After the Victoria Falls, we planned to go straight to Malawi because after the initial research the South Luangwa National Park was too expensive for budget backpackers. But we found the packages of the Marula Lodge and decided to go. Here is how we got from Livingstone to the national park.
Bus from Livingstone to Lusaka
Since you almost cross the whole country there is no possibility to complete the journey in one day. The first leg is a 7-hour bus journey from Livingstone to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. We went with the Shalom bus company who have several buses leaving between 5 am and 9.30 am. There are later buses as well but we didn’t want to arrive too late in Lusaka.
The tickets were 160 ZMW ($16 USD) per person and the bus was one of the best we took in Southern Africa. Be aware that the bus stop in Lusaka is quite hectic and we found it helpful to commit to one driver as soon as possible as he will fight off the mob.
Before moving on towards Mwfue we had to spend one night in Lusaka. We can recommend the Lusaka Backpackers.
Lusaka to South Luangwa National Park
The next morning we left on the 5 am bus with the Jonda bus company. This transport was more cramped than the one before and we had a row for three people instead of two. With 240 ZMW ($24 USD) this trip was also quite pricey.
The journey itself was pretty tiring because of the early departure and the length. It took us about 9 hours to get to Chipata. The last stretch from Chipata to Mfue also felt very long because the bus stops everywhere to drop people off and get new passengers on. The cherry on the cake was that our bus broke down about 20 km before Mfuwe, but luckily our lodge we stayed at picked us up from there.