Guide to Bussing through Zambia

Bussing through Zambia from Livingstone to Lilongwe, Malawi via Lusaka.

Disclaimer: We arrived in Lusaka by bus at 9 pm and then left by bus at 5:30 am the next day.

First Impression: The bus station is an intense jumble of humanity and I would definitely try to avoid it in the future.

Where I stayed: Lusaka Backpackers, clean, basic, nice bar and outside area, no food service though which sucked for us as we had not eaten much that day on the bus.  Would have stayed longer but sadly we had to catch the bus the next day or be stuck on a minibus to Malawi.

What to wear: comfortable bus travel clothing

What I did: n/a

Practical tidbits:

  • People at the Lusaka bus station will randomly come up and try to sell you tickets but they are fake. Only buy a ticket from a booth/stall/cabin.  We had a horrible time finding the company we were looking for but there is a Reception desk in the middle of the chaos and they will help you there.
  • We took Kobs Bus Service which as far as we could tell, was the only bus service that goes through the border to Lusaka. Book your ticket before, it was full, we just squeezed in.

Off the beaten path: n/a

Last Impression/Wishes for “next time”:  Just wish we had had time to explore Lusaka.

Our bus broke down on the way from Victoria Falls so we were several hours late arriving.We did find that busing through Zambia is horribly uncomfortable.  We bussed from Livingstone, where we waited in a hot, dusty bus lot, covered in flies for over an hour and the only toilet to be found was in a foul bar with one of the nastiest bathrooms I have yet to experience.  We then broke down and waited in a very Christian town for several hours for the next bus to come. It matters that it was very Christian as they did not serve us beer at the restaurant and they blasted extremely bad gospel music the whole time.  We got stuck in hellish traffic coming into Lusaka, all the while stuck on an overcrowded bus with the back of the seat in front of me a mere few centimetres from my face.  The bus station in Lusaka was a total nightmare, people following us everywhere, no order to it whatsoever.  The next day, other than in small town stops, we couldn’t get off the bus unless we wanted to be followed and harassed to no end.  The bus itself was a steamy mass of people and things and the seats were half broken, I had a piece of metal sticking into my thigh for about 10 hours.

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