If you look back, how many of your best travel memories were from spontaneous decisions? Planning has its place, but when it comes to authentic experiences, you can’t beat spur-of-the-moment choices to get out of town. Hitting the open road in Zambia is a fantastic experience and a chance to make lifelong memories with your travel mates.
Are you laughing right now and saying, ‘But I’ve got kids! Life isn’t so simple these days’. Actually, we are here to say that it really is that simple. If you have a vehicle, a full tank of fuel and an adventurous spirit, then a road trip from Lusaka to Livingstone can be exactly what is needed for spending quality time with your family.
Whether you call up your four best chinas or round up the children, we are here to show you why the journey from Lusaka to Livingstone can be just as enticing as the destination. Check out our top tips for road tripping from Lusaka to Livingstone.
Distance: 485.4 Km
Time: That’s up to you!
Travel mates: You decide!
Transportation: Your own wheels
Playlist: Check out our Zambian road trip playlist here
How long is the drive from Lusaka to Livingstone?
The drive from Lusaka to Livingstone would take under seven hours if you were to go directly from A to B. You could technically be on the road at six a.m. and be in Livingstone in time to enjoy a fabulous lunch at The Golden Leaf. Though arguably some of the best Indian food outside of India, we still think that it’s best to take your time and enjoy the journey. You can always gun it home on the way back.
Top Tip – get on the road ahead of the morning traffic in Lusaka. You don’t want to start your trip with bumper to bumper traffic after downing a gallon of coffee.
How is the road from Lusaka to Livingstone?
It’s true; some of the roads in Zambia aren’t exactly up to Autobahn standards. However, you will be delighted to note that the road from Lusaka to Livingstone is in excellent condition. Any vehicle can make the journey, and there is no need to have a 4×4 or a car with clearance necessarily.
Top Tip – There are currently three toll stations from Lusaka to Livingstone, located close to Kafue, Choma and Zimba. The cost for a vehicle is k20 at each, so ideally, have the correct change to speed up the process.
Where is good to stop for food between Lusaka and Livingstone?
For an initial stop on the Lusaka to Livingstone road trip, we highly recommend Coffeeberry Café in Mazabuka. You’ll have just completed about two and a half hours of your journey, so pull in for some of the best coffee in Zambia. They are open daily from 7 am-5 pm and have an extensive menu from healthy breakfast smoothies to indulgent cakes. Breakfast is served all day or tuck into one of their Instagram-worthy burgers served with a tin cup of fresh chips. The lawns are ideal for getting kids to run off some steam, and before you leave, don’t forget to use their clean toilet facilities and then pick up a few snacks for the road.
Top Tip – You can call ahead and either order to eat in or take away.
If all of that coffee is now making your eyes water, don’t worry as it is only an hour journey to The Roadside in Monze. This spot is infamous in Zambia for having sparkling clean toilet facilities. They are fee-paying, but you’ll be happy to oblige since this ensures that the restrooms are always kept in excellent condition. The Roadside also has cold drinks, snacks, pies and fried chicken on offer. They can get really busy when the buses show up, so try to avoid the rush.
Top Tip – Have separate small change as this will be needed for entry to the men’s or ladies’ toilets.
No road trip from Lusaka to Livingstone is complete without a stop at the Choma Museum and Craft Centre. It is marked by the large steel balls on the front lawn that are the original wrecking balls that cleared the brush, making way for the Kariba Dam.
For over twenty-five years, this museum has been dedicated to showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of the Tonga people. There is a beautiful craft shop, as well as rotating exhibitions and clean toilets.
Top Tip – The Choma Museum makes for a perfect picnic spot, so think about heading to the Spar only a kilometre up the road and grabbing some snacks.
Woohoo! You made it to Livingstone! Now it is time to enjoy a drink (or three!) and relax. Will your days be filled with splashing in the pool, getting drenched at Victoria Falls or trying every cocktail on the menu? Our advice is to try it all.