kitwe on Saturday evening. Economy fares are US$5.40/Kw27,100, standard are US$6.60/Kw33,100, and sleepers cost US$8.50/Kw42,100. There is an onward train service up to the Copperbelt or down to Johannesburg from Lusaka.
If you are heading south to Bulawayo or Johannesburg, then it may be worth crossing the border (walk or taxi) to Victoria Falls, from where there is an overnight train to Bulawayo. There are no longer any conventional train services between Livingstone and Victoria Falls.
If you have a vehicle and intend to head west, into Namibia's Caprivi Strip, Botswana, or western Zambia, then Nakatindi Road continues past the lodges by the river and, after about 60km, to Kazungula – where Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia all meet at a notional point. Here you can continue northwest, within Zambia, to Sesheke, or take the ferry across the Zambezi into Botswana, near Kasane. The 130km road from Kazungula to Sesheke, which has been in a very bad state of repair for years, is now one of the better roads in Zambia.
Sesheke is two hours' smooth drive away from Livingstone, and there's a brand new bridge across the Zambezi linking Livingstone fairly seamlessly into Namibia's network of good tar roads. (See The Western Provinces, for more on Sesheke.) Strategically this is important for Zambia's trade as it links it to Namibia's deep-water port at Walvis Bay, which makes importing or exporting anything from the Americas or Europe much easier, quicker and cheaper than it has been in the past.
The alternative route west – crossing the Zambezi into Botswana at Kazungula, then driving through Kasane to Ngoma, and thence Katima Mulilo and into Zambia – is now redundant. It used to be popular when the Livingstone-Sesheke road was truly dreadful.
As an aside, Kazungula is said to take its name from the tree known locally as the Muzungula (aka the sausage tree, Kigelia africana) on which David Livingstone is reported to have carved his name when he passed.